So, as those of you who have both read my last few posts and can do basic math may have realized – I had a kid. And I survived.
That second bit may seem to most of you to be something you’d take for granted, but the truth is that a big part of me did not think I would. Now, I realize that almost no one in Canada dies during childbirth anymore. The care for pregnant ladies here is fantastic, actually. But my whole life, childbirth was something I feared and for a lot of my life, it was something I actively avoided.
Once it became something I was going to actually do, my brain shut down on that. I could hypothetically discuss what things would be like when we had a baby, but I could not imagine a world where I existed and a baby existed that had come from my body. And because I couldn’t imagine it, I assumed this meant that I would die somewhere in the process. (I swear that my logic usually makes a lot more sense than this.)
But it turns out that there’s more to the world than is dreamt of in my imagination, and so here I am, sitting on a couch with a two month-old baby next to me.
But I’m not babysitting.
He doesn’t look like me (I am a grown woman; he is a baby boy. I am not sure why anyone thinks he should look like me, but apparently this is an expectation), but they tell me he’s mine. Actually, I’m pretty sure he is. I was there when they cut him out of me and we haven’t been apart much since. If they did a switcheroo, then a) it was there in the operating room, b) I don’t know what they did with the other baby, and c) the reasons are too mysterious for me to fathom.
So we’ll go with the theory that he’s mine. Blood of my blood and all that. Which is good, because as far as babies go, I like this one. He is quite serious and not very screamy. I know he can smile. I’ve caught him when he thinks I’m not looking. But his primary facial expression when he looks at me seems to be one of suspicion. I’m not sure what he thinks I’m up to, but he definitely thinks I’m up to something, and it might be something he disapproves of. Which cracks me up. I’m not used to being disapproved of.
Anyway, here are my Coles Notes on the whole experience so far:
Pregnancy – Easier than I thought it would be. Yes, I was a bit ill at the beginning, but mostly I was pretty lucky I think. My key symptoms were insomnia, needing to pee a lot, losing interest in eggs and avocados, and suddenly becoming one of those people who cry over movies. (Don’t worry – I’m over it.)
Birth – After all that stress, in the end I didn’t have to do it. My doctor decided he needed to come out faster than that. I never had one contraction. While I know this would be disappointing for some – big life experience and all – it suited me just fine. And the recovery was not that bad. There was pain, but I’ve had worse.
Motherhood so far – Easier than I thought it would be. Although, to be honest, my expectations were that it would be really really hard. Probably because I used “We Need to Talk About Kevin” in place of the “What to Expect” books. (Not really.) (Except sort of yes, really, because what happened in that book was all stuff I worried about, maybe a little obsessively.) Honestly, yes, I miss sleeping through the night. And breast-feeding can be hard. And my apartment isn’t as clean as it used to be. But otherwise? Since he’s been born, we’ve managed to keep our white couch white, we’ve maintained something of a social life, I feel like my body is my own again (except my nipples), and I’m getting to watch a new person figure out the world from scratch, which is a pretty neat thing to watch.
(Now, I am attributing a lot of this going so well to having the most supportive husband ever. I’m sure if he wasn’t part of this, my story would be different. Then again, he was a big part of the plan from the beginning. I figure if you’re going to build something, it’s good to have that kind of infrastructure in place first.)
So yeah. Here I am. A little person’s mom. Weird. Wish me luck, or wisdom, or patience, or whatever it takes so I don’t screw it up too much. I’d really like to do right by this little guy.