My oldest child turns 12 today and I have no idea how it happened. I mean...I know HOW it happened but where did years 1 - 11 go?
It's 1:30 AM 3 days before my due date and I wake to make my second trip to the bathroom. I pee, I wipe, I walk 10 feet and.....uh oh....what was that? GUSH! Well hot damn and hallelujah this baby is coming out TODAY! I rush back to the toilet because with every step I take I gush a little bit more.
Me: PAPA SMURF!
PS: Woken from a deep sleep grumbles "mmwhat"
Me: IT'S TIME! MY WATER JUST BROKE!
Me: I sit on the toilet and wait patiently for a towel as hubby dresses himself. My heart is racing. I'm giddy with excitement. Holy shit I'm gonna be a mama today!
5 minutes pass....
10 minutes pass...and my rump is now numb....
Me: PAPA SMURF!
Me: WTF are you doing!!??
Me: Get your butt out of bed we have a baby coming!
A recap of my pregnancy:
What I expected: A first trimester with mild morning sickness. A second trimester full of energy and a third trimester of mild discomfort and much anticipation. And, of course, the average 35 pound weight gain. I'd look cute with my mommy bump. I read 3 pregnancy books and my parenting bible (highlighted and tagged with post it notes) all within the first month of pregnancy.
Reality: I slept through my entire first trimester and experienced no morning sickness. I could transition from a deliriously happy laugh to an ugly cry faster than you can say "holy shit it's Sybil." And, more often than not, that ugly cry was a result of a quick flash glance in the bathroom mirror and an "I'm so ugly" epiphany melt down. I was anything BUT cute. I gained a total of 75 pounds. I gained no weight my first 3 months which means I gained 75 pounds in 6 months which equals an average of 12.5 pounds per month = more than 3 pounds each week. I did not enjoy being pregnant. I was miserable. I'm a stomach sleeper. I learned that pregnancy and water beds are NOT compatible.
A recap of the birth:
What I expected: An uneventful if not long and painful labor filled with pacing the floors and intermittent massages from my husband followed by an epidural followed by a blissfully happy and healthy birth and immediate mommy/baby bonding.
Reality: My water broke and I never went into labor. At 7am nothing was happening so pitocin was started. Three hours later baby's heart rate was dropping and I still wasn't dilating. Two hours later I have an epidural attached to my back, 3 different wires draped from my hoo-ha (one is stuck to baby's head to monitor baby's heart rate, one is replenishing the fluids in my uterus to cushion baby, and one is supplying antibiotics because my water has been broken for too long), a big black elastic band is strapped around my waste to monitor contractions, an IV is strapped to my left arm, an oximeter is attached to my right index finger, an oxygen hose is strapped to my face and I'm beginning to resemble something of a science experiment. After three ultrasounds it is determined by three different doctors that baby is approximately "7 - 8 pounds." Fifteen hours later I'm still restricted to laying on my left side, I'm "not even fingertip dilated", baby is still "floating", and baby's heart rate is dropping dangerously low after every contraction.
Here's were it gets fun.
17 hours after my water broke I'm strapped to an operating table and can still feel and move my legs. Doctor starts to operate and I completely wig out on the table and start kicking my legs to prove to surgeon that "dude, I'm TOTALLY NOT NUMB!" To say that I freaked out is a bit of an understatement. Lets just leave it at that.
Enter general anesthesia....and TEN POUND ONE OUNCE BABY!!! (7-8 pounds my ass!)
The bonding moment:
What I expected: I would hold baby immediately after his birth we would look into each others eyes and fall instantly in love. I would hold him to my breast and give my baby nourishment while gazing at him lovingly.
Reality: Eight hours after his birth I wake up all alone in my room after sleeping off the anesthesia and am finally allowed to see and hold my baby....apparently they told hubby to go home because "I'd just be sleeping all night anyway." Grrrrrrr. Baby wants nothing to do with breast feeding and I have 2 nurses and a lactation consultant surrounding me and pawing at my boobs and prying baby's mouth open like vultures. And an hour later I have a syringe full of formula strapped to my shoulder, that syringe is connected to a tiny little catheter, and that catheter is draped over my boob and taped to my nipple so that baby can "learn" to breastfeed. It was humiliating. It was unnatural.
The first day:
What I expected: Motherhood would come naturally. I would instinctively know what to do and how to care for him.
Reality: 12 hours into the first day with baby and baby's diaper hadn't been changed. Dude, where are those nurses and why haven't they changed his diaper yet? Oh, you mean I have to change it?? Well, shit, nobody told me that! First day of life and baby already has a diaper rash. I really suck at this.
First three weeks:
What I expected: We would come home and baby would instinctively sleep all night and be on an every two to four hour eating schedule. And we would all live happily ever after. What? That's what happens in the movies! I watched a lot of movies back then.
Reality: Baby still wanted nothing to do with breast feeding. I was pumping every two hours and feeding him breast milk from a bottle every two hours. I was at all times either pumping or feeding or pumping or feeding. My nipples were cracked and bloody and hurt worse than giving birth. Baby would cry from 5pm till 11pm then sleep until 1am and then cry again until 5am. I sit Indian style in the middle of my bed crying along with baby at 3am wondering when the motherly instincts would kick in....cuz dude...I really suck at this. One month later I gave up on the breast milk pumping and started feeding him formula and the gates to heaven opened up and the angels began singing.
I was absolutely head over heals in love with this child of mine but couldn't figure out how to enjoy and embrace motherhood until well into his 2nd month when I finally released my expectations and let him guide my way. It took me 6 weeks to figure out that being unable to breast feed this child did not make me a bad mother. It took me 6 weeks to figure out that having a baby that cries all night long does not make me a bad mother. It took me 6 weeks to figure out that motherhood is a learn as you go occupation. Books can give you direction and guidance but they are not the end all be all bible for parenthood because no 2 babies are the same.
It was not easy. It did not come naturally. And it was not at all as I expected it to be. The transition from DINK to parenthood was a shock for both my husband and I.
This 12 year old son of mine taught me how to be a mother. He taught me how to nurture. He taught me how to love.
I fall more and more in love with this child every day of his life. He makes us laugh. His humor, his laughter, his confidence, his self motivation, his love, and his fun loving nature are just a few of the many gifts that he brings to this family of ours. He is such a very good person and makes me so incredibly proud to be his mom. He makes me feel like maybe I don't suck so much at this mommy thing after all.
I love you Hefty. Happy birthday.
Every month to his 1st birthday
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