Dear Preggos (Mostly you, Anna),
I wanted to write you a letter because I feel that you are about to go through something that no one can really prepare you for. Something that you will remember for the rest of your life. Something that will be the most traumatic, yet ridiculously beautiful thing that will ever happen to you and your body. And no one can tell you how profound it will be. But I am stubborn. And I’m going to try.
First off, I want to let you know that everyone fears childbirth because the idea of squeezing that little person out of your vagina is a big deal. And when I say “big deal”, I mean it. Because, and I’m not gonna lie, that shit hurts. But, don’t worry, you won’t even remember that part. I mean, you won’t REALLY remember it. Because the adrenalin makes you a beast of a person and it will feel like hell but it will feel like you could seriously move mountains if you wanted to. (They won’t let you attempt that, anyway. You are pretty much confined to a bed. But you are a strong ass bitch.) So, you will have this vague memory afterward of this pushing and this nurse yelling at you and you wanting to rip her face off. But in the end, you will have a baby. And, I mean, seriously, what is better than that? Unless you happen to give birth to, like, a suitcase full of money instead. Because, holy shitballs, that would have been awesome. Anyway…yeah. It hurts. But it is a small price to pay. So get over that fear and accept the reality that that little thing is coming out. Whether you like it or not. You will sleep easier. I promise.
Secondly, I feel it is imperative that you know that parenting is super hard. Like, harder than being pregnant. (Which, if you ask me, is the worst fucking thing EVAR, because you have all this stress and no one will bring you a cocktail.) You bring this little meatloaf home from the hospital and you, if you were like me, are totally clueless as to what to do with it. And I read everything. And it didn’t matter. I was a total wreck for weeks. Because just when you think you got this thing all figured out, it does something new. Like, changing its sleep pattern. Or growing a tooth. Or going from being the happiest baby ever, to being a screaming, inconsolable monster. Because all of that happens. And no day is the same as the day previous. Ever.
Thirdly, you probably have this idea of how you will raise your kid. You know, like you won’t use a pacifier because nipple confusion, blah blah blah. Or you will only breastfeed. Because, after all, breast is best. But that baby doesn’t care about your plans. Sometimes, you have to find some way to plug that baby’s pie hole long enough so that your head doesn’t explode. And sometimes, breastfeeding is harder than you had anticipated. And you might do it, and if you can, you are my hero. Because I couldn’t make it happen with either of mine for varying reasons. I did it. But not for as long as I wanted to. And not for lack of trying. Those babies just had other plans. And guess what! They both use a pacifier and drink formula. And they’re alive. And they are thriving. And its okay. And you might be disappointed in yourself for giving in or not doing everything the way you had intended. But…seriously? Shit happens. And you just do the best you can. And that’s all anyone (including you) can expect.
You are going to have some days where you will want to run away from home. And you will feel like shit about feeling that way. But believe me, it happens to the best of us. (In fact, early this morning, I almost escaped through my bedroom window while both of the kids demanded things as I tried to get ANY amount of sleep to prepare me for the day ahead, wherein they would demand MORE THINGS…) Sometimes, you will want to jam sharp things into your ears to stop the noise. And sometimes, you will consider crawling into the oven. Because, motherhood is not a joke. And its all okay. Because then, that baby will look up at you, totally helpless and totally beautiful and innocent, and you will fall in love all over again. And you will. Again. And again. And again. Because you are a mom. And that’s what that means.
Sometimes, when I am having a hard time, and it is the middle of the night and someone is refusing to sleep. Or someone has a fever. And my husband is sleeping and I feel like I am all alone and it will never END, I have to take a step back and remind myself what a beautiful thing I have done by having these babies. I have to remember the first time I saw their little faces and how much I loved them, even then. And how smart and amazing they are. Which is sometimes easier said than done when you are sleep deprived and frustrated and haven’t washed your hair in four days. But it is all worth it, you guys, seriously.
My advice to you (especially you, Anna) is to remember, through all the crazy and even if you feel totally alone, that it will pass. And tomorrow is a new day. And while this is the hardest thing you will ever do, it is the most important. And the most wonderful. And you aren’t alone. (And if you ever need reassurance of that, you guys, I will be right here, blogging about being puked on and having been up for 72 hours straight. Don’t worry.)
Good luck to you!
- The Loss of the Luxury of Sleep (drivetalkplay.wordpress.com)