Filed under: Pregnancy and Baby

Putting Reality On Hold

Thursday, February 24th, 2011 • 8 Comments on Putting Reality On Hold

There was a time when I followed politics and current events. Not so much anymore. Oh, I know what’s going on in Egypt and Libya, about the ridiculous vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to end federal funding to Planned Parenthood, about President Obama renouncing the definition of marriage, about the earthquake in New Zealand, about crazy politicians who want to criminalize miscarriage. I know the headlines, I suppose. The big stuff. Which (sad to say) is more than many people know. (True story: A Facebook friend posted as her status, “I don’t know what’s going on in Egypt, but it looks scary!”)

What I don’t know are the nuances, the details that can only be had by reading multiple news sources and gleaning information from different perspectives. Somewhere in the past two years I’ve let my political and current events reading fall by the wayside. I know what precipitated it—pregnancy. I stopped watching the news all together when I was pregnant with Patrick—too many tragic stories that would turn me into a weeping puddle of maternal mush—and reading newspapers and news sites quickly fell by the wayside with a newborn. Then I simply never returned to it.

I feel guilty sometimes, not knowing as much as I should about world events. I’m a parent now, I feel as if I should know what’s going on in the world so I can protect my child(ren). But knowledge doesn’t necessarily give me that kind of ability, does it?  No, sometimes knowledge is not power. Sometimes knowledge about the big scary world outside my front door only brings worry and fear. And as I find myself back in the realm of hormonal pregnant women, the last thing I need on my mind when I go to bed at night are the tragedies of the world. I’m a coward like that when my hormones are ricocheting about like pinballs in a game.

And though it pains me to admit it, parenthood has cracked my hard exterior and made me a marshmallow when it comes to tragedy. Stories about children, in particular, will leave me in tears. I just cannot take that raw, exposed nerve-ending feeling and so I hide from the bad stuff and gravitate toward laughter and sunshine. The same is true of fiction, as well. I nearly lost it just watching the trailer of Rabbit Hole. Making me sit through the movie would be cruel and unusual punishment.

By the end of summer, I will be responsible for two young lives in this world. I know at some point I will pick up the newspapers and news magazines again, add the news sites to my favorites again, watch the local news and national news on a regular basis again. It’s my responsibility as a parent to know what is going on so I can make the best decisions for my little ones. But for now, for the next six months or maybe even a year, I’m going to revel in laughter and sunshine and baby smiles and tummy flutters.

Posted by Kristina in Life, Pregnancy 2011, Pregnancy and Baby
 

Introducing…

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 • 4 Comments on Introducing…

Baby Boy Wright!

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(If tradition holds, we will give him a proper name about three days after he’s born.)

Posted by Kristina in Pregnancy 2011, Pregnancy and Baby
 

Doing It All Again

Monday, February 7th, 2011 • 2 Comments on Doing It All Again

Mary Ann Mohanraj wrote a letter to her two young children Kavya and Anand (3 and a half and 16 months, I believe), telling them about a conversation she had with some childhood friends regarding having children.  I found myself nodding at so much of what she wrote, that I wanted to share it.  Especially this passage about what parenting is like:

It is like taking on another full-time job, on top of the one you already have. And then some. You give up all control of your own life, because at every moment, your infant’s needs must come first. Research has shown that the brains of sleep-deprived parents look very much like the brains of psychotic people; you are literally crazed with lack of sleep while you are trying desperately to keep this small and fragile creature alive. Breast-feeding can be a torture for both mother and child when it doesn’t go well, and the guilt, while the hormones rush through you, can make you feel like an utter failure. Exclusively pumping for six months takes twice as much time as normal breast-feeding would, which is already an impossible amount of time. Showering becomes a luxury. Cold food is better than no food. You are at the mercy of your body and its hormones, your child and its unending needs. It is as if someone has reached in and torn a hole in your very self. The first nine months of your life, Kavya, (until you finally slept through the night) were the most intense physical, mental, and emotional gauntlet that I have ever been through, and I just put my head down and tried to survive the days. And then, Anand, we did it all again with you.

We did it all again.

Because for all the misery and difficulty, it is astonishing, being a parent. It is transformative. I imagine it must be similar to being in a war, or having a transcendental religious experience—you go through a door into another country, one you could never have envisioned. In passing through that door, you are changed forever. Admittedly, I am an experience junkie—if you asked me right now, would you like to go into a war zone? , I would want to say yes. Only the thought that I have a responsibility to my children to keep my body safe for the next seventeen years would give me pause. In my life thus far, I have chosen great risk every time, as long as there is also the possibility of great rewards. So let that frame what comes next.

Because although I would never say those words to anyone—do it. have kids.—I said it to these women, at the end of our lunch. I told them to dive into the trenches. Take the risk.

Despite the sheer terror at the thought of having to take care of an infant alone; despite the moments of utter despair that I would never sleep, eat or write again; despite the sneaking suspicion that I am utterly insane to not only have one child in my 40s but to now be pregnant with a second… I would say the same to anyone who thinks they might want children.  Do it. Take the risk.  It’s sheer exhausting, chaotic madness, but it’s also unbelievably joyful and fun. I hope, hope, hope I feel the same way when the second baby arrives… though I imagine he or she will be at least six months old before I can even put the words “joyful” and “parenting” together in the same sentence. 

Yes, it’s crazy.  But it’s a good kind of crazy.

Posted by Kristina in Pregnancy 2011, Pregnancy and Baby
 

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.

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