to the multiple miscarriage mom

fall-leaves

First of all, I want you to know that you’re not alone here, in this multiple loss purgatory where nothing makes sense and you feel like you don’t have a place.

But you do.

The first loss was bad enough, I know. Not only having the rug ripped out from under you like that, but also being consumed with a type of grief you didn’t know was possible. The type that when it hit, it felt like a Mack truck covered in railroad spikes.

But you survived.

You also had a home. You became part of The Miscarriage Club – that unfortunate 1 in 4. You rolled the dice and lost the first round, but at least you weren’t alone. Literally millions of women were right there with you.

And just like with everything else, when it was over, you picked up the pieces and moved on – because that’s what people do. And perhaps in a naive moment, you thought that maybe you got it out of the way. That maybe from now on, your body will know what to do.

Next time, it’ll stick.

And maybe it did. But then it didn’t again, and now you’re stuck in this weird, awful place that’s so much harder to define. Who are you now? What group do you belong to now?

And try as it might, your rational brain can’t silence your emotional brain – because grief is not rational. You wake up in the middle of the night making lists of the reasons why it ended again: stress, work, flying on an airplane, scooping cat litter, drinking half a beer, having a cold, taking 14,000 steps a day, moving furniture, mopping the floors.

You’re exhausted and angry. You’re inconceivably sad, but you don’t want anyone to know so you self-medicate which leads to self-sabotage and one morning after yet another mortifying blackout night you realize that you’re done.

You can’t do this anymore.

You can’t keep hurting yourself, and the people who love you.

So I need you to know a few things, so that like me, you don’t end up doing shots of pure vodka one night and wake up the next morning with a laundry list of apology letters to write. Or worse.

1) You have a place

Remember earlier when I said you have a place? I meant it. It may not seem like it, but recurrent miscarriage still affects millions of women, so you’re not even close to being alone. And if you need help like I did in silencing your irrational brain, these 5 Myths About Recurrent Miscarriage are surprisingly helpful.

2) You’re not stupid for having hope

It’s okay to lower your expectations so that if things go south, you don’t feel disappointed. This is a common defense tactic that in theory, is a great idea. But here’s the thing: being a pessimist doesn’t lessen the blow. Because no matter how brave a face you put forward, it still hurts like hell. So don’t kick yourself for believing in something. Just because it’s not happening for you right now, doesn’t mean it never well. Pain is real, but so is hope.

3) Not everyone knows how to talk to us, and that’s okay

I’m sure you remember this from your first loss. Meaningless platitudes are infuriating when you’re grieving, but be patient with the people who love you. They may not know what to say, and they almost always say the wrong thing, but it’s not their fault. They love you and they are trying. Remember that.

4) It’s okay to be angry

I’m mad as hell, and you should be too. So be angry. Don’t pretend that you’re not because trust me, the second you shove all those feelings deep down into the pit of your stomach (and in my case, pour alcohol on top of them – see #6), they make a pact to jump back out at the most inopportune times and have the potential to carry some pretty heavy consequences.

5) Be kind to yourself

No one sees how hard we are on ourselves behind closed doors. Why didn’t I eat better? Lose some weight? Put my feet up more? I should never have lifted those boxes. The human brain is designed to look for cause and effect when something terrible happens because as human beings, we’re desperate for answers. Of course, most of the time we never get them, so sometimes we simply believe we’re to blame. Or we’re broken. But guess what? We’re not broken. And it is not our fault. Sometimes we slip-up too, and that’s okay. You’re allowed slip-ups, just like anyone else. Forgive yourself. 

6) Don’t pour alcohol on top of your feelings

This one, I unfortunately know a lot about. As the title of this blog suggests, I’m no stranger to problem drinking. It’s been my coping mechanism ever since I was a teenager, and it’s only gotten worse with time and tragedy. Instead of dealing with my feelings in a healthy, adult way, I have always been more comfortable burying them at the bottom of a box of wine, or several cases of beer. As you can imagine, it’s been highly ineffective. I’ve come to realize that aside from hurting literally everyone who cares about you, drinking doesn’t allow you to feel anything. It masks the pain, and until you feel each loss—I mean really feel it—you will always be stuck at the bottom of a bottle. Don’t get stuck there. It’s uglier than you could ever imagine.

