You’re 9 months old today Olive, and I can hardly believe that soon you will have been in my life for a whole year. You cut two teeth, your bottom two middle ones. You’ve started to crawl (mostly face plant). You have learned to give kisses (getting you to do it is another story). You like to tense your arms like you’re flexing, and do this deep growl, and it might be my favourite thing you do. You let me know when you don’t like a toy (you glare at me and bat at my hand and grunt). You can laugh hard now, and it’s this tiny, deep cackle, and hearing you is the best sound. You like strawberry cereal puffs, you can eat almost a whole banana, you like mashed potatoes, and you love to drink cold water. You hate socks on your feet, you hate getting a shirt pulled over your head, or put on. When you’re angry or frustrated you chuck yourself back as hard as you can and wail (I’m waiting for the day you do this on something other than a bed. That’ll be fun). You despise having your nose picked, but love having the inside of your ears rubbed. You have discovered your lungs, and sometimes you just let out the loudest screech and then smile at me, clearly pleased with yourself.
You are the reason to my frustrations, my tired eyes, my long nights, my early mornings. You are why I have poo on my face, barf on my clothes. You are the months and months it took me to finish a book, you are the reason why my diaper bag has everything except the kitchen sink in there. You are shoulder pain from carrying that bag around, you are why my left arm could probably beat Dwayne Johnson in an arm wrestle. You are 20 lbs and something ounces of Olive Rose.
Olive Rose, you are my light. You are why I wake up in the morning (literally). You are my joy, my best gift I’ve ever received, my happiness. You are the reason why my eyes stung with tears when you leaned in ever so gently to give me your first ever kiss on the lips (a lot of slobber, but I’ll take it). You are the reason I open my eyes in the middle of the night and kiss your cheeks over and over again, risking my sanity in case I wake you up. You are the smell I crave, your scent is my comfort (and your dads cologne). Your toes and your stubby thumb are the cutest things. Your eyes and eyelashes are enough to make me cry when you look up at me with the sweetest, most humble look. Your smile lights up a person’s day. Your life Olive, has so much meaning, so much value. You are, without a doubt, my blessing. And I love you. More than you might ever know. Thank you growing in my belly, and thank you for being mine.
I dunno what to do. I wanna cry, I wanna yell at Dane for telling me having a baby was good idea, I wanna tell Tara to stop being so nice because it’s making it hard to be a cow, which is all I wanna do. I wanna tell the nurse that came to hang out that she should have been an anesthesiologist instead of a nurse, I wanna tell my mom to stop rubbing my leg, I wanna scream and tell Olive that she’s being a real brat and she needs to come out NOW. I wanna be doing anything but feeling pain. Which is crazy right? Cuz who doesn’t like feeling pain?
Tara suggests maybe jumping into the shower while we wait for Mr. “emergency C-section” to get his little behind in with the drugs. So I waddle over to the shower. I can’t stand anymore because the contractions are too strong and I wanna puke. So I lay down in the tub. Tara sits on the edge of the tub and with the shower handle pouring hot water over my belly, and It kinda helps. KINDA. Like a really big KINDA. But it helps. Then I get this brilliant idea that I’m gonna start pushing, but I know Tara won’t let me and tell me it’s a bad idea. So I tell her that I really want Dane in here for support. He comes in all not sure of what to do, and he sits where Tara was. Then I start pushing down and making who knows what kind of face. He looks at me like I’m insane and says “what are you doing?! I don’t think you’re supposed to be pushing until you’re completely dilated….” I give him my wife look, which basically every wife has (you know the look!) Basically means do NOT tell me what to do right now. I’m getting this baby outta me. So I try that for awhile, but no baby comes flying out. Tara comes into the bathroom around 11:30 pm and tells me that the anesthesiologist is going to be here soon, so I need to be ready, on the bed with my sports bra off. Having to get up and out of the tub, honestly, was one of the hardest things I had to do that day. And that’s not really an exaggeration. I have been in labour for almost 2 days, I’m exhausted, I’m scared, and I just want to sleep. But I get up. I go to the bed, and trying to take off a soaking wet sports bra, well flip, I might as well be having twins. Dane has to help me wiggle out of that thing, and if I wasn’t exhausted, and in pain, I might have almost cared. Because a 9 month old woman wiggling out of a wet sports bra very well could be the most unattractive thing you might ever see. Picture a hippo trying to do up a belt with only his teeth. Thats about as graceful as one can look.
