Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Let's back track

It started with an email from my girlfriend Johanna three days after Amelia was born. It was very sweet and it had a warning: if you feel like you don't want to be anyone's mom or that there is a stranger in your house, don't worry, it's normal.

Then my mother's friend and neighbor called from Puerto Rico and said "don't expect to love your baby more than anything right away, it takes time". This is an educated woman with three children, in her sixties, admiting this to me.

Both Johanna and Doña Tere (that's how we call older people in Spanish, like saying Mrs. Tere) come from a culture that expects you to want to be a mom since the day you are born female. A culture where their admissions would be considered heresy. But six days later, when I still couldn't sit and I had been to the OBGYN and she told me I just had to manage the pain and sit in the bathtub three times a day, I understood both women.

And I hated myself for it. So, I cried every day, for about two or three weeks. I felt like shit, physically and emotionally. And I felt guilty for feeling that way. I looked at my beautiful baby and I thought, "what did I do to you" "I don't know how to take care of you". I was disappointed that the motherly feelings were not pouring out of me. I felt trapped. I looked at pictures of our travels and cried. I wanted my old life back and that wasn't hapenning.

I never thought of harming my child, I just had a bad case of the blues, thanks to my hormones and the fact that my labor was a pain in the ass, literally. A word to the wise pregnant women out there, those stool softeners they give you are worthless. Take milk of magnesia to the hospital and do not leave until you poop. If not you will be giving birth to your child's fecal twin without an epidural, a few days later.

I should've known when my doctor warned me that my labor was hard (i.e. forceps were needed and my hospital believes in letting you rip) and that I needed to take care of myself.
What followed after the drugs left my ravaged bottom were the worst six weeks of my life. I describe it as the closest a woman comes to feeling like a farm animal ,since there is no medicine for how you feel, just the passing of time helps you.

My wise Dr. Wise also said one more thing, that women like me who work until the day they give birth have a harder time with post labor. Boy, was she right on the money. We are physically beaten and, since we have been in control of our lives as we pursue our career goals, we are an emotional mess when the baby doesn't work like the book says.

So that is why I decided to start this blog, for type A, career oriented women who thought motherhood would be mastered with the same success and speed as our careers. How hard it is to let go to the unpredictability of motherhood and how wonderful it is to have a baby that goes wild when she sees you, even if you forgot to change her diaper for 4 hours and can't figure out why she's fussy.

Motherhood is the hardest job I've ever had. Yes, what I feel for my daughter is a love I can't describe but, I've also learned that I'm still me, and that being me is the only way Amelia and I will have the kind of relationship I have with my mom.

For all of you out there who are not feeling like the real deal, it's normal and there are more women out there who feel like you ,but will not admit it. I will. Motherhood threw me for a loop. I adore my daughter and I'm learning to love my new job. Ay Mama!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Anna!!!
Welcome to the blogosphere!! I luv blogging..I am most definitely bookmarking this as a way to keep up with you all! An SUV? You too lost the Jetta? WOW..Brett was actually around 2.5 ish when we switched our jetta out for a MINIVAN!!(cause abba was on the way..and randy fit nicely in the jetta, hee hee) could be worse. I will have to read on to learn about what you got.Enjoy blogging..Looking forward to reading and laughing, ay Mama! Where are the PICS or our girl?