I don't believe in airing personal dirty laundry – a funny statement coming from a blogger, right? However, some things should be kept private and sacred. It's the only way to maintain a sense of sanity and having a separation between public and private is vital. Therefore, you'll understand if I say nothing more than that my first Mother's Day was not what I expected it would be.
However, I'm fully aware that simply being able to comment on my first Mother's Day is a privilege. This time last year, I was trying to conceive and I was convinced I would never get to participate in this particular holiday. I had just made my peace with being child-free when I found out I was pregnant. So even though my first Mother's Day didn't go as expected, I can't be truly upset looking into my daughter's face, the one who made me a mother, who granted me access to The Club. But it got me thinking about my expectations of motherhood and how they've changed now that I'm actually a mother.
My expectations about motherhood started with her birth. I wanted a natural birth but had to deliver in a hospital due to risks from my clotting disorders. I knew I would have to fight every hospital staff member to do have a hospital-based unmedicated, intervention-free birth. Instead, I had the most amazing birth experience that by far exceeded all of my expectations. Because of my amazing birth experience, I just knew I'd be able to hop right about of bed and get on with my life within moments of giving birth, so imagine my surprise when it took me almost a month to feel normal again.
On the other hand, I expected that breastfeeding would be incredibly difficult and prepared myself for a host of problems. I knew it would be my karmic payback for having such a great birth, but again I was pleasantly surprised. We got the hang of it pretty quickly and haven't encountered any of the major obstacles. Yet. I may have just jinxed myself.
Sleep is another story. I would love to say I prepared for sleep deprivation but there isn't a way to do that. You can't pre-sleep. The only option is to try your best not to wash your hands with toothpaste if you can remember where the bathroom is. Only parents of a newborn will understand that last sentence.
Motherhood is not what I expected it would be. It's a million times better – minty fresh hands and all.