Geek Mom, Meet Baby…
Every mom has a labor story for every child they had. It may get foggy with time, but something that monumental must be remembered and told…over and over. It is important that your child know where you were when you went into labor, how long you were in labor, how long you pushed, what time he/she was born, and any and all complications. Your child was there, but by no means remembers the event, and that is just not fair! So they must be told how difficult (or easy) it was bringing them into the world. I have one child born two years ago today, and I too will be guilty of telling him his birth story over and over. But you reader, who really does not care about my son’s birth story, will be spared those gory details, for the most part.
As a first time parent and card-carrying Geek, I of course made sure that I was prepared for parenthood. Yes, I actually fooled myself into believing this by reading every book under the sun about taking care of infants, we bought everything that was on everyone’s must have list for a new parent along with every baby gadget that got a Consumer’s Guide high rating. We were informed and well prepared, what more could there be? You non-parents are probably all agreeing, but all you parents are all laughing, because there is not enough reading you can do or things you can buy that prepares you for meeting and taking care of your first child. No matter what, things will happen on a daily basis, that you are just not prepared for.
I met Nate around 6:30am in the morning after they cut him out of me. Oh, no worries, we were in a hospital, there was no pain (at least during the procedure) and it was nice and quick. I was actually disappointed because there was no climatic build like you see when women give birth on TV or film– just me lying on a bed with my husband at my head. All we could see was a perfectly placed curtain that the doctor and nurses were working behind like they were doing some elaborate magic trick. “Watch me pull a baby out of this belly… “
My husband probably remembers it different, but again, I felt no pain: there were drugs involved here. So I was almost taken off guard when I heard my doctor’s voice from behind the magic curtain confirm his sex, and I heard his first cry. My chest immediately swelled so much that it overflowed into my head and out of my eyes, it was an immediate and overwhelming response. I was actually beside myself with emotions–something up until that point of my adult life that I had gained complete control over. And the funny thing is, I’ve never gotten back the reigns completely– a Pandora’s box that I still can’t completely close . Sure, I’ve gotten some control over them, but now I get weepy watching the silliest of movies or TV programs that are purely designed to pull your heart strings. Whereas before, I would laugh out loud at these feeble and obvious attempts to make me cry, now I get sucked in and find my chest welling and eyes filling. Sometimes the feeling is enormous, but the situation is not ideal–so I end up excusing myself under the guise of going to the bathroom to stop myself from balling right there.
Sometime while in the recovery room, I finally got to meet and hold my son. It seemed like an eternity had gone by of being pregnant and preparing for his arrival, but there he was,–all 6lbs. and 12 oz. of him, and I had this overwhelming desire not to let him go. I have to admit that not bonding with him was a huge fear for me during my pregnancy. I’ve never been a baby person. You know the type…they are drawn to and attracted to babies and will go out of their ways to hold and cuddle them. When they hold a baby, it just looks so natural, like they are some professional baby handler. I, on the other hand, would go out of my way to no hold babies, and when I did find myself on the rare occasion with an infant in my arms, I felt quite awkward and uncomfortable (but of course, tried to portray just the opposite) and was eager to pass the little peanut off to someone else.
I didn’t have an overwhelmingly bonding experience while I was pregnant either. I mean, he was there and made me quite aware of that, first with the massive morning sickness and then the last few month when he was carrying on with various sporting events like kick mommy’s bladder and poke mommy’s ribs, but it was more of a co-existence where we both had our agendas and needs (most of which consisted of being comfortable and subsiding hunger). It was this limbo situation with the anticipation of meeting each other on his arrival. I know you are supposed to read, talk to, and play music for your babies while pregnant, but every time I attempted this, I felt quite silly. And I apologize Nate, if this causes you not to appreciate Mozart like you should. But you did get your fill of Modest Mouse and the Shins, so I hope that helped with something…
So there I was, new Geek mom, baby in hand, and he felt like he was an extension of myself–the bond was immediate, and like super glue, there would take some prying for me to let him go. The nurses, and even my husband, would need to take him from me for various reasons, including for the fact that we both needed some sleep-and my heart would slightly tear each time. I just didn’t want to let him go.
Of course, for both of our sakes, this attachment has gradually weened as he as become more independent (heck, he’s two right now so he things he runs the world), and with each step away from me, I become more of a proud parent. “Oh look, he’s sleeping in his crib, feeding himself, taking his first steps, using my ipod, trying to play daddy’s Xbox,” and with each of these moments my heart swells with pride over his accomplishments, but it still tears a little too…
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