Surgeon 1: “Millicent, I’m going to need you to push”
Me: “you are kidding me right?”
Surgeon 2: “No he’s not. It’s ok, we just need you to push”
Me: “but I’m having a C-Section and I can’t feel my legs” (at this point, it hadn’t occurred to me to ask WHY)
Surgeon 2: “it’s ok, just push and your body will respond”
Me: attempting a semblance of a push while thinking… “They crazy!”
Bud: looking animated and sounding like a minion that just saw José Mourinho… “Oh wow! Babe! The baby just moved! I can see more of him! Push some more!
Me: thinking… “Jesus take the wheel of this drama”
Being a first time mum can be such an exhilarating feeling…
It can also make one a Mumzilla –
“You are holding his head all wrong”
“His nappy is too tight”
“Who touched the thermostat?”
“Sssshhhhhh! Your breathing is too loud”
“Why is he crying?” (Like anyone would know).
“Whoever moved the bottle of milk I left over at the table, I don’t know who you are. But I will look for you, I will find you… and you will pay!”
For the record, I am not copping to anything here (Mmhmm).
A century ago when I found out I was pregnant (being pregnant takes forever!), I went through a rollercoaster of emotions – anger, confusion, slight apprehension and the big question;
What happens now?
Well, what happened was that I got sick and stayed sick for a long time, dealt with some intense cravings (man! Those cravings are for real), was unable to work, canceled some of my gigs and suffered periods of epic brain freeze.
Don’t even get me started on the gymnastics and angle of inclination one needs to calculate to be able to get somewhat decent sleep.
The struggle was real!
The blessing was also real as I had the most amazing support (physically, mentally and spiritually) I could ever have hoped for.
So here are a few pointers I can share from my experience…
1. Becoming a mum is a HUGE commitment and a unique experience.
Don’t do it for anyone but yourself and your partner.
2. It’s ok to cry
Just because it’s normal for a pregnant woman to have morning sickness, experience moments of fatigue, loss of appetite, have back pains, act lethargic, put on weight and forget or mix up details every now and then; just because the pain and discomfort you feel has been declared ‘normal’ doesn’t mean you should suffer in silence.
It’s ok to feel overwhelmed and cry. Don’t feel ashamed to ask friends and family for help. You may be surprised by the kindness and support of those around you (Thank you to all the gems and stars who supported me. I see you!)
3. Do what is best for you
I never considered it a big deal how a baby got here, so long as they got here. So I found it surprising when some folks (I am looking at said folks through my side eye, mmhmm) seemed to be more interested in how I gave birth rather than how I was doing. Giving birth vaginally or through a cesarean delivery is not a competition or contest for an award. There is nothing shameful in bringing forth a human being into this world by either means.
Also, don’t let anyone convince you that massaging your stomach 2 times a day with the poop of an alligator will prevent stretch marks. That is just messed up.
P.S – I know a lot of African Christians proclaim and declare to give birth vaginally just like the Hebrew women. Positive thinking and speaking are great. However, if your doctor, midwife or gynecologist have advised on a caesarean delivery, please listen to them and keep you and your baby safe. Besides, you are not even Hebrew! Mmhmm.
4. Take care of you
Need I say more?
5. Have hope, you can do this!
If you have had or are having a difficult pregnancy, it can be challenging to envision an end. I thought I had my emotions all sorted for delivery but as soon as my son was placed in my arms after he was born, I was an emotional wreck and the floodgates opened. I had never seen anyone or anything so perfect.
“What’s his name?” The attending midwife asked
…you can call him Jedi”