So…I’m Sort Of A Mom Now aka 5 Things “They” Never Told Me About Childbirth

me-pregnant-16-weeks

Hey there, old friends.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. I’ve kinda been busy, bringing life into the world and nurturing it and shit. Oh, and also really trying to get a handle on the whole, “being a mom” thing. I had no idea it was going to be as hard as it has been. I thought I’d be able to toss the kid into a papoose and not miss a beat. But boy (that’s what I had) was I in for a rude awakening (literally, every hour or less, all night long).

My mom had 6 kids the old fashioned natural way (through the vagina), so I just counted on an easy delivery. But, “Ha ha!”, life said, as it kicked me in the ribs and teeth. “C section for you!” it exclaimed, grabbing the decision randomly out of it’s big bag of mom names. It’s weird being known at least partially for writing a song called, “My Pussy Is Magic” and then having mine break down on me when I needed it most.

So, that’s the first thing no one ever tells you – your vagina might break at the moment of truth and then you’ll have to get that dang baby sawed out of you. With my situation, I had low amniotic fluid and the Drs. insisted we induce early. So maybe all would have been fine and dandy had we waited. But there’s an increased chance in cord accidents (umbilical cord wrapping around baby’s neck) if you have low fluid, and we didn’t want to risk that, so we did all the stuff – the cervidil and the pitocin and neither worked, so, we had a slice ’em dice ’em baby. Here are 5 other things NO ONE EVER TELLS YOU ABOUT CHILDBIRTH. WARNING: If you are afraid to have a baby and don’t want reasons not to, don’t read this. This is the spookiest blog entry to be written this Halloween season–the “Headless Horsemen” of parenting blog posts, if you will.

To add onto the above note, There’s A Decent Chance You Will Have A C Section. Yes sir!–or, well, ma’am is probably more apropos. 1 in 3 babies are now delivered via c section. If you are anything like me, the idea of surgery isn’t in your birth plan (ha ha, funny! plan!) in any universe. But here’s the good news: c sections are pretty much 100% painless. You’re given morphine (!?) and are totally awake to meet your newbie, albeit high as a frickin’ kite–and dig this, it takes about 60 minutes or less to get the little bugger out. C sections should be rebranded and called “Baby In An Hour” because that sounds way better and it beats the stuffing out of having 2 days of labor. Recovery takes the same as natural birth (6 weeks or so), and you can sit down (you just have a little trouble sitting “up”), after delivering, plus, all your, ahem, “goods” remain intact. So if your doctor says a c section is imminent, don’t fret — just ruminate on “baby in an hour” and try to enjoy the buzz.

The First Few Days Back Home With Your Baby From The Hospital May Very Well Be The Scariest, Hardest Days Of Your Life. When I returned home and held my perfect, precious, screaming little boy in my hands all alone for the first time without the care and watchful eyes of all the nurses, I broke down into tears. “What have I done?” I asked myself. “I’ve brought the world down onto my and my dear husband’s backs,” I thought. Every fear and terror that exists came into my mind. Dark, dark thoughts and scenarios unfolded in my drug addled head and played themselves all the way out. My stress level was turned up to 11.”Why didn ‘t anyone tell me it’d be like this?” I thought. Everyone said, “It’s the most beautiful thing” and, “It’s hard but incredible”. No one said I’d be sobbing teardrops the size of Necco wafers onto a newborn’s face as he screeched like a baby mountain lion into my swollen breasts like a metal band singer into my microphone boob as the hours melted away into days. No one said I feel inadequate, incapable terrified and lost, or explained why. I took some comfort in remembering that literally billions of people have had newborns, including people in places with no running water or medicine or who literally lived in caves, and they did ok. Just remember this mantra that every parent passed onto me like a sacred chant as I stared at them lifelessly through bloodshot, puffy eyes…

Things Get Easier After About 2 Weeks
While you’re panicking about becoming a new mom (or dad) and grappling with reestablishing your sense of normalcy, among many other things, it may occur to you that all the horrifying and mysterious feelings you’re experiencing are here to stay and this pit of confusion and uncertainty is your new life but fear not–“2 weeks” is every new family’s slogan / goal / magical date with destiny. As I lamented to friends about feeling lost, pained and emotional, they responded to me like Arnold Schwartzneggar posing as the lady with a bomb for a head in Total Recall–“Two weeks!” Never mind when you’re “in the shit”, as you are / will be, 2 weeks seems like a lifetime away. Finding myself just on the other side of it now, it feels like it was an eternity ago.

