A friend recently told me she was pregnant. She wanted to get pregnant for so long, and her circumstances weren't the most condusive to having a new baby until recently. She had some problems with her cycle, so she expected they would have to try a long time before getting pregnant.
She was very wrong. First try! She is very lucky -- and very shocked.
So yesterday she met me at the park and said, "So, what's good?" She was watching my daughter play with such intent. I thought she meant baby products, soaps, etc., and then she clarified: "Not what's good for the baby -- what's good about having a baby?"
I remember feeling that the reality of knowing you are pregnant created in me a huge amount of new anxiety. I also remember how it can cloud your ability to remember how painfully you longed for this moment, excitement and fear together. So, I decided to put together a little list for her. A short list of "what's good."
The first view of a heartbeat on an ultra sound.
Finding out the baby is healthy.
Seeing hands and feet, eyes, a nose and a mouth on the ultrasound and realizing that's your baby.
The first time a stranger notices your baby belly and asks when you are due.
The first time you feel a flutter and know for sure that you just felt a kick inside you.
Putting a nursery together and realizing your baby will go in it.
The closeness you feel with your partner when you are learning birthing positions and breathing exercises.
The deeper closeness you feel when you are using those tools in labor.
The calm between contractions when you know all of this is going to soon lead to a baby in your arms.
The final push when the doctor says he can see a head.
When your baby is out and placed on your stomach.
The feeling of warmth and awe.
Touching your baby.
Feeling your baby's ears, head and looking at the fingers.
Kissing that head.
Looking at your partner, watching in amazement at what you two just created.
Seeing how moved he is.
The first time your baby nurses.
Sleeping with your baby nestled on you.
The first coo, and the first smile.
When your baby clasps it's hand around your finger.
That's my list, and that is only for the first 2 months or so. It just gets better and better. Nothing I could write though will ever do justice to the actual feelings that each person alone will feel from their new little baby. Your experience will be yours, and yours alone. Hold on to your hats though -- it's quite a wonderful and wild ride.