The Mom Illuminati — How Pregnant Women And Moms Have Lied To You For Years
My mom spent the past 25 years telling me that it was all so worth it, she hardly even remembered childbirth and what she did remember? Well, it was the most beautiful experience.
See, that’s what pregnant women and moms tell you. They’re all part of a giant fucking conspiracy to trick other women into experiencing the same glorious pain. I’m on to you, moms. I see what you’re doing, working with the new recruits — getting pregnant women to say they’ve never felt better about their bodies than when they were pregnant, to say they felt rosy and glowy and full of cheer.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not soulless. I, too, change the channel when that Sarah McLachlan commercial about the stray puppies comes on. I, too, teared up at a movie once.
I am geeking out about sonograms and the fact that I have a photo of a 3-inch nugget sucking its thumb while it’s growing in my belly. I am reading everything there is to read on childbirth and raising a kid that, fingers crossed, won’t rob you and your family in 18 years.
But I am a little peeved at the apparent lie parade that’s been marching through my conscious, female mind since I was learning to color inside the lines.
Here’s the truth of what my first trimester was like, for anyone considering this whole parenthood thing:
Get ready to taste all your favorite foods, with a side of stomach acid. I knew some women experienced a cute little dainty thing called “morning sickness,” but I didn’t know that “morning sickness” could mean not holding down a single meal for 12 weeks. I have crawled into my delicious bed after a long day and had my beloved husband tell me my hair has “a twinge” of vomit in it. I have sat down on the ground of a mall bathroom to catch my breath after making an unfortunate choice at Auntie Anne’s that the baby did not approve of. I have noticed that I do not chew my food nearly enough. These are things I can’t unknow now. These are just things in my arsenal of things now. Things that have “happened” to me. I also didn’t know it wouldn’t end right at 12 weeks like some magical vomit light switch. I’m proud to say at 15 weeks, I’m still rockin’ that twinge and learning to only eat toast after 5 p.m., because “morning sickness” means you’re a prisoner, day or night.
Get ready to freak the fuck out. I don’t know if these other parents are spending any time asking themselves the question, “What have we done?” But every time I see a kid throw a screaming tantrum in the grocery store or think about the fact that I have not even tried ecstasy, I freak out a little bit about the lifelong rollercoaster I just voluntarily hopped on after a couple of months of cool-headed conversation. Get ready to examine your demons, people. When you put a frozen Uncrustable in the microwave, you’re going to be thinking, “Sweet Jesus, I’m gonna be a mom, and I’m heating a frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwich with no crust.”
Get ready to learn some disgusting things about the human body. I won’t even begin to discuss the minor, but horrifying changes that my body is already undergoing. Let’s talk for a minute about the 3-inch baby that’s drinking one liter of its own urine every single day. Let that marinate for a moment. That means you, too, drank a liter a day of your own urine like Patches O’Houlihan once upon a time. I’m learning that in a mere 5 and a half months, this perfect little infant will rip through my body like tissue paper and will leave me some kind of war-torn battlefield as a memory of its inception.
Get ready to call your parents and say a lot of emotional things. Things like, “Thank you for birthing me. Is this the first time I’ve ever said that?” Impending parenthood puts things in perspective, like all of the things your parents did for you leading up to your birth and all of the exponentially more horrible things you did to them after. I remember throwing a gallon of milk into a freezer door at Jewel Osco because my mom didn’t believe me that we were out of Ovaltine at home. Isaiah’s mom will recount stories of tantrums and promises made at the entrance of that same Jewel Osco in Aurora, “Isaiah, you stay right by me. This is going to be a quick trip.” But, like every time, those automatic doors opened and he ran in like one of those kids that meets an unfortunate end in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. He wasn’t Charlie. He was Veruca.
With my hormones doubling at rapid pace and the gravity of parenthood not at all lost on us, we are in a tornado of WTF and have been for more than three months. That’s the thing with the human experience. You have to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God. Because otherwise, it happens all over to the next person and they’re none-the-wiser.
So, lay ‘em on me. I know you have some damaging horror story from either your pregnancy or a pregnancy you saw on the news … take off the gloves. Unless someone dies in your story. In which case, STFU. I don’t need to hear that shit, have you learned nothing about common decency?