The Best Thing That Ever Happened

This will probably be a heavy cheesy post, so I’m sorry in advance.  Hell, I’m not sorry.  I decided to be real with this blog and this is real.  So, get over it?

I used to haaaate when blogs would turn into mommy blogs when the blogger had a kid.  This is happening with me. In my defense I started this after I had a baby so, get over it? I’m sensing a theme here.

I’m a middle child, could you tell that by everything I’ve ever written? The theme of my life? Woe is Tricia.  I remember someone mentioning Middle Child Syndrome to me and I latched onto it like a diagnosis.  Finally, something to blame my dramatic personality on!

Mother, avert your eyes: I don’t have Middle Child Syndrome; I never did.  I’m just dramatic.  Which is, ironically, MCS in it’s entirety.

I tried many different sports and hobbies growing up:

  1. Soccer: I didn’t like running, and I hated having to speak to the other members of the team every game.
  2. Softball: I was an outfielder.  Who made daisy chains and sang to myself through every play.  Even in HIGH SCHOOL.
  3. Karate: I refused to bow to the teacher.  
  4. Equestrian: Oddly I was pretty good at this.  I think it’s because I only had to communicate with an animal.
  5. Reading: Uh, rocked this one.

I never really liked any of these hobbies.  My dramatic personality made itself known in middle/high school when I decided to blame my ineptitude on the order of my birth.  Logical, yes?

In college I noticed I’m mildly successful with people.  I am an introvert, and find social activities endlessly draining, but I’m pretty good at it.  I can work a room pretty well, but it’ll render me worthless for days afterward.  That’s all right! At least I was good at something?

I felt at some point during my late 20’s that I was missing something.  I hadn’t found my THING.  I have friends who are awesome at horseback riding, their jobs, being social butterflies, crafting, home improvement, etc.  And then there was me.  I was ok at talking to people? Cool.  I’ll go ahead and charge people by the hour for my attention.

WARNING.  WARNING.  WARNING.  CHEESY.  CHEESY.  CHEESY.

And then I had a baby.  You guys, I wanted SO BADLY not to want to be with this kid all the time.  I wanted to WANT to be a working mother, and to be someone who comes home late and makes great money and who is really really good at an outside job.  But that didn’t happen.

What happened? I went back to work, and I got laid off, and I started staying home, and I realized THIS is what I’m good at.  I couldn’t bow to my karate teacher but I can make my kid happy.

I’m finally good at something.

This scares me for a number of reasons, which I may or may not touch on later.  But for now I’ll leave it here.  Maybe I’m a good mom, and maybe that’s where this was all leading.

5 Things I Thought You Fools Were Lying About

Maybe at some point I’ll write more frequently, or about something other than motherhood.  No promises, people.  I have a LOT on my to-do list these days.

TO DO:

  • play with Norah
  • change Norah
  • put Norah down for a nap
  • feed Norah
  • Repeat
  • Write a blog post

During my middle-of-the-night Facebook scrollings I’ve noticed something: there are like 9,000 articles consisting of lists of parenting tips. How to Beat the 4-Month Sleep Regression, How to Get Your Child to Sleep, What is Sleep, How to Stop Your Infant From Crying, How to Stop Crying Yourself, How to Ensure Your Child Won’t Become a Murderer, things like that. Buzzfeed seems to have an entire department dedicated to such lists.

Sidenote: Buzzfeed seems like a sweet place to work, and since their execs are most likely reading MY list right now I’d like to give them a special shout-out- hey Buzzfeed, what’s up.

I’ll read these lists and make comments in my head, but I don’t much see the point in actually commenting on the lists themselves. I guess that’s the point of social media, but I don’t care much for social media.  Says the woman up at 2am scrolling through social media. Says the woman who uses social media as her window to the outside world.

I remember back when I was childless, back when I thought years and years of babysitting was the same thing as being a parent, I figured there were a lot of things that parents had to be lying about, or surely exaggerating.  I mean, sleepless nights? COME ON.  Fighting naps? GIVE ME A DAMN BREAK.  There are five main lies I will name:

THE LIST

  1. How Hard Labor Is– I met this young girl the other day who asked me if I had a natural labor, because she knew it was what was best, and how hard could it be?  What a sweet, beautiful little naive child.  I was that child.  I have a high pain threshold, what else would it take? A lot.  It takes a lot.  More power to those who make it through without help.  You’re lucky enough to be what this young woman called “what nature intended.”

