Sunday, May 31, 2009
Perspective of the Expectant Mother
My guest blogger this week is Fran - the expectant mother. I think that Fran has provided an insightful look at the mother-daughter relationship along with the normal concerns that first time mothers-to-be have as the due date gets this close.
I am Fran, the pregnant one. I have never needed my mother more then during this pregnancy. Early on I received weekly ultra sounds to check on the baby due to my history of three miscarriages. I needed her with me for support. She was with me when we heard his heartbeat for the first time. I’m full term now and two and a half weeks away from my due date. I also am so scared of all the unknowns related to labor and delivery. I’m ready to hold him in my arms and be the mother but I am so scared of not knowing what will happen. I know every labor and delivery is different. But I had asked my mom to be there if Josh has a hard time being supportive and she clearly takes that as a compliment.
We have always been a close family, as you can probably tell. As my mom and I have different personalities leading to the usual mother/daughter issues, we also very much love each other and are close. My dad and I were talking yesterday about family support post baby. He said that while both him and my mom loved their parents, they really only had each other to rely on. I’m lucky. Both sets of grandparents live in the same town so Zach will be able to get to know them really well. The only grandparent I got to know well was my mother’s mother. I wish I knew all of them better. We are lucky to be able to provide for Zach the opportunities to get to know all of his grandparents well so a long time from now when they are no longer here, he’ll remember them and those memories will carry with him. I truly feel that this is a gift we are able to give him. On Tuesdays I eat lunch with my parents, and this will continue once Zach is born and provide time for him to spend with grandma and grandpa. On Saturdays Josh visits his parents and will bring Zach with him to spend time there too. We also still have weekly dinners with my family where my dad has claimed that Zach will sit next to him. These dinners are a very important part of my week.
The name debate. In my dad’s post he mentions what he’ll be called. There actually is a story behind that. My brother and I called my mom’s parents “Grandma” and “Grandpa” (grandpa died a year before I was born). We called my dad’s parent’s “Nana” and “PopPop”. For me, I have always loved that we had different names for the different sets of grandparents. For as long as I can remember I wanted to do that for my kids. Problem: Josh’s parents have four grandkids already and they refer to them as “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. My mom’s grandparents were “Grandma” and “Grandpa” and that’s all she is willing to respond too (my stubborness, which Zach apparently also possesses was inherited from her). My dad’s grandfather was called “Pop”. He would prefer to be called “Pop”. Since “Grandma” and “Grandpa” are taken I wanted to go with “Pop” and “Nana”. My mother does not want to be called “Nana”. One thing I have learned to do is pick my battles so against my preferences but for the sake of family peace my parents will be called “Grandma” and “Grandpa” since it’s important to me the names at least match.
It’s looking like Zach is going to be on the bigger size so we don’t want to pack clothing for him just yet even though clothing in Newborn, 0-3 Months, and 3 Months are all clean and ready for him to wear. I decided to give my mom the honor of choosing his hospital clothes after he is born and we know his actual weight and height. I hope my mom feels that this truly is a special thing since I think most new moms like to make the choice themselves.
My mom and I have gotten closer with this pregnancy and I hope we continue to get closer as we share the experience of both being mothers. I know one thing about my mom though, it’s not easy for her to think of me as a mother but this experience has encouraged her to reflect on her experiences in becoming a mother. I am do grateful to have her help and support through this. Josh is wonderful, there is no better and more supportive father to be, but sometimes in life, no matter the age, a girl just needs her mother. While I’m in labor but before delivery I know one thing, I will need my mom to help me. When we hear Zach cry for the first time, whoever is with me, it will be not only the start of a new generation in our family but a creation of a new bond between us. A bond she will never share with my brother but always will with me, the bond of motherhood.