Should Brielle Caruso Have a Baby?

Disclaimer: These thoughts and opinions are solely my own, and based on my personal experience.

I always put myself in the camp of “I am not having a baby” Why have one? I’ve lived a very independent life, consciously made and owned up to my good/bad choices, had epic failures and successes and worked very hard to create a life that made me happy.

I’m an overly detailed, slightly neurotic, decisive, out-spoken, organized control freak. Why do something of such uncertainty?

This decision wasn’t based on religious or family obligations. I’m very fortunate my husband, Keith, and my parents never pressured me because if you know me, when people provide their unsolicited opinions or tell me what to do, I tend to retaliate, shut them out and do the complete opposite – very mature, I know.

You told me what?!

But one day, the question of Why not have a baby arose? Is there something that everyone else seems to know that I don’t?

In classic Brielle form, I made a list of everything I worried about:

  • Finances: Kids are expensive and I like to have control over my money and how I spend it.

Items Munchkin Must Have

  • Time: For me, this is the greatest currency. I use all 525,600 minutes of the year as wisely and efficiently as possible.
  • Sleep: I don’t get enough now and somehow function. How will I function on less? And, Keith and Rambo love sleeping, too.

  • Love: I love Keith because I want him, I don’t need him. He’s a complement to my crazy and he chooses me every day, too. It’s a joint decision to be with each other. Do I really want someone depending on me?

  • What If:  I don’t like this kid?

We always joked this is what we’d produce – recognize those facial expressions?

  • What If: We become parents that fall off the face of the earth and never see friends again?
  • Work: How will this impact work? I truly love my job. As crazy as it can be, it brings me joy and I’m so grateful to be in the role I’m in. I don’t like when things/circumstances take me away from it.

Munchkin’s picture is on my desk

  • Physical: I am not a baby vessel by any stretch. I have hypertension, scoliosis, osteoporosis, endometriosis, Keith thinks I have sleep apnea, I have the worse sinuses (it’s the flat nose) and my intolerance to lactose is up there. I’m also 4’11’’ without shoes, so additional weight on my joints is killer. I do have a high tolerance for pain though. Last year I walked around with 4 broken ribs and didn’t know it.
  • Retiring: My 17 year old belly ring.

It was removed May 18, 2018

  • Eliminating that glass of wine or champagne: I personally don’t see a problem with a glass  every once in a blue moon, however eliminating liquor was the one thing Keith asked me to do.

Keith has to drink for both of us.

  • Fear of Missing Out On…. My late teens and 20’s were the party, accumulate material goods and beginning of travel years. I was also in the best shape of my life. I was doing everything with no set direction.

  • My 30’s were when I started to focus on career, relationships, realizing what to be grateful for. I was humbled by my sister’s death and other family circumstances. I literally travelled around the world and saw new cultures and ways of living I had no idea existed. Truly the best education I ever received. I learned how to fall in love with life again.

  • Now that I’m closer to 40 than 30, I had to ask myself: What was the next life discovery/adventure to embark on?

I went through this list with Keith and he simply looked at me and said, it would be nice to create someone with you. I love you, and we could teach them a lot. In that moment, all my lists and trying to rationalize this went out the door. For the first time in my life, I felt mentally ready to embark on this unknown journey with a partner that I trusted and knew would support me through it.

This journey, as expected, was unexpected and certainly didn’t turn out the way I planned. I am blessed to have a little boy arriving this Sept who I have nicknamed ‘Munchkin’ cause he has me loving dessert and all things sweet (like him!).

Note: I suck at pregnancy. There is no way around it. It’s not pleasant, I’m constantly uncomfortable, the swollenness – baked bread feet and cankles –  lack of sleep and snoring like a bear, heartburn, gas, epic exhaustion, pregnancy brain (it’s so real, and if I don’t write it down I’ll completely forget), joint and back pain, and just feeling like my body is out of my control has been a real challenge to adjust to. I love to live fast and furious and run at rapid paces. Gone are those days till he arrives. Munchkin is the only man that can tire me out. That’s how I know this was meant to be.

What I really look like pregnant. Not a pretty site. 

How I wish I felt

First Trimester

Skipped through it completely. Sounds crazy but I didn’t know. I had an ectopic pregnancy in November and had to remove my right fallopian tube in an emergency surgery. I had post-surgery symptoms and no actual pregnancy symptoms the following months, coupled with personal family issues that distracted me. It wasn’t until I was in Miami in March for work that I got terribly ill and ran through tests to discover that I was almost 3 months pregnant. I almost fell off my doctor’s table in shock.

The look on my face when I found out

It also dawned on me that this little guy had been to LA, Miami, Montreal, Savannah and Paris before I knew. Lucky well-traveled kid!