7) Take care of you

No one else knows the anxiety you face, or will face, the moment that line turns pink. While most women jump for joy and even live-blog the minute their urine translates into an adorable plus sign on a stick, we cringe and sweat and our heart leaps into our throat. What if it happens again? Our minds inevitably shift into replay mode and the past flashes before us like some sort of twisted home movie. It’s not exciting anymore – it’s terrifying. So take care of yourself, and allow yourself to grieve. Sleep, even though your mind doesn’t shut off. Eat, even though everything is tasteless. Talk to someone. Vent to your best friend. Write about your pain. Slow down. Put your feet up. Grab a big bag of Chicago Mix, and take a deep breath. You’ve got this.

October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. To read more about the PAIL Network, click here.

pants: a new kind of victory

I used to, you know, do some pretty cool stuff.

Believe it or not, once upon a time, I actually had the balls to ditch North America for a while and shack up in France. It ended up being the most incredible experience of my life, and some days, I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like if I’d stayed.

I learned a hell of a lot about myself that year (mostly that I could never, ever be a teacher), forgot picked up a new language, and saw nearly all of western Europe. Spending a year overseas was easily the best decision I’ve ever made, and one time I decided to make spaghetti and then bake it into a loaf of bread.

Picture 118

These French kids are probably all married now. I’m still not.


Clearly a fashion icon in Milan.

Clearly a fashion icon in Milan.


Pretending I know the first thing about art in Barcelona, Spain.

Pretending I know the first thing about art in Barcelona, Spain.


Stunned in the streets of Monaco.

Stunned in the streets of Monaco.

Alas, my carefree globetrotting days are behind me. So is all much of that juicy early-20s freedom. And those early-20s victories.

I’m not exploring the planet or learning a new language anymore. I’m not taking on a classroom full of French five-year-olds who I basically have to perform an elaborate mime to to get them to understand me.

My victories are a little different these days. Today’s accomplishments include going to bed early, not eating Nutella straight out of the jar with a spoon, keeping a little boy alive and working towards some semblance of a career.

But this morning — I added another one to that list.

Pants.

Don't you hate pants?

Don’t you hate pants?

In early 2006, I bought a pair of white Capri pants in a small town just north of Paris, and I still have them to this day. They were always a little too big until I quit breastfeeding and began treating my body like a 24 hour-a-day garbage disposal.

Lately, however, I’ve been working really hard to transform my marshmallow-esque figure back into something that somewhat resembles a human female. It’s been slow and it’s been hard, but this morning, it finally felt worth it.

My France Pants fit again.

Now where’s the cake?

I think it's back here behind the liquid cucumber, Ma.

I think it’s back here behind the liquid cucumber, Ma.

taking back the tatas

Who wants to read about my boobs again?

flash

To those of you who read my blog but do not give a flying frig about parenting and babies–I am truly sorry for this post. I hope you’re going to read it anyway, because let’s be honest–what else are you going to do on a frigid Thursday night in January besides eat leftover Christmas candy and watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory? Have some self respect.

As all three of my followers  you probably already know, nursing my now 14-month old nipple ninja hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. From the early, panic-ridden days of simply learning how to latch, to a 22-day hospital moratorium on breast milk, to recurring bouts of thrush–it’s been at times, a legitimate waking nightmare.

But you know what? I’m proud as hell of those scars.

We did good, kid.

breastfeeding

Oh this?  This is just us proving them wrong when they said we’d never nurse again.

Tonight I will breastfeed my son for the last time.

Truthfully, I’ve been nursing longer than he’s both wanted and needed to. And before the breastfeeding bandits start clicking their tongues and wagging their fingers, please note that I am in fact aware that nursing beyond one year of age is a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection.

But he’s throwing on the floor eating a regular, well-balanced diet now in addition to nursing both morning and night. He wants food more, and breast milk less. Besides, the convenience factor just isn’t there anymore. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t yell at my chest in frustration (probably because it’s pretty much tapped out) or give me a purple nurple or smack in the face. It’s time to face the facts: my baby doesn’t need my milk anymore.

He’s ready to wean.

All the big boy food.

Gimme dat big boy food, ma.

And so am I.

So this morning, I left my 11th consecutive refill of Domperidone on my nightstand and went to work. Tonight, after dinner, I’ll wash crusty food out of his hair, read him a bedtime story, and we’ll nurse one final time.

He’ll probably twist my nipple until I say “OW”, then laugh like a miniature psychopath.