The anesthesiologist waltzes in at 11:45 pm, all chill and I wanna punch him in the face. I’m sarcastic, I know I am. But my sarcasm got to a whole new level that night. He asks how I’m doing and I look at him and go “buddy, how does it look like I’m doing? What the heck took you so long?” He thought I was funny cuz he chuckled. My mom was horrified, because young, polite ladies don’t talk like that. I ain’t no lady today Momma. (Did she not see the hippo trying to do up the belt?) He tells me that I have to be extremely still while getting the epidural. Because if I move and he hits somewhere else I could be paralyzed, die, my husband would divorce me, my dog would probably get run over, and I could possibly lose all my possessions, blah blah blah, with some other side effects. So I tell him he better know what he’s doing, and he laughs at me again and says he’s done at least a couple before (Mr. emergency c- section is trying to be funny now). So I sit as still as possible, and then I feel the needle go in, and of course that’s when I get a contraction. So he pulls the needle out and tells me I need to be still. Dude, my contractions are less that 90 seconds apart, and you’re being slower than a turtle trekking through molasses, what the flip do you want me to do? He goes in again and it works. But then I see Dane’s face and I get scared. Because he looks like he’s about to pass out. (He told me afterwards that the guys hands were covered in my blood).
They tell me to lay down and relax, I’m hooked up to an IV now pushing fluids through me, and I can almost handle the pain. My contractions slow down and get further apart. It’s close to 1:00 in the morning now. Tara tells my mom and dad and brother to go home, get some rest, because I’m not having this baby till the morning, at least 7:00 am she tells them. So they say their goodbyes and leave. As soon as they go, my contractions start to feel super strong again, basically just like before. And I start to FREAK. OUT. “Tara, this feels just like before. I don’t think the epidural did anything.” She tells me I need another dosage because the first one wasn’t enough. She goes to the front desk to see if Mr. emergency c-section can come back. He comes back pretty quick- probably because he doesn’t anymore lip from me. He tops me up and leaves, and I start to relax in like 15 mins. And then in like 20 mins I tell her I’m ready to push. My parents have literally just left maybe half an hour before, and Dane is trying to get sleep because “I’m not having this baby till the morning…” At least we thought. Tara is knitting, and she doesn’t really think I could have dilated to the full 10 cm in that short of time. So she tells me to relax and get some sleep. So I grab the hand rails of the bed and start pushing like I have never pushed before. Not really the sleeping Tara had suggested. She rushes over and checks me, and her eyes go big. “Your mother is going to KILL me. I sent her home. You’re ready to push. Holy crap. Dane, call her mom, tell her to come fast.” Dane calls my family, they were just getting home. He tells them I’m ready to have this kid and they better come fast. They all jump in the bugatti (we’re loaded like that), and drive all the way back. My brother and my dad wait in the waiting room (for obvious reasons), and my mom comes stands at the end of the bed. Not even Dane ventures that way.
I feel every contraction. I knew when I had to push, I knew when the contraction was over. It was brutal. I swear that that epidural wore off, even though I’m sure it eased the pain. Tara coaches me on how hard I need to be pushing, when to ease off, when to go hard, all to prevent from tearing. It takes everything I have to not just bear down and give it all I have. I keep yelling at her that I feel like I’m taking the biggest poop, and she tells me I kinda am. It’s just a baby this time. Now is not the time for jokes Tara. I remember my mom saying she can see the babies head, and in my mind that means her head is out. I ask how much of her head they can see and Tara says “like the size of a toonie!” I wanna cry. A TOONIE?? I thought her head was out! I almost lose it there. I feel like crying, and I hear myself ask “can’t you guys just like…. pull her out??” The nurse, Tara, my mom, and Dane all laugh at me. I wasn’t trying to be funny. I legit was asking if they could pull her out.
