Things From My First Year Of Motherhood I Won’t Apologize For

Things From My First Year Of Motherhood I Won’t Apologize For

When I was pregnant, I had sweet dreams about my early days of Motherhood. Visions of beautifully medicated labor, peaceful and easy nursing and a flat post baby tummy danced in my head. But Motherhood is messy, unpredictable and full of unpopular choices. Here are the things from my first year of motherhood I won’t apologize for (and you shouldn’t either). 1. Having a C-Section I’m not sure how this myth about medically unnecessary C-sections came about, but I can assure you they weren’t giving them out at my ob-gyn office. I know this for sure because I begged for one. My baby was extremely Frank breech, meaning his head was under my left rib cage, his butt was squeezed down onto my cervix, and his feet were smashed into my right rib cage. By the last few weeks, every move he made took my breath away. The pain was excruciating. Despite a scheduled C-section at 39 weeks, no one would give in to my tears, hysterics and desperate pleas to get that baby out of me sooner. By the time my water broke at 38 weeks, 0 days, I was so relived that my pregnancy was finally over that I didn’t put one single thought into the massive abdominal surgery that was headed my way. And it hit me like a freight train as they wheeled me into that OR. Yes, I had a C-section, but I can assure you that I didn’t “take the easy way out” when it came to bringing my child into the world. Nothing was scheduled for my convenience (2 a.m. is definitely...
7 Jobs I Didn’t Know Were Part Of Being A Mother

7 Jobs I Didn’t Know Were Part Of Being A Mother

When I became a mother I pictured the standard baby-care tasks: changing diapers, nursing or giving bottles, cooking nutritious and delicious meals. What I didn’t picture were the dozens of seemingly unrelated tasks that are folded into the work of parenting. Below, seven other jobs that I didn’t know were part of being a mother. 1. Haz Mat Specialist. Before I had kids, I saw the detergent ads on the TV just like everyone else. But I didn’t know that “protein stain” is a dog whistle to mothers, letting us know which laundry soaps will remove even the most disgusting emissions. Also, I’ve gotten really fast at scrubbing vomit off walls in the middle of the night. 2. Chief Archivist. I am not an organized person. I agonize over how the file cabinet should be alphabetized; I leave bills in stacks and pay them only when my desk is awash with third notices. So the volume of artwork, keepsakes, and mementos that come with kids has been overwhelming to say the least. Every day I stand with some potential treasure in my hand, like the notebook we recorded my first son’s wet and dirty diapers, five years ago (“1:20 poop. 1:45 poop. 2:15 poop. 4:00 no poop in over an hour, called the pediatrician. 4:20 poop.”) and decide whether to store it or toss. The same goes with each of the 971 drawings my son generates every day. 3. Flight Attendant. This job is mainly characterized by how many times I have to buckle someone into place, and then be hauled out of my seat repeatedly to slake the...
5 Ways We’re Different Parents Than We Thought We’d Be

5 Ways We’re Different Parents Than We Thought We’d Be

Being a perfect parent is easy until you actually become a parent. You know exactly what should be done, and are confident about handling any situation – until it’s your toddler inexplicably throwing the mother of all tantrums in the middle of the grocery store aisle. Suddenly, you’re reeeeeally sorry about all the judgmental comments you ever made pre-kids, all the naïve statements of, “My child will never (fill in the blank).” Because now you realize that yes, your child will do exactly that. And more. Oops. It’s a long (and painful!) fall from a high horse, but it happens to almost all of us when we become parents. Reality steps in to challenge our best-laid plans, and our actual parenting sometimes ends up looking vastly different from the Path to Parental Perfection we thought we’d be taking. For example … 1. Screen time  Before kids: Screen time? Only the bare-minimum, pediatrician-and-child-psychologist-recommended amount for their age group. But our dear little darlings will be so enriched with hands-on activities and imaginative play and storybooks that they won’t even want screen time! After kids: Only when we want to get something done: like breakfast, lunch, dinner, laundry, work, cleaning, or a solo trip to the bathroom. Or when we’re in a waiting room, or on a car trip, or in line. Or when we absolutely cannot deal with any more chattering/singing/whining. Or … 2. Food choices  Before kids: Our special snowflakes are going to eat only one-hundred percent wholesome, totally natural foods. No processed garbage will ever pass their lips! We’ll make our own baby food from fruits and veggies lovingly plucked from our own organic garden! Their lunches will be nutritionally balanced and...
Her hormones explained

Her hormones explained

During pregnancy your partner will change. Not just her body shape, but also the way she acts around you and other people. Oh, you noticed that did you, just after being shouted at for making tea in the wrong mug? Yep, it’s the old hormones at it again. Just coming home from work and opening the front door becomes a game of pot luck. You just don’t know what’s waiting for you on the other side – a crying woman you want to put your arms around, a smiling partner quietly making dinner (we can dream), or someone who looks a little like the woman you left this morning but holding an axe and standing among the ruins of the telly. None of this is her fault. She just can’t control herself. Hormones are chemicals that get sent out from various glands in the body to run things. They’re like Sergeant Majors, bellowing orders that simply can’t be ignored. And when a woman becomes pregnant, her hormones leap into action like never before to create the perfect conditions for the baby. In the early stages she produces: Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) which aside from getting things ready in the womb and placenta is also thought to be responsible for morning sickness and overwhelming tiredness. Then there’s progesterone, which allows baby to grow, but also can cause upset stomachs, painful breasts, a bloated feeling and sore legs in Mum. Oops. Oestrogen is produced for the placenta but it may also be responsible for the magnification of emotions. Put all that together and you’ve got someone who needs your help and...
How to make it akward when hugging a pregnant woman

How to make it akward when hugging a pregnant woman

There’s something about being around a pregnant woman that makes people do and say weird things they wouldn’t otherwise. Okay, they probably would do it otherwise, but our huge baby bellies give them the perfect excuse to be total uninhibited weirdos. When I was pregnant, a guy friend put his hand on my stomach and said, “Hey, I can grip it like a basketball!” My friend Sara had an acquaintance lean down and try to kiss her belly. She would have been successful if Sara hadn’t side swiped and ran. Everyone’s susceptible to it, even me! One time when I was trying to get my friend’s attention, I knocked on her stomach like it was her front door. But in my defense, my message was urgent and her belly was the closest thing to me. Really, when it comes down to it, being around a pregnant woman just leaves the door open for a plethora of the awkward possibilities — especially if you’re hugging her. Like some of these: 1. “I feel like your baby is coming between us already.” While anatomically true, your insecurity is showing. 2. “Is that a baby in your belly or are you just happy to see me?” On second thought, this one’s actually pretty funny. I say go for it. 3. “I’m just going to put my hand here until she kicks — for as long it takes. *prolonged eye contact* Okay?” No, it’s not okay — and why are your hands so balmy? 4. “Is that your baby’s foot?! Oh wait, that’s your belly button. Sorry.” Pregnant women don’t want to be reminded...