And I’ll cry–mostly for my nipple, but maybe a little for me, too.

7 things i failed to do before my baby turned one

Right before my son was born, I was a straight-up manatee. You could typically find me crying over the discovery of a new stretch mark or eating cold, leftover cannelloni with my bare hands like some sort of deranged gremlin.

Man.

Those last few days of pregnancy: not glowing.

being-pregnant-sucks

Hey, don’t get pregnant

But one year ago today (two days after the above photo was taken), my sweet little babychild was carved out of my belly and my foray into the bizarre world of motherhood began.

I bet you thought I was going to take this opportunity to bore you to death with an emotional tribute to the most adorable baby on earth (I’m not kidding though–he actually is the most adorable baby on earth and all other children are total garbage), but I’m not. Y’all know that ain’t my style, anyway. Besides:

  1. Shit’s lame, and
  2. Literally nobody cares

Instead, I thought I’d bring some hard-hitting realness to your Friday with my own personal spin on a popular mommy blog theme: Ten Things You MUST DO Before Your Baby Turns One and Learns How To Unlock Your Phone and Butt Dial Your Ex.

Still not familiar? Okay, here–I looked them up for you. Huffington Post did this one. BabyCentre did this. And Babble did this.

So, how realistic are these things?

Let’s find out.

7 THINGS I FAILED TO DO BEFORE MY BABY TURNED ONE

1) Get Fit You Big Fat Pig:Take A Post-Natal Exercise Class
Oh man, this is already the best. Okay, look–full disclosure. I actually signed up for a series of mommy-and-baby-yoga classes when Liam was about 10 weeks old. Disgusting, right? Quick–ask me if I’ve ever taken a yoga class in my life. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

NO. NO I HAVE NOT.

Mercifully, these classes didn’t exactly demand that you perfect Pungu Mayurasana or anything (yes, that is an actual yoga pose that I looked up, also known as the Wounded Peacock). They were more of an opportunity for mom to do some light stretching and get out of the house.

But that’s just it. Even 10 weeks in, getting out of the house with a baby was still a frantic ordeal. I arrived late and frazzled every time, and the worst part was I didn’t feel relaxed, or “zen” afterwards. Liam had no idea what the hell was going on during these classes, and I think it goes without saying that I was in no better shape than when I started. I was still fat, awkward and cranky. Wounded Peacock, indeed.

What is yoga, even?

2) Find A Babysitter So You Don’t Get PPD
The nearest grandparent lives 500 kilometers away (that’s 310 miles for my one American subscriber), and I haven’t befriended any teenagers because quite frankly, they scare me. I understand that having a baby means no more drinking until your Uber driver has to pull over so you can throw up on the side of the road, but if I don’t get a break soon, I’m going to start cutting myself.

3) Take Your Kid To The Library, You Degenerate
Confession time! The last time I set foot in a library was for my prenatal class over a year ago. That’s right: I HAVE NEVER TAKEN MY BABY TO THE LIBRARY. Not once. But his dad just installed a bookshelf in his bedroom while I double-fisted wine and leftover Halloween candy, so that’s pretty much the same thing.

baby-bookshelf-DIY

“I have no idea what I’m looking at here.”

4) Throw Your Baby In A Pool And See What Happens
Okay–again, full disclosure. I also did the baby swimming lessons thing. But I’m going to explain to you why it was also a massive failure that in no way benefited me, my baby, or that cesspool of a public pee tank.

First of all, the instructor was a 19 year old college bro named Bo, Zack, or equivalent. Affable, nice kid–but with absolutely ZERO understanding of how babies work, how a baby swim class should be taught, or even the correct lyrics to The Wheels on the Bus. He was a complete fish out of water (pun intended), and if it wasn’t for my white-hot rage at his abject incompetence, I would have felt sorry for him.

Secondly, I should have waited. Liam was barely four months old when I decided that yes, he’s absolutely ready to be snapped into a baby lifejacket and sent paddling downstream. I shouldn’t have pushed it. The poor guy was still working on his basic head/neck control, and here I was CIA-style dunking him like a power-hungry Guantanamo guard.

