Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Life and Times of an Unexpected Mom

Hello out there~

If anyone is reading this (and I'm not even sure I want anyone to read might incriminate me in some way 16 years from now when my now 8-month-old daughter screams at the top of her very healthy lungs that I'm stupid, that I don't understand anything, that I am ruining her get the point). If ANYONE is reading this, welcome to my blog about being an unexpected first-time mom at 40 and truly loving every minute of it! (Well, maybe not every minute…but who’s counting?)

As I type this, I’m running on no sleep with a sore throat and sniffles while my daughter happily bounces away in her Excersaucer (aka cheap & fabulous babysitter ~ thank you Evenflo!). Sadly, she is also sneezing & coughing, suffering from her first cold. Yes, the Baby Daddy got us both sick. Although I really should stop calling him that, after all, we are engaged. But that’s another blog. I have rewritten this intro about a dozen times since my first attempt several months ago. My intentions were to launch a literary account of this fork in my path during pregnancy. When that didn't happen, I SWORE I would pick it up after we returned home from the hospital, after all, I'd have all the time in the world right?

HA. HA. HAAAAAA. That is an outright GUFFAW.

What a cruel joke Mother Nature plays on us unsuspecting preggos. After 9 months of battling fatigue, morning sickness (at all hours of the day), constipation, embarrassing gas, heartburn, back pain, water retention, swollen cankles, teenage facial acne, and hormones that make PMS look like a spiritual retreat…and top all those pleasantries off with 2 days of unimaginable labor pain…we working mothers stupidly believe that since we endured all of the above and are now blissfully at home with our precious cargo that we'll have not a care in the world but nurturing our little babelet and tackling that giant "to do" list that has built up over the years…in our copious spare time...


Or maybe I was alone in that faux pas. I guess I didn’t read the fine print. I do regret that I didn't have the energy or my wits about me to recount the day-to-day, round-the-clock feedings and diaper changes for those first very intense, very sleepless months. You really can't understand it until you become a parent yourself. After the first 3 months of her life, just when I thought I couldn't get out of bed one more day, I went back to work. Cheerfully of course as I was actually going to shower and leave the house wearing more than a bathrobe to socialize with other sentient beings. Although, considering my brain had atrophied a bit while on leave, I was off to a slow start. At this point, I ask ANY OF YOU -- Who has time to get up 2 or 3 times a night to nurse, again at 5am, get ready for work & pump (all one-handed with a baby in the other), wake up the Baby-Daddy to take over at 8:30am, work 9 to 10 hours a day (pumping breast milk in the conference room 3 times a day while still taking phone calls, explaining away the distant hum in the background as the copy machine), crawling home exhausted to feed baby, bathe her, get her to bed, prepare the next day's meals, maybe feed myself, take a shower and then feebly attempt to nurture a relationship with the man that helped create this little human who took us by surprise (and immediately stole our hearts)...sorry, I digress. So…who out there also has time to write a daily blog about the whole experience? Not me. I was a 'Type A' in my 20's, but now it’s all about survival. If at the end of the day, everyone is clean, fed and safe, it's been a good day.

Fast forward to a few months later...

I now find myself unemployed like the rest of the country and decided this would be the perfect time to embark upon this writing experiment. Yes, somehow in my 40 years, procrastination has taken over my identity leaving the ambitious me gasping for breath in the driveway ~ something I'm not proud of and a trait I pray my daughter does NOT inherit from me. However, better late than never right? Isn’t that what they say? (btw…who is “they” and what makes them the experts???)

My daughter is 8 months, 15 days, 19 hours and 45 minutes old. I am finally climbing out of my ‘baby bubble’ and ready to share in black and white my adventures during this ridiculously enlightening time. The ‘Mommy Nest’ (the love seat I nursed her in 8 times a day when she was just a baby blob) is now blocking the kitchen from the living room where we have set up one big play area. She now crawls over to the seat and pulls herself to standing. Amazing. The growth of a little human at this young age is astonishing to witness. I’ve been told to pay attention and not blink, because before you know it, they are 18 and leaving the house. (Someone once told me during my daughter’s early, colicky days, “Better a colicky baby than a colicky teenager!” Those days already seem like a distant memory. Now asleep, I listen to her snore thru the baby monitor (a trait she tragically inherited from her father, intensified by her cold) and I can't help but wonder, “What in the world am I going to do when she grows up, leaves me and goes to college?” Wait...what is wrong with me?? Why am I thinking this already you ask? Because over a year ago, I never would have imagined my life filled with diapers, drool, nursery rhymes, and falling helplessly in love with the little creature we call Lia. As tired as I am every night when I collapse into bed, I can't imagine sleeping in past 6am, I can't imagine not waking up to the sound of her sweet cooing, and I cannot imagine never seeing her eyes light up and her beautiful smile when I walk into the room. It's magic.

These are the life and times of becoming an unexpected mom at 40...and there is no place I'd rather be. Welcome to my journey.



Unknown said...

Boy, you sure have a lot to talk about. Now you know what We have been through. I can't imagine what our fore mothers and fore fathers went through with 5, 6, 7 or more kids. Roses aunt Lilla had 13, with 2 sets of twins.
Love ya jim

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