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Commentary: The ups and downs of motherhood

The other day I was talking to a co-worker about the possibility of her becoming a mother. She was really excited, and I couldn’t resist the urge to deflate her dreams a little, as my wife and I recently have gone through the whole baby thing. Anyway, I decided to interview my wife and collect her hard won wisdom into an article about pregnancy and childbirth.

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by Chris Bonshor (Copy Editor and new father) and Raychel Bonshor (new mother)

The other day I was talking to a co-worker about the possibility of her becoming a mother. She was really excited, and I couldn’t resist the urge to deflate her dreams a little, as my wife and I recently have gone through the whole baby thing. Anyway, I decided to interview my wife and collect her hard won wisdom into an article about pregnancy and childbirth.

The  information within is primarily about the ups and downs of the first parts of motherhood and regards our experiences. It only seeks to inform the reader about one possible outcome. What is set down here is not set in stone, nor does it try to cover every aspect of the childbearing process. Enjoy!

The beginning you’re sick but you feel excited and hopeful, this is doable. ‘Aw man, this is going to be so great!’ By the second trimester you become more uncomfortable, but you feel a lot better and are still mobile. You can still see and maybe touch your toes.

By the third trimester, and especially those last eight weeks, you’re huge and can’t do anything. You might be able to get to the floor, but you certainly can’t get back up by yourself. If you drop something, forget it; it’s gone. Two months can seem like a long time! In the summer it is double bad because you have a space heater in your tummy.

When you’re overdue, it is really stressful. You want to do everything naturally and have as few “interventions” as possible because that is what they sort of train you to want and think will happen. Then one morning you wake up and you’re ready to go.

My experience got really awful from this point on as it did not go the way they said it would at all. 22 hours of labour followed by a c-section was not fun, especially as the last eight hours had the worst pain I have ever experienced. But then you finally have your baby.

I still felt like a failure at this point because I wasn’t able to have my baby naturally and needed all sorts of “interventions.” Then you think, ‘Oh well, at least I can breastfeed my baby.’ But you are so tired and recovering from surgery and drugged out and every half hour or hour the baby needs you and it hurts so bad (your nipples are raw and even bleeding). It is just totally ridiculous! You still literally haven’t slept in three days, by the way.

Then you finally get to go home and they say, ‘Oh, you’re baby has lost a pound, so you need to supplement.’ Great, I failed at breastfeeding, too! Whatever’s best for baby (repeat this mantra). By the way, you literally won’t sleep for a week. What with one thing and another – worrying about baby, taking care of baby, worrying about your spouse – you can’t take any breaks (even with a helpful mother and husband).

When baby wakes you up for the third time at three in the morning you just want to run away. Then you look at them in their crib/cradle and you think, ‘Ok, I can get out of bed for this sweet thing.’ Then you are home and there are no nurses to help anymore, you are still in so much pain, everyone wants to see your baby and you feel like you’re being pulled in twenty-seven directions. You just want to sit there and hold you’re baby say ‘Leave me alone!’

This eventually calms down and sorts itself out (thank God!), but at the time it feels like your world, at least as you know, has come crashing down around you. Then you eventually get into a schedule. Yet you feel like you can’t be there for your spouse because all of your energy goes to baby. So when baby finally goes to sleep, you just want to sleep, wonderful sleep. This is while your spouse is hugging you and hoping for alone time (see sex column).

It never ends. It especially sucks when you have to go see people, because loading baby and everything in the car totally blows chunks. But then baby smiles at you and laughs and it is all worth it. Then you just can’t wait for everything and you start to be able to look forward to their milestones. You get to help this tiny baby, who can’t do anything by themselves, become a real person.

At this point, I haven’t even gotten into all of the crazy changes that your body has gone through by this point. Is this still even my body? Nor have I gotten in to the many costs (monetary and otherwise) of having a baby. I think I will leave you on the hook waiting for that for next time.

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