Birth plan vs birth reality

I heard all the war stories, peppered with a few fairy tales just so I didn’t become too depressed at the idea of squeezing something the size of a watermelon through something the size of a lemon. So I get the thinking, and reading, and panicking, and more thinking. In the end I come up with the perfect one. The almighty Birth Plan.

I envisioned it. I rehearsed it. I had it perfectly executed in my adorable pregnant imagination. I pictured my water breaking of its own volition on my predicted due date and me delivering that little bundle of baby joy with all the exertion of bringing in a large grocery run. Pain? What pain? I’ve been hit by a car before. Literally, vehicle versus pedestrian. I got this shit. I am bringing life into the world, pain is a relative term, namaste. No epidural for me. Hours after giving birth, I am glowing and ready for post delivery pics and status updates. I will welcome all of my adoring friends and family and cuddle the beautiful little person I just shoved through my most intimate parts(without even tearing anything). And then I woke up from my delivery daydream……

•My due date has come and gone. Almost 2 weeks gone. I have actually started to question my OBGYN’s credentials at this point.
•my water never broke. It had to be broken by hospital staff. When your water finally does break, it’s not graceful, opportune, or even remotely acceptable. You’re in the least desirable place for your water to break……Target, the last quiet enjoyable restaurant meal you will ever have with your husband ever again, your MIL’s new couch, etc
•Pain! OM-FUCKING-G the unbearable, ungodly, indescribable pain. My child wasn’t breech, she was facing the wrong way, so I had what’s called “back labor”. Picture that movie Alien, but the little creature bursting out of my spine instead of my chest. Find me that little drug man!
•Dilation-10 centimeters might not seem like much, but it’s actually kind of hard to accomplish when you’re out on the spot like that. I got to 8 centimeters. And seeing as Bean was 2 weeks late, her skull was already hardened, so there was no give there. After hours of begging any person in scrubs to get me a scalpel so I could cut her out myself, my OBGYN finally decided that a C-section was in order.
•Epidural=bullshit. So this nifty drug gets injected into your spine. You know that part of my body I’m pretty sure my unborn child was forcibly trying to burst through? Yeah, I’m supposed to sit PERFECTLY still or else the little man with the drugs might paralyze me. Are you effing kidding me? And then, the thing doesn’t even work. It wore off twice in a 4 hour timespan. Fuck modern medicine.
•Being surrounded by adoring family and friends-My husband hid in the corner. My dad said a poorly timed joke so I pulled an Exorcist head spin on my dad, so he retreated to the waiting room. My mother didn’t run in fear. Forget having pictures taken and status updates hours after giving birth. I was in a blissful medically induced deep sleep, the likes of which I haven’t known since that day. Because my epidural wore off……twice, the little drug man gave me Ketamine. That’s a HORSE TRANQUILIZER. To this day I still love that little drug man. Needless to say, I was not camera ready.
•We took the birthing class, it taught me how to breathe. Good thing too, or I might’ve forgotten. Other than that, all it did was set me up for failure. Even the breathing didn’t help. At one point, one of the nurses came into my room and very nicely asked me “please stop screaming, you’re scaring the other moms on the floor.” Lucky for her, she had medical personnel very close 🙂 For all the good it did me, my supposed birth plan was an epic failure. And my unborn child literally slept through almost all of it. Until she was forcefully extracted and slapped on the ass, she was peacefully sleeping, facing the wrong way. She couldn’t even be bothered to roll over. That’s what kind of child I gave birth to, she couldn’t even roll over in the womb to alleviate her mother’s excruciating pain. Nothing went as planned, but it all seemed to turn out ok. Although given the choice……I’d rather be hit by another car than attempt to ever do that without being heavily medicated from the very start.

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Mom’s Secret Identity

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Batman has one. Superman has one. Even Iron Man, although his really isn’t a secret. I have one too. So does every other mother. The problem is, I don’t exactly remember who my secret identity is. We spend the first part of our lives establishing our identities. We are always someone’s daughter/son or someone’s sibling. Then there comes a time that we get to stand on our own 2 feet. We stop being known as someone else’s something and have our own identity. Sometimes it takes moving away to do that. Sometimes we just need to find something in our lives that only belongs to us like a job we got on our own merits.

