I did a lot of editing and in the editing process realized the original submission probably didn’t deserve to be in the book, to begin with.
So really, making those changes was part of my process of getting over the rejection of not being in the book in the first place.
I am completely over it now but I really like this piece, so I decided I would like to share it with you.
That and I have been absent lately and I miss you and we really need a laugh lately around here.
Life is short, last week was hard in our world and I feel the need to lighten things up a bit.
When it wasn’t the vomiting.
Pain and vomiting.
Vomiting and pain.
That is all I could wrap my little head around.
I was neurotic about having sex for the first time because I knew there would be pain.
And I might have been a little afraid there could be some vomiting involved as well.
She told me all about the feelings she had…..the excitement, nausea, the weight gain, the throwing up in the parking lot of their newlywed apartment building while pregnant with me because HELLO MORNING SICKNESS.
But she was very laid back and brushed it off.
“Oh it’s not that bad, you forget nausea and pain once you look into your beautiful baby’s eyes!”
I am sure she was open and honest for many reasons but one huge one was so that I wouldn’t end up knocked up by the time I was 15.
It worked, by the way.
Scaring the ever loving beejeebus out of her teenage daughter by telling her, in full detail about a mucus plug and bloody show.
I then envision my mom then walking away while rubbing her hands together and saying. “that oughta do it”.
That “did it” alright.
I was 29 years old when I felt like I was finally ready to become a mom.
But I was ready to do this!
I bought the books!
I started taking folic acid!
I practiced my gag reflex!
I was ready to be plugged and bloody showed!
Er……anyway, I had this!
|Yes, those are baby toys hanging from my overalls. Yes, I am a grown ass woman wearing overalls.|
A month into my new pregnancy, I was getting a tiny bit cocky after not having a single gagging episode or food aversion.
Puleeze, morning sickness must be for wussies, I reasoned.
No offense, mom but you must not be as strong as I!
Look at me kickin’ ass at pregnancy!
31 days in, nausea began.
From morning until bedtime.
The kind that makes you feel like you are on the verge of vomiting but not quite there.
Just enough to make you feel completely miserable but not enough to let you stay home in bed all day.
Day 33 is when the dry heaves started appearing.
And I worked at a department store.
On the sales floor.
All day long.
FAR FROM A BATHROOM.
It was at day 35 when, after throwing up all over the laundry room floor in the middle of the day after absolutely nothing triggered it, that I had a realization: I LOVE MY MOMMY SO MUCH.
And that all self-embarrassment is thrown out the window in pregnancy.
I mean, if you have ever gagged and dry heaved at the smell of human urine or thrown up into a potted plant at the mall?
Well, the rest of life is a piece of cheesecake.
|Smiling through the dry heaves, In fact, I think I vomited a few minutes after this picture was taken. Or while it was taken.|
So by the end of my pregnancy, the cocky monster once again reared its ugly head.
I was working on my feet all day, five days a week so I was feeling pretty proud of myself and figured I deserved to boast a little.
Umm, where is the “hard part”?
|This is the point in pregnancy where you don’t GAF anymore and don’t care that your eyes are closed in pictures. JUST TAKE THE GO$#DA$# PICTURE ALREADY.|
The Universe listened.
Week 42 of the average 40-week pregnancy, I was still pregnant and by then, pissed off.
That will teach me to shut my mouth.
It was when I finally bribed my doctor with a Visa gift card and Portillo’s cake that she stripped my membranes to get the process started.
Never in my life would I ever pay someone to “strip” any part of my “membranes” but this was making me so giddy that I think we actually went out to celebrate at TGI Friday’s that night.
Stupid, naive first timer’s that we were, we actually thought that meant we were going into labor that night.
|Nothing says Happy Holidays like a maternity panel jeans pregnancy belly picture in front of the tree. Merry Christmas. Shitters Full.|
Finally a week later after absolutely nothing happened, they decided to have me admitted to the hospital to be induced because this baby was not interested in joining us.
Let me say this, I enjoyed my pregnancy, with the exception of the vomiting in plants and dry heaving randomly, with every bit of my being.
It was such a wonderful time of my life.
It needed to end.
Kind of like the Christmas office party.
You have an amazing time with the all you can eat buffet but as the night grows on it just becomes too much.
And by the end, someone ultimately gets a little too drunk and starts singing “Without You” like Bridget Jones wearing a sad party hat.
My unborn baby was Bridget Jones at the end of the Christmas party.
|There. Is. No. More. Room. At. The. Inn.|
When my mom told me about her labor starting when my journey into this world started, she felt like she might be getting the stomach flu.
Never mind that it was a good four days before my due date but my mom didn’t make the connection when she first woke in the night with her stomach cramps that late April night.
She thought she had diarrhea.
I laughed at her naivete and thought NO WAY WILL THAT BE ME, heh heh heh.
