Friday, October 28, 2011

Coming to terms with bowel movements

You know what's funny?  I actually feel as though I am letting people down if I don't publish to my blog regularly; as if I have this huge readership that wonders where I am if I don't update regularly, when in reality, I am pretty sure I have only one reader (Love you, Mom!).
So the battle with new mommy-hood continues.  The thing about little tiny babies, (well one of the things of many things) is that you really can't set them down...ever.  LO, like all babies, demands to be held a minimum of 24 hours a day, which which I suppose is fair, given that is what she was taught to expect while growing in the womb.  Considering that since being born she has to deal with the trauma of things like changes in temperature and bowel movements, she figures the least we can do as parents is parade her around the house like royalty.  Fortunately, I have gotten pretty adept at doing things one handed and with my feet and LO has gotten to the point where she will tolerate being in the moby wrap for almost an hour before the vomits over the both of us.  Hooray for progress!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What are you on and where can I get some: mommy hormones and me

Okay, so that last post was not the happiest I have ever written, but I am compelled to be honest about my transition into motherhood.  I feel as though one of the primary problems setting moms up to for discouragement and frustration during early motherhood is very few people talk about what it is really like to be a mom.
Think about it: no commercial uses the slogan, "Used by ambivalent mothers everywhere".  (Although I really feel that is a missed opportunity; I would totally buy whatever it was they were selling.)
Also, TV moms have this comical, zany birth, which the most ridiculous element of which is how short it is (labor the first time often takes DAYS), and at the end of which they are smiley and out of breath and gently moist with sweat, but beaming and over joyed at their new baby.  Jackasses.  I mean, who gives birth like that?
Also...why do I trust TV so much?
But it's not just TV.  Naomi Wolf, a prominent feminist who wrote a book that was intended to reveal the darker side of motherhood, actually described her child as "queenly", even as "glowing", upon the child's expulsion from the womb.  I can promise you, I did not see my child as queenly, or glowing, nor did my heart sing with our loving bond when they placed her on my chest.  Mostly I was relieved to be done with the labor, and honestly only vaguely aware of what else was happening.
I know there are moms who are attached to their babies right away and just float on clouds immediately after their babies are born, but I feel like those of us who don't experience that face a double whammy: first having a new baby but no hormonal high, and then the second blow of feeling guilty because the mom does not instantly bond with the small bodily fluid production unit that has taken over their home, time, and mind space.
There are a few moms out there that describe more of an experience I can relate to. Anne Lamont wrote a great book about dealing with being a single mom. I also liked this article from a mom honestly describing the time it took to really feel a bond with her twins.
The truth is though, most of the time it's really hard to express anything other than bliss when talking about your baby without fear that someone will call social services.  That's I left in my bummer of a post. To hell with June Cleaver!  She is over represented.  Someone needs to speak up from the disenchanted mommies group, so the negative-nelly blog post stays.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New little roommate

After nine long months, we now have a new little roommate.  She's very cute, and cuddly, but I have to say, being a mom, from the very beginning, is not exactly what I expected.
I mean, of course, the best laid plans go awry, and frankly, we should planned our plan B way more carefully.  Neither my husband or I had ever been in the hospital before, and we were completely unfamiliar with area hospitals, so when all of a sudden I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and had rush to the hospital, we had no idea what we were in for.  While I am grateful for everything the hospital did, the process of becoming a mother for me was no where near the empowering, mother-goddess experience that I had somehow come to expect.  The stay before and after labor was degrading at best.  The labor was traumatic: NOTHING like what I was taught to expect from what I had read or heard about.  There was no rush of overwhelming motherly love; our baby did not have a halo or seem dreamlike in her debut.  Other than sheer exhaustion and relief at the labor being over, I was mostly struck at how similar she looked to a very tiny, wet, old man who had just lost a boxing match.
yeah...still super cute
As we drove home from the hospital after our five day stay, I honestly considered that guy from Alien lucky.  Granted, that guy didn't have anesthesia, but after the thing emerged from him, it ran away; no one slapped a bow on it and asked him to breastfeed.  No one tells you about the blood, and the pain after the birth.  The crying- and oh God there is SOOO much crying- and sleepless nights are not so funny or cute when you are actually going through it.
And now... well... she is still super cute, and she is kind of getting more fun, but caring for a newborn is really hard.  It's hard to write about, though.  There is so much pressure to only express bliss and joy at the arrival of your newborn, that I feel like expressing any kind of ambivalence or frustration makes me a pariah, or at minimum suffering from postpartum depression.  But I can't be the only woman who feels this way.  I find it very hard to believe that all woman give birth and meet the challenge with unendling love and patience.