And then we are plunged into a deep hole of losing that identity that we fought so hard to find. Sometimes its through marriage. Now you’re someone’s wife. You’re not just you, you’re part of a pair and you will forever be known as 1/2 of that pair. And then the big whammy. MOTHERHOOD. Your secret identity will slowly slip into the far reaches of your memory. Now not only are you someone’s mother, but you are part of another dynamic that will never allow you to be identified by yourself. And that can be hard for anyone. Now you’re a wife and a mother. You’re no longer a single entity, nor will you ever be again. And this is when it’s so important to fight hard to hang on to that identity you worked so hard to cultivate.

It’s easier to hold on to it if you have friends that were there before you became part of your Dynamic Duo or Terrific Trio. Their very presence helps reminds you what you were like before you crash landed on Krypton. They will pull you back from the precipice of Parenthood by reminding you of good times past and the personality traits you’ve had to suppress. Other times, it’s a little harder. When your significant other is being exceptionally asshole-like. When your child decides that she would rather whine about everything than be the high functioning human being you know her to be capable of. When the entire world just seems to want to unleash a hurricane on whatever parade you’ve mustered to celebrate you. There should a be group called Moms Anonymous. No names are exchanged, but these moms can vent about the things that are pulling them away from the amazing individual they once were. Don’t get me wrong, every mother is amazing. We not only brought life into this world, we have also managed to sustain it longer than any house plants we’ve ever had. But we aren’t the person we were before children. We aren’t the person we were before marriage. I don’t mean the selfish, fall down drunk party girl. I mean the person who had hobbies and quirks. The person who stood on their own 2 feet and made their way in the world. That’s my secret identity. And I’m pretty close to losing that person. My days consist of car pick up lines, homework, dog walking, cooking, cleaning, being a sound board for my husband’s misery, cautiously asking my daughter any question because her emotions are as unpredictable as a land mine. I used to read for hours on end. I was a woman who worked hard so she could play hard. I rode ATVs, something my daughter won’t even consider. I take pictures. I’m not talking about “I have an iPhone and Instagram so I’m a photographer.” I mean really take pictures, like search for that perfect shot, spend hours on the hunt for the right light. Now, I have an iPhone and Instagram. And reading……I have to stay until the wee hours of the morning to get in quality book time, so in other words, it’s not happening.And it goes deeper than that. My phone charger doesn’t even belong to just me. I have to share my vehicle. I have to share my personal space. I know, I sound ungrateful and bratty. And on a normal day, I’d agree with you, but this Super Mama has reached her limit. I used to have a gypsy soul. Now I have the soul of old lady who looks back fondly on pictures of her youth. I have to fight hard to hold on to the person I used to be, because it’s important to remember how you got to where you are. I like my secret identity. She’s kind of awesome. I would like to see more of her, because SuperMom is getting tired. I need to retire to the Bat Cave and JARVIS order me a pizza.

Murphy’s Laws of Parenting

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Murphy’s laws. Those lovely idioms that seem to defy logistics and throw a wrench into everything. Even parenting has them. Especially parenting. It’s almost like the gods are trying to test your resolve. Just when you think you’ve got this job in the bag, Murphy decides to show up and ruin everything. I don’t who this SOB is, but man do I want to punch him. Hard. In the throat. And so I give you Murphy’s Laws of Parenting:

1. No matter which way you have him facing, an infant will ALWAYS spit up on your clean shirt. And sometimes directly down your cleavage.

2. As soon as you lay your sleeping angel down for bed, the dog will bark as if masked hooligan’s are trying to break in. 9 times out of 10 it was just a squirrel. Outside. 3 houses down.

3. The bread will ALWAYS land jelly side down. Usually on freshly shampooed carpet.

4. As soon as you are dressed and ready to walk out the door for a family function, your child will projectile vomit. On your clean shirt. and sometimes directly down your cleavage.

5. The quickest way to find out you don’t have taco seasoning is to go ahead a brown the meat.

6. Your child(ren) will be quiet all day. Until you get a phone call. They will then be visited by the urge to ask you every question they can think of.

7. Whatever closet you are hiding in so you don’t have to share your candy is the same closet in which the shoes your daughter MUST wear today are hiding. She will open the door in 3, 2, 1…..that candy bar isn’t yours anymore.

