Happy Birth Day versus Happy Birthday… an ever so slight nuance that completely alters the message delivered.
For those who know me, personally and professionally, you may have noticed that I am more likely to say “Happy Birth Day, Mama” than your more typical “Happy Birthday.” The distinction is not insignificant. Yes, the day of our birth is a big deal and is rightfully celebrated. Birthday celebrations are a must, as far as I am concerned. But you know what else deserves celebrating? Yes, the day we literally delivered another human to the planet.
They Waddle By:
“to this day, my initial reaction upon seeing an about-to-burst woman, is “thank you Universe, that’s not me anymore.””
Not sure if I’m the only one who has a visceral reaction to pregnant women. Not all of them, mind you, just the ones who waddle by, clutching or rubbing their busting-at-the-seams belly. It’s been 20 years since I was pregnant. And still to this day, my initial reaction upon seeing an about-to-burst woman, is “thank you Universe, that’s not me anymore.” I say that knowing I had a pretty easy pregnancy. It was just long. Really long. 42 weeks long. And towards the end, the southern Summer heat and humidity made every moment a chore.
For those of us who have taken this journey, we know the level of sacrifice required to successfully create and produce a human. The manufacturing process ruins the equipment. Nothing is ever the same. For some it may be better (please raise your hand), but I bet that for most of us the wreckage is tangible.
Lies And More Lies:
“needing a last minute cesarean allows me to still jump rope, sneeze, and laugh without incident”
All those celebrity photos on the cover of those National Enquirer or People tabloids at grocery check-out lines with the bold typeface “So-and-So back to her pre-baby body- rocking the bikini” flood our collective minds. According to them, not only is getting our body back to the way it was before possible; it’s actually expected.
Personally, I don’t have a lot to complain about. Only making one baby and needing a last minute cesarean allows me to still jump rope, sneeze, and laugh without incident. Those of you in the know, know. Those of you who don’t, well lucky you!
But my once full, round breasts are now mere empty socks wishing for some stuffing. No hopes of hanging them on a fireplace mantle with the expectation of waking to an over-filled stocking. And, if that’s not bad enough, the place where the doctor cut me open, allowing my son to escape, is now building its own “’skin shelf”. I didn’t make this up, by the way. There’s an actual term for this – but no one told me about it. Not that I had much of a choice at the time.
In case you’re curious about the C-section situation:
“The area that hangs over a C-section incision site goes by several names, used interchangeably: C-section shelf, C-section pooch, and C-section overhang. Just as your body changed during pregnancy, it changes during the healing process as well. A C-section pooch that develops above your C-section scar can be part of that change. As your C-section scar heals, the excess skin and tissue that form a C-section shelf can develop.” – Romper.com
A Well-Deserved Birthday Celebration:
“Even though I spent years vigilant to ensure he survived, he’s on his own now.”
The thing is – every bit of the ruination of my physical entity was worth it. I suspect that holds true for most of us. Heck, there are a ton of you out there who ran the manufacturing process two, three, four, or more times. Clearly, the product merits the damage.
This past week my pride and joy bundle of love turned 20. And yes I made all the parts and pieces perfectly, even if I say so myself. Those pieces don’t belong to me anymore. Even though I spent years vigilant to ensure he survived, he’s on his own now. For the record, I don’t necessarily appreciate all the rough usage of those parts and pieces by a testosterone-driven, frontal cortex challenged young man. But alas, my choices don’t matter anymore. His do.
I won’t be part of Aidan’s birthday celebrations this year. He’s away at University and I am on the road. Still, I think some balloons, a party hat, ice cream, and maybe even a birthday present for me is in order.