1) I know the joy at the end of the 9 months.
After being so sick with SuperBoy, and then the fabulous fantastic meeting and getting to know him, the sickness with this little one pales in comparison. My mom used to tell me during pregnancy number 1 that it was “all worth it” and that I’d “forget all about the sickness and then pain of labor and delivery.” She was totally correct about the former, but probably a little off on the latter, as her own last l&d was 26 years ago 🙂
2) Ice cream.
Don’t tell my doula or midwife–but I love that I can indulge my sweet tooth more than during non-pregnancy (okay, they’re supportive). I’m usually a very fitness-conscious person. But when I’m feeling so sick, I definitely let it slide a bit. I’m supposed to consume many grams of dairy a day, and I try to ensure that a few times a week ice cream is in the mix. Thanks to a dear girlfriend and her adorable son who came over for lunch today, my ice cream supply has been replenished!
3) Renewed sense of order.
I’m not to the nesting urgency stage yet, but I already am making lists and eyeballing what needs to be brought back in order around the house. Things that the insanity of an infant/toddler just made me blind to. Like the linen closet that is crammed with God-knows-what-sized sheets. Like the medicine cabinet that has 15 year old bars of soap in it. Like the furnace room in the basement that has I-really-don’t-know-what in it.
And I really want to do a facelift on our main bathroom on the second floor. The Hollywood Globe lighting has got to go. As does the 30 year old wallpaper. More on this project later (hopefully!!).
4) Deeper appreciation of time with just SuperBoy.
He’s an only child for now, and we both are trying to soak up all these moments of doting on just him. We both love to do his nighttime routine together. We both love going for nature walks in the early evening. We both love watching him race around the backyard after the dogs, hoses, leaves, and anything else that looks appealing. When I’m cooking in the kitchen and he’s playing with his trains or blocks, and I can peer over the counter to check on him, there’s a deep sense of satisfaction that he’s happy, self-entertaining, and safe (and I can do other things!). If he needs extra love and care before a nap, or extra time for a diaper change, I have that time to give him.
5) Friends help out so much.
This one should have been number 1. My family and friends have been so understanding, helpful, and caring through the past 12 weeks of throwing up and general nausea. They cook me food, help run my errands, watch SuperBoy so I can nap or catch up on work, and generally make life easier on AA and me. You know who you are! You are worth your weight in gold (or chocolate).
6) New song for the baby as his/her “song.”
I’ve written a bit on classical music and the tremendous affect it has on your child’s neurological structure, here, and here. For SuperBoy, we selected Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suites in G, the Prelude played by Pablo Casals. It was a song I played daily while pregnant, and daily since he was born. He dances to it, he smiles when it comes on, he loves it.
For little one, we picked Bach’s Violin Concerto Number 2, the Allegro movement. This piece is SO BEAUTIFUL. Please, take a listen, here (Nigel Kennedy with the Irish Chamber Orchestra). It sort of found us, as AA and I were at a concert and it was played–we both felt electrified and totally moved. I wept, I’m sure, as I’m prone to do with good music.
7) SuperBoy has a sibling.
I’m from a family of five, and can’t imagine life without my four best friends. We were raised to be very loyal, and somewhat clannish. We love fiercely, try not to judge or be anything but supportive to each other, and have fun like nothing else when it’s just us together (a rarity now with two living out of state). How wonderful that he gets to have a built-in best friend! He will learn about sharing our time, attention, and resources. He will learn to be a gentleman and good example, and how to love someone in a wholly unique way.
When we were kids, my parents always ended any dispute over a finite good (like candy!) by saying to the possessor: “Tell so-and-so they can have as much as they want.” And then telling the desiree: “Don’t take very much.” Good lessons for life on giving and receiving.
8) More focus on my own nutrition.
Making wholesome food for SuperBoy via the Super Baby Food diet, baking, cooking, and keeping the household fed has caused me to put my own nutrition on the back burner for the past year or so. Yes, I eat the food that I cook, but usually only at the end of the day when AA is home. During the day, it’s pick and graze, a little here and a little there. Being pregnant means I have a person on board who needs that nutrition whether I think I have time (or the inclination) for it or not.
9) Awesome responsibility and privilege of a larger family.
Instead of a triangle, we’ll be this four-sided relationship now. Crazy to imagine another person, a sibling for SuperBoy, a little buddy for AA, a little snookerbooker for my mom (she makes up lots of endearing terms of baby-loving), a baby-back for my dad (his odd loving terminology), and another niece/nephew for my doting siblings. Another little soul to help shape and develop into who she/he is. A two-child family!
10) The overwhelming feeling of love for little one.
I can’t wait to snuggle and sleep with little one, to smell him or her, to gaze and fall more and more in love with each breath. In my few alone-time moments during the day, I try to breathe deeply and say hello to little one, connect and affirm we are glad to have this new presence with us. And tell little one that we have so much love to share!