8. Even though they have their own glass of water, yours tastes better. and now has backwash in it. so by Child law, it belongs to them now.

9. As soon as your spouse gives you that look for some long overdue “quality time”, your child will wake up from a nightmare/ wetting the bed/fever or projectile vomiting. On your shirt. And sometimes directly down your cleavage.

10. The one baby food you have in the cabinet is going to be the one your child refuses to eat.

11. As soon as you order dinner on date night, the sitter will call.

12. The amount of inappropriate potty jokes said at maximum volume is directly proportionate the importance of event in attendance.

13. Your child will always walk into the TV room right when there is a sex scene or an extremely vulgar string of profanities on the television.

14. Your child will tell his/her class your deepest, darkest, most embarrassing secrets. Keep that in mind when volunteering at their school

15. Your child will feed the family dog at the table. And then the family dog will vomit twice it’s weight in response. And then the dog will eat from the child’s hand again. There’s no point in trying to stop it.

16. You will make the mistake of laughing at a fart or a burp. Once you’ve opened the flood gates, be prepared for it to be funny for the rest of their lives.

17. Give a child stickers, leave the house with stickers on your butt. Unbeknownst to you.

18. Baby releases Hiroshima in his diaper? Husband suddenly has to get ready for work.

19. The shirt/skirt/dress that your child just HAS to wear today will inevitably be in the laundry. And well past the unspoken 2 wear rule.

20. Only after you have methodically picked up all the Legos and put them all away will you find 1. In the dark, with your foot.

21. Planning to send the child(ren) to Grandma’s for the weekend? Cue projectile vomit. On your shirt. and sometimes directly down your cleavage.

Best Frenemies Forever

Ahhhh with the New Year comes a new parenting obstacle. The dreaded “frenemy”. You’ve had them. I’ve had them. Being the mother of a girl I knew Bean would have them, I had just hoped we wouldn’t have to deal with them until her teen years. This frenemy lives across the street. She started out very nice. She’s polite and even though she’s older, she seemed very eager to become friends with Bean. At first it was great. It was summer time and we had just moved here so it was great for Bean to make a friend so quickly. E’s dad works from home and her mother doesn’t speak very good English. She also has a 16 year old sister, so I’m guessing the attention given at home is kind of sparse. I should have seen the warning signs. But I didn’t, and now I have to explain to Bean why her friend behaves the way she does. You see, E is kind of dishonest in a very covert sort of way. She once claimed that Bean wanted E to “take care” of an awesome new toy Bean had gotten for her birthday while Bean was gone for the weekend. It was at that moment I realized what was going on. E wanted this toy, wanted to play with it unencumbered and in all honesty just didn’t want Bean to have it. Of course both Bean and myself saw right through her little ruse, as Bean swiftly spoke up to say “No I didn’t say that.”

E has also tried to make it a habit to say that she can play with Bean, but E isn’t allowed to play outside, i.e. she wants to be inside with all the cool toys. See when we lived in WA we bought Bean these toys because the weather was so unpredictable that she spent the better part of the year playing indoors. Here in FL it’s a different story. If it’s not raining, her little butt can be outside where it belongs. So to counter E’s attempt to monopolize Bean’s toys, I tell her that Bean isn’t allowed to play inside on such a nice day and I even offer to sit outside while the girls play. Unfortunately for Bean, the playing doesn’t last long because E’s attempt was thwarted and therefore she has no further use for Bean.

The latest behavior is one that I find quite hilarious, seeing as I’m dealing with an 8 year old girl. There are several kids on the block. 1 in particular is a boy around Bean’s age. Now I may be biased, but Bean possesses a unique beauty that does not go unnoticed by people. Apparently several different boys chase her at recess. But back to this boy….he and Bean play together often. He’s a very well mannered child, so I don’t mind him playing in the house. But every time he comes over to play, E isn’t far behind with a claim the his mother wants him back home. Now I just recently found out that this is just a ploy on E’s part to get the boy to herself. E steps in a takes over and tells blatant lies to Bean about what said boy is doing just so Bean will come home disheartened. I have no other term for this other than E is a cockblocker. Now i DO NOT mean that in any sexual manner so please do not take it as such…..you perverts 🙂

So how do I deal with this little green-eyed monster? More importantly, how should Bean deal with her? Bean has such a kind a gentle heart, whereas I earned my high school battle scars from frenemies. It’s hard for me to explain to Bean why E acts the way she does and why she says the things she does. I feel like all I can do is sit by and wait for Bean to come to the realization on her own. She already has made comments about E’s dishonesty, so my guess is that this friendship will soon find its own end. I wish I could tell her that this will be the last time she will have to deal with a frenemy, but speaking from personal experience, this is only going to be the first in a long line of green-eyed monsters.