 

  • How Difficult It Is To Hear Your Child Cry– Babies cry, amirite? GET OVER IT.  In actuality, it’s really really hard when, at just hours old, those sadists masquerading as RN’s insert that needle into your precious infant’s tiny, innocent heel and you have to wait for the pause before the shriek of horrible pain they won’t remember in the least.

 

  • How Much You’ll Sell Them to Others– Not everyone wants kids, that’s a fact- a completely reasonable fact, so why would I be like those obnoxious parents who slam their kids’ pictures in your face? Because the problem must be that they don’t understand how precious your child actually is.  They’re not avoiding parenthood because of the commitment, or the financial implications, or because they don’t need a reason not to want a child.  Nope- they simply can’t fathom how good that baby smell actually is.

 

  • How Unpredictable Your Kid Is– I mean, a routine and a schedule sets everything into motion, correct? Since children thrive on routine they know never to veer from said routine.  Ha. Suddenly you’re with your baby in the middle of Chick-fil-A, a baby that’s been fed, changed, napped and set up for 100% success, and that child starts shrieking for no good reason.  And there’s nothing you can do about it because you’ve already opened your Chick-fil-A sauce packet.

 

  • How Much You Love Them– I really misread this one.  All you hear parents say is how much they love their kids.  I mean I love loving people, but let’s be reasonable.  Yeah, that’s impossible with your child.  I completely underestimated what you fools were talking about- it smacked me right in my unassuming, arrogant ass. And it’s awesome.

Who Am I and Why Does Anyone Care?

So I used to have another blog, spokeit.com, which I believe is still up and running but I stopped writing there and stopped paying for the domain because I…well I don’t actually remember.  Most likely something dramatic having to do with my feelings that I thought was really pertinent at the time, who knows.

You can go there if you want, but let me know if you do because I’d love to make fun of myself WITH someone.

I bring this up because wordpress keeps asking me to describe myself and I don’t know how to do that.  Uh, I’m really fast at typing in emails and passwords on my remote? Sometimes I get so lazy I take a Sit-Down Shower (exactly what it sounds like)? Or maybe that I’m 30 years old and I still sleep with my childhood blanket?

What does that say about me except that I’m a lazy, immature woman with really fast fingers?  I mean, all very true, but not that interesting.

SIDENOTE: to write on a blog is to actively assume that you are, in fact, interesting.

So anyway, who am I? Here’s a 5-question survey to tell you everything you need to know.  After this you won’t just know me, you’ll KNOW me.

What’s your favorite food?  Easy.  Sandwiches.

What’s your favorite color? Easy.  Pink.

Dogs or cats? Easy.  Dogs.

What kind of car do you drive? Easy.  Honda.

Movies or TV? Easy.  Movies.

Labor Story Part 4 of 4

So I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you the story of the Donnas.

Donna 1 was my nurse at the beginning.  I started at 5 centimeters and walked for hours and ended up at 7.  This is when they told me to stop walking and chill in the room, which I was more than ready to do. Donna 1 is so sweet! She hooks me up to the monitors, assures me I’m doing swimmingly, and says to come fetch her if anything comes up.

How lovely.

Maria and my mom frequent the room, which I said before that I didn’t plan on, but ended up being amazing.  They are support for Derick and good comic relief for me.  Well, this is when things start to escalate….quickly.  The contractions start to get intense and I’m so tired that I’m dozing on my feet in between them.  After 4 hours we notice we haven’t seen a single hospital employee (and it’s seriously a ghost town), so we call for Donna 1 over the push-button.  She assures us she’ll be there ASAP.  45 minutes go by and no Donna 1.  We call again.  Again she assures us she’ll be there ASAP.  30 minutes goes by and no Donna 1.

See, if it was busy that night, I’d totally get it.  But Donna 1 told us that it was us and one other family (who, incidentally, went to the same school we did and who I am friends with on FB), so I’m not fooled.  Also, we can smell popcorn and hear the nurses laughing hysterically at the nurses station the whole time we’re calling for them.

Donna 1 shows up and tells me in no certain terms to calm the fuck down.  I want to murder Donna 1. I ask her to get the doctor to check me, pretty please.  She says no problem, he’ll be here ASAP!

