Sunday, October 4, 2009

Things my mother lied about

My mother has told me wonderful stories about my childhood, about raising kids, being pregnant, giving birth, etc. She is a helluva story teller.

When I've called her on her less-than truths, she has said, "Jenny, if we told our daughters the truth about childbirth, the human race would end." Or something like that.

But she has also been right about some stuff, and I've got to admit it.

Things my mother was right about:
--The pierced nipples: they do leak, a little, out of the hole where the piercings were for many years until about six months ago. (When I grudgingly pulled my mom aside to say "you were right" she said, "you don't have your nipples pierced!)... he he he, that's my mom!)
--The first few weeks are fun and easy
--Playing dress-up with Ginger is fun. But she's already growing out of clothes.
--There's really nothing like it. Spider-dog was good practice, but yeah, this is very different.

Things my mother lied about:
"Having a baby is cheap!"
LIES! Hospital bill is, so far, $20,000. I only owe about $2000 of that at this point (after my $2400 deductible and my out-of-network $4500 midwife/homebirth bill, not to mention acupuncture -- that is not paid for even out of network -- by my plan, but this is after my deductible, etc.) All told, I've spent about $10,000 on medical stuff so far.

I just ordered 8 packages of diapers for about $80. Sure, they are biodegradable/disposable, so I could go cheaper, but sheesh, don't tell me this practical stuff ain't gonna add up!

"You'll be such a cute little zombie"
This is what she said while chuckling about my plans to start school. If Ginger had arrived two or more weeks before classes for my master's program started, I would be in school. Now. Before now. Before the six-hour-drive back to NorCal resulted in my sleeping until 5 pm the following day.
Ginger arrived two days AFTER class started, so, Mom's visions of my negotiating sleepless nights and morning classes, paper deadlines and diaper rash, were all for naught. I am NOT a zombie. Because I can sleep in until 11 am if Ginger is up from 5 to 6 or 7 or 8 EVERY night.

Or like last night, if she'd up at 2:30 til 6 am. I fed her. She was smiley so we just hung out. Then she got cranky. Then she threw up two boobs worth of milk on to me and her outfit and my robe. Then she fell asleep. Out of bed by 11:30 am!

"It won't matter where you have her once you have her in your arms"
To some extent this is true. But honestly, at three or four weeks, I was still processing my disappointment with having to START off at the hospital. I always imagined laboring at home -- where I delivered here didn't matter to me in my imaginings, but taking advantage of the privacy and familiarity of our own home, not to mention the birth tub, cool swing/hammock thing that Ross made for me, was certainly part of my imaginings. And my fantasy of our birth.

The birth was amazing, the staff at the hospital made it amazing, I was amazing (yes, I will go there), and of course, having Ginger is amazing.

So, here, mom was kinda right. And kinda wrong.

"I hardly noticed I was in labor"
Say what?

OK, this is what Mom says her older sister said to her. So it was Mom that was lied to. She does in fact admit to noticing she was in labor with me. In fact, she told the Doc she wanted to go home. He said it was too late to good home. She begged for drugs (Can you say transition! I can! Gimme a T...), Dog said nope, too late, you're doing fine, etc.

Next time, on "The Lies My Mother Told Me" -- the milk let down feeling for me: not nice, not warm, not pins and needles. Oh no. Tiny razors scraping my inner boob on their way to the nipple. Fun!


  1. I'm going to have to think of some things my mom lies about with kids, too. She actually didn't really talk about any of her five labors, but then again, she's a midwesterner. She makes no bones about the fact that kids are hard, though. But the best thing that could ever happen to you! (said with much gushiness and enthusiasm by Mom)

  2. great post and - so true so true - i feel ya on the "let down". ive been meaning to write about my birth but its been hard to get a long enough moment @ the computer. in fact i thought right now would be a good chance but oh the baby has other choices for me. and i typed this all with one hand. ive gotten pretty good at it too.

    keep up the great work mama!

  3. Hi Jen,

    For what it's worth, I'm still trying to process/integrate/accept my unplanned hospital birth and its been 4 months. Of course I'm grateful the baby and I are healthy, but I still have some sadness and disapointment and it is hard to know what to do with those feelings. Ginger is adorabable.

  4. Best. Picture. Ever. (Or at least of Ginger so far--the bug-eyed one.)

  5. Jen, regarding that last one, said sister (my mom!) also said I was totally not hugely unattractive and socially retarded during high school, so clearly Aunt Gebo's had crack for lunch again. Just sayin'. God your baby is cute.