My oldest nephew is in the hospital today with his partner and they are awaiting the birth of their first born son, Jaxxon. I love the kid and I named one son Niko and the other with a middle name that starts with X so I can't judge, but someone somewhere someday is going to ask why the hell he chose to spell it all weird like that. But that is all beside the point. It got me thinking. About parenting and the miracle of child birth (yes...miracle...that's the word everyone chooses).
I found myself thinking that pregnancy and childbirth are really just the Campbell's condensed version of the whole life long experience that is parenting. It's a trial run before the full version is installed with all the bells and whistles....and tantrums and bodily fluids.
Let me clarify.
Pregnancy and Childbirth are scary and mysterious and miraculous and joyful. They are also messy and dangerous and really damn disgusting and gross at times. There's vomit and blood and every other possible fluid the human body can create and excrete. They expose you to things you never thought you would ever have to face without vomiting or crying (and that's not to say you won't do either/both). They show you just how strong you can be as an individual and the strength of your partner AND your partnership. There is anxiety of how you will survive, how you will keep this baby alive, and how you won't drive the people around you completely insane in the process. They bring families together and, whether you want it or not, they shove a support system down your throat that you may initially resent but will come to love and count on. All of this remains true once your child is brought out to the light of day. All of this will remain true for the rest of your life.
Especially the bodily fluids and anxiety part.
Pregnancy and delivery are exhausting. You will be tired and you will want to cry (a lot), but you will keep on going because the finish line is riiiiight there. You will wonder what is going on with this creature you are growing inside you and what the hell it is doing to your body. Parenting is pretty much the same...except the kid is on the outside now and eventually learns to talk back. You will still keep going and trucking along because now at least you have something to appreciate your hard work, right? Right.
So, you might think that pregnancy and delivery are the simple process of incubating a tiny human for nine months and then expelling it from your exhausted body. You would be only partially correct. Those two things are the violent and sudden bash over the head temporary concussion that will make the sleepless nights, copious amounts of bodily fluids (I really can't stress the bodily fluids part enough....it never really stops just gets marginally less disgusting), anxiety, joy, pride, and chest bursting love mixed with heart stopping terror over the next...well...lifetime seem like the most normal and temperate thing on the face of the planet.
It's a wild ride no matter what. And totally worth it.
To Zack and Courtney, hold on tight, kids, and you'll be fine.
To Jaxxon, give 'em hell and you will be AMAZING.