Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me: Motherhood a Year Later

Every time you celebrate your birthday by going to town on an obscene amount of shots, or by partying the night away, or eating a pint of ice cream in your pajamas, what you are also celebrating is the day a woman's body pretty much ripped itself in half to give you life. Since we are not in the matrix yet (or are we? ::shifts eyes::) this is true of every single human being in existence ever. For me, this is not just my son Zakir's birthdate, this is my first year anniversary of being a mother.

Me right after birthing Zakir trying my hardest to smile. My face says it all.
At 1:44am a year ago, I gave birth to my son. I was in labor for I suppose about 20 hours, but it wasn't so bad once the drugs kicked in. Drugs were so awesome. I don't think I could thank modern medicine enough for giving me relief during labor. Cool beans to ladies who have done it without drugs, but life is enough of a struggle for me than to make child birth one of them. It chilled me out enough to facebook post during labor and take some nice naps in between throwing up. Because as happy as the epidural was, the pure force of labor still made me vomit all over my mother and the nurse.

SEEN HERE : not me
Motherhood has changed how I look at everything. I don't think being a mother is any different if you physically give birth or adopt. I think loving, caring for and raising a child is one and the same. I also don't think motherhood is a good fit for everyone and that women who choose to never have kids shouldn't be asked constantly to justify their no child status or pressured into having any.  I also realize that motherhood is a privilege, there are women whose greatest wish is to give birth to a child, and for many that deep desire remains unfulfilled. Then there are the mothers who have experienced miscarriages, stillbirths and the loss of an infant or child. For them once they are a mother, they will always remain a mother to that child. In my life I know women who fall under each of these categories, and though I will never pretend that I understand all of their individual experiences, my feelings towards these different situations has only deepened in understanding and respect after becoming a mother myself.

With this is mind I can speak that for me motherhood in this first year is indescribable. I think that's the only adjective that really fits. I described it on my Facebook as "A beautiful, vomity, bloody screaming mess with lots of poop. So much poop. And hugs." I mean really, that about sums it up for me. Motherhood is so damn visceral, in every possible sense. We decorate moms and babies in pastel colors, with a halo of peace and love. Society makes it so serene, so perfect

SO PEACEFUL
Scrap that, motherhood is badass, it's bloody, it's nature, full force. I'm not talking camping nature. I'm talking lions ripping wildebeests apart, volcanoes erupting, dinosaur extinction nature. The hurricane force that goes through your body when you expel an entire person out of your being is the very core of existence. Raw, unhinged and wild. It was so intense that my brain literally forgot things and fogged out my memory from remembering the hardest parts, it was that physically traumatizing. There is a purpose to this convenient memory lapse, this is so I will want other children. Because believe me, I do want other kids,  nature and my cuddly awesome progeny has tricked me into thinking it's a good idea.

Nature is beautiful
But why is it a good idea? I'll tell you why, because motherhood has changed me. Everyone says it does, but it's so true. I'm still the same person, not even an ounce more mature or put together, but definitely trying a lot harder. Because frankly I have no choice. I have to put on my big girl pants for Zakir, because if I don't no one will put them on for me to raise him. Okay, I lied, my mother helps me tremendously and has been his primary caretaker when I returned to work. My mom helps me with my mommy big girl pants. 

Thanks mother, for helping both my and Zakir survive our first year together
More than that, I feel like my blood, my brain, my heart and my entire being has changed (scientifically it actually has). And I'm not talking about the 20 pound weight gain and missing sexy abs. It feels like my heart got carved out and filled in with something different, and that 'different' is my son. I know I may still have new mom hormones surging through my body but the way I feel towards Zakir is overwhelming if I actually stop to think about it. When he's making super high pitched noises coz I stuck him in his playpen again, or when it takes 2 hours to feed him one meal, the love feeling is kind of taken over by the "oh my god you are so annoying" feeling. But there are magical moments, when I hold him tightly against my chest because that's the only way to calm his yells for "mama, mama, maaaamaaaaaa" or to calm him if he's feeling sick or sleepy. Moments when I watch him sleep at night, tears flow freely from my eyes. Tears of the purest love, intense, overwhelming, I-will-die-for- you, move-the-earth-for-you kind of love. Literally he's a piece of my soul that decided to detach and join the rest of the world outside me. And that's excruciating, it's overwhelming, it's maddening, it's exhilarating, and I guess, well, it's being a parent.

Outside of these off the wall feelings during this first year,  I am just damn grateful.  I would like to pat my mom on the back for helping me keep my son alive and functional. I want to thank all of the friends who have absolutely spoiled my family with gifts, support and love. Seriously, my home is overrun with toys and baby stuff and I bought none of it. NONE OF IT.  They basically made sure Zakir has been clothed so far. I want to thank my fellow mothers who checked in on me and understood when for the first 3 months of Zakir's birth I felt like an absolute crazy person, and frankly hated being a mom. For the first 3 months I wondered why I didn't use birth control because Zakir was awesome but I felt terrible. Not depression as much as physical pain from breastfeeding and birth recovery, guilt at not knowing what the hell I was doing, weight gain I have never experienced and trying to get back to a life that has irrevocably changed. Thank you moms for making me feel less like a wild animal and more like a regular female who had just shaken her world from its core forever. Thank you to my husband, frenemy, partner, good-looking baby maker, Roberto, for taking this journey with me as we navigate our lives as new parents, as a couple, as people wanting to advance our careers as we try to navigate mountains of debt while unsuccessfully (so far) buying a home for our family.

While writing this post, it turned 1:44 am, the time of Zakir's birth. I took a break from blogging to give my sleeping angel koala baby a kiss Happy Birthday. The tears came again, I could barely even choke out the "Happy Birthday" part, and when I kissed him, my tears glistened upon his perfect sleeping face. He's perfect, who knows if I will think that when he's a hysterical toddler and an annoying angsty teenager who listens to music I hate. But for now, he's perfect and part of me thinks, angsty teenager or not, I will always think so.

I'll love you anyway kid.


4 comments:

  1. Love this…thanks for sharing from the heart and the gut! Cheers to the demands and joys of year two!

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    1. thank you my dear! truly, the heart and gut and very much involved in this process

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  2. love reading your very real motherhood posts, and this was so on point! every stage of ur baby's development is so unique and special and has it's own set of challenges.. with my 2 and 6 yr olds, I have learned to grow along with my kids. They really are teaching me how to be their mom, every day. One day, i'll tell them that. ;-) Happy birthday, Nadia, Zakir and Roberto!

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    1. thank you so much for reading Laura, I love watching your girls grow (albeit from afar) and see the love that your beautiful family shares!

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