I promise not to turn into a Mommy blog, but this happened and it was kind of intense, so I’m going to tell you about it.

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.

"I'm totally onto you."

“I’m totally onto you.”

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.


8 thoughts on “I promise not to turn into a Mommy blog, but this happened and it was kind of intense, so I’m going to tell you about it.

  1. Ah! I’m so happy to see this, and find out that you survived. I feel very much the same way about child birth as I said before. I think the whole thing is very weird and impossible to understand. I feel like I would have the same reaction and approach as you. I am terrified of the whole process – I don’t like that this is the option for having a kid of my own. So thank you for speaking so honestly and showing me that there is at least one other person out there who thinks like I do!

    • Thanks! It is a weird and scary thing. One thing that did help a bit though – for me anyway – was that once I was on that train, I knew I just had to deal with it because there was no going back. And I’m good at that. As long as it was all hypothetical, I was just drowning in terrifying what-ifs.

      In the end, I think I did get the best possible result for me with the c-section. I know they aren’t considered ideal, and I wouldn’t have felt right planning one, but when the doctor told me that’s what was happening and that I was going in right now, everything just went so fast from there and I didn’t have to be scared anymore. It is major surgery, but it’s also very routine, and unlike birth, it’s completely predictable, which was good for me. (As opposed to the night before, when the doctor said to come in first thing the next morning to get induced, and I totally lost it in a hysterical panic that lasted until I got to the hospital and my husband got me an ativan.)

      I guess if it’s something you want to do — and of course, that’s always the biggest part — it’s a matter of remembering that no matter how bad it goes, that bit does end, in a predictable amount of time. And then you get better.

      Also, the drugs they have are really good and while I know there is a lot of pressure out there to go natural, it’s not like you get a medal if you do. That spinal thing is the weirdest anaesthetic ever because you can still feel things, but just no pain, which then makes everything very surreal. Once they got it in, they put me on a table, put up a big screen so I couldn’t see anything (thank god), it felt like someone was massaging my stomach for a couple of minutes, and then someone’s all, “Here’s your baby.” Like ten minutes, max, I’d say. It’s kind of crazy.

  2. I love everything about this post. One, because I’ve had many of the same fears. And two, because it has all the elements of a great post — humor, sincerity, and cuteness. (“Probably because I used ”We Need to Talk About Kevin” in place of the “What to Expect” books. <– seriously laughed out loud.) Anyway. I think he does look like you. Just sayin.'

    • Aw, I’m glad you liked it. I figure the fears make sense. It’s a big deal, physically, emotionally and practically. I’m more surprised by the people who don’t feel the fears. I think the tipping point for me came when fear was the only thing left that was stopping me. It’s not a good enough reason not to do things you want to do, you know?

      And I don’t know, I still think he looks like a baby.

  3. Love this post! So honest. I had a chat with a new dad the other day and he had scary and low expectations–wanting to be all natural, worried about losing sleep and becoming unrecognizable to himself….But he basically said it’s not that bad. You just make adjustments and deal. As someone who is trying to conceive, these words are comforting to me ❤ so thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks! Yeah, I think there are a lot of people who think it will be really easy and a lot of people who think it will be really hard and what you actually experience just depends on so many variables that probably the best thing is to not have too many expectations and just be flexible about it all.

  4. I have a feeling that you over-think things like I do, so I appreciate your honesty, and warmth, and humor. Happy for you, your husband, and your little person, blessings on this new life together.

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