December 15, 2014

pregnant with an alien - a dinner conversation

I went with my husband to his office Christmas party the other night, held in a private area of a chef-owned restaurant. This was a typically small affair, and a rare gathering of a virtual company with their significant others. There was plenty of great food, great wine, and great conversation. I actually enjoyed myself quite a bit, though nothing prepared me for our dinner conversation.

We sat at the end of a long table, with me next to the boss' wife and across from his daughter and her husband. I didn't know how long this couple had been married (it couldn't have been more than a couple years), but her questions revealed a lot more than her youth.

As is natural, she asked about our son. Interestingly, she (politely) asked how long we waited to get pregnant. I told her a brief version of our story: we waited a long time, and when we finally started we had problems. Did I get IVF or some other assistance? No, by the grace of God we had our son naturally. Do you mind if I ask how old you are? Sure, I'm 45. (eyes widened) I... never would have guessed that -- you look so much younger. (smiling) Thank you! Did being pregnant feel like having an alien growing inside your body?

(pause to giggle on the inside, then smile gently)

My answer: I've heard it described that way, but that wasn't my experience at all. When you are pregnant, you begin bonding with the baby right away. You are feeding this baby with your body, and when the baby is born you continue to feed him with your body, to the best of your ability. During pregnancy, the bond between the mother and child is physical, physiological, and psychological. And when you feel the baby start to move it becomes more real and even more powerful. So by the time the child is born, you've already bonded together. It's an amazing experience.

Not your everyday dinner party conversation, but I was so glad to share my experience with someone who was eager to hear it.