45 minutes.  No doctor.  No Donna 1.

We call again, are assured again it’ll be any minute. Any minute goes by and nothing.  Maria holds Derick back from going Goodfellas on Donna 1 and I continue to well, scream.  I can now see the monitor and it keeps rising.  I’ve never been so exhausted in my life.  I’ve now been awake and on my feet for 4 days now.

The doctor and Donna 1 show up.  They check me.  It’s been 36 hours now.  I’m still dilated to 7cm.  I start crying- I can’t do this.  He again gently suggests an epidural.  I think about relenting but think how incredible a failure I’ll be and how utterly disappointed everyone will be in me if I succumb to the witchcraft that is medically-assisted childbirth.

I hem and haw for about an hour until I decide my child will forgive me and I call for the epidural via Donna 1….again. She assures me the anesthesiologist will be there ASAP which I don’t believe in the slightest.  But he comes! He’s here! OMG!

Here’s where I forgot I was supposed to worry about the epidural, so I manage to cram 9 months worth of worry into the 10 minutes it takes him to set up.  And then it’s over before I realize he’s doing anything so I count myself lucky that I managed to convince myself I’d be a drug-free birth mother.

When I was in high school I had stomach ulcers because I took advil on an empty stomach.  The pain was such that I was in the hospital and they gave me morphine.  I so vividly remember being in pain and feeling that beautiful rush of relief flow through my body and thinking I know why people are addicts.  In fact, I don’t blame them.

Epidurals are wonderful, beautiful, self-sacrificing, sanctimonious, charming, enticing things that were sent to earth by God to help women in dire need.  I’ve never been more humbled by anything than I was by that drug.

I can sleep now, and my mother in law comes in and talks to me and we talk about how beautiful epidurals are.  How lovely they are in nature and how wonderful a gift they are to humanity. I take a long nap and then when I wake up they check me and tell me I’m magically ready to push.  When the hell did that happen?

I’ve always been a dreamer, and I dreamt for years of this moment, this moment I’d finally push my baby out and hold her and fall in love.  And now it’s here. It’s so incredibly surreal.  Maria is there and my mom is there and Derick is by me and he’s so amazing and I’m so lucky.  And I push, and push, and push.  For 3 hours I push.

At this point Donna 1 seems annoyed with me.  I’ve been on my back, flat, for 3 hours and I’m only making a bit of progress.  The doctor suggests forceps because I’m so tired and Donna 1 mentions super casually that that doctor in particular has his ‘own set’.

Record scratch.

Who has his ‘own set’ of FORCEPS? Does he carry them around? Show them off at parties? ARE THEY SANITARY?

Donna 1, that bitch, assures me they’re not contaminated and says I’m ready to push but OH YEAH she’s leaving.  For some reason even though I hate her I start to get weepy.  She ushers in Donna 2 and Donna 2 already looks awesome.

Donna 2: the Twister of the Labor and Delivery Unit. She thanks Donna 1 sweetly and ushers her out, closes the door and goes “ok it’s GO TIME.” She changes my position, makes a call and I’m not kidding within 2 minutes there are 6 medical professionals in that room.  The doctor walks in and turns on what we named the Search Lights.  They’re on the ceiling and huge and I can only imagine the sheer amount of carnage they illuminated.

So I push and I push.  Mom and Maria are there but I only see Derick.  He’s cheering me on and holding my legs and kissing my sweaty forehead and I know he’s the only person I want to do this with. Her head is here, this is so weird.  Derick’s screaming and my mom is screaming and Maria’s crying and I don’t know where I am.  Her shoulders, her legs, her feet.  The doctor pulls her out and puts her on my chest.

The world kind of stops, and she looks at me.  She’s purple and slippery and warm and at first I don’t recognize her. And then, I do.  I know her.

It’s over.  She’s here.  She’s HER.

12 weeks later I look back and think about that day, and how amazing it was to have those hours with my parents in our neighborhood, those hours walking with Derick in the hospital and talking, that time with my mother in law in the labor room, those moments laughing with my sister and crying to my mom, and that one incredible moment where I saw Norah and I looked up at Derick and I knew.  We’re a family.

I finally know what love means, and it’s so much better than I ever dreamed it would be.