I want to start by thanking Belly Love Spa for allowing me to share my experiences, in addition to the readers who have joined me on this journey this past month. In saying goodbye, I thought I’d do a quick wrap-up of this 2-month period and some of its challenges, as without them, I wouldn’t be the mother I am today. So please join me one last time, as we recount some of the good, the bad, and the ugly of childrearing.
The parenting fails. No matter how responsible of an adult you are, much like the rhythm, sleep deprivation is going to get you. There was the time that Pat and I were grocery shopping, and I left him in one aisle to visit another section 3 aisles down. Minutes later, he appeared before me…without the cart. It took approximately 30 seconds of me giving him my best Jeffrey Dahmer impression before he realized that he’d left the baby in the other aisle. Or there was the time when we went to Disney World for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. We had just gotten off a ride when I picked up the baby without first using hand sanitizer. Congratulations, mom, you’ve just given your child Ebola.
The Baby Blues. I had made it two weeks without a single negative emotion, when suddenly they hit me like a ton of bricks. After that? I cried every single day for another four weeks. Being a first time mom, I didn’t know how to distinguish the Baby Blues from Postpartum Depression, so I cautiously broached the subject with my OBGYN at my six-week checkup. Believing that it’s better to be safe than sorry, she prescribed me some Prozac and sent me on my way. That night, I took my first pill, expecting that I’d soon be frolicking in a meadow with butterflies and rainbows. Only I promptly went into what I can only describe as a coma and threw away the pills as soon as I woke. Much to my husband’s relief, the hormones naturally subsided a few days later, restoring me to my former self.
Sleep. Or lack thereof. There is nothing I can say that will prepare you for this, and maybe that’s for the best. Just know, at one point or another, your significant other will be sleeping while you’re awake with the baby, and you will be tempted to smack them with your pillow. Do it. It will make you feel better.
Brooke’s first shots. Another situation where nothing I say will adequately prepare you for the emotions you’ll experience upon seeing your baby’s reaction. Suffice it to say, my kind-natured, sweet pediatrician went from a woman I loved to a needle-wielding psychopath in a matter of minutes.
Sex A.B. (After Birth). At my six-week checkup, I was cleared for all activity. But first, I had a situation to tend to downstairs. After months of being unable to see below my pregnant belly and another month and a half where I could barely stand, the nether regions had found themselves a bit neglected. So I took myself to the bathroom, hopped in the shower, and cautiously scoped out the situation. What I found was terrifying. It could have been an attraction at Halloween Horror Nights. What I was seeing was akin to a jungle safari, when what I was going for was a ride through the Saharan desert. I contemplated taking a trip to Home Depot in order to invest in a weed-whacker, but I was already in the shower, so I glanced down at my razor, said a quick prayer, and mentally prepared for the long road ahead. This was going to take the stamina of ten Olympians. On HGH. Halfway through, I strongly considered quitting, but asked myself W.W.CNITGC.D. (What Would Cam Newton In The Gatorade Commercials Do?) and powered on. An hour later, I’d emerge, now knowing that it is, in fact, possible to sweat in the shower.
But in the end, for every challenge, there’s been an equally rewarding perk. Whenever she smiles at me, it takes every bit of my self-control to keep myself from eating her. Seriously, if you’ve never heard of cute aggression, get acquainted. You’ll be embracing your inner Hannibal Lecter in no time. And watching her grow and develop has been an experience unlike any other. It’s amazing to see her personality emerge as she engages in conversation with me. Sure, I have no idea what the heck she’s saying, but it’s cute nonetheless. And watching your husband with your child? There was a time when I didn’t think I could love him any more than I already did, but watching him flourish as a father has proven me wrong. There is no single greater feeling in life than seeing the man you love grow into the dad you always knew he would be…except maybe victories over the Florida Gators.
At the end of the day, for every gas pain, every cracked nipple, and every hormonal episode, there is a moment with my husband and my daughter that makes it all worthwhile. And from what I’ve been told, we haven’t even made it to the good part yet. While I know that this time is fleeting, I take with me all of the memories we’ve formed of each of these magnificent moments. And as far as the negative memories are concerned? Well…