Having a baby is weird. Giving birth to a baby? Super weird. Gestating a baby? The weirdest.
For those of you who don’t follow me on the social media or subscribe to my newsletter (you should TOTALLY subscribe to my newsletter), you may be unaware that I was gestating a human. I kept it mildly low profile because, well, I was terrified. But more on that another day. Today is a day for celebration. Because Brian and I made a human. Stormageddon (no, that’s not his real name, and yes, that’s what I’ll be calling him on the internet until he is old enough to tell me otherwise or I change my mind. I live on the edge.) was born a little over 11 years after our first date. It took us a long time to get here. Again, another story for another day. And we couldn’t be happier.
Back to creating a tiny human. From a tiny speck of cells. I spent the better part of nine months mostly miserable. I hated pregnancy. I hated the nausea that lasted 6 months. I hated the carpal tunnel for which I needed two rounds of cortisone shots in each wrist. I hated the way my body changed and didn’t fit into any of my clothes. I didn’t recognize myself physically or emotionally. The nightly insulin injections. The way I felt like I didn’t have dominion over my body. The fear and worry and anxiety that plagued me with every google that ended in “If you do this thing, your baby will die.”
I referred to poor little Stormy as a parasite (I stand firm by this, though now that he’s, like, real, it seems crazy). I watch this tiny little guy, barely two weeks old, and can’t help but think about how he was literally inside my body, just as he is with all of the limbs and organs and bodily functions that he has now. Every hiccup he makes in the outside world, I’m thrown back to when he had them inside my body, making me giggle uncontrollably. With every movement, I am reminded of the strange feeling of him moving inside me. Even when it didn’t seem real. He was real. Is real.
Even now, it seems too good to be true. Now that the tiny body that took over my body is not there. The empty, squishy feeling in my abdomen — and the scar and the 27 different rashes and other fun side effects of my seven-day hospital stay and surgery — the only remaining physical reminders that he grew from a tiny seed into an entire person all inside my body.
And so I hold him and stare at him and think to myself, “hello little person. I made you.”
A few years ago, my brother-in-law had “interesting edibles” on his Christmas list. His words, not mine. And while yes, THOSE edibles are legal in Illinois, and we did get him some as a joke, the thing he was looking for was tasty food items that he may not have tried yet. And so here I am with a gift guide for just such a wish list. These are some of my favorite sauces, spices, seasonings, snacks, and other yummies perfect for the food lovers in your life.