Aug
15
2009

What the heck is a “boppy”?

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When I started this blog about ten months ago I made the decision to keep it focused mostly on our adventures here in Budapest and only share personal feelings on a surface level. Chris, mostly for the better, has been my personal Internet Regulator, reminding me of how anything I write on the World Wide Cobweb could be used against me in a court of law. Or by my grandchildren, who would one day have a treasure trove of examples as to why they need to send Grandma down to that “nice home” in Missouri. So, for those reminders, I am eternally grateful to him.

However, I’m going to take a break from the “what-we-did-on-our-extended-vacation” approach that I have taken here to talk about this little something I’ve been growing in my belly for the last 8 months. I seriously can’t wrap my head around the fact that I am going to be a mother in about a month or that the wonderful guy I married four years ago because I thought he was cute and interesting is going to be a father. I remember the first time I realized that it was entirely possible that this child could look nothing like me and be a complete clone of the Baker side of the family — which is so not fair. I say I have equal rights to the determination of the baby’s eye color since it has been me doing most of the work up to this point.

I’m not sure that I am fully prepared for this life of motherhood. I still feel like I’m seventeen some days, still dealing with insecurities and stupid obsessions, and yet I am supposed to raise another human in my flawed state of mind. I know that what I am feeling is not unique in any way, but I have to admit it has been an emotionally challenging experience for me to be pregnant in a foreign country. I have always been a pretty independent person — sometimes to my own detriment, I admit — so I never imagined that when I found out that I was pregnant it would send me to a place I’ve never been before — a place where I desperately needed the help and support of others. This baby was definitely planned and wanted, but when it actually happened, I had to step back and think, “Whoa, is this for real? How do I live my life as a vessel for nine months? I have no idea what I’m going to do with an infant. And what the heck is a boppy??!”

And of course I had to figure this out at precisely the time when all of my long-time friends and family were an ocean away. We have some amazing friends here in Budapest and I am so grateful for all of the support they have given us. But for those that know me well, they know it can take years for me to truly open up and let myself be seen, flaws and all. It’s hard to make up for the simple grace of lots of time spent together.

Here’s the part where I learned something. You would think that I had learned this a bit earlier in my life, but I’m a bit stubborn. I was too busy at the time being a strong, chainsaw-wielding, independent woman. So it took a while, but I learned that if you need help, all you have to do is ASK SOMEONE FOR HELP. I know, crazy idea, but it worked. People helped. I had completely lost sight of the fact that I knew dozens of extremely wise, beautiful women who had gone through this experience before me. They were eager to answer my questions and have offered us tons of baby stuff which has taken away some of the panic that had set into my brain. Now I know what I boppy is.

I guess this post is mainly my way of collectively thanking the many people who have shown Chris and me so much love and support even thousands of miles away. I don’t think I could have made it this far without the knowledge of people who cared for us stored away in my psyche.  Now if only I could get these people to come over at 3 AM and change diapers when the time comes …

(photo by our friend Joanna Foley)

Written by Laura in: Thoughts |

2 Comments »

  • Katherine

    Thank you for sharing those thoughts with us. Not having a child yet, nor a husband for that matter, I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow a human for 9-10 months and come to terms with the concept of raising and caring for a child as a flawed human myself. I also know what it’s like to have a hard time being vulnerable, so I thank you. And say, like all the women it sounds like you’ve turned to have probably said, you’re going to do great. It’ll be a ride, but you’ll figure it out as you go, and you and Chris are going to be great parents. Much love, Katherine

    Comment | August 22, 2009
  • Laura S.

    I liked this one. Labor is incredible – you can do it! Just trying to give you a digital pep comment :O) So happy that the two of you have had so much time together as a pre-baby couple.

    Thinking of you,
    Laura

    Comment | August 31, 2009

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