Finally, Liam peed in the pool every single time, and once I accidentally got pool water in my mouth and had to take a mommy time out. Swim diapers do NOT prevent baby urine from seeping into the pool–just a friendly public service announcement for the next time you decide to head on down to the old community centre to do a few laps.

baby-swimming-lessons

Spot the soaking wet, petrified baby clinging to my shoulder for dear life

5) Draw Up A Will Because You Live In Sin
Just because I hate the idea of marriage doesn’t mean my child should be exposed to the cruel possibility of becoming a ward of the state should both of his unwed parents tragically perish.

Okay, so that’s not exactly true, but I did some research and found out that common-law partners in Canada don’t have the same rights married couples do when it comes to estates–which quite frankly, is complete bullshit.

*fast forward to 15 minutes later*

I legitimately just called a lawyer and set up an appointment. Blogging: helping me sort out my life since 2014.

6) Join A Playgroup And Exacerbate Your Already Crippling Social Anxiety
Now I know what you’re thinking–hey Becca, you’ve got such smooth blogger swag. I bet you’re a hit at parties.

But truth be told, I’m fairly awkward in real life despite my captivating online presence. It’s easier to hide behind a screen and make self-deprecating jokes about being an unfit mother than it is to engage socially with others about the frequency and volume of spit-up.

I’ve avoided playgroups for that very reason, thereby depriving my child of a welcome change of scenery and valuable social interaction.

At least he has his kitty friends to keep him company.

7) Do Something For Yourself And Make Sure It Isn’t Exercise
Please refer to my above rant about my lack of babysitting services. I think my leg hair can be braided at this point. I don’t even remember what being alone for more than 10 minutes feels like. But even more outrageous–can you believe that one of these blogs actually had the audacity to suggest that ‘entering a race’ was something you could “do for yourself”?

Something I do for myself: eat jumbo packs of KitKat bars while sitting alone in my car in the driveway.

Something I don’t do for myself: run a f*cking marathon.

This has made me viscerally angry. To calm down, maybe I’ll book a massage because THAT IS ANOTHER THING YOU DO FOR YOURSELF.

cat-massage-funny

Okay, so sure. I failed at at LEAST seven things this past year. But you know what? I also kicked ass in a hell of a lot more.

I really hope people don’t take these blogs too seriously.  Yes, there were some reasonable tips. But not all of us have the means or capacity to run marathons, go on lavish holidays or literally beg someone who isn’t grandma to babysit.

And that’s perfectly okay.

Did your baby smile at you today? Then congratulations–you’ve failed at nothing, mom.

Now go get that massage.

Happy birthday, buddy. You're the best thing I've ever done.

Happy birthday, buddy. You’re the best thing I’ve ever done.

i’m going to milk myself at my desk every day, and other lies we tell

I’ll get to the whole pumping at work debacle in just a minute, but first, can we talk about how we lie to ourselves–and each other–like all the time?

I’ll go first.

During my first week back to work, I must have faced the “How does it feel to be back?” question oh, about four hundred thousand times.

And of course, I had my perfectly-orchestrated, boilerplate answer all ready to go. Some BS version of, “It feels good to be back in a normal routine again.”

Come on.

Why do I say shit like this? Why can’t I be real for one tiny second in my lousy, pathetic, sleep-deprived, small little life?

NO IT DOES NOT FEEL GOOD.

SCREW YOUR ‘NORMAL’ ROUTINE, BECCA. SCREW IT SO HARD.

image

See, I liked my maternity routine.

It was by far the most challenging year of my life, but for the first time ever, I felt like I was actually doing something meaningful.

For once, I wasn’t just a number–a cog in a machine. My ideas were valid, and my decisions were vital. I had a role, and it was important. I meant something to someone.

What I was doing mattered.

I mattered.

And you know what? I didn’t even mind being up at the crack of dawn most days. In fact, I kind of liked it.

cute baby boy

He’ll make you a believer in mornings, too.

I also liked the playdates, the yoga and swimming lessons. I liked the road trips, the long walks, the picnics in the park and the lazy afternoons in the sun. I liked being there for his first word, his first food, and when he sat up, stood up, and crawled for the first time.

And sure, some additional perks were the frequent naps, comfortable sweatpants and the freedom of going commando on the upper deck–but I earned those. Don’t you dare say I didn’t earn those.

I liked everything about my “abnormal” routine this past year, so screw you–no, screw me–for lying through my teeth like that.

Can I have a do-over?

You be my colleagues and I’ll be me.

the-simpsons-james-woods-im-me

Hey, don’t jerk me around, fella.

