And It All Came Crashing Down…

Today I had childbirth class.  This was quite the emotional experience.  To be honest, I really had no idea what I was in for.  But I really didn’t expect to be so rattled.  At the end of the whole ordeal, I carried my belongings out to the car, opened the door, set my mug of water in the middle console, and turned the key.  I then caught my own eye in the rearview mirror for a split second, and immediately burst into a thousand tears.

Thankfully, no one was around to see me, or they probably would have thought something was wrong.  Nothing was wrong – (wipe, wipe) – see!  I’m fine!  I’m totally fine.

I spent all day, reassuring myself of that.  I’m fine.  I’m fine.  Breathe.  It wasn’t so much the birthing video.  I handled the breastfeeding issues, the postpartum depression discussion, and the cesarean section.  What got me was the poetry handout. 

Here goes:

“Before I was a mom –
I never tripped over toys or forgot the words to a lullaby
I didn’t worry about my plants being poisonous 
I never thought about immunizations. 

Before I was a mom –
I had never been
puked on
or peed on
or pooped on
or chewed on
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts
I slept all night

Before I was a mom –
I never held down a screaming child to get shots or tests 
I never looked into teary eyes and cried 
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin 
I never sat up late at night watching a baby sleep
Before I was a mom –
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put them down 
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt
I never knew something so small could affect my life so much 
I never knew I could love someone so much
I never knew I would love being a mom

Before I was a mom –
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body
I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby 
I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child
I didn’t know that someone so small could make me so happy
I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much

Before I was a mom –
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the frustrations, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a mom.”

(To my knowledge, the above poem was by written by my childbirth instructor, Shirley Bismark.  I have no other way of giving credit to her other than to state her name here.)

I like to think of myself as Superwoman.  I like to think that I am invincible to all emotion, that nothing will get to me, that I can control all the turmoil happening inside my brain.  It’s a big fat lie, of course, and I know it.  I am one of the most flubbery, flustery, tearful people on the planet.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I wear my feelings all over my face.  I can hide not an ounce of it.  I just like to PRETEND that I can.

So getting through the entire day with a straight face took alot of effort.  I had to put on several coats of armor, which came out to me doodling during the breathing techniques tutorial, reading text messages while they passed out the breaking-the-amniotic-sac instruments, and becoming extremely involved in my package of crackers and why the plastic opening wouldn’t come apart during the Signs of Labor presentation. 

I like to think of myself as Superwoman.  But even Superwoman had to be a little rattled at the thought of delivering a baby.  Or knowing that her whole life (including whooshing off into the night to save her fellow man) was about to be turned upside down.  Or knowing that her once powerful physique was about to be turned into a human feeding machine.

The birth is a miracle.  But an even greater miracle is motherhood.  Becoming the sole provider for such a little, itty-bitty creation that Allah has sent to you.  So while I intend to keep up this “I’m Fine” routine for as long as I can – I do realize that at some point I’m going to have to break down and accept that this is really about to happen.  Just give me five more minutes…I’m fine.  Really.


One response to “And It All Came Crashing Down…

  1. Wow. I am crying at the poem. I can see why you’re feeling overwhelmed; I remember this all too well. It still washes over me on ocassion.

    Try to let yourself feel it in bits. That’s the best advice I can give you: one moment, one thought, one day at a time. It will not all happen at once, so no reason to worry about it all at once.

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