2020 note- The next two weeks of reblogs will be about connecting two stories. This post is about Anna’s birth story which I wrote as a submission for a book that was being written back in 2015 titled, “It’s Really 10 Months“.
The piece that I originally submitted was horrible. I have since edited it considerably, so the post you are reading today is not at ALL the piece the three authors had originally read, so keep that in mind while you are reading it.
Also, this piece didn’t make the cut because it was poorly written but I was bitter about it, which is why I am going to be sharing the public email and letter to the authors that I wrote on my blog, next Friday. Because I think it is important to admit publicly when you are wrong.
And I was wrong.
When it wasn’t the vomiting.
Pain and vomiting.
Vomiting and pain.
That is all I could wrap my little head around.
I mean, I was neurotic enough about having sex for the first time because I knew there would be pain.
And I might have been a little afraid there could be some vomiting involved as well.
But she was always very laid back when talking about all of it and always brushed it off, probably because she knew me and my anxiety.
“Oh it’s not that bad, you forget the nausea and pain once you look into your beautiful baby’s eyes, Kari!”
I am also sure she was quite frank for many other reasons, one of which was so that I wouldn’t end up knocked up by the time I was 15.
It worked, by the way.
Scaring the ever-loving bejeezus out of her teenage daughter by telling her, in full detail about her mucus plug and bloody show.
I would later, always envision my mother walking away while rubbing her hands together and saying. “yep, that oughta do it”.
That “did it” alright.
I was 29 years old when I felt like I was finally ready to face that mucus plug scenario.
I bought the books! I started taking folic acid! I practiced my gag reflex! I was ready to be plugged and bloody showed!
Er……anyway, I had this!
One month into my new pregnancy, I was getting a tiny bit cocky after not having a single gagging episode or food aversion.
Please, morning sickness must be for babies, I reasoned.
No offense, mom but you must not be as strong as I am.
Look at me kicking ass at pregnancy!
Thirty-one days into my pregnancy, the Universe heard and morning sickness began.
From dawn until dusk.
And not only nausea but the kind that makes you feel like you are on the verge of vomiting but not quite there.
Just enough to make you feel completely miserable but not enough to let you stay home in bed all day.
Day 33 is when the dry heaves started appearing.
Only, I worked at a department store, on a sales floor, all day long.
FAR FROM A BATHROOM.
It was on day 37 when, after throwing up all over my laundry room floor in the middle of the day after absolutely nothing triggered it, that I had a realization: WHY ISN’T MOTHER’S DAY EVERY FUCKING DAY OF THE YEAR?
Also? All embarrassment is thrown out the window during pregnancy.
I mean, if you have ever gagged and dry heaved at the smell of an Auntie Anne pretzel then, in turn, had to run and throw up into a potted plant at the mall?
Well, the rest of life is a piece of cheesecake.
Ugh, don’t mention cheesecake.
I was working retail on my feet all day, five days a week so I was feeling pretty proud of myself and figured I deserved to boast a little.
Umm, where is the “hard part”?
Week 42 of the average 40-week pregnancy, I was still pregnant and by then, pissed off.
That will teach me to shut my stupid mouth.
It was when I finally bribed a doctor with a Visa gift card and Portillo’s cake (YES I KNOW THAT ISN’T HOW IT WORKS) when they finally decided to strip my membranes to get the process started.
Never in my life would I ever be excited for someone to “strip” any part of my “membranes” but this was making me so giddy that I think we actually went out to celebrate at TGI Friday’s that night after the actual “stripping”.
Stupid, naive first timer’s that we were, we actually thought that meant we were going into labor that night.
NOPE, STILL KNOCKED UP.
Finally a week later after absolutely nothing happened, they decided to have me admitted to the hospital to be induced because this baby was not interested in joining us.
Let me say this, I enjoyed my pregnancy, with the exception of the vomiting in plants and dry heaving randomly, with every bit of my being.
It was such a wonderful time of my life.
It needed to end.
Kind of like a Christmas office party.
You have an amazing time with the all you can eat buffet and endless alcohol but as the night grows on, it just becomes too much.
And by the end, someone ultimately gets a little too drunk and starts singing “Without You” like Bridget Jones wearing a sad party hat.
My unborn baby was Bridget Jones at the end of the Christmas party.
After 20 hours of induced labor that never went anywhere, my first baby was born via C-section. It was a long story and that was why it wasn’t picked for the book, most likely. I am quite chatty, as we all know. Here is the best part.
Isn’t she great? Yeah, I think so too.
When I was finally allowed back into my hospital room the night my Anna Grace was born a few hours after my first ever surgery, there was some mystery surrounding that evening.
I remember there being a mysterious glow in my hospital room that night when I returned. I don’t remember all the details of that evening but I remember this like it happened this morning. I was holding my newborn baby girl and there was this glow that I will never forget, like a soft lamp glow that illuminated the entire room in this soothing glow, which is the only way to describe it. It was this comforting glow that I can’t quite explain but I began to tell everyone about it the next day and tried to recreate it in the room the following night to no avail.
Everyone thought I was crazy as I described it over and over to anyone who would listen. The nurses looked at me as though I was crazy and probably thought it was all those meds I was on to recover from the pain and to this day, I still can’t explain the “glow” other than it was the drugs from surgery.
But part of me, a huge part of me. really wants to believe it was Heaven that night. That Heaven opened up a little into our room that night and all the angels of past relatives were surrounding us to get a peek at the newest arrival. To visit my little Anna Grace and see her for themselves.
I still choose to believe that story because it’s a good one, no?
I have never loved anyone in my life like I love my children. I love my husband so deeply but it is a totally different kind of love, one that has developed over time. But the first time I met him, I didn’t immediately love him. I grew to love him over time even though I have always called him my soul mate.
But my children, my children I have loved even before I met them. I was madly and deeply involved since the moment the stick on the pregnancy test showed two lines. It is a love affair that I am so lucky to be part of.
And it really is worth a little pain and vomiting.