I can go on about the pain, and the pushing, and I can get graphic, but here is the short, pretty version. I closed my eyes, put a damp cloth over my face because I knew my face about to do things that might possibly give Dane nightmares. I felt this strange wave of strength come over me. I knew that this was it. I knew that this next push was going to make me a mother. No more Dane and me. No more of just him and me doing whatever we pleased. This next push was going to be the most life changing push, and I closed my eyes and asked for a little help from above and I pushed. I pushed when I could feel myself getting light headed. I kept pushing when I wanted to stop. I kept pushing, and I kept pushing. I could hear Tara “she’s almost here. c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, you can do it, she’s almost out! You got this.” I pushed until I felt relief and I knew it was my baby, my daughter whose head I had just brought into this world. Tara tells me to reach down and touch her head, and I do. It’s soft an squishy, and slimy and warm. I close my eyes once more and I bear down and there it is. This swoosh of relief, of warmth, of adrenaline. I just brought a life into this world. I fall back and I wanna sleep. You thought I was gonna say I cried didn’t you? No. I closed my eyes, and the exhaustion is like not other feeling I’ve ever felt. They put her on my chest and she cries. Her first gasp of air that this child has ever taken, and it was on my body. That is something that sticks with you for a long time.
I don’t feel much of anything, other than relief and tiredness. Olive is sleeping on my chest, and she feels slimy and warm and like a baby bird that’s all skinny and dangly. I ask Dane for juice box after juice box. I chug 3 juice boxes in less than 2 minutes. They leave her on me for about an hour and half, and it still hasn’t hit me yet, that this life is my child. We lay there, Olive and me, and she starts to root looking for milk. How is it possible that this baby, only and hour and some old, already knows where she will get her nourishment from? I suppose the same way I know when I see them golden arches.
My labour plans didn’t go according to plan. I should’t be surprised, my plans usually suck. But she’s here, and she’s eight months old, and she’s the cutest kid I’ve ever had. If you’re expecting, do yourself a favour? Don’t be too hard on yourself if your plan doesn’t work out. And thank you for reading this if you read the whole thing. That’s pretty crazy. I conclude this very long post with “On May 24, 2016, after forty-four hours of labour, Miss Olive Rose Redel came into my life.”
My water broke on May 22nd, at 7:45 am. Dane had literally come home from BC at 3:30 am that morning. I was laying in bed and I knew that I was gonna go into labour that day, I dunno know how or why I knew, but I had gone to bed the night before with a weird feeling in my stomach. I had blamed my supper (Boston Pizza, why do you keep me coming back?! Oh ya, perogy pizza). Turns out it was Olive getting ready to make her grand entrance. So ya, back to my water breaking. I stood up out of bed and it was like a mini waterfall, so much water on the floor that I slipped (that’s not a lie. Like for real though). Here’s a fun little fact that I didn’t know. Once your water breaks… you keep leaking. ALL. DAY. And you don’t really stop leaking till like two weeks after you have your baby. So I sent Dane put to buy the really cool super jumbo, “I’m an old lady and pee myself” pads, and almost went through the whole bag.
I texted my midwife who just told me to stay at home and relax until my contractions were 3-5 mins apart. You know how in movies the woman’s water breaks and she instantly starts screaming and the baby is about to fall out between her legs? Ya, that’s not what happens at all. Which is weird, cuz Hollywood is so realistic (Rachel Green anyone? When she’s in labour with Emma? I like how they made her forehead look sweaty to make her look “relatable.” Lady, I get a sweaty forehead walking to the fridge to get my håagan-dazs, PUH-LEEZ). So I spend Sunday pretending I’m not silently freaking out in my head with a giant diaper between my legs. She wasn’t due until June 7, so I had my diaper bag at the cabin, over an hour away. So off to the cabin we went. I started to get tiny contractions on the way back to the city, but only tiny ones that didn’t really hurt at all. I ate Thai food for supper and called it a night. Around 3:00 am my contractions started to get more painful. Like they would wake me up and I would have to crouch over and hold my stomach, but they were still 45 mins apart. I didn’t really get much sleep that night.
Monday morning rolls around and I ask my midwife if she can check me, so we go to her house. It’s 10:00 am. Do you know how you get checked to see how far dilated you are? NOT with a ruler. Think latex glove and a hand. “Please don’t leak on her white couch, please don’t leak on her white couch, please don’t leak in her white couch” kept running through my head. “You’re 4 cm dilated! You’ll have this baby by the end of today” she says. This sense of excitement and absolute fear comes over me. She sends us home and says that until my contractions are 3-5 mins apart, there’s no need to go the hospital. So we go home. And wait. And do nothing. It’s the strangest thing… you literally have to wait for one of the most life changing experiences, fully knowing it’s going to happen in the next few hours. The things that go through your head are crazy, and your nerves are shot, and you’re uncomfortable. Basically, labour sucks.
