Times Have Changed
Becoming a mother in the year 2012 is a drastically different experience than what my mother and her mother went through. Before you write me off and say “No sh*t Sherlock”, please allow me to delve a bit deeper into the differences I found remarkably interesting and the ironic conclusion I came to now that our baby has arrived and I’ve actually become a mother.
Throughout the Pregnancy
I arrived back at the Koozie office after a particularly exciting ultrasound around month 5 of the pregnancy. We started with the usual “I can’t believe you’re still walking to work.” comments followed up by my reassurance that walking to work was minimal exercise when one’s job required them to sit at a computer most of the day. Moving on, I began to describe what I’d seen at the ultrasound coupled with what developmental milestones I’d read that little baby R would be reaching about this time. “Oh, Jen! It’s too much!” she exclaimed. “In my day all I could be reasonably sure of was that he had a heartbeat and that was good enough for me!”
I’d never really put thought into what a drastically different experience this must be for me compared to what my grandmother or even my mother went through. My mother was equally amazed each time I’d forward her an email of what the baby was developing when at the amount of information I already had about the fetus in my belly. I couldn’t imagine not knowing each and every thing that was going on and particularly could not imagine how anyone stood the surprise of waiting 9 months to find out the gender, how the baby had developed and how healthy he appeared to be. I am part of online mommy groups, have already done a reasonable amount of research I to potential problems and their solutions for when I have a newborn baby in my house and have already formed some strong opinions regarding the environment I’d like to provide for him as he develops.
Going Into Labor
Mother and grandmother were equally surprised at how prepared I as for the possibilities of labor. I had a bag packed prepared for every eventuality, exercises for if I was going to have a long labor, short labor or c-section as well as playlists to match. My grandmother applauded my foresight, my mother couldn’t believe how organized I’d become and this whole time, compared to other expecting mothers, I though i was just doing the bare minimum!
When it all “went down” I was mentally prepared and ok with the c-section I ended up needing and wasn’t frightened at all by the process. I had a wealth of information to share with my mother and grandmother and ended up teaching them quite a bit about the entire process. They listened as they always do, with curiosity, patience and an appropriate amount of shock and awe.
Baby R Comes Home
Three days were spent in the hospital recovering and a decent amount of that time I was on painkillers so strong that I’m not sure I remember exactly who did and did not come to visit. By the time I got home I was happy and exhausted and more than a little daunted by the night ahead of me, not to mention the years to come! I’d read all my books, prepared my nursery and had everything washed and ready for our big welcome home.
Being home was quite overwhelming despite all my preparation and best intentions. I spent three days in a fog of get up, nurse, sleep, change diaper, ice my incision, repeat. By the fourth day I cracked. Racking sobs, convinced I wasn’t going to be a good mother and ready to offer my mother any amount of money in the world to just stay in my home another few months (years?) to help me with the challenges that lay ahead. After I finished my good long cry and had a much needed shower, I didn’t find my answers or reassurance in a book and found some solace from the online mommy groups but I learned my best lesson from my mom and mother in law who both said “This too shall pass.” hugged me and rubbed my back. That was the best lesson of all and it wasn’t in a single blog post or book that I’d read. The important things in life, are still best learned from the heart.