Monday, September 26, 2011

4 Weeks and Counting

Well, hope springs eternal. Four weeks. That's how long I have until the NHS's medical geniuses have predicted that my baby will make his or her grand appearance into the world. My body will finally be back to a comfortable single tenancy again. I'll have an outside baby I can actually be entertained by, instead of spending Sunday mornings up at an unholy hour thanks to the need to deflate baby's bladder-pillow and then count some contractions. Think of it like counting cows on a road trip, but far less comfortable.

I have to admit, whenever the urge has struck, I've been able to conjure up a mental image of what having a baby will be like for years now. It's always involved lots of bossing people around and swearing. Oh, and magically looking fabulous at the end because what was a sweaty, flushed look managed to transform into a healthy glowing shimmer, helped along by accessorizing with a stylish headband. But now that the reality of my imaginings is so close, it's weird. It's bizarre to think I'll actually be doing this: I'll be having a baby! Some day, in the next month or so of my life, will be the birth day of my very first child. A child of my very own. A tiny person who's been stretching out my fabulous figure and head-butting me in some very uncomfortable places for the past 8 months. What is the world coming to?

I'll be a for-real mom. With a for-real baby. I'll feed the baby, and change the baby, and clean the baby, and dress the baby, and generally keep him or her alive and comfortable for the foreseeable future. What I won't do is the following:

1) Adopt the traditional Mom Hair-Cut. No Siree Bob. Naturally curly and super short just don't go together. I'm not looking to fry my hair or sport the afro a la Beyonce in Dream Girls, so this option is out. Plus, I just have my own stubborn stance against the Mom Hair. I will continue to cultivate long hair, darn it, and it'll look sexy and amazing. (Because I'll keep it tied back during the day to studiously avoid baby vomit.)

2) Buy Mom-Jeans. You know: the kind that sit at or around your belly button and accentuate the pear-shaped birthing hips you now know you have. The ones that, no matter how small you really are, inexplicably make your ass look like you need a wide-load sticker on the back. And they're always a pale-wash denim. I hate light denim - this isn't the 80s. I'm not John Bon Jovi.

3) Fill my Facebook page with nothing but inane updates about my baby's every move. Don't get me wrong: I fully intend to have the most awesome and interesting baby ever to grace the earth with its presence, but that doesn't mean that everyone I've ever met needs to hear about baby's first spit bubble and baby's first incoherent babble and baby's first attempt to leak from every orifice at once. I will enjoy the wondrous miracle that will be my kid without losing perspective about the other things that will still happen in the world and in my life.

4) Forget that first and foremost, I am my own individual person; not just my baby's momma. Motherhood is an incredible thing; but it won't be all the defines me. That's just as bad as being defined by having a boyfriend or husband, only no one thinks to tell you that it's wrong because babies are cute and important and need love and affection and constant attention. Yes: I will love my baby and generally put its needs before my own because, well, that's my job. But I won't forget that I've done some pretty spectacular things in my life besides growing an unbearably cute infant. I'm a musician, and a historian, and I can draw, and write, and I'm a gym-rat, and I can cook, and I'm crafty (in all senses of the word), and I'm a wife, and a sister, and a friend, and I have a damn good sense of humour, if I do say so myself. Essentially, there is nothing to be gained by sacrificing my identity on the altar of motherhood. I don't want my baby to grow up being surprised at all the awesome stuff I've done in my life because his/her arrival meant that I became an uninteresting pod-person whose sole purpose was to cook and clean and issue groundings and unfair rules. Piggly Wiggly will be served much better in life by having an interesting mother who has her own interests and hobbies and passions outside of mothering. I know I have an interesting mother and I think it did me a world of made me want to be an interesting person, too. And for the record, it is my goal to be like my mom and unknowingly inspire my kids to think, "If I'd known my mom when she was my age, I think we would have been friends."

In the meantime, my more immediate concern is to wonder when I finally get to make that call to the Husband at work and say, "You didn't want to stay at work all day, right? You'd much rather come home and take your labouring wife to the hospital to deliver your baby. Good; because, guess what you get to do right now?" That, my friends, will be a very fun phone call to make. Now if only I can get the baby on board with this plan...

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