Saturday, September 1, 2012

Reflecting on the Beginning and Motherhood

38 W 6 D, Last Picture
A year ago, there was an office pool with bets on what day and what time I would give birth to Aidan.  I voted for Wednesday because I KNEW I would have him early...just knew. Plus, there was no way I would bet that Aidan would come on Saturday because it was opening day of College Football, and I KNEW that I would be watching all the games.  I also KNEW that my doctor would strip my membranes at Monday's 39 week appointment which would jump start labor. Take all that I KNEW and throw in it in the trash.

On Monday, August 29th, I had my regular weekly check up, 0 CM dilated and the no softening of the cervix. No progress whatsoever. No stripping (of the membranes, because I certainly had to strip down and get into a lovely gown).  Bets for the birth pool were also closed on Monday so that I didn't have any special insiders information. I didn't want to be all Martha Stewart and spend months in jail over knowing a few extra details when it came to betting.

On Wednesday, August 31st - No baby,no signs of baby, there goes my bet.  And yes, I only bet one day because I KNEW Aidan was coming, so sure of it.

On Thursday, August 1st - I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, which was a first for me.  I tried different positions, with pillows, without pillows; I tried sleeping on the couch and sleeping in the reclining couch chair.  No luck.  I probably slept a good two hours before going to work. 

On Friday, August 2nd - I noticed anew kind of pain in the pelvic area.  I had been zipping around all pregnancy long, but Friday morning was tough.  Friday at work was tough.  It felt like there was a mile between the printer and my desk,and luckily, I only had to work a half day.  Also, work was having a luncheon for all the workers before the big weekend, and I was excited to eat the delicious cheeseburgers they serve, so I had to work until lunchtime.   I remember leaving work and knowing it would be months  returned, so it was bittersweet.  I remember napping and being interrupted by Anthony because his truck ran out of gas.  I was not a happy pregnant lady, but I couldn't leave him stranded on the side of the road in order to finish my nap, right?  Dinner, football, sleep.  Wait,sleep?  No, I do not remember sleeping.  Turn the football game back on. No idea who won, which is unlike me to not know who won a big game, but hey, those details were forgotten in the flurry of excitement to follow.

Sometime Saturday in the wee hours, August 3rd - Back pain, closer contractions, and leg pain.  Laundry,books, bath, packing the hospital bags.  Waiting. Playing on the internet.Waiting. WILL MORNING EVER COME? Walking, breathing, birthing ball, holy crap my legs are on fire. It's time to go.  I wake AJ and tell him he has to take me to the hospital, no joke hun, wake up.  Feed the dogs, put orange clothes on, grab a cheese stick, out the door, text the neighbor that I can't watch the dogs today. I want the pain in my legs to stop! Arrive at the hospital, oh please admit me, please.Put the gown on, hook up the monitors, check for dilation.  4 cm,you're admitted!  Call the parents, endure the pain, greet the parents.I want sleep, I need sleep, please make my legs stop hurting. Epi? Um,um, um...yes, give me the epi. Relief, sleep, oh, the rest of the family is here. Water breaks. Turn me over like a pancake to the other side, now you're 10cm, time to push.  20 minutes later, 12:12 PM, Aidan is here.Feed Aidan, celebrate, eat, sleep, football.

Feels like yesterday, it really does. Sounds corny, but time really does fly.  My baby boy is almost 1, and yet, it seems like yesterday there was the adrenaline rush of "we're going to meet our son" today. 

Here's the link to the original story. Several times, I thought about going back and adding to it or correcting grammatical issues, but you know what, I wrote that story in the hospital,and that's the way it's staying.

Today, September 1st, 52 Saturdays later, I am watching the opening college football games.  Something I gladly turned off to meet Aidan, though I did see some games.  I cannot even tell you who Clemson played September 3rd or if there were any upsets, which is crazy to me.  Last season was a blur, a good blur.

Training Deck is all mine at 4:30 AM!
The journey into motherhood has been interesting and rewarding.  There are times when I miss my pregnancy, and there are other times I am happily settled into my routine.  It took almost a year to get back to my routine and feel human again. I am a mom, but I am also Diana and I need my work outs.  I need to sweat out the stress and push my limits.  But I also need Aidan's hugs, his smile, and his discoveries.

