Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's Not Like Getting a Puppy

And by 'it' I mean having a baby.

Five years ago, I met the man of my dreams.  After only a few months, we had pretty much, though unofficially, moved in together.  Not long after that, we decided to get a dog.  This dog was named Bay.  We went to the local Kuwaiti shelter and Dave picked her out.  I wanted a tiny but energetic retriever mix named Daisy.  Dave wanted Bay.  She was a puppy- about 6 months old, they thought- and she was the prettiest dog in the shelter.  So we adopted her and took her home.

One week later, in tears, I told Dave we had to take her back.  I couldn't handle it.  It was too much work and I was tired of her constant whining, peeing on my floor, and having to take her outside to go to the bathroom.   I grew up with dogs, but they were either outside dogs or could just be let out the back door, so this whole walking-them business was new and a lot more time-consuming that I expected.  It was just too HARD, I whined.

Dave refused to let me take her back.  Five years later, she's still a PITA (pain in the a$$) but I love her and I'm glad she's here.  

A few months ago,aAs the end of my pregnancy grew closer, I began to wonder if having a baby was going to be like getting a puppy.  I knew she was going to be a lot more work and I would be getting a lot less sleep and, if there is one thing I do not like to give up, it's sleep.  I wondered if there would come a day when I wanted to 'take her back' or if I would, God forbid, regret having a baby.  It made me nervous and anxious to think about.  What if I couldn't handle it?  What if it was too much work?  What if I just didn't like being a mom.

A day shy of two months later, I am happy to report that not once have I felt any of those feelings.  It seems like she's always been here- I've always changed diapers and rocked someone to sleep.  I've always cleaned bottles and washed little tiny clothes.  I've always woken up in the middle of the night to feed someone.  And I've always had this little person who needs me, who trusts me, and who gets smothered in hugs and kisses every day.  Having a baby is not like getting a puppy.  It's definitely a lot harder and a lot more work.  But the rewards are way better (until she turns 13 and hates me, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it).

Puppies are great.  Babies are greater.