A Letter to my First (and at this time only) Child

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You’ve probably seen them popping up on your Facebook or blog news feed if you follow any Mom Blogs. So here’s my version:

My dear Bean,

I’ll be the first to admit, I never planned on having you. I never planned on having children at all. I had planned for a life of deliberate irresponsibility. I planned to make a living bartending and traveling. I married too young the first time and when I regained my freedom, I had an uncontrollable desire to live a life of minimal responsibility. Make enough money to live comfortably while spending my free time exploring this great big world. Then I met your daddy. And then a few months later that deliberate irresponsibility bit me in the ass. We found out we were having you. It took a while for me to adjust to this new role, mainly because I never imagined myself in this role. You can ask Gaga when you’re older; she will tell you that I was always the independent child. The one who didn’t look back when I walked into my first day of school. The one she knew would always travel furthest away. I always fancied myself a gypsy of sorts. I wasn’t exactly sure how that type of spirit would adjust to a life that was all about taking care of another living human being. In all honesty, you’re 6 now and I am still adjusting. Things take planning now. We can’t just decide to go on a road trip. It takes as much  planning as a shuttle launch. So to sum it up, I never planned on my life being responsible for another much smaller, much more impressive life.

And my, you are impressive. You amaze me every single day. You are kinder than I could ever hope for. You are more forthcoming than I could ever imagine. I know there will come a time in your life that you won’t want to talk to me about everything, so I should really relish in this. So I beg you little one, please be patient with me. I know that you can sense the twinge of annoyance in my voice now and again. It’s not you. It’s me. I am still figuring out how to do this. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t worry that I am screwing you up beyond all psychological repair. But for now, you seem to be okay.

While I may not have planned on ever being a parent, it doesn’t mean that I am not overjoyed to be your mommy. I have the toughest and most awesome job in the world. You force me to look at things from a different perspective. You make me stop and smell the roses, literally. There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful to be the mother of such an amazing little human.

Your daddy is trying to convince me that having another child will be a great adventure. But honestly right now, I’m content to just be your mom. Right now I can give you all of my attention. Right now I can play with you uninterrupted. We can read books all night if we want. We can rough house and tickle without fear of waking up a younger sleeping infant. Right now, you get all my love and attention. Some people ask the inevitable “when are you going to have another child?” I was unaware that having kids was a package deal. I’m perfectly happy being the mother of an only child. Yes, you do require more attention from me, but also you have been able to learn things from a peer perspective rather than a sibling perspective. Instead of being forced to share with a sibling, you have been taught that sharing is a polite thing to do, but not required. This is a lesson that carries into the adult world. You have seen the peer interaction dynamic, rather than the sibling dynamic. Sibling interaction is emotionally driven. Peer interaction, while it still has emotions involved, contains more objectivity. You are able to see things from a POV that other children your age can’t. I have had very grown up conversations with you, and often been surprised by the logic you are able to use in these conversations. That use of logic comes from the fact that you interact with adults one on one because your get us all to yourself.

Sometimes I worry that I am denying you some rite of passage by making the deliberate decision to not have another child. You will never know what it’s like to have a younger brother spit in your hair or throw you off of a swing set. You will never know what it’s like to have a younger sibling tagging along after you wanting to know your every move. You may never know the irritation of little sister borrowing your clothes or reading your diary. Wait, do kids still have diaries? Nevermind, I’m getting off the point. No matter what, you will always be my first born. You will always have the biggest piece of my heart. So even if your daddy succeeds in his 2nd baby argument, you will always be my #1. Unless you refer to that symbol as a hashtag. Then I may choose your sibling over you.

The point is, I am so happy to be your mommy. I wouldn’t trade it for all the traveling and irresponsibility in the world.