Keeper of The Fruit Loops

Two More Feet?

October 16, 2013

As I’ve often said, the transition to motherhood was not an easy road for me.  Whether it was because I had my head completely up my ass about what was coming down the pike or that I wasn’t hardwired to accept the challenges of motherhood readily, either way, the road that I’ve travelled to find happiness as a mother has been rough.

One of the biggest decisions I had to make as I found myself as a mom was whether or not to have a second child and I’m going on record:  I did not want a second child.  But I had one anyway.

Writing that sentence feels shameful now that my beautiful, spunky 8 year old fruit loop is a part of our lives.  Yes, I’ve had that “I can’t believe we almost didn’t have her” conversation in my head.  Yes, I’ve caught myself gazing at the two fruit loops under the Christmas tree and feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt that I might have deprived my 10 year old of the joy of being an oldest child.  And yes, when I’ve looked into her eyes or listened to one of her sassy retorts, I’ve almost come to my knees that the world almost didn’t meet her because of her selfish mom.

In my defense, and quite possibly at the risk of making excuses, my pregnancy with the 10 year old was not picture perfect.  Not by a long shot.  I threw up daily for 36 weeks, survived on plain McDonald’s hamburgers and generally had every single pregnancy misery heaped on me.  Pregnancy sucked.   And then he got here.  And it sucked a lot more.  I had an unexpected, unwanted emergency C section, I battled post partum depression, and had the Worst Case Of Mastitis In The History of The World (complete with PICC line, hospitalization and IV antibiotics for 6 weeks….read about that delightful experience here).  It was six months before I felt like a human again, much less ready to care for this tiny human that had wreaked complete and utter havoc on my body and my spirit.  I’m not making excuses here so much as stating that my personal experience with pregnancy was not one that I ever wanted to relive. EV-ER.

Fast forward through sleepless nights, toddler (terrorist?) trials and epic tantrums (not just from the toddler, ahem) to just before our son was two and the discussion of a second child started to ramp up.  I’d hear it from those around me (“When are you gonna make that boy a big brother?”).  I’d hear it from my husband (“We really should have them close together”).  I’d hear it from random strangers at the grocery store (“Is he your only?”).   And, the voice loudest of all was the one in my head (“If you were less selfish, you’d jump in feet first and have another”).

Becoming a mother was the single most scary, life changing event I’ve ever experienced.  I was caught so completely unaware by the intricacies of raising humans that I sincerely doubted my ability to shape and mold another.  I was blown away by how much a tiny baby required, how unrecognizable my body had become and was devastated to realize that sometimes, I didn’t like being a mom.  It was a very hard time for me and it took a lot to come to terms with my feelings.  I was scared to death to bring another child into the world because being a mom is just plain hard.  Like HARD, people, and I worried that I didn’t have what it took to love unselfishly.  Again.

I wish that I could say that I had this beautiful, Mary Poppins epiphany one day where I magically realized that my selfishness was silly and that I embraced becoming pregnant for the second time like Mother Earth.  Quite the contrary, actually, and if I’m being truthful, it took an extra glass of wine to get over my nerves the night that, uhm, well…..oh, please don’t make me say it.  There’s an irony to the fact that it took a several months to conceive, too, but I took that as a sign that my body was letting me ease back into the scary waters of pregnancy rather than throwing me out to the big deep sea without a life preserver.

Not a day goes by that I don’t look at my fruit loops and count my blessings (and simultaneously attempt to pull out my hair).  While I’m grateful for the long and rocky journey that has brought me to the place of happiness from which I type, motherhood still scares me every single day. The difference now, though, is that I am no longer listening to that voice in my head that makes me feel like a bad mom for being afraid.



7 Responses

  1. I sooooo get it! I’m very glad you found me and I jumped over here because I think we are possibly sisters and now I have to go read all your stuff and follow and share the shit out of you- because I LIKEY!!!

    1. I’m going to be honest: I’m *pretty* sure that’s the first time I’ve been excited to hear someone tell me they are going to “share the shit out of you”…..Uhm, thanks, I think? 😉

  2. This is such a great read. I’m fairly new to this mommyhood gig. My kids are going on 3 and 1. Countless books are written on child development, but I am beginning to think one should be written about the evolution of becoming a mother. So many untold stories and personal accounts of that process that are unique (and painful and hard at times) to every woman. Your post is well said!

  3. Oh wow…it really is a very well written story!

    I am so glad to read (sorry to be happy to read about your heartache!) that other mommies also have these troubles…difficult pregnancies, traumatic birthing, sweet-sweet babies…postpartum depression…the list goes on.

    I had the “blues” for 16 months….by the grace of God only did I realise it! And now, our lovely is about 29 months old, and I am easing into the idea of having another baby.

    My toddler is really a very good boy, my husband is very helpful and supportive…but the thought of giving birth again scares me so much.

    Thank you for sharing – it is much appreciated!

  4. My first pregnancy was a horrible experience. I threw up the entire time, even had to be on an IV for dehydration at one point, and the drug-free delivery was my idea of hell. I had absolutely no intention of having any more kids. We had really had to work at getting pregnant so imagine my surprise when before my son even turned one I was pregnant again. Definitely not in my plan!!!

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