Colt’s arrival was somewhat traumatic.
An emergency C-section followed by a morphine reaction that left me hysterical and itching like a heroin addict.
I felt accomplished that we’d both made it out alive. I also felt completely insecure as a new mother.
It was my first “oxymoron” experience as a parent.
In the year that followed, a cloud of postpartum depression loomed over me. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t laugh. I lost the pep in my step, and I cried. A lot.
When the storm passed, I was feeling much more confident in my new role.
Being a mom is about balancing the “confidence” with the “bat-sh&t crazy” that also comes with the job, and I had finally found the balance.
I didn’t want to ruin it with another child, so I decided we were One And Done.
But then Mother Nature (and my husband) tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear. Convincing me I was ready for one more.
I thought it would be as easy to get pregnant as it was the first time.
But more than a year later, the only thing rolling around my womb were tumbleweeds.
(When you’re trying to get pregnant, everyone but you is pregnant. Old ladies, teenagers, dogs.)
Babies and Bellys. Babies and Bellys. Bellys and babies.
I was so distracted by the loud ticking of my biological clock, it became harder and harder to do every day things like deciphering work emails…
“Julie, I need you to pee on the stick.”
Julie, I need you to input the specs.”
“Well that’s just not how I ovulate.”
“I mean operate.”
For more than a year, my life revolved around egg production.
But my eggs were free-range and not cooperating.
Meanwhile, it seemed like all the women around me were “accidentally” getting pregnant.
“I don’t know HOW this happened. I mean, we weren’t even trying.”
You don’t know HOW it happened?
You don’t know HOWWWWWWW it happened?
I was angry and bitter and sad.
I couldn’t even buy Prego spaghetti sauce. (Clearly some inconsiderate prick had chosen that name to torture infertile women the world over!)
But with a little hope and some help from modern pharmaceuticals…it happened.
Now as I write this, dry heaving over the trash can, I am reminded of how much I wanted to be pregnant.
I know there are women out there who are desperate to feel nauseas because it means there is new life thriving inside!
Feeling like complete sh&t, and yet also euphoric, is good practice for the tossed salad of emotions that comes with parenting.
Sadness, anxiety, exhaustion, fear, resentment, joy, accomplishment, confidence….and love.
Usually some painfully weird combination thereof.
Forget Jumbo Shrimp, in the dictionary under “oxymoron”, it should just say:
Being a Mother.
Pregnancy is the only time in a woman’s life when it’s possible to feel like you’re going to lose your cookies, and also like you might devour an entire package of cookies, simultaneously.
Watching your newborn sleep can induce tears of joy… and sheer terror. (What AM I supposed to DO with this thing????!!!!)
With a 2-year old, it’s common to want to strangle him, and yet also to strangle anyone that were to harm him.
We watch our kids graduate from kindergarten, high school, college, and it is both pride and fear that plague us.
So for women everywhere surviving the oxymoron of motherhood…
Cheers to you on Mother’s Day! May you remain sane despite it all.
I’ll be here dreaming of my new baby’s future. And thinking of all the things that might go wrong…and right!
And gagging. Somebody get me some pickles!