COLLEAGUES: How does it feel to be back, Becca?
ME: I’d rather be elbow deep in a smelly mountain of feces than spend another minute staring at this Excel spreadsheet.

Okay, moving on.

I’m grateful for the time I had. And I accept that I have to work.

I also accept that (for now) I’m not in any way, shape or form doing my dream job–which truthfully, makes returning to work even lousier than it already is. Life doesn’t care about your dream job, though, and diapers don’t grow on trees. Perhaps one day, I’ll stop being a cog and start being someone who matters–someone he can be proud of.

Just not today.

Now let’s talk about boobs.

did-somebody-say-boobs

I had it all planned out.

It’ll be fine, I lied to told myself. I’ll just pump at my desk twice a day, every day, et voilà! An endless supply of breast milk for daycare. He’s not quite a year old yet, so this way he won’t have to go on expensive soy formula or transition to dairy before his silly little GI tract can handle it.

Number of days I’ve been back to work: 7
Number of times I’ve pumped at my desk: 0

Stop trying to make pumping happen, Becca. It’s never going to happen.

And you know what? That’s okay. I mean, we’re all down here in the trenches, doing the best we can, basically just making shit up as we go anyway. So what if things don’t work out exactly according to plan?

That’s life, and life sucks sometimes. Maybe just be happy you’re here.

And doesn’t that single, ugly truth sound so much sweeter than a thousand of those beautiful lies?

the bitch is back (to work)

Hi, I’m Becca. You may remember me from such blog posts as, “I almost got gestational diabetes from a strict diet of sour patch kids” and “The Caesarian Section: 20 reasons why I feel like a complete failure of a woman”.

And if you don’t, that’s completely understandable.

I had to make a choice these past few months: neglect this blog, or neglect my cute little meat sack of a child. As you can imagine, the meat sack won by a landslide.

But fear not.

The bitch is back (to work, where I can blog on my downtime — don’t tell my boss).

I must have blinked or something, because apparently an entire year has passed and suddenly the meat sack (aka Liam) is 11 months old. What he lacks in teeth, he makes up for in drool — and is completely, utterly, the most majestic, hilarious thing that has ever emerged from my uterus.

cute baby boy

Liam can now crawl, pull himself up to stand, clap and wave on command, and has a diverse vocabulary consisting of mama, up, dada and a version of kitty that sounds a lot like spitting on the floor. He’s survived a terrifying hospital ordeal, a strict no-cheese diet and the east coast of Canada. It’s been a sleepless, jam-packed year, and I’m so grateful that I got to spend it with him.

This past week, my maternity leave ended and I officially rejoined the workforce. Just as I finally began to get used to zero adult interaction and completely giving up on my own personal hygiene, it was time to put on a bra, exchange my diaper bag for a snazzy H&M tote, and begrudgingly re-enter the realm of wage slavery.

first-day-back-to-work-from-maternity-leave-59872

Now I know you’re thinking, “But Becca, how do you manage to remain SO glamourous and put together in the wake of yet another complete shift in virtually every aspect of your existence?”

Stay tuned for the answer to this, a deluge of additional nonsense, and many more erroneous lines of questioning in the coming days.

six months (of hating breastfeeding)

Half a year ago today, my adorable melonhead of a son was born, and my foray into the harrowing world of breastfeeding began.

I know you’re thinking, “But Becca, your breasts are perfect. Why would you want them absolutely ravaged?”, to which six months ago, I had no single, solitary answer.

I had four of them:

  1. My ego also needed sustenance. I felt like I needed to do this so I wasn’t an absolute failure of a woman.
  2. Breast milk is free.
  3. I wanted that mystical bonding experience I’d read so much about.
  4. I could finally fulfill my lifelong dream of making complete strangers feel uncomfortable by legally exposing myself in public.

nursing in public funny

In all seriousness, I knew it was going to be hard. I suspected I’d probably even shed a few tears.

Once again, that idiot had no idea what was coming.

The odds were stacked against us from the get-go. Due to my baby’s aforementioned melon-sized cranium and a litany of other nonsense reasons (okay, decels are a pretty good reason), it was decided 10 hours into my labour that Liam needed to be cut from my uterus versus being pushed on outta there.

Don’t get me wrong: my intact ladybits are grateful for this decision (let’s be honest, that nearly 9-pound fetus would have left them looking like some sort of battlefield), but what I didn’t know, was that cesarian birth super sucks when it comes to the odds of having a successful breastfeeding experience.

