Wednesday, March 06, 2002

The Good Old Days Were Not So Good.
Reading the posts about maternity clothes and Denise's comment that she is considering becoming a mother, I am motivated to say that having the kid is the easy part. It's the next 20 to 30 years that's the real struggle.

I recently went to visit my daughter and son-in-law who are expecting their first baby. She's 39, tall, skinny, funky, smart, and was sick as a dog and living in her pajamas for the first three months. Now, into her fifth month, she's feeling better, wearing equally funky maternity clothes, and having a great time getting all of the baby stuff ready.

When I was pregnant with her, we were really young and penniless and I worked almost until pregnancy's end. I didn't know what sex the baby was going to be, I had no idea if the baby seemed to be healthy, and I never intended to get pregnant in the first place. The maternity clothes were really dowdy, so I wore regular (a size or two larger) clothes as long as I could and then taught myself to sew that that I could make things that didn't make me look like a blimp.

My daughter spent 34 years of her life discovering who she was, what she was good at, and what she loved to do before she got married. When they finally decided to have a baby, they researched (mostly on the web) everything from the best time in a woman's cycle to try to get pregnant to what the financial costs would be to what she should be doing in tems of health to put her body in the best shape possible to be the best host possible for that "perfect little parasite" (my words, not hers). She's had tests to determine if there are any physical defects, she emailed a copy of her sonogram, and they already know that it's a boy and his name will be Alexander William.

No matter how big she gets or what kinds of clothes she's going to wind up wearing, she loves the idea of showing off that she's pregnant. (That tank top at Gap maternity is just her style.)

So, Denise, and any other blogsisters who are thinking of joining the ranks of motherhood, when the time comes, enjoy your personal pregnancy as much as you can. After that and for a long while, most of your joys are going to wind up being severely other-directed. It's certainly worth whatever it takes, but, let me tell you, it's feeling really nice on this end of the journey as well.