ever since i created life all i seem to think about is death.
when i was pregnant i had panic attacks before every ultrasound because i’d convinced myself one or both babies were probably dead. i could never wrap my mind around the idea that they were going to come out. somehow, through my whole pregnancy, it didn’t really sink in that at the end of the vagina (or in my case, operating table) a person would appear. let alone two. i never read one word or learned one thing to do with the babies once they were born.i spent the entire 36 weeks and 2 days preparing for the upcoming week of the pregnancy. that seemed like more than enough to study. i had to learn the many different reasons for the many different types of fluids coming out of my body. i had to worry about twin to twin transfusion syndrome. had to google every possible sign of premature labor. and let’s not forget the endless hours of kegel exercises i was instructed to do by everyone from the doctor to the ice cream man (i admit i only did about 4 and thank goodness cause what a waste of time all that vagina squeezing would have been given i ended up with a csection).
it’s really a wonder how anyone works while pregnant with all the required squeezing and googling….
i told myself to stay focused on how to keep the babies safe while they were inside me and i’d worry about how to keep them safe on the outside if we ever got that far .
i’ve spent most of my life as a human contradiction so it came as no surprise to anyone that although i didn’t believe these babies were ever gonna hatch, that didn’t stop me from the most obsessive nesting my family & friends have ever seen. i had my entire hospital bag packed when i was 16 weeks pregnant. it sat by my bedroom door month after month until one day my husband needed the suitcase for a trip and dumped out all of my neatly organized birthing equipment. i threw my most hormonal tantrum to date. i even installed the car seats right after the baby shower and drove around with them empty for two months. gil found it necessary to tell me how creepy he found this every day and refused to ride in my car.
i remember waking him one night when i was 6.5 months pregnant because the high chairs were not assembled yet and i was starting to panic. he sleepily muttered something about babies not even using high chairs till they are 6 months old and if i continued to be psychotic he’s sleeping in a hotel.
i’d like it to be known that this is not me. was not me. i had never been THIS person. i’d never been obsessive compulsive or anal retentive about a single thing. in fact if we were voting on personality types i’d have been voted ‘least likely to give a shit’.
before i got pregnant i can’t remember a time anything kept me up at night. i always slept like a baby (THAT’S the oxymoron of the year!). looking back, this nesting hyper-drive must have been my way of telling myself i would psychologically be prepared for motherhood as long as every detail of my home was. and it did help.
for me motherhood is extremely out of character. i’m one of the most selfish people i know so this whole putting- someone- elses- needs- before- my-own thing is to say the least totally unnatural and very very terrible. i am also organizationally challenged so to be sure i am the mother my sons need me to be i go overboard. i would now be voted ‘best person to know in the event of a natural disaster’.
my diaper bag is stocked like nothing you’ve ever seen. i have sunscreen, wardrobe changes, a lifetime supply of wipes in ziplock baggies, 240 diapers, infant tylenol, teething rings, baby food, bottles, cases of formula, blankets, fire extinguishers, the how to survive a volcano eruption handbook, and you get my point. the stroller with the two boys in it weighs less than the diaper bag. but i need it that way. i need to know i’m prepared for the explosive diarrhea in the middle of the mall, for the chance we get stuck in stand still traffic for two days and the kids need food, for this gi gAN TIC responsibility.
since the boys recently began crawling our house is looking as loaded as the diaper bag with the endless amount of gates, locks, and padding. no one in the house can figure out how to use a toilet anymore but at least we’ve made it thru another day with no casualties!
even though we live in fort knox and have a nanny so there is aways an extra set of eyes on the boys, we still have a potential near death moment every freaking day. i really don’t know what’s wrong with jett. colt seems accident prone which you can’t fault him for, but jett really seeks this shit out. he will find the one item in the entire house that could cause him to spontaneously combust and he will crawl toward it with more ambition than i’ve ever had for anything. if you prevent him from getting it he obsesses and looks at you with hate in his eyes for saving his life. self-destructive nature….no idea where he gets that from…..
so yeah, every day i’m terrified i’m going to drop the ball and something’s going to kill them. so again, i go overboard. i put my hand on their chests 4 times a night to make sure they are breathing which is probably the reason they’re still waking up all night long at 9 months. the boys have three pediatricians, a GI specialist, an allergists, an acupuncturist and a masseuse. very rarely does a week go by without a visit to at least two of them. my husband and skids call me the “munchausen mom” but i believe that’s a misdiagnosis. i don’t take them to doctors for attention, i take them to so they can assure me they are healthy and fine and that i haven’t done some terrible damage to them, yet. and i can exhale. for a moment. but just a moment. cause once i learn they are okay i start to fear i am not. am i terminal and don’t know it? will i die soon and not see my kids grow up? will today be the last day i kiss them? what are they going to do without their mother? since i’ve had kids i find the pressure to stay alive overwhelming!
my husband thinks i need a therapist on speed dial and a shipment of zanax fed-exed every day. as the days go on, however, i’m starting to think he’s the crazy one along with people like him who have several children and with each one become more relaxed. i don’t think it is what everyone claims it to be-that you get more seasoned with each one and the neurosis of being a first time parent wear off and by the fourth kid you just strap him to the roof of the car and off you go. it is clear to me that your mind must just shut off at a certain point. your emotions must have to shut down somewhat or how could you survive? if with every child you went through anxiety like this every moment of every day how could you function? no one would have more than one kid. so you must have to stop “caring” to a point. it’s got to be as if a self protective shield goes up when another baby is on the way that says ‘fuck it. what will be will be. i gotta get some freakin sleep’.
it’s not an accident there is an I in the middle of anxIety. there I am surrounded by all this fear. but i am not alone. i am squishing two other people in there with me. so as i see it i can get on some sort of horse tranquilizer, or be prepared to attend a lot of family counseling sessions with two very angry men (make that three) pointing fingers at me.
the moral of this parenting story is that there is no way not to screw up. i can go down the safe path of baby proofing their lives and keeping them healthy but it will likely result in two highly neurotic men who wear bubble wrap to work.