Friday, April 5, 2013
Dear Nora: While you're waiting, I thought I'd share some thoughts on this birthing thing. I know. You didn't ask. But I've met most of your extended family, and unsolicited advice is going to be part of your life. Don't worry, you'll learn techniques to deal with it.
First of all, congrats on how you've handled your job thus far. Your growth has been phenomenal. Parent training regimens are coming along swimmingly. I want you to know that people are noticing and commenting on your progress, impressed when you busted a few playful dance moves. Keep up the effort and great attitude.
Next, I want you to understand that punctuality in birthing is way over rated. Don't let anybody pressure you into anything you are not ready for, but fashionably late for no reason can cause people anxiously waiting to become explosive. But no worries, "failure to launch" discussion doesn't begin until you're like..., ten. You'll know when the time is right. "Due" is on you.
Put some thought into how this will go down. Not to pressure you (sorry), but there are landmark events (birth, wedding, certificates) that will create the short summary of your life in the minds of those who don't know you well. Not that others will define you (you'll do that), but trends we set early sometimes carry all the way through. For example: My mother tells me we made three trips to the hospital before I made the big move (Can't verify, slept since then.), and folks think I'm STILL pretty indecisive.
There will be records of your birth; digital, administrative, and imprinted memories among those who will be in the room. Unless you want "She came into the world waving at the crowds!" following you through life, don't do that. Just sayin.
The birth process itself is undignified. What was naturally a private moment with your mother is now a full blown spectacle in a "birthing" room, with you in your birthday suit, tired, slimy, deformed and probably a little ticked off, being handled and polished, fondled and inspected, wrapped and braceletted, and possibly stabbed and microchipped (kidding, geez!). That's just the way it is. Deal with it. Go to the light, breathe, and endure. You'll be fine. They don't know how tough you are.
I've got to tell you, the setup you're coming into is pretty sweet. The folks want you. Really, really want you. They put a lot of effort and resources into getting you here. There's a reason they're celebrating. That's certainly not the case for many (most?) newbies. You'll never be hungry in a serious way. You'll get primo medical care. You'll probably dance and laugh and learn a lot. Lucky.
So. Be tolerant of all the gooey talk and smothering hugs and kisses. Don't roll your eyes. Don't discourage the fussing. Wear the silly footies and diapers and frilliness knowing they all mean well and will not love you to actual death. You'll settle in soon, and come to know who you are and to what purpose you will serve. This new baby thing doesn't last long. Not long at all. Enjoy it.
So, welcome. We'll meet soon. I'm already proud we're associated, and I'll write occasionally. You do the same. K
Posted by GR