Second Trimester

“Experts” say this is when you feel vibrant and alive. Not me. Thankfully I had no morning sickness and my cravings were for desserts which I never eat, but the level of fatigue, mind fog and swollenness hit hard. I also learned I had a thyroid issue in addition to my other ailments. I literally felt like my body was just breaking in every way. Actually, I had a small fracture (again) in my right foot in May. Everything took longer – thinking, breathing, physical activity. The struggle is real. It sounds completely vain, but seeing my body change made me feel so unattractive and unlovable. I am not one of those beautiful, vibrant, glowing pregnant women you see in pictures. Why couldn’t I be like them?

How I wish I looked

 

The reality – I’m really trying to look decent

I think Keith is having physical sympathy pains

Another big change occurred in May. We realized it was probably a smart idea to get a car. Keith was all about a Suburu for safety. I can’t believe we own a car…All of these changes are for the greater good, though.

Coming out of my second trimester, I am in awe and admiration of every single woman that has gone through this – biological, adoptive, foster, spiritual, communal. Women are so strong because this is a physical and emotional experience in every way possible.

Third Trimester

The final chapter. Admittedly, I’m scared of how I will manage physically this summer. My goal is to simplify, not stress and ensure that Munchkin gets all he needs before he arrives into this world. I keep repeating “Move slower to go faster” and “Respect your limits.”

Keith and my 10 Year Wedding Anniversary Party has morphed into a combination with Munchkin’s Shower. Excited for that celebration with our loved ones.

I have been beyond blessed to have fellow mothers and friends help with registry items – the necessities – keep it simple! The love and support I have received has been tremendous and I know that it will get me through these remaining 3 months. My framily is one of the things I am most grateful for in life. Home stretch.

So, after 6 months, what has pregnancy taught me?

  • Rushing through life is a surefire way to miss the gifts that only come when you are aware and give 100% of yourself to.
  • Pregnancy tired is unlike anything I’ve experienced

  • Never say never and always is not always right.
  • Waddling is real.

  • Challenging moments generate positive outcomes. I hate the gym and eating clean, but it makes me healthy. All my business, family, friendship and life failures have led to a better understanding of what I needed to do to be successful. The pain of honest confrontations with my insecurities, weakness, anxieties and limitations generated a stronger version of me and gave me perseverance and courage to continue and truly be grateful for the life I have. It’s given me a humility that I am thankful for.
  • You are defined by what you struggle for. Stairs have become my nemesis. I see them, take a deep breath and pray to sweet baby Jesus I’ll make it

During our Babymoon in Greece I had to climb these rocks to get to the restaurant. Keith’s caption: Have you see Old Bri Kenobe?

  • We don’t always control what happens to us, but we always control how we interpret it and how we respond.
  • I really gave up liquor. Miracles happen.

  • Every child begins the world again.

  • The heartburn / integestion is real.

  • The weight gain is real.

  • Munchkin loves all sweets, pizza, lobster pasta, steak, hamburgers, chicken gyros, fruits and most veggies. He does not like Chinese and Vietnamese food (no Pho! I’m so sad) and sausage.

At more than my halfway point in this pregnancy, I am not trying to out-pain any other woman that has experienced this. If anything, I have spent 37 years of my life measuring myself against many of my old values. This experience is frightfully beautiful. It’s made me re-learn life, change priorities, change my metrics of what love, happiness and success is. I feel completely uncomfortable and that’s exciting because it means a wonderful change is coming and I will soon be in a place far more important and worthy of my time, energy and love. Life really is about not knowing and just doing it anyway.

So, Munchkin, I am not going to be perfect at this thing called Motherhood. I’m sorry for the million mistakes I will make, but I promise that my actions will come from a place of love and respect and I will do my best to give you a better life than I had and impart whatever knowledge I have to make you a good man that I know will change the world for the better.

I hope you have a great sense of humor, a taste for adventure, a healthy glow. I hope you keep your mind and heart open, have confidence, but balance it with humility. If you’re a product of Keith and I, I suspect you will have a hearty appetite, a deep intuition and have smart-ass comebacks with a little taste for wanting to be center of attention. You will have a presence, a quick wit, and a beautiful soul. You will know who you are and not pretend to be anything else because you will have principles and values.

I know with all my heart you will transform my, Keith and Rambo’s life in ways we never knew possible and we will have the permission to live a new life through your innocent and precious eyes.

Happiness and true love, I believe, comes from caring about something greater than yourself and somehow believing you can still contribute to it.  Keith and I love you and can’t wait to begin this adventure when we see you in person come September.

 

PS: Rambo can’t wait to be a big brother.