Now don’t get me wrong, I did read a decent amount of books on pregnancy and whole birth. I attended prenatal classes and breastfeeding classes. But all in all, I think it’s pretty safe to say that nothing can really prepare you for motherhood besides motherhood itself. Yep, you gotta be in it to know it. In it to win it. Or in it to navigate through a system of trial and error, ups and downs, jubilation and frustration, invigoration and exhaustion- the list goes on and on.
I think most parents experience some ineptitude when it comes to the reality of raising children. At the hospital, I remember feeling apprehensive to the fact that they were allowing Nick and I to take our 6lb. 12oz, baby girl home. Handing us this precious little angel and saying: She’s beautiful. Good luck and goodbye.
The first thing I thought was: Oh, Holy Lord. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.
Let me better explain myself. You see, when Ella was inside me, I had everything figured out. Her schedule, my schedule, sleep time, feed time, playtime, potty time. If I remember correctly, I think I even had a list of do’s and don’ts plastered on our kitchen wall. I was extremely organized and the house was really freaking clean. Nesting sure got the best of me in my ninth month! The nursery was stunning, but practical. We did every thing in neutral since we chose not to find out her sex. Tiny clothes were all neatly folded and put in their proper place. Piles of baby booties and teeny hats aligned perfectly on the shelf. I had every thingamabob baby item you could think of. Most of which I would come to find out would never get opened, let alone used. That’s okay though because they were a piece of the pregnancy puzzle and my puzzle was almost complete. I reveled in the thought of perfection.
Then I had her. She was the most beautiful, innocent, precious soul. My heart was overflowing with love. Best of all, she was mine! Then we took her home. And within an instant, all of my scheduling and planning and organizing pretty much went to hell.
Schedule? What schedule? This baby eats when she wants, sleeps when she wants, and poops all of the time.
I was introduced to “poop up the back.” Um hello, no one ever told me about that. Surprise! It’s disgusting.
Laundry piled up.
My breasts hanging out all day long.
Nursing. Nursing. Nursing. And nursing.
Pumping. Storing. Pumping. Storing.
Glass of wine.
Changing. Rocking. Changing. Rocking.
I was in a constant fog. We were up all hours of the night for days and weeks and months on end.
Our first trip to the pediatrician’s office, and we left her diaper bag at home. Yeah, you heard that right. Not in the waiting room, not in the car. AT HOME. Who does that? The nurse was looking at us like we were two brainless idiots. I was looking at Nick thinking: How the hell could you forget the diaper bag??!! I had the baby. I remembered her.
Oh motherhood. With its winding roads. You never really know what’s around the corner or behind door number one..or two..or three for that matter. You never really know what to expect or what you’ll forget. What kind of baby you’ll have or what kind of mother you’ll be.
And thus begins our lifelong…
little BIG experiment.