You Never Know How You’ll Feel Until You Get There

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Everyone, meet Beige.

Beige (brown mother + pale father = beige baby) is the nickname we’ve given the tiny human I’ve been growing since September.

For a few years now, Brian and I have been considering adoption, which is still the case. But everyone who experiences pregnancy and childbirth says that from the good, to the bad, to the weird, “There’s nothing else like it”. So I wanted to try it, at least once, as it’s such a uniquely feminine experience. (Unless you’re a seahorse. Because God is quirky like that.)

People can’t help but imagine how they’ll feel when or if a major change occurs in their life. Sometimes we think in extremes, assuming we’ll be happy if “X” happens and miserable if “Y” does. We put so much trust into mere guesses. But really, you never know how things will make you feel until you get there.

No Symptoms (And No Boner Alarm)

For example, I assumed I’d have the same pregnancy experience as most women. But surprisingly, things have been relatively easy. Beige happened on our first try. Beige has never made me puke. Beige makes me crave healthy food. Beige is the best fetus ever!

Brian, on the other hand, has been suffering from a few unfortunate “sympathy symptoms” – a common occurrence for dads-to-be. He demands to know where I keep my voo doo doll of him.

And then, as you may remember, there were my assumptions about what a 50-year-old vagina would bring to my life. I assumed I would not have body image issues while pregnant, and I was right: I don’t feel unattractive or gross. (I am a sacred vessel of humankind! Bow to me!)

But last week, while Brian and I were watching Hell Baby (a comedy about a pregnant lady who gets possessed by the devil in her third trimester…because hey, Beige seems sweet now but you never know), a topless bar scene came up. I saw a bunch of naked, sexy, flexible, non-pregnant ladies bouncing around, and I realized in that moment that while I feel attractive and healthy, I am not desirable to most men.

I am not setting off anyone’s boner alarm right now.

I can barely even set off my husband’s boner alarm, and even then, it’s only because he loves me.

Sure, it’s not a tragedy to have no boner powers, but it’s certainly no fun either. Who knew, given my enthusiasm about pregnancy and my feelings about my body, that I’d even care about this? But here we are.

You never know how things will make you feel until you get there.

Sex of the Baby

This week we found out Beige’s sex. All my co-workers guessed Beige is a girl, and most of my family hoped for the same. And weirdly, Brian and I have had a baby girl’s name prepared since before we were married three years ago.

So of course, Beige is a boy.

The night we got back from our ultrasound, we stayed up in bed processing events of the day. Just seconds before falling asleep Brian finally whispered, “Is it okay if I feel a little disappointed?”

“Yes, it’s okay to feel how you feel,” I answered.

Brian later shared that he’s sure these feelings will disappear once his son is born. But what really surprised us is that after months of Brian confessing he feels more prepared and comfortable raising a daughter than a son, he has come to realize he’s mostly upset about not being able to use the baby girl name we picked out.

You never know how things will make you feel until you get there.

Wrath of the Hormones: A Confession

This blog post went up late today because I’ve been too depressed to write.

Last night I cried for three hours before giving up and going to bed. And a few weeks ago, I suddenly began crying at work while doing data entry.

You may remember that my biggest worry about pregnancy and parenting was that I’d have less time to work on A Brave Life (which I’ve referred to as “my baby” in the past). But it turns out I’m not anxious about A Brave Life, nor about, you know, our actual baby. I just worry- obsessively- about the new business Brian and I are starting. Imagining it not becoming successful makes me cry for three hours at home, and cry spontaneously at work.

This isn’t the “baby” I expected to obsess over.

You never know how things will make you feel until you get there.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Brian has been the best dad-to-be I could ever ask for. He packs my lunch in the mornings, and welcomes me home in the evenings by saying “Leggo my preggo”. He talks to Beige. He helps me climb out of my sadness.

After my 3-hour crying spell last night, Brian said that while we obviously have to work hard to build our business, I can’t get too attached to a specific outcome.

If the business doesn’t bring in a good income in its first year, will I commit to my depression until we make it big?

If we’re forced to go with plan B in terms of our careers and finances, will Beige be doomed to an unhappy household?

Brian says I have to find a way to be happy no matter what. This is more important than reaching any particular goal no matter what. Because even if I did reach my desired destination, who knows if I’d be as happy as I assume I’ll be.

It’s true that you can’t know for sure how any life change will make you feel. But you can decide to have a good life, full of joy and gratitude. Yes, even if your circumstances (or your hormones) beg to differ.

Your Turn: Have you ever been surprised by your emotional response to a big change?

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  8. Steph says:

    First off, I’m glad to be able to officially say congrats to you, Brian and Beige here on ABL :)
    As for your question, I really like the post topic but I’m drawing a blank in my own experience. I’ve been learning that overall I’m fairly good at predicting how I will react in certain situations, although I do skew too far toward the worst case scenario (think “expect the worst but hope for the best” x 10 million lol)

    • Kimberly says:

      It took so long for me to write about Beige on ABL because I’m feeling very private about him. Like, no desire to blog much about the pregnancy or baby beyond this point, no intention of posting ultrasound photos on FB, etc. (I have no problem embarrassing myself and Brian on the blog– with Brian’s permission– but a baby can’t give his consent!)

      Yeah, worst case scenario thinking is pretty common and natural…but I think it gets dangerous when we can’t snap out of it after some clear-headed thinking. Like today, I’m feeling a million times less anxious and more motivated regarding the business, all because I switched the focus of my thoughts. It’s incredible how much our thoughts– not our circumstances– are responsible for how we feel!

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