So I am a control freak. An organizing, everything is scheduled and on a calendar and planned-for nut job. I am aware of this and have made peace with it. Actually, I don't even know why I would type it that way. I was never unhappy with being overly organized. I really love it to be honest. Being organized and in control means that I always know where my keys are, food is taken out of the freezer for dinner in more than enough time to thaw and I can commit to events with certainty.
And then I had a baby.
I am still organized, and everything is still scheduled, but I also learned after having a baby that there are some things I cannot control. Some things, despite all my planning, preparing and hoping, I have to surrender to.
I had an extremely easy pregnancy. I remember even telling my husband that I totally thought I could be a surrogate for my very favorite cousin who had (at that point) had issues conceiving. I would explain that being pregnant was the easiest thing ever, and how I wanted to give her this gift. I would easily forget that I was pregnant. In one of the photos below, I actually ordered a Jack and Coke while getting a beer for my husband at a concert. I totally forgot I was about 8 months pregnant. That is how great I felt.
I assumed that an easy pregnancy meant an easy birth. I had already explained to my doctors that I didn't want drugs, that I wanted to wait until the last possible second to go to the hospital, and that once there, I pretty much wanted to be left alone to birth my child myself with as little intervention as possible. I figured that if I could get through a craniotomy (brain surgery), I could definitely do something mostly on my own that my body was built to do, which other women had been doing since the dawn of time.
Except I couldn't.
I tried and tried.
I tried for almost 5 days of labor.
I tried for 6 hours of pushing.
I tried my hardest.
And I failed.
To write this today is one of the most painful sentences (still) I have ever, and hopefully will ever, have to write. I failed at giving birth to my own baby.
After those 5 days, and those 6 hours, I ended up with a horrific c section that went terribly wrong. I had pushed so long, and my baby was so far down that I had to have a much larger incision than most. I was so exhausted I remember nothing of that time. I don't remember holding my baby for the first time or seeing him for the first time. I don't remember my parents or my husband's parents meeting him. I don't really remember much of that first week.
I do remember how angry I was, and still am. I remember exactly how out of control of the situation I was. Someone I had never met, and quite frankly really, really dislike still, determined how my baby was brought into this world and my experience of that.
Carter's birth was the first of many experiences that would teach me that I didn't, and couldn't, control everything.
Breastfeeding also was nearly impossible - mostly due to complications from the incision, but partially because I was so sore and exhausted.
I failed at that too.
While in the hospital recovering from the c section, I became infected with a drug-resistant flesh-eating staph infection that covered my hands. To this day I cannot give my child a bath consistently. I can't wash dishes for too long. I can't change too many diapers in a row. If I do any of these things, the infection returns, and most likely always will, eating away the skin on my fingers, making them itch beyond what words can explain and having them swell until I can't even grip a pencil.
Each failure has been difficult. Most things, for most of my life, came pretty easy. School? A breeze. Relationships? Simple. Self-confidence? Mostly. (Not always - but I am pretty happy with who I am.) Failing at motherhood has been an ice-bucket-full-of-water shock to my system.
But with each failure I have learned something. Each failure has taught me to let go just a little. To give up my control to those I trust on occasion. To realize that while I never thought I was perfect, I am definitely farther from perfect than I thought I was.
I learn each day that my 2 year old is going to give into his emotions when he wants - because he's 2, and there isn't much that I can do about that.
I've learned that even for us overly organized types, sometimes we can't control everything. And sometimes that is not okay - but often it is.
Here is where I will rant about my daily mommy life, give some insight into a brain tumor survivor's musings, and hopefully offer up some fun as well.