When I was induced into labor, in a hospital room mind you, I was told that within a few hours, I would “start to feel a cramping sensation.”
Like I have to poop.
Because that is what having a baby feels like.
Having to take the worlds largest crap.
Only with a lot more blood, pain, and screaming.
I was told this by a medical professional after being administered a drug that would make me feel like I was going to poop.
So when two hours later, I woke up with stomach cramps that made me feel like I had just eaten really bad tacos, I was freaking out.
I AM GOING TO HAVE DIARRHEA!
IN THE HOSPITAL OF ALL PLACES!!!!
WHAT WILL THEY SAY!!
Never mind that they see this kind of thing all the damn time.
I actually convinced my then-husband to try and unhook me from all of the wires and tubes so I could sneak into the bathroom without them noticing me.
As not to embarrass me further.
You know because unhooking myself and beeping loudly then explaining that I did so because I didn’t want them to hear me pooping isn’t at ALL embarrassing.
It wasn’t until the nurse walked in that she told me I was in labor that it all made sense.
The moral of the story?
Listen to your mom.
She was right all along.
I love you, mom.
There are many moments that I remember from my first birth story and a few that I want to forget.
Here are the ones that stick out the night one of the best people I have ever known came into my life.
When I finally came to the next morning, my room was very dark.
The curtains were drawn and I was all alone in my hospital room.
When the nurse came in, I asked if she wouldn’t mind opening the curtains to get some light in the room.
When she opened them, my window literally faced a brick wall.
I laughed out loud in the midst of my pain because it was almost like a cartoon strip.
It was a metaphor for my labor that never took off.
My phone in the room rang off the hook all day long while I was in heavy non-medicated labor.
My then husband would leave my room for long periods of time to “give me time to rest” which was code for “going to the parking lot to smoke”.
All day long I would hear the phone ring in between contractions.
The phone was on the other side of the room.
I later found out it was my mother in law calling.
Rumor has it that I told my doctor I would pay her to surgically place that phone somewhere in my then husband’s anal cavity.
Or my mother in laws.
Not quite sure which.
I was so hungry because I wasn’t allowed to eat the entire day as they don’t want to have the contents of YOUR meal all over THEIR scrubs during the birth.
So I was subsisting on occasional sips of sprite and the Zesta crackers the nurses aka Angels of Light were smuggling me in from the trays of the mommies who already had their babies and were on to eating things like pot roast and fried chicken.
Trust me, I know. I could smell it.
Well, my dad wasn’t having it for his first born child.
He offered to get me a chocolate shake to eat as soon as they discovered I was being wheeled into surgery so that I could have something to eat after I was done.
I had never wanted a chocolate shake before in my life but after a day of hard labor and no food, this is what I was craving.
So my dad bought me two chocolate shakes from McDonald’s and I will never forget that.
I never got to eat them but it is a memory of that night that will forever stick with me because it is totally a dad move.
He couldn’t take the pain away or have the baby for me but dammit, he was going to get his girl her chocolate shakes.
Being wheeled into my first major surgery and being completely terrified yet not.
I was ready to meet this little person that I had been carrying for nine-plus months and whatever I had to do to get him/her here was what I had to do.
Then it hit me, so this is what a parent feels like……whoa.
As I went through the doors to the operating room, it was not at all what I expected.
Really bright, really cold and really loud music.
At 8:55 that night, my first child was born.
|Hello, my name is Mommy. I am going to love you forever and braid your hair. Even though I have no idea how to do that.|
My daughter was brought into this world to the sounds of Stone Temple Pilots and laughter because SHE IS SO BIG, OMG KARI SHE IS A GIRL AND SHE IS HUGE!
Even the doctor was amazed and I was completely floored.
The first thing I said was, “I can braid her hair”.
Which is silly because I don’t even know how to braid hair.
When I was finally allowed back into my hospital room that night a few hours after surgery, there was some mystery surrounding that evening.
I remember there being a glow in the room that night when I returned.
So I was holding my new baby and there was this glow that I will never forget, like lamp glow.
It was this comforting glow that I can’t quite explain but I began to tell everyone about it the next day and tried to recreate it in the room the following night to no avail.
Everyone thought I was crazy and to this day, I still can’t explain the “glow” other than it was the drugs from surgery.
Part of me really wants to believe it was that Heaven opened up a little in the room that night and all the angels of past relatives were surrounding me to see the newest arrival.
I still choose to believe the latter.
I have never loved anyone like I love my children. I love my husband so deeply but it is a totally different kind of love, one that developed over time. But the first time I met him, I didn’t immediately love him. I grew to love him over time.
But my children I have loved even before I met them. I was madly and deeply involved since the moment the stick on the pregnancy test showed two lines. It is a love affair that I am so lucky to be a part of. All of those years of heartbreak, dating, waiting for the phone to ring that led to these beautiful moments.
And it really is worth a little pain and vomiting.