At 1:00 pm my contractions are getting stronger and closer together. So I text my midwife that I want to go to the hospital. So she tells us to meet her there at 2:45. We grab our stuff and go. Here’s the weird part, I didn’t cry ever. Not even during labour or after I had her. But you know when I ALMOST did cry? Leaving my house. It was this weird realization that the next time I would walk through these doors again, I would have a little babe with me.
2:45- Get to the Lois Hole Hospital for women and go up to our room. So because I went with a midwife, there was not doctors, no nurses, no commotion in the room. Like my midwife literally brought her knitting stuff to knit. THAT’S how chill it was. She tell us to do whatever we need to do to pass the time. So we go downstairs and Dane gets a snack from Tim Hortons, my mom gets a drink, I just walk and try not to freak out. On the way back up to our room my contractions start to get a bit more intense. I have to stop walking and take breaks and crouch over.
4:00- My contractions had slowed down, so they were getting further apart, which is no bueno. So my midwife suggests that I jump into the hot shower to help myself relax. I go in there for about 40 mins and it works, cuz they’re coming back and they’re mad. They are INTENSE. She checks me and I’m 7 cm dilated. I decide it’s time to go into the pool, because I only have 3 more cm to go until I can start pushing, and I really want to have her in the water. Here’s the thing about a birthing pool. It’s the best thing ever. My contractions felt way less intense in the warm water, and they were way more manageable. I labour in there from about 4:00 to 9:00 pm. And in that time, my contractions were intense, on a scale of 1-10 pain wise, they’re at a 10. All 1-3 mins apart. I think the adrenaline makes you sick, cuz I puked. A lot. My mom would come over and hold a bucket for me while I barfed, and then I pee’d in the pool and started freaking out cuz I didn’t want my baby to swim in my pee. My midwife just laughed and said it wasn’t a big deal. So then I just kept peeing after that. Haha, I kid, I kid.
The thing about having a baby is that it’s really boring. You’re literally just waiting for hours and hours for a human to pop out of your vajayjay. At 9:00 I called my midwife over and I whispered “Tara, I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I am in a lot of pain. Is there anything else other than an epidural that I can have for pain?” And this is why I will never bring a baby into this world other than with a midwife. She knelt by the pool, put her had on my wet arm that probably had pee and barf on it and she smiled and said “I know. You are doing amazing. Your breathing techniques are perfect, you’re working through contractions perfectly, you’re staying calm. But no, there isn’t really anything I can give you for pain.” Her reassurance actually helped so much. It sounds so cheesy, but you need to hear those words. Did it help my pain? Not one bit. But it helped me mentally. You think you’re pretty BA when you realize how tough you are. She decided that because I had laboured for 5 hours with contraction so close together, I could probably even be ready to start pushing soon.
So she tells me to get out of the pool and lay on the bed, she’s gonna check me. Getting out of the water sucked. You’re wet, cold, and in pain. But I somehow manage to get out and get checked. I’m laying on my back, she checks me. Her hand comes up and her face says it all. And I already knew what she’s gonna say. “I’m so sorry Claudia. You’re still at 7 cm. I’m not sure what’s happening.”
Oh I’ll flipping tell you what’s happening. I’m being punished for stealing glitter pens from my desk buddy in grade 7. I’m being punished for that time I snuck out of the house at 16. I’m being punished for flipping my dad the bird at 15. I’m being punished for grabbing that stupid alley cat by the tail and swinging it in a circle cuz it wouldn’t leave me alone when I was 9. I’m being punished for telling my 4 year old brother that a ghost named Martha lived in our attic for years. Know what else is happening? I’m getting that bloody epidural shoved into my spine, because I’ve had enough.
