Becoming a mom

It has started really hitting me lately, I am a mom.  I have gotten used to thinking about me being pregnant, but the much bigger and more important fact is that I am a mom.  That has only just begun to sink in, but this baby has already changed me.  I have heard people say that women become moms when they get pregnant, men become dads when the baby is born.  I have never liked that, because I think men can love their babies before they are born as well.  I know Kanaas loves our baby.  But the longer I am pregnant the more I am realizing that it is not about who loves the baby more, it is about our roles right now.  When I found out I was pregnant, I checked some pregnancy books out from the library.  It didn’t take long for the enormity of my new job to sink in.  I have never seen my baby, but everything I do effects it to some degree, from what I eat, to what I breathe, to the level of stress I am under.  From the time I found out I was pregnant I knew that my job was now to protect and care for this little one.  It also soon became clear that Kanaas had a large job now, too, but it was different.  Pretty soon I was sick enough that some days I couldn’t do anything except lay in bed or on the couch.  Sometimes even just sitting up would make me start throwing up.  Some days were better than others, but there were times I couldn’t cook, I couldn’t clean, I couldn’t do anything.  If Kanaas hadn’t been there I honestly don’t know how I would have survived.  He took care of me, made me food, then made me different food when what I had asked for the first time made me sick just looking at it.  He rubbed my back to help me relax, did anything I needed him to.

Last night was a great example of this.  About the time Kanaas was getting ready for work (he works the night shift),I started throwing up.  When I had thrown up for the third time in half an hour Kanaas called into work and told them he wasn’t coming in, then started trying to help me feel better.  I felt bad for making him miss for, but I was glad he did, because not long after that I started having severe abdominal pain.  It would get really bad, sometimes bad enough that I couldn’t move, then get better for a few minutes, then get really bad again.  After a few hours of trying to wait them out we called Kanaas’s mom, who has had 8 children, to ask her what she thought.  She started talking about contractions, then said I should wait a little longer, and if it didn’t get better go in and get checked out.  By then it was about 2 in the morning, so Kanaas and I agreed to try and wait until the doctor’s office opened, as long as nothing got worse.  After spending I don’t know how long crying because I was worried about the baby I finally managed to doze a little until about 6.  Kanaas stayed up the whole night making sure I was ok.  When I woke up I called my mom, who is in a different time zone and was asleep the night before.  She agreed that it sounded like I was having contractions, and said that since I was still having them I should go into my doctor.  We called and were able to see the doctor about an hour after the offices opened (the only reason they had us wait so long was because my doctor was delivering a baby).  They did an ultrasound (I almost cried when I saw the baby moving and heard its heartbeat) and then examined me.  After my labs came back they said what was probably happening was that I had thrown up so much it was making my abdominal muscles, which were already sore from the stretching they have been doing, even more irritated and strained, and that was what was causing the pain.  It was a relief to find out the baby was ok and was going to stay that way for the foreseeable future, but it was also interesting the way Kanaas and I reacted to the situation.  Kanaas spent most of the night trying to get me to take Tylenol, trying to get me to sleep, trying to help me and take care of me.  When we went into the doctor he asked if I would be ok.  The first few times he offered to get me Tylenol or my sleeping medicine it confused me, because how was Tylenol going to help the baby?  All I could think about what if the baby was ok, but Kanaas’s primary concern was the fact that I was in a lot of pain.

I know every couple is different, and so some may have had different experiences, but this is mine.  Kanaas loves this baby.  He reads to it, talks about it, and tells me how excited he is.  But his role is still my husband.  I have already had to expand my role to include being a mother, as I have changed my life and habits to better care for this baby I have yet to meet.  I still don’t think I agree when people say Kanaas is not a father yet, because I have seen his love for our baby as he talks to and about it, but I understand a little more.  I do know this, though, that even though I know that my role as a mother will continue to evolve and grow, I am already sliding into it.  I didn’t know how much it was possible to worry about something until I thought there was a possibility of losing my baby.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do to keep this baby safe, healthy, and happy.

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