Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs daily at Aleteia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.
Autumn is a naturally nostaligic time of year, when we think back on the past, take stock of how far we have come and how much has changed. Myself, I'm thinking back a good 16-17 years, when I was pregnant with my first child. And yes indeed, a lot has changed since then. I've gone from a little slip of a premip to a grand (even "great grand" in some places) multipara of (argh) advanced maternal age, and what a long, strange trip it's been. Here are a few differences that leap to mind:
Baby #1: Ooh, I can't wait until tomorrow, when I will be 172 days pregnant! I remember back when I was only 163 days pregnant. Boy, that was a week to remember. So much has changed!
Baby #10: I must be at least halfway through this pregnancy, because I'm all out of pants. Wait, I'm pregnant, right? Hey, kids, I'm pregnant, right? Okay, I thought so.
Baby #1: Uh oh, I think the jelly I had on my toast yesterday might have had some GMOs in it. I better call my midwife ... if I can get myself to admit to her what I did. I wonder if she will want to run some tests to make sure everything is still okay. No, wait, tests are bad, too! Oh, I've ruined everything, I've ruined the baby, and I haven't even given birth yet!
Baby #10: Someone call your father and tell him we are out of wine.
Baby #1: I really want the baby's name to be attractive but unusual, and it should express how cherished this child is, without sounding infantile when he or she grows older. Of course we want this child to have at least one patron saint; but we don't want to come across as overly pious, because that might drive people away from the faith. And it ought to reflect our ethnic heritage without sounding pretentious. Now, according to Nameberry, the name "Frostina" is actually fairly popular in some parts of Sweden, and is long overdue for a surge in popularity in the states. I think we can tie it in with Our Lady, Queen of the Snows, and add it to our list of possible third middle names, don't you?
Baby #10: Come on, now, think! There must be some names left.
Baby #1: I'm nearly into the second trimester and I haven't even figured out which outfit the baby will come home in yet! This one will work if the baby has dark hair, and this one will do if the baby's hair is light. But what if it's one of those no-hair babies? How am I supposed to know what to do then? And what if there's jaundice to consider? What goes with jaundice? Why does this have to be so hard?
Baby #10: Hello? Hi, sweetheart, it's Mama. Listen, the nurse is here with the discharge papers, and I forgot to pack any baby clothes. Can you look in the attic and see if we have anything that looks really small? And socks. We must have socks somewhere, right? Well, how about paper bags? No? Fine, I'll steal a towel. Home in a bit, I love you!
Baby #1: A one-hour glucola test? Let me talk to my peers, doctor, and see if they think this is medically necessary.
Baby #10: I get to drink an orange soda all by myself without sharing it? And then I have to wait an hour? In the waiting room? By myself, without doing any errands or playing Legos with anyone or scrambling any eggs? Is there any way it would be more effective if I had to wait two hours, and maybe eat some Snickers bars, too?
Baby #1: I really need someone to reassure me I'm not fat and ugly.
Baby #10: I really need someone to reassure me I'm not fat and ugly.
Baby #1: Do I look too young to be pregnant? I'm not too young, am I? Everybody can see I have a ring on, right? And look, a checking account! I'm a grown-up! I must be.
Baby #10: I dare you to say "geriatric pregnancy" one more time.
Baby #1: How will I ever be a good enough mother? I don't even feel like I know this baby, and the due date is right around the corner!
Baby #10: Well, hello, little Blobby McEight Cells. Mama loves you.