By: Lily Patel for Georgia Weekly Post.
I met my husband while I was in college, and those days, now 20 years ago, I would dress all cute.
My closet was full of little dresses, fitted jeans, cute tops, and work out clothes. I knew upon meeting my husband that he was the man I was going to marry, and we did get married five years later. It was two weeks before my 27th birthday.
As a kid, I thought I'd be a mom of two kids by the age of 29. After getting married, I decided I didn't want kids right away. It was great, just my husband and me. In fact, it was so great that my husband and I both decided that we'd be fine if I decided on having children or not. Either way was fine.
I have to admit, the timing of when I decided on trying to have my first child really was influenced by societal pressures. I was 34 years old, and looking at the prospect of having my first child at age 35, or according to the medical professional, becoming a mother of advanced maternal age (AMA). My husband is into motorcycles, so to clarify, I'm not talking about the cool AMA, which stands for American Motorcycle Association. I didn't know if I'd get pregnant right away so I told my husband we could start trying. Well, lo and behold, I was so lucky, I was pregnant a couple months later, not nearly long enough to really understand the weight of my decision. I had no choice now. I was on my way to becoming a mom.
After the morning sickness eased up around the 16th week, my pregnancy was beautiful. I was told that pregnancy suited me and that I was the quintessential cute pregnant lady, all belly. You couldn't tell I was pregnant from behind. Before I got pregnant, I loved wearing cute clothes, especially dresses. Even while I was pregnant, I tried to wear cute maternity clothes. I loved carrying my little girl. I carried her low and she made the skin on my belly smooth and soft. I prayed that she would be cute and funny because those two qualities help to make life easier. God answered my prayers and my daughter came out cute and is still cute and funny.
▲ I was told that pregnancy suited me and that I was the quintessential cute pregnant lady, all belly.
Although my first pregnancy was uneventful, labor and delivery was another story. My little girl had a big head and delivering her caused 4th degree tearing, which meant tearing at the muscular level, or the most severe kind of tearing. I had such pain during healing, and healed very slowly, I actually had to go on antibiotics because I was not healing properly at the tear site. Standing, walking, sitting, lying down, everything was uncomfortable. There were lots of Sitz baths, which I hated. Because I felt so bad, I started to shower less frequently and to start dressing less cute. I let my physical appearance get a little rough.
I was so focused on being a mom, I let myself slip into mommy frumpdom, not caring about my looks, not taking care of my hair, and wearing unflattering, frumpy clothes. This went on until my daughter was almost 1 year old. When it was the new year, my new year's resolution was to be better groomed. For example, I wanted to start getting my hair done, taking care of my fingernails and toenails, wearing my cute clothes again, and most importantly, to start shaving my legs again. My husband was glad I started to shave my legs again. It had not gone unnoticed by my husband that I had let my legs get hairy!
▲ After the morning sickness eased up around the 16th week, my pregnancy was beautiful.
It was wonderful having a little girl. She and I spent so much mommy and me time together, taking mommy and me swim classes, mommy and me theatre classes, and mommy and me yoga classes. We also took many trips to the aquarium, botanical gardens, and to the local museums. I was happy with just one kid, but ever since my daughter was 1 year old, my husband was itching to have a second child.
Again, because of societal pressures, before my 40th birthday, I told my husband that if he wanted to try again for a second child, we'd better try soon. You wouldn't believe it but I missed my period and was pregnant two weeks later. I know how lucky we are. I told my husband that we are blessed.
▲This time I got pregnant with a boy, and it was not a fun pregnancy. Here I was, 40 years old, and pregnant with some sort of alien. I was not used to the hormones you get when you're pregnant with a boy. I felt aggressive at times, hostile, and ready to pick a fight. I was determined to make sure no one got the best of me, and I was convinced that that was what everyone wanted.
This time I got pregnant with a boy, and it was not a fun pregnancy. Here I was, 40 years old, and pregnant with some sort of alien. I was not used to the hormones you get when you're pregnant with a boy. I felt aggressive at times, hostile, and ready to pick a fight. I was determined to make sure no one got the best of me, and I was convinced that that was what everyone wanted. I also was morning sick for much of my pregnancy, and suffering from Gastrointestinal issues such as gassiness, and when I passed gas, which I couldn't control, the smell just exacerbated my nausea. I also alternated between constipation and diarrhea every few days. I was a super picky eater and sometimes could not eat enough. I became territorial with the food in the refrigerator, staking claim on certain food items in the fridge, and blowing up when someone else ate my food. Oh, and there was that one time I was that pregnant lady that fainted in the middle of the park, and the ambulance came!
▲ I became territorial with the food in the refrigerator, staking claim on certain food items in the fridge, and blowing up when someone else ate my food.
I also gained a lot more weight during my second pregnancy. By the time I was 4 months pregnant, people thought I was 6 months along. By the time I was 6 months pregnant, people thought I was about to deliver. My tummy was huge and prevented me from sleeping. I was somewhat in denial of being pregnant, so I didn't tell that many people, but it was obvious. I also didn't want any baby showers. Unlike my first pregnancy, I was pretty negative during my second pregnancy.
My son ended up being born two weeks early, and to my amazement, he is the most adorable, sweetest thing I have ever laid my eyes on. He has the most innocent face that I actually feel bad for when I was begrudging my pregnancy with him. And also, without any testosterone in my blood stream, I am back to my regular positive and pleasant, non-hostile self. My baby boy smiles a lot, and is so affectionate. I thought I would only like baby girls until he came along and opened my eyes to the adventures of having a boy. For example, I didn't know you should point his wee-wee down so his pee wouldn't miss his diaper completely, leaving his diaper completely dry, and end up wetting his clothes.
▲ My husband decided that we needed a new car. I was trying to choose between the luxurious Lexus and the practical Toyota Highlander. I almost got the Highlander, but thankfully, my husband prevented me from slipping into mommy frumpdom. He encouraged me to choose the sexy Lexus instead, which I ultimately did. I got the F-sport with the hot red leather seats. Not above!!
A few weeks ago, my husband decided that we needed a new car. I was trying to choose between the luxurious Lexus and the practical Toyota Highlander. I almost got the Highlander, but thankfully, my husband prevented me from slipping into mommy frumpdom. He encouraged me to choose the sexy Lexus instead, which I ultimately did. I got the F-sport with the hot red leather seats. Phew! It was close, but I evaded the dreaded descent into mommy frumpdom!
▲I told my daughter she was such a good big sister and good girl and that I'm so happy to have her as my daughter, the best daughter in the world. She then said that I was so sweet.
So despite having a luxurious new car, turns out that my baby boy hates being in the car. After ruling out car sickness since he has not vomited, I've determined that the reason why he screams in the car is because he feels alone in his car seat and he gets bored.
Yesterday I decided to try something new. My daughter, who also sits in the back in a Booster seat, and I armed ourselves with at least 7 noise-making toys to try playing with in front of the baby. When the baby started crying, his big sister would start shaking his rattles or squeaking his Sophie the giraffe toy which instantly calmed him down and stopped his crying.
I was so surprised because it had been about four weeks of anxiety on my part because every time we would get in the car, the baby would scream. I told my daughter she was such a good big sister and good girl and that I'm so happy to have her as my daughter, the best daughter in the world. She then said that I was so sweet.
I am feeling so full on this Mother's Day. I am so blessed to have two such wonderful children. I wish a Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. And no judgment on whether you've fallen into mommy frumpdom. It's OK. I've been there too. It doesn't affect how good a mom you are.