Saturday, January 05, 2008

Who better to understand mom-to-be insanity

Yesterday, I spent the day with my mom. During Christmas supper, she said she wanted to take me shopping for maternity clothes. It turned into not only a shopping excursion but a day I spent with my mom and brother, something I haven’t had the opportunity to have in a very long time.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my stepdad and my husband but there is something very nice about spending time with my mom and brother alone even if my brother was home sick. It’s sad how life can fly by and make small things like eating a meal together rare. Between my brother’s work, my work, our personal lives, my mom’s personal life and overall responsibilities, simple ordinary get-togethers are extremely rare.
Anywho, we left early enough to avoid traffic. The first store we hit was Motherhood Maternity. I didn’t make it past the initial display rack when the sales lady turned to me and my mom and said, “Well, you finally brought her here with you!” “Good grief, mom, how many people did you tell?” “Just a few.”
This is what I learned at Motherhood Maternity, their stuff is expensive and not always of best quality but you get to stuff a pillow in your pants to see what you’ll look like in 3 months. Oh, I also learned my ass grows during pregnancy and that I may need a weightlifter’s like belt to hold my belly up. Are you kidding me? That thing did not look comfortable at all.
I wound up buying a brown blazer for work and some underwear. Mom seemed to lean towards the granny panties but I told her until the belly warrants it, my husband will appreciate the bikini kind. Did you know they sell thong maternity panties? Thong! I wore thongs before . They’re great to avoid pantylines but thongs don’t seem the ideal panty for pregnant woman. 1. To give you TMI, during the first trimester, it’s not like you’re going to be avoiding the feminine napkin aisle. Some women are lucky but most will need some type of panty liner for a few weeks as the tot cleans out his/her new digs. 2. As the day progresses, you feel more and more pregnant. By 4pm, I feel like I have a melon sitting in my stomach. This effectively causes my pants to ride up a bit. It’s not very comfortable as it is but then you add a piece of cloth that naturally resides in the crack and you’re constantly feeling as if you’ve got a wedgie.
Moving on, mom has an eye for some great bargains. Old Navy had a great selection and mom found me 2 pairs of pants on the clearance rack for $8 a piece! I left with 1 tank, 1 top and 2 pairs of pants! Total cost for shopping was less than $65!
We went back to my mom’s and she helped me hem my pants. My brother and I ate and chatted with mom about her pregnancy and Chinese superstitions regarding pregnancy. Mom shared her labor stories and I asked her about misconceptions or surprises regarding pregnancy and babies she had with both of us. She mentioned that when she was pregnant with me it was a given that you’d be uncomfortable for 9+ months. “You just didn’t think anything was out of the ordinary or different so you didn’t speak about that stuff.” I forget how different times were.
On the baby front, she was surprised at the high frequency of jaundice. I read somewhere the frequency increases in Asian babies so I made a note to ask my doc about this at my next visit. As far as I know there really isn’t a preventative measure one can take. If anyone knows of one, feel free to share.
We continued to talk about her family and stories of pregnancy and baby rearing while she prepared dinner. Then all three of us had dinner together. My stepdad had to work late so we started without him. I think my mom really liked that. My mom rarely eats but I noticed today that she devoured her lunch with me and she ate more than usual at dinner. I took it as a sign that she really was enjoying herself. I was too.
In the end, my mom left me with a ton of clementines and some of her fresh soup for the baby. She thinks it’s important that the Bean have fresh slow cooked broths and soups to help development. My belly isn’t protesting! We’ve made an arrangement to see each other once a week so she can give me another pot of fresh soup.
Mom did leave me with some good advice. I told her about my apprehensions about Grandmoms taking over the house and child rearing. She kindly said to me the most important thing to remember is that Grandmoms want nothing but to love their grandchildren and would never intentionally hurt them. “Don’t ever shut out Grandparents because they are overbearing. You need to be strong and put your foot down. Tell them, however hard it is, how you would like to raise your child. We may not be happy or agree but most of us remember being in the same situation without parents. With my parents, I couldn’t talk back or dispute but with your generation, you can and should.”
I hope my mom remembers that. I know this is a tricky situation that can harm relationships. I don’t think I’d ever shut out grandparents, especially since I’ve had a such a close relationship with mine.
Mom kind of alluded to how she wanted to get us something and that she felt she wasn’t doing enough for us but I tried to convey to her that she’s doing more than she knows. At this point my mom is my turn to person for nesting. I’m not physically nesting now but I’ve been wanting to hear more and more about her relationship with her mom, her pregnancy and her fears and surprises about being a mom. I take all of it knowing times have changed and superstitions she believes don’t have to be my beliefs. Still, it’s comforting and when I tell her about new tests or fears and apprehensions or just pregnancy insanities that I experience, I know she doesn’t always get it but she seems eager to hear it. Strangely enough, it feels better to share with someone the idiotic worries and crazies that accompany pregnancy without judgment or advice.
I need to remind my mom how much she’s doing for me. It’s not how much financially you give that is the defining factor. Mom, you do more than you know. Heck, without you, this usually stable woman wouldn’t be strong enough to be a mom-to-be. Thank you and hope somehow I can let you know this.