Thursday

Induction Into Motherhood - Laughing at Sleepless Nights and the Naivete of First-Time Moms

I don't think I've had a decent night's sleep in about five years...since the birth of our oldest son, JR. Actually, it has probably been longer than that because the last few months of pregnancy are horrible. Everyone says, "Get some rest now, before the baby comes." That's such a crock (at least in my experience.)

By the time I reached the eighth month, my hips and lower back were so sore that no position was comfortable; rolling from one side to the other was like making a seven-point turn. Getting up from the couch even made me out of breath. When I said this to anyone, they smiled and responded, "Oh, that's just getting you prepared for when the baby comes" Wink, wink.

I typically find comments like that annoying, but I found it especially obnoxious at the time because my ankles were swollen, (well, I think they were. I couldn't exactly see them anymore past my belly), my back was killing me, I was peeing every ten minutes, my skin was a mess, and my hormones were raging.

It was all worth it, of course, when our precious little boy was born. Every newly expectant mom envisions what that moment will be like; the moment when you see that new little person for the first time. You think it will be perfect; angels singing, harps playing and beautiful photo ops of you and the baby.

Okay, so maybe that's not exactly how it all went down.

In reality, of course, my feet were up in stirrups for what seems like hours while the doctor stitched up a tear roughly the size of Texas. My breath, my husband, Joe, later told me, smelled rancid from all of the medicine in my I.V. (At the time, I thought it was so sweet that he kept kissing me on the head, but he later confessed that it was because of my toxic halitosis) Joe, like any first-time dad, was excited to cut the umbilical cord (which he later compared to hacking through a garden hose) and our wrinkled little son was covered in all the schmutz that accompanies birth. It didn't matter, though. In our eyes the moment couldn't have been more beautiful.

I couldn't wait to sleep that first night because I could sleep in any position I wanted. I had big plans of lying on my stomach and sawing logs through the night.

Ah, the naiveté of a new mom. Those nights in the hospital were anything but relaxing. Nurses came and went from my room at all hours of the day and night. My blood was drawn so much that I wasn't sure I had any left, and one nurse had to stick me three times before blowing my vein and having someone else do it. I went home actually more tired than before I went in labor.

Little did I know, that was merely the beginning...or, more appropriately, the end of sleep. No one told us that parenting a newborn was pretty much a third-shift job or that JR would soon test the very fabric of our being, the strength of our relationship, and the staying power of coffee as we entered into this crazy world of parenthood.

Fast forward almost five years, and now I am a very busy wife and stay-at-home mom of four little ones ages four years to seven months. I spend my time lovin' on my family, working at my church, picking up toys, changing diapers, refereeing fights, cooking seventeen meals a day, and kissing away boo-boos! In my "free" time I blog about the craziness of this thing I call my life at http://www.mandypmommyof4.blogspot.com

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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