When Ria asked me if I wanted to join Aimee and her on Cute Mom Blog, I was thrilled. The thought of approaching her to see if I could contribute a piece had been in the back of my mind for months. Prior to having children, writing had always been an outlet and I had been missing it for quite some time. I knew I wanted my first post to be about the unexpected pregnancy of my daughter only eight months after my son was born, but when I finished my first draft, I hated what I saw on my screen. It was overly positive, full of flowery language, generic, and most importantly, I felt like I would be misleading anyone who read it.
To let you in on a bit about myself, I am not an overly “deep” but pretty cut and dry, a realist who will call it like it is. I have just always been this way. In high school English, we were studying “The Great Gatsby” and my teacher asked us to explain the significance of the green light that was constantly lit on Daisy’s boathouse. While my classmates were attributing the light to the allure of money and the American Dream, I explained that it was turned on as a warning to people who were boating at night or during the day in bad weather that something was there and to go the other way. After all, that is a light’s purpose.
If you are looking for some romanticized monologue depicting the poetic joys of having two under two, you are probably in the wrong place. These past 17 months have been a plethora of the most frustrating, anxiety-ridden and (literal) shit filled moments of my life. Please do not get me wrong, I love my children fiercely and would not trade my life or its circumstances for the world, but I feel like there are so many articles out there that guilt trip moms for feeling anything but overwhelming happiness and shame us for not counting our blessings all of the time. In the About Me section on CMB, I said that motherhood is a rewarding but very thankless job which is one of the message I would like to convey in my writing.
So without further ado, here is the story of the biggest shock of my life so far.
I had been making a huge deal out of my 30th birthday since I was pregnant (and sober) with Jackson on my 29th. Never have I been one of those people who made anything out of birthdays. Unless you are turning 21, it will make me cringe if I hear you brag about your weeklong birthday celebration or god forbid, invite me to it. If you are turning 33 and ask me to attend a “pre-birthday brunch” or “Margarita Monday but my birthday isn’t until Friday and I still expect you to come to my ‘real’ party and bring a gift”, consider my Evite spammed. However, I wanted to have a big party with all of our friends at our house and make up for lost time. Now that I look back, I see that it was not my birthday that I wanted to celebrate, but the newfound freedom I was starting to have since becoming a mother. Jackson was sleeping fourteen hours a night in his crib and I had switched to formula. It had been almost two months since I had stopped breast-feeding and my nipples were starting to look like less of a freak show. I had begun a pretty consistent exercise routine and those last pesky fifteen pounds were slowly but surely coming off. My husband and I were starting to regain a semblance of what our love life was like was pre-baby. I felt like I was starting to get my body back and that I was finally figuring this mom stuff out. By the end of the night, I was blaring rap and 80s music while drinking Manhattans and chasing shots of Patron with keg stands. You do not need to have half a brain to know where this goes.
Several weeks later, Tyler and I were having dinner on our patio and it dawned on me that I was five days late. I have mild PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which can cause irregular periods so I just chalked it up to that and continued sipping my wine. Oddly enough, I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been hit by a train. It had to be the wine even though I only had one glass. I convinced myself that it would not hurt to take a test so I loaded Jackson up in the car and found myself at Dollar Tree stocking up on cheapie tests. Once we got back home, I put him down for his nap and took my hoard of pee sticks to the bathroom. I got a faint pink line on the first test and thought my eyes were playing tricks on me so I took another test. Same pink line. The test HAD to be defective so I took another one and another one.
Fast forward to 6 tests later and 10 pink lines were staring at me. When you hear the saying “shit got real”, this is it. Denial waved good-bye and reality had reared her ugly head. I was going to be a mom of two under two. This was not part of the plan I had. Jackson was not even close to walking and I felt guilty because he needed more time to be the baby. We were going to wait another two years to start “trying” or whatever it means when you tell people that you are actively having unprotected sex with hopes to have a baby. I even got on the Nuva Ring since I cannot remember to take a pill everyday. Damn me for being responsible. This was not supposed to happen!
John Lennon was absolutely right when he wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” although I cringed every time a person said anything like this to me during those first few months of 24/7 nausea and exhaustion. I was so nervous about telling my husband, which in hindsight, was stupid. Tyler is my best friend and partner that I can come to with anything. I walked into his home office with the pregnancy tests hidden behind my back. He looked up from his computer to see my concerned face and I told him I needed to talk to him about “some things”. I threw the positive tests on his desk and said, “Yep”. His response was priceless. Tears streamed down his face as he said, “Holy shit. We are going to be so broke…but I’m so happy!” To be perfectly honest, the man actually looked relieved. Now when he tells people this story, he says that he thought that I had divorce papers behind my back because of how serious my expression was.
We both sat there and cried together. As bizarre as it sounds, I found solace in that. I did not feel motherly but I felt human. It felt comforting to just cry and admit that we had no clue what we were walking into. Hell, I do not know what I am doing half the time now, but Jackson and Sawyer are both happy and healthy kids which is all I really need to know. My second pregnancy was definitely not how we planned it however, we had no choice but to embrace it. Despite the nausea, cankles and mood swings, I savored every moment with Jackson as much as I could. We went on a family trip to the mountains, played at the park and I cuddled him a little closer each night as Sawyer’s due date quickly approached. He was and still is my little buddy. Once the doctor put that six pound, one ounce sweet girl on my chest, any presence of guilt or uncertainty that I could love another as much as I loved my son disappeared. The only thing that has changed is I have two little buddies instead of one and my life is happier, albeit crazier. We have our challenges as does any family, but we manage in our own way. Sawyer’s surprise conception is such a small part of my story. I am excited to share more crazy adventures from the last three years of being a mom as well as hearing the trials and victories of other mothers out there