Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pregnancy is the Time of Your Life?

Check out Jennifer's essay in the 15th anniversary issue of Fit Pregnancy Magazine. Here's an excerpt:
This Is The Time Of Your Life

Enjoy every moment, even the icky ones. pregnancy flies by faster than you can imagine.

By Jennifer Margulis

There are things nobody tells you: That your belly will itch so much it feels like the prickle is on the inside. That when traffic makes your husband an hour late, you'll have the phone in hand ready to call the police, absolutely positive that he's become a paraplegic in a five-car pileup. That your "morning" sickness will happen at night and last for more than six stomach-churning months, and your husband's breath will smell like rotting meat. Then you'll do a Google search or pick up The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy and realize that the warnings were there all along, but your eyes had skipped over them, that you can't understand what it means to be pregnant until you are throwing up into your purse at the mall. Until, that is, you are living it yourself.

Even then, there are phases of pregnancy you couldn't possibly have anticipated, like when the sidewalk can resemble a comfortable place to nap and how at first you can't tell whether the baby's kicking or you just have indigestion. Nor can anyone really describe to you how your body and heart suddenly will feel full of purpose and promise. How the fact that you're cooking a baby who will undoubtedly have the funny ears that run in your husband's family and the impossibly long eyelashes that run in yours—that you're creating an ancestral DNA of your own!—trumps every annoying, weird symptom that comes along. People forget to mention how this mysterious little person will keep you company every hour of every day, banishing every notion of loneliness for the unforeseeable future, how even though you've yet to meet, you'll love your growing baby with a ferocity that makes Superwoman look wimpy, and how glad you'll be that your body knows how to make eyelashes without consulting you.

At first your pregnancy is a delicious, almost licentious, secret. Then you start to show and find yourself a member of a club that you didn't know existed, part of an underworld of intimacy among moms-to-be and moms-that-are. You are privy to details about other women's labors, the ones that lasted 36 hours and the ones so abrupt that the baby emerged in a shower stall ...


Cindy La Ferle said...

Oh, this is such a beautiful essay -- it brings back vivid, sweet memories for me. Even 22 years later, I remember my pregnancy as if it were yesterday .... the terrible irrational fears; the delicious anticipation. One of my favorite pregnant memories is of the time I suddenly felt compelled to go buy a stack of children's books (some of my own favorites included) at the local Borders. I returned home with them, and in the privacy of my favorite chair, read aloud from "The Cat in the Hat" (and several other picture books) to my unborn son.

jamie said...

I did not personally enjoy pregnancy (I gained 50 pounds, grew a beard, and cried all the time), but I actually felt a little nostalgic for those days when I read this post.

How did you manage to do that?

Jennifer Margulis said...

Full disclosure: I was absolutely miserable for the first 6.5 months of my first pregnancy. I hate hearing people say, "I just loved EVERY minute of it!" Who loves varicose veins in your vagina?? Who loves being so nauseous you can barely stand the taste of food but you have to wake up in the middle of the night to eat broccoli and pineapple?? But when an editor at Fit Pregnancy asked me to write an article about the magic of pregnancy, it made me realize, again, how wonderful and secret and mysterious pregnancy was. Luckily our bodies know how to make eyebrows! Anyway, thanks for your comments, Cindy and Jamie.