A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Monthly Archives: March 2015

Kiss the Cook

A rare occurrence, but one I celebrate:  my son facing me on my lap gleefully enjoying the bouncing and squeezes of which I cannot seem to achieve saturation.  Without warning he dives into me with his beautiful mouth open as wide as he can muster; perhaps he wants to eat my face?  But, no, my initial assessment was incorrect; he is providing me with baby kisses.

They are unnecessarily wet and slimy, and seem to consume more circumference than what appears probable.  For what his kisses lack in substance, they make-up for in enthusiasm.  He goes on the offensive three, maybe four times before he loses his momentum.  My chilled cheek is all the remains of his demonstration of affection, and while i quickly wipe off the moisture that coats almost the entire side of my face, all I can do is hope for another urge to overtake him.

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Magnitude

From time to time I think about my delivery and brief stay in the hospital. I close my eyes and try to recall all the feelings and sensations of the process…well, not all of them. Even with an epidural, some of it just isn’t all that pleasant… But, I try to remember the final feeling of him leaving my body with a warm, ticklish “Whoosh,” and those first few moments of his life with us.

I go back earlier in the day and think about the experience. Waking up at almost exactly three in the morning to an internal, “Pop.” I replay those early, groggy curiosities and phone calls to the on-call physician, and the waiting…a lot of waiting. And, while I waited, my husband went back to sleep; how nice to be able to do that. I spent the hours until nine in the morning crocheting and watching the same Law & Order: SVU episodes that kept me company throughout my pregnancy when I didn’t have the motivation to leave the house. The surreal quiet between me and my husband…after he decided he felt rested enough to resume the day… The casual conversations that spoke of our near future, yet avoidance of all the questions elephants held on cue cards in the backseat of the car.

I remember the call to my parents as I was about to enter the second stage of labor, and telling them to fly up in the morning, knowing full well they wouldn’t wait. They missed the first word of their only grandchild’s birth.

I think of the exceptional nurse in the delivery room. I think of my husband who was told to eat before it was too late, only to be called back within fifteen minutes. I recall the sudden onset of intense pain when induced, and the equally sudden relief after the anesthesiologist’s success on his second try. I think of my husband entering the room, expecting to tend to me north of the border, yet was enlisted to hold my leg. I remember him saying, “Such a beautiful baby,” even though he can’t. Then, I was holding him, this exquisite, tiny being who made it known he was not having a good time of things.

I was taken to my room after various hands assisted with things I never imagined would require a team.

My parents taxi to their gate with a voicemail greeting of my son’s birth, and my mom’s elated proclamation that they were on their way to the hospital. Even a year later, I’m not sure how I managed to hold her off until the morning.

I remember all the other nurses whose personalities became more rugged as the shifts progressed, but there was something comforting about the snarkiest one on the overnight shift my second night.

Having brief, but the best night’s sleep I had in months to awaken unable to contain my excitement to see the little person with perfect lips and a sleepy gaze. Looking at my little man’s features as he slept, and wondering if it was okay to hold this sweet little boy who was resting bundled in his Tupperware container with his name printed on the back. The overwhelming memories of holding my son when I was alone in the room, in the quiet. The strangeness of being pregnant mere hours before, and holding him, finally, in my arms. Realizing that my voice alone gave him calm in this new, scary world. Unable to imagine him in the future, but feeling no rush for him to grow.

Now almost a year of firsts have passed, but I think to my first the most. Whoever he is and will become, he forever will be my son.

Sometimes Bill Murray let the Rodent Live…

It is weeks like this with no plans and very few interactions with the outside world that make the commitment of staying at home difficult in the best of times, but brutal if sleep alluded me the previous night. Days can lack stimulation and exist as a perpetual grind. On the one hand I enjoy the time I spend with my son, but on the other I lament the absence of interesting things to think about.

