By Corinne Wnek
June is one of my favorite months. The school year is ending, flowers are blooming, the balmy nights are sweetening the air on my back deck and the school year is ending. This is also the month that I seem to hear about so many expectant mothers or get invitations to baby showers. I still can’t get used to knowing the babies’ sex and name before the little person even gets here. Where’s the excitement there?
My latest baby shower invite got me reminiscing about the time I found out I was having a baby. Now, if you’re the sentimental type, closed-minded or a victim of the way it looks on family sitcoms, well, be forewarned. You won’t like my story. But I guarantee you will like the ending. I’m telling it just the way it happened.
I had ambivalent feeling about becoming a parent. I never, ever ogled over babies. My own mother pointed this out to me. Maybe this was because I had a great life and great dogs. I loved my job and had the freedom to come and go whenever I wanted. Maybe I was a little selfish about giving all this up just to gain weight and deal with diapers and throw up. Besides, I had seen on TV that having a baby hurt, as in really painful. No thanks. Life was good just the way it was.
My husband and I did agree, before we got married, that having a baby was ‘somewhere’ in the future. The really distant future, I had hoped, because it was easy to agree to something when a definite timeline wasn’t spelled out. After two years of marriage, the subject of having a baby came up and I could feel myself beginning to panic. Why now? We have a mortgage. Isn’t the dog enough? What if we can’t manage? Anyway, what do we know about raising kids? Nothing!
It’s funny how things work sometimes. While these conversations were going on at home, inwardly I knew I was restless for some kind of change in my life. Maybe a new job in a new place. Maybe we should move down the shore. Maybe this, maybe that. Maybe a baby? As I said this aloud a few times, I found I was less nervous about the idea of a baby. I thought maybe this could be the right time for us, if ever there would be. But no promises. I couldn’t get pass the pain thing.
I was secretly disappointed the following month when I discovered I wasn’t pregnant, but just for a second. Whew! That was close. Surprisingly, the disappointment lingered. Soon afterwards, though, I did become pregnant and all of the fears I thought I would feel never materialized. No morning sickness, no aversion to certain foods, nothing. I kept working and worked out, gained about 17 pounds and felt all the while like I could run a marathon. Until the Caesarian section and ensuing fibroid tumor surgery. That hurt.
A few days later, I was able to hold my daughter in my arms as I recovered in the hospital. I cried as I thought to myself, “I hope we do right by you because we’re new at this and I don’t know the first thing about being a mother.” I swear Jaclyn looked at me as if to say, “Just my luck.” But that was a passing, hormonal moment. As I grew stronger and was able to walk down the maternity wing to visit my daughter, I began to get more comfortable with the parent thing. I just wanted to look at her and make sure she was being well taken care of. I was officially a mother.
The miracle of birth, for me, has always been that this newborn little girl had taken hold of my heart and reminded me how it felt to fall head over heels in love with someone. True story.
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