Pregnancy Perks (and gratuitous photos of my baby girl)
So it’s been 6 weeks now. And just like in pregnancy, I’ve found that mothers measure their new life and the baby’s lives in a series of weeks. The math is mind boggling—but I get it. With each week come firsts and major milestones in the baby’s life and my own. The past 6 weeks have flown by in a blur of delirious joy and exhaustion, but somehow it feels like ages ago since I was pregnant. And there is not much I miss about those days—except for this one thing:
The General Public was SO nice to me when I was pregnant. Strangers struck up conversations with me about my due date, the baby’s gender and whether or not this was my first child. My round belly invited kindness, compliments, opened doors, let me cut in lines, and precluded me from paying extra for guacamole at Mexican restaurants. Sure there were the awkward and unappreciated comments (“oh, you’re not wearing your rings, are your fingers swollen?” “are you sure you’re not having twins?” etc) but all in all, the world smiled and embraced me and the life I was creating. It was like I was a VIP and I guess I got pretty used to smiling and waving as I glided down the red carpet life roles out to expectant mothers.
My first postpartum baby-free trip to the grocery store was a real wake-up call. In just days, I had gone from a VIP with an all-access pass to a totally invisible nobody. No one spoke to me, no one offered to carry my groceries to the car, and although I was grunting quite loudly—no one stopped to offer to help me grab the box of cereal from the top shelf. But in reality, I was the one that needed help! I was a basket case the first time I ventured in public post-baby. I had probably gotten three hours of sleep in the past 48 and my body had just gone through the major trauma of birthing a human. I was the one needing a compliment and a wink from the Willy’s employee as he heaped on the free corn salsa and cheese dip. Someone should have given me a medal for spelling my name right and remembering to put the car in park before getting out.
Yes, when you are pregnant you are rounder than usual and there can be a bit of nausea, cankles, stretchmarks and heartburn, but life goes on pretty much exactly as it always has. Shortly after giving birth, you are still rounder than usual and the cankles and stretchmarks are in no hurry to go away. Now add in sleeplessness, soreness and the physical demands of keeping a human alive. Exponentially harder. Now that I am on the other side of pregnancy, I will give the courtesy grin to expectant mothers but I will save my real smiles, my sympathy offers for assistance and my “you look greats” for mothers with newborns and small children. NOW I KNOW.
But needless to say, I would obviously trade all of the pregnancy perks in the world for the happiness that this baby girl as brought me. I seriously love her more every day. And last week she smiled at me and I just went crazy. Now my day is spent trying to make her do it again and again and again.
I can’t wait to see what the next 6 weeks bring.