My “Secret Subject” is:
What is something you thought you would never do- yet you did and loved?
It was submitted by: http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/
This is kinda cheesy and cliche but it's true, so oh well. Deal with it. haha.
If you had spoken to younger me any time in my life before I developed a rounded belly full with child, I would have told you that I never wanted kids. Ever. I was adamant about it.
I had reasons. Most were pretty solid. I grew up in a harsh environment and had a short temper like my dad. I was terrified that I would end up being like him, raise a kid in the hell that I grew up in with him. I remember saying those things to people. It was a risk, and in my youth when it was less controlled I felt it too much a risk to ever think it was a good idea. And really, I was still too fucked up from it all even by my early 20s to think I would ever grow out of it or get over it. There hadn’t been a person yet to suggest counseling or help to get over that part of my life, being raped at a young age. And when a friend of mine was murdered not long after my 21st birthday, the whole of it sent me in a booze spiral following almost identically in my father’s addictive footsteps. I drowned myself in it—not binge drinking occasionally but drinking myself to sleep every day, waking up with hangovers more days than not, drinking over eating…. By then, kids no longer even crossed my mind. I was too cut off from anything real to even consider it.
It interfered with work, with going to school, with every aspect of my life. I made shitty decisions and hid and lost what little of myself I had been able to get to know. I honestly can’t say if I simply got tired of living that way or if it was one event or another that happened during those months that finally tipped me over the edge, but I finally went to a doctor for antidepressants. I won’t say they were a miracle by any means, but my drinking slowed down enough to allow me to be a little more functional. I met my ex-husband right about then, and as much as I joke about alcohol having a lot to do with our relationship, I stabilized a lot more being with him. I stopped drinking regularly but not altogether, found a better job with better pay and a stabilized schedule, and we ended up getting married. Something else I said I’d never do. I was vulnerable, though, and it saved me even if it didn’t last.
It was about a year into our marriage that I found out I was pregnant. Several months before that, I had to have my gallbladder removed, and despite being on birth control, my cycle hadn’t stabilized, so I decided to stop taking the pill to see if things would even out. I know, I know…but we DID use back up protection. I was 24, then, so not entirely stupid, just stupid enough to take myself off the pill on my own. I started getting sick every day and having terrible pains like cramps but sharper and lower. When I found out, I cried. Hard. It wasn’t what I wanted; I was terrified. He was terrified. We were a mess.
It took a few days for the shock of it to wear off enough for the two of us to actually get excited, but I can’t tell you I loved being pregnant. That’s not what this little story is about at all. I didn’t have an easy time of it. I puked all day every day for 6 months and working around people didn’t help that at all. The smell of stale cigarette smoke or an unbathed hillbilly would leave me sick for hours. My pubic bone separated early from being on my feet all day making me have to give up work early on medical leave, and I had vertigo in the later months. The little shit also liked to push into my ribs every time I was in the car til I couldn’t breathe from the pain. Delivery wasn’t any easier considering he almost killed me (literally). The delivery nurses didn’t put the contraction monitor on my belly correctly and dosed me with too much pitocin and wouldn’t believe me that I was having contractions. I went from 0 to 10 on the pain scale way too fast and too early, my cervix wouldn’t dilate on one side, and my epidural didn’t work for anything but my legs and giving me the shakes. My heart went crazy during my emergency c-section, and after it was all done, I couldn’t even hold my baby from the shakes I still had. I didn’t even understand how bad things were until the doctor came in the room and said, “I thought we were going to lose you there for a minute.”
So pregnancy and delivery didn’t really do anything for my hesitance on being a mom. That might be the greatest understatement of all time considering I refuse to physically have another child even though there are times I can’t think of anything else besides having another baby in my life (not that I like to admit that out loud). I’m too afraid I might die in labor.
Getting home and settled and into the swing of things helped. I didn’t connect with him right off, but I can tell you that my heart calmed down all on its own without drugs in the o.r. when I heard him cry the first time. The bond was there; I just didn’t know how to bring it out at first. I remember laying in bed with him one morning when he was a few weeks old, staring at his little face after I fed him, and wondering what the fuck I had gotten myself into. I said, “I love you” in a sing songy kind of way, and he lit up with the most perfect smile I had ever seen. It was over for me then, and I fell head over hills for the kid.
I won’t say the being a mom part has been all that easy either. It has definitely seen its share of strikes and gutterballs, but I wouldn’t trade the boy for anything in the world even when I have been my most frustrated. It might be cliché to say, but it’s the absolute truth. My relationship with him is different than anything I’ve ever known. Im his mom but also his friend, his biggest champion and his teacher (in every sense of the word since I homeschool him). We have open discussions on every issue under the sun, and I refuse to keep him in the dark about current events. We call each other on our bullshit, but he also respects that Im his mom, and if I make a rule, it’s for a reason, a reason that I make sure to explain. I’m not an authoritarian. We figure this whole thing out together, and that works for us. And there’s really nothing like seeing your kid love all the movies and music and cartoons and foods that you did as a kid (except The Labyrinth…god, I almost disowned him over that). I’ve given him half my DNA, carried him for 9 months, almost gave my life for his and would if it ever came to it, but sharing those things that I loved and watching him discover them for himself is like giving him a part of my soul for his own. He’ll always remember those times we shared watching Ghostbusters or Star Wars or TMNT, and for all of my days, I’ll remember the way his eyes lit up the first time he heard Darth Vader say his iconic line.
It hasn’t been a fake Pinterest sort of motherhood for me, but yes I love it. And if the opportunity arises for me to foster or adopt, I may do it again one day. Even on days when my csection scar flares up and reminds me of the worst of it, I still wonder why I was so resistant to the idea to begin with, and I call that a win.
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
Baking In A Tornado http://www.bakinginatornado.com/2017/02/secret-subject-swap-let-me-count-ways.html
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy http://dinoheromommy.com/
Spatulas on Parade http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/2017/02/buffalo-cups-and-sss.html
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html
The Lieber Family Blog http://www.thelieberfamily.com/2017/02/senior-moments.html
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/
Simply Shannon http://shannonbutler.org
The Bergham Chronicles http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com
Confessions of a part time working mom http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2017/02/february-secret-subject-swap-and-action.html
Not That Sarah Michelle http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com
Southern Belle Charm http://www.southernbellecharm.com
The Angrivated Mom http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com
When I Grow Up http://kimberlyyavorski.com/whenigrowup/what-to-do-with-all-the-stuff/