Monday, May 5, 2014

I AM a Mother

This month, I'm bringing you a series of personal stories about being "born a Mother" in order to help generate some buzz for the incredible work being done through Every Mother Counts.  If you'd like to learn about ways you can help make pregnancy and childbirth safer for all women, click here.  

I would like to tell you that I was "born a Mother" when I got pregnant with the Muffin Man, but that really wasn't the case.  I've always been kind of ambivalent about the whole Motherhood thing, and I vacillated between wanting to have a kid and not wanting to have a kid on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.  I'm a narcissist at heart, so the thought of putting all my desires and needs aside in service to a small, helpless human being didn't exactly sound all that appealing, but I figured I'd probably regret it if I didn't at least give it the ol' college try, so I took a leap of faith and stopped using my diaphragm regularly.  Fast forward a bit - through my initial panic at actually getting pregnant, nine months of weight gain and flatulence, and a natural birth - to a labor and delivery room at Cedars Sinai hospital where I was dazed and in shock and expected to know what to do with a squalling infant who had apparently just made his entrance into this world downstage vagina.  I guess that technically I was "born a Mother" the day the Muffin Man arrived, but it took a while for that reality to sink in for me.  As I've related ad nauseam here on the blog, I'm not a touchy-feely, highly emotional person, so the rush of love and whatever else some women feel post-birth didn't happen for me.  Yes, of course I loved my son, but I mostly felt a lot of pain and an outsized concern over the incredible swelling of my lady parts.  

I personally feel that I am "born a Mother" again and again.  The first time that I really consciously understood that I had become a Mom was when I was alone for an entire day with my infant son and no help.  The subsequent times of really having my eyes opened to being a Mom are varied: changing a bed full of vomit in the middle of the night and feeling more concern for Noah than for the fact that I had regurgitated peas in my freshly-washed hair; canceling a night out with friends because my kiddo was teething and not caring that I was missing two for one margarita night; and, on a daily basis, making decisions about what to do based on what's best for my kid instead of what I desire.  That, my friends, is how I know I am a Mother.  The narcissist still resides somewhere inside of me, but I manage to keep her under wraps in the context of Motherhood.  My poor Hubby, on the other hand, may see a lot more of that selfish little bitch than he ever bargained for.

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