Wednesday, December 19, 2018


Hello again, reader(s), from the other side. Necessary short version: All is well! Baby is great! Blog will remain my own holdings-forth and will not be about the baby herself, both to preserve her privacy and because there is at this point not a tremendous amount even to overshare if I were so inclined. (Newborns eat, sleep, and go to the euphemistic bathroom. Mine is no exception in this regard.) 

The difference between pregnant and not is hard to overstate, if a whole lot less about physique than I'd have imagined. True, I no longer look nine months pregnant, which is of course a good thing seeing as I'm not, but size-wise my goal is not a bikini, or even jeans, but to fit into my usual winter coat by January, when it will likely become necessary. Mostly, it's about being able to take a shower and not panic that maybe it's too hot for the baby. To eat lox and soft cheeses, but also just to eat a bite of something that tastes a bit off and not think, oh no, food poisoning, which bacteria could it have been?? To walk down an unsteady construction-site ramp into a Krispy Kreme near the doctor's office, knowing that the baby is across the street with my husband, and not inside of me.

And I suppose it's nice to know, principle of the thing, that I could have a drink, even if practically speaking, this is something has to wait until you can be sure your baby can make it two whole hours between feeds. Those Rodenbachs I bought just prior (and made a habit of knocking over in the fridge in search of food over the past many months, so who knows what state they're in) are still there, and I'm sure I'll get to them at some point. 

Oh, and it's amazing not to feel like I'm going to faint every day between breakfast and lunch, no matter how many iron supplements and snacks I'd throw at the problem. To sleep deeply and (sort of) comfortably, even if for limited stretches of time. And all of this after what was, on paper, an easy-enough pregnancy. (No morning sickness - just food aversions - and none of the serious pregnancy complications.)

Of course, there's also childbirth, which is reputed to be painful (even with pain medication), and with good reason. WWPD will not be host to a play-by-play of my own experience, but let it be known, an experience was had. One that, much like pregnancy itself, is tough to categorize as easy or difficult. I have not, shall we say, rejoined my local running group just yet. Recovery... takes a moment, and I write this from somewhere in that moment. Certain basic actions - going on a short walk, or picking something up from the floor - sort of went from being near-impossible for one reason to being similarly challenging for another. But at least things are trending towards easier rather than more difficult.

I've heard plenty about the claustrophobia that can come of feeling tethered to a baby, and, sure? You are tethered! If you breastfeed and are still in the time period where you aren't yet supposed to pump, your baby-less outings are by definition short ones. (Short and mildly nerve-wracking, but possible.) But the version with an actual baby is a whole lot more fun than where it's that what's stopping you from trying the ultra-hip nail salon you've been contemplating for a year is your own dread of the walk from one end of a subway platform alllll the way to the other, or concerns about the fumes, or the (remote but you never know) possibility of infection. That's really the big difference - when you're pregnant, depending your... outlook? belief system? life experience?, a baby feels like a hoped-for outcome you can't quite count on, and could jinx at any time. Whereas once there's a baby, that much is, at least, for sure.