Motherhood is my “obsession” as friends have so kindly pointed out from time to time so it seemed fitting to make the first post about my entry into the big M. It’s been two and a half years since I joined the gloriously insane ranks of motherhood. I remember it like it was yesterday – it’s hard to forget, ask any woman who has ever given birth. As mothers around the world know, there are good days and bad days but it’s the toughest gig you’ll ever love.
I always knew I wanted to be a mom. Some girls dream of their wedding day, some dream of their careers, and some dream of motherhood – that’s normal right? I couldn’t tell you when I knew just how much it mattered to me. It could have been during the eighteenth million career aptitude test taken in high school – notice motherhood does not come up as a suggestion. I am certain there is some legality involved in that decision. Somewhere along the lines I figured out my calling and it sure wasn’t to be a mathematical engineer or even the coveted shrimp fisherman. Everything else just became logistics along the way.
So here it was, my dream. Imagine my surprise when my joy mellowed into fear. It takes time for the reality to sink in. I suppose that’s why the 9 months is built into the plan. A baby. A real baby – growing inside me nonetheless. The beauty and miracle of that was matched only by the fear I felt inside. I had waited my whole life for that moment. I had shed tears and shared laughter on my journey to having a child. This time things were falling into place and we were preparing to bring our own little human being into the world.
My head swam with the prep work involved. Daycare, bottles, clothes, books, sleeping surfaces – really, how many places can one baby need to sleep? Seven. At least that was the appropriate answer in our case – a bassinet, a swing, a rocker, a bouncer, a co-sleeper, a crib, and of course your arms (that last one was the most used, surprise). Check, check, check. My life was a list of to-do’s.
I blinked and it was time. When they called to tell me I had to be induced the first thing I said was “I’m not ready.” My midwife responded with, “Well ready or not, it’s time. Sleep tonight and tomorrow get ready to meet your son.” Ha! That’s like when your parents say “Go to sleep, cookies and milk are out for Santa, he and his reindeer will be stopping by to bring you presents…but you have to go to bed and sleep all night, also don’t you dare get out of that bed before 6 am” – yeah, sure thing mom and dad.
I went in the next day at 7 am running off of three hours of sleep and tea – caffeine free. By the way, what genius thought of that? I won’t bore you with the gory and gruesome details, but we met our beautiful son 27 long hours later. Perfection in my arms. Had we really made this? Happiness, joy, and there it was again, the fear but the moment he looked at me my fear subsided for the first time in months. I knew I could move mountains for him. Pregnancy, labor, and birth prep us for motherhood more than we know. They are messy, chaotic, and sometimes gross, but they are also beautiful and incredibly miraculous, just like motherhood. I finally felt ready.
The day came quickly to go home. I could see the panic on my husband’s face. “Do you have any directions for us?” Without missing a beat our nurse looked at us and said, “Directions not included.” At the time I am sure she thought it humorous, but I don’t think she knew just how truthful her words rang. The reality of those words has not left my side for two and a half years.
And so the next chapter had begun…