All The Feels

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“How did you feel when your first child was born?” Asked my second of three daughters. She was reading from a list of questions that are part of a weekly questionnaire that will be put into a book after the fifty-two weeks are over. It was a thoughtful and loving Mother’s Day gift for a mom who loves to write and who just lost her own mother to Alzheimer’s Disease. I didn’t get to ask these intimate questions of my own mother prior to the dismantling of her thoughts, words and actions. That made this journey with my own daughter all the more special.

Well…since it was like a million years ago, let me think about it for a minute. Oh my gawd…now I remember…

Since I was using the Bradley Method (natural childbirth for overachieving masochists) prior to and (almost) during labor and delivery, I was as large as a double wide trailer. I followed the BM to the letter, together with What to Expect When You’re Expecting and gained an attractive fifty-two (52!!) pounds. To add to this was the fact that my first daughter was two weeks late with absolutely no intentions of coming out without a lifeline in the form of surgical removal.

I’ll cut to the chase here. Forty-one hours of labor, pain, ice chips (what the fuck? I don’t want ice chips!), baby MIA, PAIN, baby moving now, baby in distress (said doc), PAAIIINNNN fucking get this child out before I fucking die…oh look, we’re moving….PAINPAINPAINPAIN…cold, sterile operating room, freeze my ASS rear off on narrow bed – keep in mind, I’m naked and fucking ginormous – I apprise situation with nice man in white coat who is going to take all my pain away…and he did…and WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS ABSOLUTE FUCKING PAIN...DOC!! More PAIN RELIEFNOWwwwww….Oh praise the Lord…oh thank you Jesus! White curtain draped up in front of my face, hey how’s it going down there? I called from the top of my body to my lower half, which, btw, was being opened up, organs removed to make room for what should have been a 52 pound, ginormous child…I’m feeling great now…hey, how’s it going down there, I say again and before I knew it, my 8 lb 8 oz baby girl was placed right in front of my face. In that brief moment I was in love. I reach out to hold her. Milliseconds later I threw up, baby girl was whisked away and I may have passed out momentarily.

What was the original question again?…how did I feel at that moment? Exhausted, elated, nauseated and stunningly grateful. That was the day I learned what real, genuine, no-holds-barred love felt like.

And to my second eldest child, I haven’t forgotten your birth day either with all of the drama (plunger, stat!), the surprise perineum cut (are you fucking kidding me?? OWWWWWOWWWWW!!) and another round of ice chip hate. It’s all in there *points to noggin*. All the love and joy is also there. So thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to tell your sister’s story, your story and mine. These were the hardest, best days of my life.

My greeting card for a new mother…

Congratulations to you, new mama!

Though you resemble a whale and curse like a sailor, there’s excitement ahead as you’ll likely not need a tailor!

Wear your maternity clothes from now on with great pride. It’s good on your wallet and much cheaper than Tide!

Weight Watchers is but a call away, but since I know you, you’ll probably be pregnant again today!

The Author

I am a licensed clinical social worker who just happens to adore the written word. I have had a private practice and am now writing a memoir on my life in the company of my father and many of my clients who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I hope to dispel some myths and break down some barriers for those with mental illness. I write out of need and complete joy, which I hope to convey throughout my blogs. The human experience is not exclusive to one group. I hope to appeal to most as I touch on some pretty heady material with some self-deprecating humor and raw emotion thrown in for good measure. I have four amazing children, one HUGE dog and a tolerant husband. I am blessed.

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