Whether I talked about it or not, maternity leave was stressful.  I didn't have my identity and being in the house a lot drove me crazy.  Yes, I enjoyed my time with Aidan, but at the same time I knew staying at home was not for me.  With a second child, I will likely take the 12 week leave again, mostly for the baby's health. Yes, there will be a second, but no, I am not pregnant. Also, the leave helped with breastfeeding, and if you remember my initial goal was 6 months, and I think I will stick to the same goal.  Pumping at work is stressful.  Cleaning the parts, finding the time, and worrying with output was stressful.  Carrying in a lunch bag, a pump bag, a diaper bag and a baby is tough. Trying to find time to eat was tough.

Tomato Sauce made just for Aidan
I know there were many nay sayers about cloth diapering and being a working mom, but I found time to wash, dry, stuff, and fold the diapers.  I am stubborn, and I will find time to do what others say I can't or will give up on.  But it was stressful, no doubt.  In addition, I made (and still make) Aidan's food.  The reward is knowing exactly what is going in his mouth, but making his food is also stressful.  Sunday morning was spent at the stove for hours - steaming, processing, and dividing food.  My knees hurt from standing so long, but the reward was worth it.

Finding Time for Softball
The second hardest challenge was changing jobs.  I knew the high stress, demanding job that was working a way out of a job (project end!) was not the fit for my family.  Updating a resume, interviewing, and negotiating are not without stress, frustration, and confusion.  I interviewed with 4 companies, turned down two, and declined a follow up interview with a 3rd.  I dealt with hostility at my former employer's place, and I stressed out about my decision.  But in the end, I did what was right by my family and career.  My quality of life is a hundred times better than before, though the job right now isn't as challenging.  Though I will get to use my PE, and I am so excited for it.

The hardest challenge was accepting that Aidan needed tubes in his ears.  I couldn't cry when he was born, I don't cry when he gets hurts, and I don't cry when he cries.  But I wanted to, but held strong for Aidan, cry when Aidan was in the sound booth and not responding.  I don't want my baby boy to be hampered by his ears like I feel I have been.  Inherit everything else, but not the ears. Talk about stress of being a mom and dealing with the anger of having given your son bad ears.  I mean, my fault, right? Maybe, maybe not, but I was hard on myself right at the time I was trying to change careers.  Crazy, crazy stress, but we made it through it.

I did not get a chance to mow the lawn for almost a year!
The journey to being Aidan's mom has not been without its stress, but with the stress comes the first smile, the heart melting laughter, the excitement of the first step, and the fun of sharing your cooking.  It also means teaching your son touchdown!, how to pet a dog nicely, and words.  I really do not know what I did before Aidan besides study for a Masters and a PE. What did my free time consist of?  What did I look forward to when I the work day was over?  Never have I been so excited to get home so I can play with my son and see what limits he would push today. 


  1. oh Diana! Just read this today and I have to say I SO appreciate your honesty!! There are a handful of people that I look up to (and usually compare myself to) - people that have values similar to mine but are a little further along, a little "better" than me as a mom. (yeah, I know I shouldn't do that, but.... I do :( Anyway, you are one of those people. Breastfeeding, homemade baby food, cloth diapering - all while working, continuing to make time for working out, etc. For some reason I assume that it is easy for others while I find it all exhausting, stressful, and regularly feel like I'm failing at attaining the high goals I've set for myself. In some ways it makes it easier to know that other moms are struggling too. And yes, yes, yes to it taking a year to feel human again :) That first year is so tough but so wonderful at the same time. Some of the lowest points of our marriage, but some of the best times of growth as well. I can so relate to everything you said! I've definitely found that it continues to get easier the older & more independent they become. And baby #2 is easier than the first - I was so much more confident. Still very physically taxing but knowing what to expect and that one day you will feel like yourself again makes it easier to endure. I'm happy to hear you want a #2 :) You are doing a great job and your kids are blessed to have you as a mom. Thanks again for sharing this post!

    1. Aww, thanks for your comment, Denise. I feel the same way about're an inspiration to me. I'm glad to hear that the second one isn't as difficult to adjust to!