Friday, February 22, 2008

It Is A Terrible Thing Not To Become A Woman When One Ceases To Be A Girl

<--That's my son. He's 27 years old, but whenever I think of him, this is one of the images my mind instantly focuses on. He was born with a full head of bright red hair; his hair was so bright, I could hear people in the hospital nursery hallway commenting about it. "Didja see that one kid with the red hair?" "Will you look at the redhead over there?" I lay in my bed and smiled. Not only had I seen the redheaded baby, I was going to take him home with me and keep him forever.

I'd had Zappa in only twenty minutes; Hub had dropped me off at the emergency room door and I had the baby while my husband was parking the car. When he came running back inside, he found me and the doctor standing in the hallway admiring the baby through the window. This was before the days when new mothers had got to spend every waking moment with their new baby. Sometimes I think it was better that way; it was like having training wheels for a day or two before we were expected to ride that new adult-sized bike all by ourselves, with the occasional "Look Ma, no hands" stints that we all love so much as parents. Our babies were brought to us every couple of hours, and were then taken back to the nursery so we could get some genuine rest. Did we "bond?" Of course we did. We just didn't need to "bond" in front of everybody, and a woman would have to be nuts not to take advantage of the naptime. OUR naptime, that is. Once we had the baby home, we weren't going to be doing much of ANY kind of sleeping for a long, long, long, long, long time. As in. . . YEARS.

Having babies isn't what I'd call a "comfy, pain-free hobby," but it's also not the horror a lot of older women paint it to be, and usually in front of a young pregnant woman. (Why do they DO THAT? How insensitive!) I had no trouble spittin' them out - did I mention the 20 minutes? - and while I know most women aren't that lucky, I do wonder at the low tolerance for pain some people demonstrate in public.

My hospital roommate for Zappa's birth was a woman I still refer to as "The Big Sissy." She wept and screamed and required the company of her husband, her mother, her sisters, her bestest friends, and countless numbers of churchy acquaintances throughout her entire labor. This meant, back then, that while SHE had company, I couldn't. Them was da rules. And when they finally did take her away to another room to have her baby - thank Heaven - she practically had a camera crew in there with her to record her every scream, groan, spasm, fart, poop, and vaginal tear for all posterity. After her baby finally came, she then needed her husband to stay with her every second to COMFORT her and be WITH her, and her mother to remind her that she'd been through a terrible experience and needed rest and a lot of babying herself, which meant I couldn't have MY baby in the room with me.

I hated that Big Sissy then and I hate her now, 27 years later.

I made do, though. I spent most of my time in the hallway looking at his beauty: my son, the redheaded one in the corner crib, the pretty one, the baby who made all the other newborns look like either Winston Churchill or the wrong end of a cow.

The Big Sissy's baby, for example, looked like the love child of Mr. Potato Head and Linda Tripp. In fact, The Big Sissy looked a lot like Linda Tripp. I hated her. I also hated her horrible mother and her ugly husband and the parade of dowdy women who were kneeling all over the floor giving God advice about how He should look after The Big Sissy and her baby.

Where was their consideration for The Big Sissy's roommate? There wasn't any.

Hub could not get off work to take us home from the hospital; this did NOT make me cry nor did it traumatize either of us in any way. Stuff happens, and we deal with it. Sheesh. My mother picked us up and even stopped at the grocery store on the way home so I could run in and buy some things.

With Belle, I'd been so afraid of pain that I agreed to a spinal; this, of course, knocked me flat on my back for about a week, which meant that other people gave my baby her first bath, her first burpie, her first. . . well, lots of things. I listened too much and I read too much and I believed everything and everyone. I was afraid of everything. Most of all, I was afraid of myself; what if I, in my ignorance, somehow did something wrong and the baby would cry? Or. . . die? Seriously, I was that stupid.

The second time, I was smarter. Also, there wasn't time for anything anyway, so I just had the baby and made fun of The Big Sissy and dealt with life as it came my way. It was a far superior way than the first.

So, what's the moral of this story? Do I have to have one? I'll drag a few in by the hind legs and say that it might be "Embrace life - don't hide from it. FEEL things. Laugh at yourself and others; to hell with self esteem. Pity the Big Sissies, but don't make excuses for them, and for God's sake don't be one of them. Be aware of people and don't let any whiny selfishness intrude upon the rights of someone else. Be an adult. Buck up and show some spunk. Don't let others make an invalid of you. Get up. Let others watch the baby once in a while so you can get some sleep. Motherhood is full of pain; get used to it and don't whine and cry your way through it. Motherhood is full of joy; focus on that part. And did I mention "grow up?"

It is a terrible thing not to become a woman when one ceases to be a girl.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:57 PM | |


I am Mamacita. Accept no substitutes! Hitting the fan like no one else can. . .
I'm Speaking at BlogHer 08 Archives Links

My Classical Blogroll

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Mamacita3855. Make your own badge here.

Credits Powered by Blogger

Designed by Swank Web Style
< <


Honors Blogrolling.com Hot 500


Lijit Search/a> < BlogHer.org Logo


Listed Subscribe with Bloglines

View My Public Stats on MyBlogLog.com

Personal Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Listed on BlogShares


DIARIST.NET Registered!

Technorati Tags:

Technorati search

Free Hit Counter