Here’s the funny thing about pride though. It makes you do stupid things. I still had too much pride to admit that I wanted the stupid needle that would grant me oh such sweet relief. Tara (my midwife) looks at me because she knows she just crushed my dreams and everything good in the world when she told me I hadn’t progressed. Dream crusher. That’s what she is. She says “Claudia, I know you didn’t want an epidural. And you’ve done amazing so far. You have gone 12 hours with your contractions less than 5 mins apart. But I need you to save your energy for pushing the baby out. Because the doctor that’s on call right now, if we end up needing him, he’s gonna do a c-section. I know him, and that’s always what he chooses to do. And you don’t want a c-section if you can help it. So I’m suggesting to you, as your midwife… to get the epidural.” Music to my ears. Hit me up with the drugs then Tara! So Tara, my dream crusher midwife whom I love, goes to the front desk and tells the nurses that I’m gonna get the epidural. And I am R-E-A-D-Y. She comes back, and I’m laying on my back with a contraction happening, and I look up and see her face. “Where is the anesthesiologist?” “Um… he had to go into an emergency c-section… so they aren’t sure when he’s gonna be free. And he’s the only one on call tonight.” See what I mean by dream crusher? “wait…. so I have to keep labouring, with these contractions for who knows HOW long?” OK. So when I was 14 I stole $14 in change from someone. That’s what this is really about. Because this definitely feels like payback…..
Welcome to Olive Juice- basically where I’ll be sharing my adventures about being a new mom. Or the truth. I promise not to sugar coat anything- which will be hard because I like sugar a lot. Especially refined sugar. I named it Olive juice cuz Dane and me used to say “Olive juice” instead of I love you, because if you mouth the words it looks like you’re saying “I love you.” Also, because my daughter’s name is Olive:) Anyways, don’t go getting your panties in a knot because of the title. Let’s face it, you probably sucked at being a mom at some point in your life. Olive is only 7 weeks old and I already sucked as a mom a bunch of times, so for over the next 18 years…. imagine how many more times I’m gonna suck? A lot. So ready for story time and how I suck at being a mom? OK.
1). I dropped nail clippers on Olive’s forehead. No joke, she was barely a week old. I was trying to cut her fingernails because she kept scratching her face, and cutting a newborn’s fingernails alone is one of the most stressful things I’ve done. (I know, I’ve had a pretty stress free life. Sue me). Anyways, here I am, saggy boobed, greasy hair and no makeup Claudia, just finished breast feeding, so Olive is in milk drunk heaven, all dozy. Perfect time to give her a manicure. So I cut one finger nail with beads of sweat on my already greasy face, and maybe it’s the lack of sleep, or maybe it’s the nail clippers that were slippery, or maybe it’s the fact that I’m the biggest klutz around. But I dropped metal nail clippers on a week old baby’s forehead. And from like from neck level when she was boob level. So that’s high up for a baby:( She screamed and went into that cry where no noise comes out and she can’t breath, you know, the fun kind that makes you feel really good about yourself. “What happened? Is everything OK?” “Uhhh… ya. She’s just trying to get a turd out or something. Must be a big one!” Fail whale mom exhibit 1. Sorry Olive, mommy’s sorry she dropped something on your head. And also that I lied and said you were probably constipated or something. We both know that wasn’t true based on your poop explosion prior.
2). I was starving her. Have you heard of cluster feeding? Ya, me either. Basically it’s this really awesome thing that babies do when going through a growth spurt. They basically wanna be attached to your boob 24/7. They don’t let you go pee, have a shower, eat… you’re basically their milk slave. Lucky for me, Olive decided cluster feeding wasn’t just for growth spurts. She came out and was like “Ha! Wouldn’t it be like, so totally funny if I was cluster feeding baby ALL the time? Let’s do that and see how long it takes for this lady to go crazy.” Not very long, ps. Anyways, it was a Monday night. She was feeding, feeding, feeding, and I finally said enough. I put the boobs away, she was starting to get sleepy anyways. WRONG. She was just getting started. But lucky me, I was empty. Like there was nothing coming out. Nada, Niente, capish? Nuh-thing. I tried self expressing. I tried pumping. I tried massaging. I chugged water. I ate lactation cookies. Milk gods were not smiling on me this night. Oh, and by the way, I live in the sticks. Forty-five minutes from Stony Plain, the nearest city. So at like 11:30, after 30 mins of her screaming, and I’m not lying, SCREAMING, Dane was like “let’s go, we’re going to buy formula.” AH, formula. The dreaded word. So we put our screaming, starving child in her car seat, and we drive to Stony Plain and found a 24 hour supermarket. I run in and buy formula, and we drive back. It’s 1:30 in the morning and neither of us are really saying much. We’re exhausted. We get home and she chugs 5 oz without coming up for air. And then I ball my eyes out. Like literally. Haha, just kidding, I still have my eyes! But in all seriousness, that was hard for me. I felt like a failure, like I couldn’t provide my baby with what she needed. And the fact that she was so hungry made me sad. She’s a chunk butt. (“Oh wow, she’s a solid newborn!” Yes, my child is getting fat. but thanks for using the word solid instead of fat:) She slept for four hours that night, which was the longest she had up to that point. Fail whale mom exhibit 2. Sorry Olive, for starving you. Maybe you shouldn’t be such a fat lard like Tina. Just kidding, I love you. We can be fat lards like Tina together.
