Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I've been meaning to write about the joys of motherhood for awhile now, but I'm enjoying life so much, that I can hardly find time for sitting in front of ye old computer!
So here's a short version of my story. I have lived a pretty adventurous life. I've rode my bike across 4 countries, hiked 250 miles straight, lived in several different major cities, taken countless road trips, camping trips, life adventures, etc. I even went to circus school for a year and flew on a flying trapeze (i'm not bragging, just leading up to the good stuff)! Up until I met the lovely Dan Harrison, one of my mottos was 'buried before married.' I had no desire for children or a husband or anything resembling a normal 'tied down' sort of life. Soon after spending time with Dan, I realized that a partnership can be a wonderful harmonious thing and that he'd make a great father, so we should get married and have kids. It went against all my future beliefs, but when you meet the right person, things just fall in line. So, we decide to get married and figured we'd have a kid sometime in the first couple of years of our marriage. A bit to our surprise, Halen gets conceieved immediately and we have a Costa Rican souvenir bun in the oven. I was pretty terrified at first, not knowing how my body would handle the pregnancy and most of all, the birth! Pregnancy certainly has it's ups and downs, but it's overall a fascinating experience. There's so much you never know about the process until you're there. It's stuff every pregnant woman goes through, yet you never learn about it. I was often left wondering why I didn't learn more about this in health class. If they can show you how to use a tampon, they should also tell you a bit about pregnancy and all it's quarks. I guess some crazy conservative somewhere decided that teaching about pregnancy might encourage it or something. Anyway, pregnancy is nuts! I didn't experience many of the food cravings, but I did experience the need to feed! Holy moly, I was hungry! Then I got heartburn regularly, always carrying my little bottle of Tums. Toward the end, I didn't want to do anything but have that baby. i just wanted to get that little kicker out of me so I could meet him face to face! While in utero, I sang songs to him, held flashlights to my belly to see if he'd respond, and told him lots of stories. When I finally started my labor, shopping with Maggie and Melanie in Target, I didn't know if it was just cramps or the real deal. Several hours later, I decided that it was real. I was already tired, but so excited that I couldn't imagine sleeping. I stayed up all night, going in to the hospital around 2am. Once there, I was hardly dialated, so I just walked around the room, squatting here and there, hanging on Dan, pooping every 2 minutes, throwing up a couple of times, biting Dan, and trying to deal with the pain. I was so exhausted I would fall asleep standing up, hanging on Dan, between contractions. Everyone finally talked me into an epidural so I could let my body rest and get ready for the pushing. It was a terrifying experience when that big ass needle was going into my spine, right as I was screaming from the pain of a contraction, but soon came some serious relief from the pain. I managed to sleep a couple of hours and felt much better. Then it was time to push. We won't go there! I'll just say that it was really hard, took too long, was pretty painful, but resulted in the happiest moment of my life. Each moment since has been happier, as I get to know this little bugger. He was so beautiful, slimy, cone-headed, and all. He was good at nursing right away. At first, there's no milk. It's just colustrum, which is stuff that they suck out and it lines their system as a protective coating. It's the first step in the development of their own immune system. When the milk comes in a few days later, it is insanely crazy! My boobs where enormous, lumpy, and hard as rocks. I was worried to death that they would stay that way. After about a day, they figure out the cycle and no longer get that big and that hard. Breastfeeding is amazing!!! I have never felt so much pride as when I am making milk for Halen. Of all my accomlishments, I feel like it is the most miraculous and amazing one. It makes me feel like a friggin super hero! Being Halen's mom has been the most amazing experience in my life so far. I sometimes wonder why I didn't do this sooner, but I know that I had all those other adventures to take care of first. They are part of me and I'm glad I did them.
Halen is awake now and I'm doing that magical nursing thing as I type. I'll wrap this up so I can hang out with the little angel. Basically, I used to not want kids, then I did but I thought I'd wait a little longer. Now I can't imagine how anyone can go through their life without this experience. If you've ever thought there was a slight possibility that you'd want kids, then do it! It's amazing! Also, Halen needs some playmates!