According to Anne Smith, an international board certified lactation consultant:

  • Nursing as soon as possible after birth provides the stimulation needed to bring the milk in faster. Women who give birth via c-section can’t breastfeed right away, because, you know, druggy-drug, stitchy-stitch. My milk didn’t come in for FIVE DAYS. I wasn’t able to hold my baby until nearly an hour and a half after he was born, but at least I was really, really high.
  • Cesarian babies are generally more lethargic and drowsy than babies born vaginally, due to the medley of drugs administered to the mother pre-surgery. Have you ever tried to get a stoned newborn to eat? Just let me sleep, ma.
  • As a baby travels through the birth canal, compression and contractions help to squeeze mucous from the lungs; however, if a baby is born via cesarean, this process does not occur and mucous can remain in the baby’s lungs after birth, which can impede nursing. Gross.
  • Surgery hurts. Imagine trying to manoeuvre a surprisingly large baby to your breast with a fresh, throbbing abdomen wound. Can’t do it, can you?

And that was just the beginning.

Next came the three-week-long battle with learning how to breastfeed at home, and a lengthy and terrifying dairy-and-soy-protein-allergy hospital ordeal. After these experiences, I hadn’t wanted to quit anything so badly since my mother forced me to enroll in Girl Guides.

And quite frankly, I still do to this day–six months later.

dairy cow breastfeeding

The breastfeeding, not the Girl Guides.

Expectation versus reality is a wonderful thing, folks. Remember the four reasons I listed for wanting to breastfeed?

Let’s revisit them now, shall we:

  1. Ego
    The whole formula vs. breastmilk debate is obnoxious. Sometimes it isn’t a choice. Babies need to be fed somehow, and if you think a woman is a failure for giving her baby formula instead of breastmilk, I invite you huck yourself out of the nearest window.
  2. Free food
    Yep. Breastmilk is free. Which is great, because it freed up all the extra cash I needed to buy my baby all those toys he never plays with. Money does not equal happiness, and I can’t imagine a scenario where that rings more true than this (I’m a prisoner, help me).
  3. Bonding
    I’ve never rocked back and forth gently in my chair as I gazed lovingly down at my nursing infant. My experience has gone from frantically trying to keep him awake long enough so he eats a couple of ounces, to failing to control him from wriggling out of my lap–so no, I can’t say any bonding has ever happened in the nursing chair. We bond in a ton of other ways though, like over our mutual love of puking all over the floor, and kitties.
  4. Exposure
    This one still stands.

If I quit breastfeeding tomorrow, he’ll still light up the first time he sees me in the morning. He’ll still reach out and touch my face as I lean in, and giggle whenever he hears my embarrassingly high-pitched squeal calling out to him.

My ego will also be fine. Someone once said to me that every ounce I’ve given him is a gift, and it’s stuck. We fought a damn hard battle on so many fronts, and won each time. I will forever be proud of that.

My wallet on the other hand–well, that’s a different story.

Good thing it’s only money.

some day

Three years ago, in the early morning hours of April 6th–my father, Colin George, died.

He’s really gone, I remember thinking. I’m never going to see my dad again.

Quite fiercely, and for a time, I envied those who take comfort in the belief that death isn’t real. That some day, when this life is over, we are all reunited in eternity.

Then, four months ago, in the early evening hours of November 27th–my son, Liam Colin, was born–and that envy was gone.

2014-11-29 23.00.40

I didn’t quite realize it yet, but as I lay awake that first night peering at my son through that small pane of glass, I no longer needed to envy the belief in that mythical some day.

Because my some day is now.

I get to see my dad every day. I see him the moment Liam wakes up and smiles at me. I see him in the way the corners of his big, dark eyes crinkle. The way his pointy little ears stick out from his head, just a little. And that’s just the beginning.

My some day is today.

It’s every day.

And it’s forever.

dad babyliam

one of these things is not like the others

Oh, the inadequacy.

I guess you can say it all started with class picture day in kindergarten 26 years ago.

kindergarten

There we were–Mrs. Moran’s star pupils–all decked out in our Sunday best.

Except, well, me.

While most of my peers donned frilly new dresses, matching sweater vests and crisp collared shirts, I on the other hand was adorned in a fashionable thrift store red turtleneck and grey corduroy pants–the pièce de résistance obviously being the brand new (brand new was a big deal to me as a kid) velcro shoes from BiWay.

biway

Remember BiWay?

