April 30, 2011

Perception VS Reality

There is no denying that parenthood is a life-altering thing. But not just because suddenly your life is filled with diapers and bottles and messes and discipline and all of those things you think of when you think about having a child. It is also life-altering ways you have no hint or foreshadowing of. More specifically, I'm referring to the way your perception of things change. Some of these changes are gradual, and some are extremely abrupt. No matter the speed or strength with which these perceptions change, however, I still find myself marveling, every time, at how much a child changes your world.

Audia was a planned baby. I can still remember chatting with Chris over beers about whether or not we felt ready for kids, and going over the details of both of our life goals and wishes and where kids fell into that. I remember the excitement I felt as we both came to the agreement that we were financially ready, both with steady, dependable jobs, and that we were definitely both emotionally ready for the "leap" into parenthood. Two months later we were officially on the road to becoming parents. Our plan was to stay in AZ for another 3-5 years, moving back to MN when Audia was getting ready to start school. I would reduce hours at work and Chris would arrange his schedule so that while we both kept our jobs, Audia would not need to go into daycare. We would maybe try again for another child around the time that we moved to MN, though plans that far down the road were flexible and up in the air. Then the recession hit right around the time Audia was born. I was laid off two months after her birth, and Chris' work all but slowed to a halt. We were forced to move across country to Minnesota, and in with my parents, when Audia was only 8 months old. Our plans drastically changed. Our perception of how our lives would be was in total limbo; to say that it was dramatically altered is an understatement. But thanks to some amazingly supportive family and to the unshakable friendship that our marriage is based on, Chris and I managed to get through the next year and a half of scraping pennies, job hunting, and living in extremely tight quarters with very little suffering. Not to mention the silver lining....Audia had the benefit of developing an extremely close relationship with my parents thanks to our living with them for 18 months, which is something that I will be forever grateful for. Admittedly, I've always placed having kids before home ownership and my career on my list of life goals because my parents are older and it's always been a worry of mine that if I wait too long to have children, they wouldn't have the chance to develop a memorable, meaningful relationship with them. Point is, that life path that Chris and I chatted about three and a half years ago is for the most part just a memory. But I like the path we're on now just as much, if not better.

A more recent and smaller perception change that I've had occur is my desire to have a May baby. Haha. I've always said that the last month I want to have a baby is May. May has always been a crazy-hectic month for my family, and is even more-so since I married Chris. We have mother's day, four family birthdays, our anniversary, and memorial day. Not to mention 3 friends' birthdays. So, no May babies was my rule. Now, however, that I am 34 weeks along and really feeling the stress this pregnancy is putting on my body, I am all for a May baby. Join in the fun, Callen! As long as you're healthy and ready to breathe on your own, of course.
I get asked a lot how I'm feeling. And my answer is usually "pretty good." For the most part, I feel fine. Except when I try to do any amount of walking that extends beyond from room-to-room in our apartment. Then all of the bones and joints surrounding my pelvis and the base of my spine start to groan, then whine, and eventually scream at me to stop. Something as simple as a trip to Target can render me pretty much immobile for an entire day. And don't even get me started on the pain that is generated by trying to roll over in bed. The SI belt that my physical therapist recommended helps (I think?) to a degree, but not enough. There is also, of course, the quintessential exhaustion and being short of breath constantly, and heartburn after eating more than a cup of food at a time. But those things really don't bother me that much. It's the pain that I am ready to be done with. And it's the pain that will probably keep me from getting pregnant again. Unless, of course, my perception changes with time (which I'm sure it will.)