I've done plenty of things in my life that brought on quite the adventurous experiences, here are a few examples:
- Going on a mission to a foreign country. Try hand washing your clothes for 18 months or walking everywhere you needed to go...not to mention trying to express yourself in a language you just learned and are trying to understand...slang is your enemy in this situation my friend.
- Running a marathon. If you have never run long distances before you are in for a treat! Not only do your muscles (including the ones you never thought had anything to do with running) protest significantly when you get to, say mile 15, but just wait until the day after you run. Your muscles go on strike completely. If your exhausted muscles weren't enough to make it an experience, your bowels go bizurk causing pain, cramping, gas and other unpleasantness that requires a bathroom 5 minutes ago. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Though, I do admit, you begin to get used to it and know how to be prepared for/combat it after you've completed 2+ marathons and are addicted to the sense of accomplishment and runner's high from the 26.2 mile races.
- Getting married. Yes, this is an experience. Not only do you get to marry your best friend (which is awesome), but you get to take two lives which are two complete different cultures and bring them together. Marriage is wonderful...but not without its adventures I can promise you that.
- Changing jobs. I worked for the same company for almost 6 years and decided I needed to make a change. I went from a place where I was the all-knowing Oz to being, well, not. The people I work with are awesome and supportive, but it took quite the adjustment. I hated not knowing everything and having to rely on others to help me with pretty much everything for the first couple of months. Now that I've been at the new place of employment for over a year I am pretty comfortable with what I am doing, but as it is part of the medical field, I will always be thrown new curve balls that I have to learn how to swing at.
I'm sure your mommies out there are reading this saying, "yep" "yes" "uh huh"...and I'm sure I'll do that when I read back on this after I have a houseful of children, but for the time being, this is all new...and sometimes not that great.
Do you know what else is new (and not that great)? The horrific heartburn. The shooting back pains when you get up to walk and can't because you might fall over or have a leg go out on you. Being uncomfortable at night and missing sleeping on your back...but not, because it also is uncomfortable. The gas. The weight gain (which I know is good for baby, but admit it, it is depressing for mommy). The exhaustion. The swelling of the ankles making it so you can only fit into one or two pairs of shoes. Buying new clothes (I know this can be joyous, but not when you have to plan to get bigger and make sure what you are buying will work for your growing body and knowing these expensive clothes will only be useful for a few months). The tummy touchers...oh the tummy touchers!!! It is one thing to have your close family and friends touch your baby belly, but it is a complete other thing to have strangers or people you barely know - let alone tolerate - touch your tummy. I have half a mind to reach over and touch their tummy. We'll see how they like that! The hideous stretch marks. The morning sickness and not being able to eat anything and just the thought of certain things make you want to gag. The hunger - which is really only eating about half of what you could before at a sitting because baby is taking up all the space. The need to pee because your bladder is being squished by baby. The hip pain when you try to jog or even walk, making you feel pathetic and unable to complete an easy two miles. The many things you can't eat, like sushi and deli meats. The scary things you read on the internet about the delivery and the awful things that happen to your body which you have to recover from for weeks after.
And it is all just going to get worse (I still have 17 weeks to go). Oh! And that is another thing...the lingo! For all you non mommies out there, when you are pregnant they track it in weeks or trimesters, not months. I hated it before I was prego and someone told me they were 30 weeks along, I thought "well how many months is that!?!" So I try to specify because I hated feeling out of the loop, so I'm trying to not make you feel that way too.
I will admit that there are some fun things about this experience. Feeling a baby move around inside you. At first you think it is just gas in your bowels or "butterflies" but then you can feel distinct moving and bumping and it kind of really hits you that you are having a baby. (Though I hear the moving can become uncomfortable and wake you up at night so, that will soon be going on my "what else is new (and not that great)" list. The ultrasounds and seeing the baby on the monitor and realize that it isn't just some TV show baby, it is YOUR baby.
Another cool thing...around 22 weeks you can hear your baby through a stethoscope, so I raided my husband's medical bag and I used it to hear the baby's heartbeat at home. It was super cool.
Overall, truthfully, this experience is like the other ones I've had. Having a baby takes the endurance (and pain) of running a marathon and the responsibility and need to acquire new knowledge like you need to when you start a new job. It will be a new culture of bringing someone else to my family and the joys (and pains) that come with it.
It certainly will not be easy...but anything that is worthwhile probably shouldn't be easy. This is just a new adventure, one that I am excited and terrified about for at the same moment. But just like with my other experiences, I know my life with never be the same after. And I welcome it.