You Will Have To Poop While Holding A Screaming Newborn At 4 AM
This one doesn’t really need any additional commentary, but I’ll elaborate. My little sweetie pie hates being put down, ever, ever, and when we were brand new to each other, we had no idea how to operate our situation. My MO was to keep him from crying or just never put him down, and his MO was to always cry, no matter what. I could have pooped while he screamed in his crib, but that thought hadn’t occurred to me yet, and I didn’t want to torture my neighbors at an ungodly hour with the screams of an infant. So I pooped with him in my arms. More than once. Poor guy!

Everyone Will Offer You Baby Care Advice And Tips And Everything Everyone Says Will Annoy You
So, this is the thing. Childbirth and recovery hurts like the dickens. It’s really painful for 99% of the women who experience it (and no one, save maybe a 9 months pregnant woman, wants to hear your story about how wonderful and easy your 1% of pleasant child births was). In addition to dealing with mega pain, your world is literally turned upside down. Your moral AND physical compass are doing laps like the second hand on a cartoon clock. It’s a feeling I really can’t describe, and clearly most other people can’t, either, because even the people who tried to explain, aka, warn me, failed miserably in their attempts. But in short, everything is all willy nilly for a new mom during the time of child birth. She is pissed. She is in pain. She’s happy and excited and whee! too, but mostly, more immediately, she’s a woman with a body made of wet noodles trying to navigate her way around a blender. So, moms, step moms, cousins, sisters, etc., cut her some slack. Man, she needs it. Here are the things, and really, the ONLY things to say to a new mom:

  • I made you a sandwich / plate of cookies / loaf of bread / dinner / smoothie
  • I did your dishes / cleaned your house / got your mail / folded your laundry
  • You are doing a great job!
  • You look great!
  • Why don’t you go take a shower while I hold the baby?
  • In 2 weeks, I promise you’ll feel better

That’s it. That’s all you can say. Anything else and you are knocking on the devil’s door. Don’t be surprised when Satan herself answers. She doesn’t want to hear your thoughts on breastfeeding / how YOU were fed formula and you’re OK (can you prove that?), your advice about how you slept on YOUR stomach and you turned out fine (again, where’s the proof?), that the house is a mess, or your complaints about ANYTHING. Just zip it. If you’ve got to let her know how you feel about X, Y or Z, wait 1 month or 2 months or here’s an idea, go to Alaska and get stuck in a blizzard wearing only underwear for a couple months (yes, that was a metaphor for child birth) or so and then come back and if you still remember, if it’s still important, THEN tell her.

To sum it up, childbirth, and the following months, be hard, yo. I mean, harder than hard. I mean, REALLY HARD. That cute thing they had kids do in school–carry a bag of sugar around? Ha, what a joke! They should have them carry 15 bags of sugar, that’d be more like it. Even when they have to poop. For the people who say, well then, don’t have kids! I really didn’t know it was going to be the way it is. You have no way of knowing. Even this handy blog entry doesn’t shine one iota of a speck of light on what the hard parts are like. Plus, the coos and the first smile and the big eyes and the tiny hands and the soft cheeks and the adorable onesies and the love — the love and trust that you know is there, that you can feel must be there somewhere behind those sweet eye lashes and those little pink lips and that you slowly feel and see being revealed, and the good times you are certain are to come, even when it doesn’t feel that way–somehow make it all worth it. Good one, mother nature. Good one.

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