3). I almost had to have her leg amputated. Slight exaggeration? Maybe. But it still felt like that. I’m sure all of you have seen those baby slings. They’re all over instagram. Anyways, I found this one company and their instagram is quite pretty. All these hot moms with perfect looking children in their slings. There was one particular picture of a blogger mom who I also follow. She’s on the beach at sunset, with her adorbs two year old on her back, and cutie patootie six month old in a sling. She has the most perfect, whitest teeth, and she’s legit wearing cat eye chanel sunglasses (I made the chanel part up- I don’t know what brand they are, they look fancy though). Very glamorous. So I’m looking at this picture, and thinking ” I want to be a glamorous mom. I want to have cat eye shaped chanel sunglasses, and have the whitest most perfect teeth.” But because I have a fat shaped face, I can’t wear cat eye sunglasses. And because I can’t afford veneers, I don’t have the whitest most perfect teeth. But I can have a sling! So that’s close enough. Dane’s aunt buys me one as a gift and I’m pumped. It’s so pretty, and I feel like a glamorous, fat shaped face mom with far from perfect teeth. So I finally decide to use it last week. It’s kinda tricky, but I shove her in there. I look in the mirror. Definitely won’t be featured on their instagram anytime soon, but whatever. She’s in there for about an hour and half, and when I take her out…. Oh man. She starts screaming bloody murder. A painful cry, I know she’s in pain and I can’t figure out why. Then I see her leg. It’s literally almost double in size and her tiny foot is so swollen and purple. I had been cutting off her circulation for an hour and a half. Yup, that’s me! Mom of the year. I start to panic because she won’t stop screaming and I can’t believe how swollen her leg and foot are. So I text Dane and tell him to come and he does. He stays a lot more calm than I do, but I can tell he’s kinda weirded out too. Eventually, the swelling goes down and she calms down. Her leg did not have to be amputated. I am not the hot blogger mom. I’m a mom, ya. I have a blog, ya. I’m hot, ya. But not the hot you wanna be. I’m hot tempered, and I’m always hot now because I sweat more, lol. So I suppose I am a hot blogger mom!
To the moms out there, to the new moms, to the almost moms… we got this. Sometime we BARELY “got” this, but at the end of the day- Olive didn’t get a bruise from nail clippers falling on her head, and she didn’t starve, and she didn’t have her leg amputated. So it’s a successful day when you can avoid those things. I will never be the mom that has it together. Nor will I pretend to be. I will never be the mom on the beach at sunset with chanel sunglasses and perfect teeth. I’m slowly realizing that I’m almost OK with that.
I’m Claudia, I have purple stretch marks on my jiggly stomach (I’m working on it!) I still have no clue what I’m doing, and I LITERALLY fell down a flight of stairs on Thursday morning, top stair alllllll the way to the floor. I’m Claudia, I couldn’t sit on the toilet normally all last week from ONE workout that I did with Dane, and bless his little heart, but if he ever does triple the amount of lunges than me next time we workout together, I WILL hit him. I’m Claudia, I put my cell phone in the fridge last week and couldn’t find it, and I ate way too much ice cream yesterday. I’m Claudia, I crave McDOnalds and drink way too much coke. I’m Claudia, and I’m Olive Rose’s mom, and she loves me with all her stomach, mostly because I’m the only one whose got the goods;) You survive. You do what you need to do to survive and get those two hours of sleep. I’m reminded almost daily by my ever so patient, darling, handsome husband (Dane, just a heads up- I might be going to Calgary next week to go to the mall, hence the adjectives), that I’m doing fine. And I think what he mostly means is “Claud, Olive is still alive- that’s awesome!” But I still have my moments where I’ve thrown her soother across the bed, I’ve yelled “Shut up” to her, and I’ve held her while she cried… all the while I cried too. That’s being a mom. I love Olive, but here’s a dirty little secret- I also loved being Claudia, without Olive.