Growing up, I was shy and weird and different. I was always playing catch-up when it came to physical and social norms. For example:

  • I was a big time nerd. I spent recess in the computer lab
  • Being the shortest girl in the class relegated me time and time again to the front row (the least cool row) on picture day
  • My mother insisted that I always wear my hair in a stylish ponytail, because you know, lice
  • I’m fairly certain that most of the birthday parties I was invited to were out of pity/due to my mother threatening other mothers
  • School dances: LOL
  • One time, the girls in my class gave me a She’s All That makeover at camp, as part of what I can only assume was some sort of dork outreach program
  • In the eighth grade, the cutest boy in the class told me that my hair “looked good down”, and I nearly passed out and banged my head on the desk

Mercifully, I grew up in an era where schoolyard violence wasn’t really a thing, and bullying was limited to the cool girls who could afford new clothes and dance lessons shouting, “Rebecca smells!” across the locker room.

bullying

I didn’t, by the way.

Growing up was really isolating, so I guess that’s why I’m such a pushy, impatient new mom now. Sometimes, all I can think about is how badly I want my son to catch up. To be just like the other kids.

All around me (and by ‘all around me’ of course I mean ‘via photos of everyone’s children on Facebook’) babies his age–and sometimes younger–are reaching milestones before him. Milestones like lifting their heads more than two inches off the ground, deliberately holding their toys, and rolling over unassisted.

This guts me, and the rational side of me knows how stupid that is. I need to cut him some slack. After all, the poor sod spent nearly the entire month of February lying horizontal in a hospital bed. He’s going to be a little behind. But the emotional side is a lot harder to appeal to.

Almost as hard as resisting the urge to capture his adorable little fails on camera.

For example, here is a series of him trying, and failing, to lift his gigantic head off the ground during tummy time:

tummy time

Here he is demonstrating how to improperly use his sit-me-up chair:

2015-03-11 10.37.06

And here he is doing half the work of rolling over:

2015-03-25 15.39.36

I recognize how unfair my frustrations are as I write this very sentence. I know he’ll get there. He’s had some setbacks, but truthfully, if he can make it through 22 days of hospital hell, he can make it through anything–particularly his mother’s neuroses.

2015-02-26 21.52.18

Does it look like I care that I can’t hold my head up yet?

Now I’m going to finish this entry the way it began–with another humiliating anecdote from my youth.

One warm day late into my eighth grade year, I was beckoned over by the cool girls at recess. I don’t really remember much of the exchange, but as I walked away, I heard them joyously proclaim to everyone within earshot that, “Rebecca has a pretty face, but no chest.”

Oh ya?

girls

BOOM. And that’s BEFORE I had my baby, ladies!

Seems like things worked out okay for me. I have high hopes for you, kid.

I’ll be waiting for your call, Maury.

365 fetus-filled days

I’m surprised I even remember my name after spending 22 consecutive sleepless nights in the hospital with a sick baby, but shockingly, I woke up this morning remembering that exactly one year ago today, I found out I was pregnant.

oops

Does ‘pregnant’ mean what I think it means?

A lot has happened during this particular journey around the sun for me including, but not limited to:

  • Feelings of regret over destroying a case of beer two days before I took a pregnancy test
  • Additional feelings of confusion, inadequacy, fear and panic
  • Three more pregnancy tests, because sometimes pee can be wrong
  • Tears (the petrified kind)
  • The beginnings of a lifelong cycle of cat neglect
  • That thing where you think you’re going to throw up but you don’t, which is almost worse than actually throwing up
  • Eating habits that would put my aunt’s trash compactor to shame
  • Missing wine more than I miss seeing my own feet
  • A series of “bump day” mirror selfies that no one will ever, ever see
  • Giving birth to an actual human child–a feeling so surreal that I can only describe it using the phrase, “holy shit, man”
  • A terrifying three week hospital ordeal where said child nearly died (please don’t ever make me talk about this again, I hate you for even bringing it up)
  • Experiencing this weird, tingly sensation I’ve never felt before deep down in my chest–oh ya, unconditional love for another human being
  • NO SLEEP LIKE EVER

That’s it.

That’s all I have to say.

That, and how happy I am that this 13 pound diaper destroyer came into my life.

liam today

I’ve made a lot of mistakes, kid. You’re not one of them.