Growing a Critter

We’re growing him on the outside now

Hi, I’m CritterMama and I’m pregnant. January 16, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — crittermama @ 2:43 am

What’s funny about being pregnant – about me being pregnant – is that I’m having trouble reconciling the way that I always self-identify – as being more concerned about ideas and issues and work and decidedly not so much about what cute thing the child did recently – with this whole “I’m a vessel for creating a life” thing. It’s weird. I don’t want it to dominate my life – at least, I don’t want it to be the only part of my life.

I had lunch with some friends that I don’t see nearly often enough today, and at varying times, found myself either hogging the spotlight with baby talk, and pushing the spotlight onto the others to make sure that we heard enough about their exciting and important lives. I hope I can figure out how to navigate this whole thing so that I don’t act like I’m the first woman ever to get pregnant, ever, and isn’t it just amazing!?!

It is amazing, and I’m astounded at how the whole process unfolds, and how much it affects my daily life, even as early on as I am. I’ve felt queasy and icky, but haven’t actually tossed my cookies – until today. It wasn’t fun. At least I had enough warning to prepare myself for the event itself. The rest of the day was alright – I had a nice lunch with friends, and ate a full meal. I haven’t really wanted much food the rest of the day, but I did manage to have a wheat bagel this evening with some peanut butter. And some dried mango. I finally just went ahead and bought two packages at Trader Joe’s, since I want the yummy treat so often. Simple starches and sugars – that’s what I want. And I’ve been so tired. I’m told that I’ll get my energy back in the second trimester, and I’m very much hoping that’s true.

Growing a critter (as I think of it) is much more than providing a warm, happy place for a little baby. The lil’ bugger actually burrows into your endometrium and feeds off of you. It’s a parasite! I’ve thought that for years, and I still think that. I’ve been told by LOTS of moms that I’ll have to get over that feeling to actually have one, but I’m not so sure. It turns out that if you don’t get enough calcium for the baby, it will take it from you – actually leach calcium from your bones and teeth. Yowza. These are the things I think about – not very blissful impending motherhood, huh?

C’est la vie. I’m going to tell my boss this week, but won’t tell the world until early February. It’s been a lot of fun to tell the people that we’ve told thus far, but I’m not ready to think about names or long-term planning until we’re past the 12-week mark.

What’s terrific is to have my youngest sister as my lead in this. She’s about 3 and a half months ahead of me, and it’s so much fun not to go first! She’s wonderful about it and is giving great advice without being, well, me about it (that is, a bossy know-it-all). Genius. She’s already done the hard work of looking into cloth diapering options and I’m so grateful that I don’t have to be the freakazoid to broach the subject and get all the dirty looks from people who think it would be impossible.

Ok, that’s it for now. Guess I’d better find a place to post this!


3 Responses to “Hi, I’m CritterMama and I’m pregnant.”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    Hi, Natalya!

    You certainly don’t have to get over the whole belief that the baby-to-be is a parasite. I still feel that way, nine months after the fact. I don’t think it makes me a lousy mom. Plenty of other things make me a lousy mom. 🙂

    I also struggled with my self-identity when I was pregnant–and for a long time after my son was born. I even wrote a column about it for my paper, although it was never published. I’ve always thought of myself a certain way–and projected myself a certain way. And suddenly, all that seemed to recede because I had this growing belly. The belly, the prospective person growing inside of me seemed to eclipse everything else about me when it camed to how others perceived me. And it confused me a little too. I mean, I was excited about becoming a mother, but I’d never been one before. I wasn’t one of those little girls who dreamily carried around a doll and named all my future children. I knew who I already was (a writer, a daughter, a friend, a wife), but I didn’t know who I was becoming. And I knew what I didn’t want to become, but I wasn’t sure how to make sure I became someone I liked. Even after William was born, I struggled because part of me really missed my old, pre-baby self: the self whom I knew. It took awhile for me to get comfortable with a new, different self. And you know what? I think that’s okay. I’m still inherently Me, but I’ve added a new dimension. None of the other parts of me have gone away, but maybe they’ve shifted around a bit to allow a new part to join.

    The bottom line is YOU get to decide what kind of mother you will be. And it will be right for you. And it doesn’t matter if there are others out there doing completely different things. They’re not you. You don’t have to lose yourself. You don’t have to lose Natalie the Person to become Natalie the Mother. You get to add Natalie the Mother to all the things that already make up Natalie the Person.

    And THAT is one of the many reasons I think you’ll be a great parent.

  2. Jennifer Says:

    And P.S. Don’t let anyone you get you down about making a decision that they don’t agree with, whether that’s using cloth diapers or choosing to breastfeed or whathaveyou. Everyone thinks they’re an expert, so you’re going to get lots of unsolicited advice. Some of it will be useful, some will be absolutely whack. You may be thrilled by some of it in a ooh-I-should-try-that way, and you may be horrified by how out-of-date some people’s ideas on baby-raising are. I just smile and nod and say, “Uh huh” and do exactly what I was planning to do.

  3. alianora Says:

    Yes, that is me, the trailblazer! 🙂 or something, anyway!

    Welcme aboard the pregnancy train! And the dried mango craving..I havent been able to eat them since, but those first couple of months, that was ALL i wanted! well..mangos and apple juice..

    Brandus and I had a really neat conversation about roles changing and everything, and we both agreed that it was creepy when people were so excited about being parents that EVERYOTHERROLE took a very distant second.

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