I realized that I have a three-part reaction to pregnancy announcements now that I have kids.
Two of my friends just announced their pregnancies. Their first pregnancies.
This post is only about my reaction to first pregnancies. People announcing second or third or more pregnancies are different. They've already joined the parenting ranks so they don't count. (Sorry. guys.)
(I'll also be skipping my reaction to when someone announces to the entire world that they peed on a stick ten seconds ago and they are pregnant and what does everyone think of "such and such" for a baby name. All I do is worry about miscarriage. But that is my own personal baggage and it is heavy so I'll leave it on the curb.)
My Three-Step Pregnancy Announcement Reaction
The first step:
I feel sincerely happy and thrilled for them. I get all giddy inside. I imagine them picking out tiny outfits and seeing a first smile and hearing a first laugh and wow, they have no flippin' idea how awesome this is going to be.
A baby! I'm so excited for them! I want to hear all the details!
This is followed shortly by...
Hmmmm, I wonder if I can offload some of the baby gear gathering dust in the garage.
Then the second step kicks in:
At first, I wondered if what I was feeling was jealousy. It isn't. Not exactly. I don't actually want another baby. What I do want is impossible. I want to travel back in time and experience those firsts all over again.
Hold him in my arms for the first time. Watch him turn into the Ravenous Bugblatter when he finally latches and nurses for the first time. Laugh as Crappy Papa changes his first diaper and he poops immediately after the new one is put on.
These things feel like they happened yesterday. And I distinctly remember experienced parents telling me this same damn thing when I was pregnant (successfully) for the first time. Now I'm on the other side.
So in a way, yes, I am jealous. Jealous that they are on the cusp of experiencing these amazing firsts while I only can visit mine through memories.
Then I continue on my trip down memory lane until it is interrupted by someone yelling across the house to wipe their butt.
Which brings me to the last step:
I could have toned this down by writing "how much they've just ruined their lives as they know it." But you guys knew what I meant.
Nobody can fathom how much their lives will change or how it will affect them. The change travels in both directions too -- good and bad. And experiences vary so widely that you can't make accurate predictions. Not even for yourself.
But one thing is for sure, pregnant friends: Say goodbye to the life you've lived up until now.
Welcome to Parenthood. Suckers.
Oops, I meant...
"Congrats!!! I'm so happy for you! Hey, do you want my stroller?"