This is the ongoing battle against the dragon I convince myself I’ve slayed during better times, only to have it regenerate from a limb I carelessly left behind from my last conflict, and sometimes it grows stronger than the last. I’m not comfortable labeling myself as unhappy, certainly not globally, but there are parts of myself that I miss.

For the long term all of my pieces will fit; I will build an impressive armor of experience. Pleased I have a collection of rivets waiting to find the appropriate coverings, but sometimes weeks like these without my routine or distraction or even company, maintaining my faith of the things I want so desperately to come are just that much more out of reach.

The challenge is the big picture because so much of my life is moment to moment glazed in foggy recollections of easier times. Next week I will see my friends. And, with each day I am that much closer to other things that will remind me that I am an individual.

Dorothy and Other News from Kansas

A riddle for you: How many babies does it take to dismantle a room? It is a trick question; just one. My little man of eleven months has an adept skill of keeping himself occupied for impressive lengths of time, provided the entire room looks as though it’s been burglarized. As he sets about exploring, I am convinced he spends so much time whirling about because he is a guided missile in search of whatever object of fascination that could kill him.

While I understand and truly appreciate his marvel at the world around, I will never revel in his seemingly instinctual desire to suckle the toilet, shred any cord provided it is plugged in, or celebrate his newfound freedom with the confetti we conveniently house in our trashcans.

Yes, my little man is endlessly curious. I could spend hours watching him view the world and its live and inanimate objects with the wonder of novelty. His concentration as he examines a cube before finding something hard to bang it against are some of my happier times throughout the course of a day…provided he doesn’t move on to the coaster against the coffee table. That, my friends, is really loud.

My son approaches all aspects of his environment with enthusiastic heavy breathing and giggles, crawling from one room to another. As my husband notes: he will have a profitable career as a crank caller.

With his enthusiasm in mind, I not so enthusiastically clean up the aftermath of my Dervish a plethora throughout the day. Admittedly, I can’t help but smile watching him stand up once again to reach a shelf and gleefully pull down all the contents I only moments before replaced. Besides, while he artfully destroys yet another room, it gives me a moment to see his smiling face…and ensure I closed the toilet lid.

Introduction: The Competing Mommies in All of Us

I have been a mom for almost a year, which opened me to a world that feels hidden beneath the surface of every family with children. The first three months were isolating with intense bouts of loneliness mingled with fatigue, but that passed. I decided early on, before my son was born, that I would not be a stay-at-home mom, yet a year later that is exactly what I am. I came to two conclusions on this matter: 1) I truly enjoy spending time with him and 2) I’m not a strong enough person for the full-time, ongoing commitment.

Soon after I delivered I was offered an opportunity to be a private education consultant, which has been a slow start. The eventual prospect helps maintain a sometimes thinly veiled sanity, but on the positive end, I have a deep understanding of an aspect of society I was too afraid to face had I the option to avoid it.

Speaking to the so many other new moms and organizing a new mom social group, I learned the need to surround myself by things that make me happy as an individual, which is a surprisingly challenging concept raising an infant day in and day out. Thinking of writing a blog for a long time, as writing makes me happy, but procrastinating another avenue offering me peace of mind at times when I vacillate between feeling the need for baring a superhero emblem and hiding in a corner with the hope that Fear and his brother Incompetence do not have sufficient tracking skills to find me in the closet behind the shoes I’ve collected over the years, but can no longer wear after pregnancy.

So, it’s almost a year later, and in a moment of clarity I added to my short list of happiness and peace that is selfishly for me. I’ve become intermittently proficient at staying in the moment and enjoying the now, one of the many lessons I learned this year, along with: My son will only provide his fountain of youth on days when I managed to throw together a really cute ensemble right before heading out the door. I try not to live in the land of “wishes and should haves” because then I focus on, “Why haven’t I been documenting this life changing event all along?” I don’t want to focus on this regret because my journey is just beginning, so why catch-up when there are always new stories to tell?

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