Friday, November 14, 2008

Parenthood sensitizes everything

There is nothing like being a parent to make you aware of your own mortality.

A weird tightening of the chest and sudden urge to cough, when childless, is merely the on-set of a cold, or allergies, or something. When there is a toddler in the car, all sorts of possibilities loom. When there is a toddler in the car, and a baby in the belly, MORE possibilities raise their ugly heads, especially when there is additional, repeated, tightening in the belly. And when the nearest family is at least an hour commuting time away, and it is getting dark, those possibilities turn into something darker in your mind.

And if you have a people-pleasing personality, the last thing you want to do is call anyone. Heavens. What if it is nothing? Don't want to look like an idiot, do you? On the other hand, there is a toddler in the car, dependent on you, and a baby in the belly, perhaps even more dependent on you. And while you have several people you could turn to who could be there in five minutes, you don't want to waste the favor on something minor, do you?

Thankfully, as is the case most of the time, the call to the doctor is reassuring, even if the call to your family is not ("What? You should go to the hospital NOW!")

And thanks to Noggin, you can lie quietly, stretched out, and get more oxygen into your poor squished lungs and feel the reassuring thud of your baby's feet. And the braxton-hicks contractions slow down when you aren't doing so much. And when the husband gets home and takes over with the dinner, and you are able to stretch out for longer, the weird feelings nearly, if not totally fade away.

And you still feel like a bit of an idiot. But somehow less so than you might otherwise, since there is a toddler and a baby dependent on you.

Parenthood changes you in ways you don't expect.

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