Friday, February 22, 2008

Virgin Territory

When I first became a mother, it was so fresh and new. I had idyllic dreams of a natural drug free birth a baby who nursed perfectly from the start, and a happy Leave It To Beaver family.
What I got was Pitocin, failure to progress, and emergency c-section, a child whose latch was all wrong, and post partum depression.
I bet old June Cleaver never went through any of that.
A few years and two more children later, I look back on my naivety in wonder. Especially when I hear first time mothers to be announcing the same intentions I had in the same "I know better than the rest of the world" voice.
I wish them all the best, I really do. And I refrain from telling them about the real experience.
I won't tell them that they lose all sense of self and the owership of their own body. I won't tell them that they willl look at their screaming baby and yell back. Or that they'll sit in the midde of the floor and sob because they did yell back. That they'll obsess over every wet and dirty diaper and how much their baby eats or doesn't. That they'll announce every new thing about their baby to anyone who'll listen. And that eventually, their child will tell them he hates them and their heart will break as they reply, "But I still love you."
The good far outweighs the bad, and the good days are treasures we'll horde for the future famine as our chidren grow. But the bad leaves little scars on a very tender heart that will never entirely heal.
It was virgin territory for me not so long ago, and I've stumbled and fallen flat on my face. But I've pulled on my big girl panties and gotten up. And they will too. Each and every time.

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