So cheers to finding out what it means to being Claudia with the cutest little chunk butt named Olive Rose as my side kick. I look forward to the day where your eyes search for me, your mama in a crowd of people darling girl. I look forward to the day where you run into my arms and know that I would do anything to protect you, and have you know that. I look forward to the day sweet girl, that you are able to understand that my life has been turned upside down because of you, but you’ve made it all worth it. All the tears and sleepless nights, all the panic attacks, and all the confusion you’ve brought with you… I know they’ll be something I look back on and I will whisper in your ear, “you were worth it little Olive, you were worth it all.”
Little Miss Olive Rose came into this world on May 24th, 2016 at 2:55 am, two weeks early, to the day. 7 lbs 5 oz and 20” long. I think I’m supposed to say something like “She is the missing piece to our family” or “I didn’t know I could love like this,” “our lives are complete now.” That’s what I’m supposed to write underneath the perfect whited out intsagram picture with beautiful pink peonies “oh so casually” placed strategically in the picture, me wearing an anthropologie dress with my hair looking perfect and my winged liner so sharp it could cut you. That would be a lie though. Trust me, I want that as much as the next person. I envy all the instagram accounts that know how to edit their pictures to look bright and white, and sunny. I’m not making fun of them. I’m just telling you the truth. At least my truth.
My truth is that that doesn’t exist, at least not in my world. In my world, I don’t sleep until about 4:30 am, I haven’t done my hair in almost 3 weeks, and my showers last about 2 minutes, and I’ve only shaved my legs twice since she was born. My boobs hurt. A lot. I hurt a lot in places I didn’t think I could hurt. My truth is that I don’t actually know what I’m doing, I’m playing grown up. I’m just waiting on the day where it doesn’t feel like I’m just “playing” this role. I don’t know why she cries sometimes, and that’s OK. I didn’t know about meconium until it happened. Look it up, it’s awesome. I didn’t know about her choking the first few days and how fluid and guck comes out her nose and mouth and it’s just her cleaning out her lungs. I didn’t know how hard breastfeeding was until I had to do it. Or how sore you were gonna get. Or how exhausted I would feel. Or how overwhelming it is. Even people offering you help is overwhelming. Or how you ACTUALLY forget to eat. Trust me. This mamma does not forget to eat… until 3 weeks ago. It would be 4:00 in the afternoon and I would remember I hadn’t eaten. My truth is that it sucks. Let’s all take a minute to let all the gasping and horrified mothers judge me for a bit, and then I’ll finish. *****moment of silence for judging me***** OK. Ya. I said it. It friggin sucks. Who ACTUALLY wants to look like poo, literally HAVE poo on them, have a jiggly stomach, be so tired you want to cry, not know what the hell you’re doing, and have a million people plus their dog give you advice on what worked for them? I don’t. Babies are beautiful (kind of- another lie people say. They actually aren’t THAT beautiful. They have swollen little beady eyes and weird shaped heads). But they are cute and make cute little billy goat noises and when they fart they smile and it’s super cute. But if we’re speaking honestly here, it’s hard. It’s really hard.
But then one day, you’re watching them sleep, and their tiny little breaths are the only thing you can hear, and their tiny little chest is all you see, and its moving up and down, up and down, and you have a silent prayer and hope to God that he never stops that little beating heart. You hope like hell that this little human that counts and depends on you for everything…. that this little human grows up to know that while everyday is hard, and everyday has struggles and battles, you hope they know how you want the best for them. And you hope that it’s you. I want to be the best for you Miss Olive. So on that day, wether it’s the moment she is born, or 10 days old… on the day your motherly instinct kicks in and you go from just feeling “protective” of her to absolute love, treasure it. I would be lying to you if I said I felt an overwhelming sense of love for my daughter the second I saw her. I felt like I had to protect her, yes. I had to feed her. I had to keep her alive, I had to make sure she was always OK. But then it happened. I was watching her sleep and I cried. For the first time since she was born. I didn’t even cry at her delivery. I cried days later. She chose me. To love her. To protect her. To keep her warm. To keep her full. To love her.
She is half of me, and I really hope it’s the good half.