The Day I Became a Mother

May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day, readers! In honor, I’m recounting my first brush with motherhood today. Enjoy and I hope it makes you laugh!


Miss D. was born in December, in a town where I didn’t have any friends. I gave up a lot for love: my impeccably decorated condominium, a career that I loved, my comfortable city. But that man. Oh. How could any girl say no? So I left it all behind. My mother thought I was insane–who sacrifices everything on a whim?   But I just knew.

Marriage came fast. So did motherhood.  I got pregnant so easily I was stunned–was this really all there was to it?

Of course, first-born didn’t stay easy. She made me sick and peevish for five months, and on a day in December–on her due date, in fact–she came in the middle of a blizzard. My parents vowed to fight ice and wind to get there in time, even though it was folly to do so.

The roads were treacherous, just on the short ride to the hospital, and I called them from the hospital lobby, telling them not to bother, but I was alone, walking the hallways, trying to dilate.  The agony seemed excruciatingly fast and hard, and as I crouched in a corner near the telephone, urging my parents to stay home, I knew they wouldn’t. Because I was alone.

Hubs was nowhere in sight–he was back out in the snowy night, trying to find childcare for Awesome Stepkid Ro in a town we hadn’t been in long.

I was hunkered there, bent over and clutching my belly, propped against a lobby wall, when an enormous African American woman, with two adorable children at her side entered the hospital, took one look at me, put her hands on her hips and said indignantly, “Girl? Where is your man?” And suddenly, it really did hit me. I might have to do this all by myself.

What if Mama and Daddy got stuck in the snow, or worse, in an accident? What if nobody could care for a 7-year old boy for God-knows-how-long this was going to take? I would have to do this myself. I really, really, did not want to do this by myself.

I was in the bathtub, naked and fat, thrashing like a freshly caught trout when my parents arrived. Daddy took one look at me had to leave the room. Mama sat on the edge of the tub, watching me heave back and forth.

When the nurse came back, and took a look at me, she quickly got me out of the bathtub, took a peek and said, “OhmyGod. You’ve gone from a 3 to a 10 in, like, 20 minutes. I haven’t even called the anesthesiologist yet. Don’t cough, don’t laugh, don’t do anything.”  She ran from the room on her stocky legs.

She shouldn’t have bothered calling the anesthesiologist. That baby came down the birth canal like a Russian on a luge. My husband barely made it before Miss D debuted, pissed off  and wailing, small eyes rolling around the room, as if wondering, “Where the Hell am I and who is to blame for this?”

“Where’s the champagne?” I hissed at my husband–giving birth without anesthesia calls for champagne, dammit.

His eyes widened. “I’ll go get some.”  Wise man.

“This is a tiny one,” the nurse by the scale said. “A little over 5 pounds. Apgar’s good, though. Awww, look,” she said to another nurse. “She has a tiny mongolian spot on her butt.”

Then the bleeding began. And continued. And continued. The nurse wearing the new white Keds was not amused when my blood engulfed them. I apologized and promised to buy her a new pair.

“The placenta’s attached,” the doctor said harshly to my mother. “We need to get her into the ER now.”  She looked me directly in the eye. “I need to tell you that this usually requires a hysterectomy. I’m sorry.”

Inexplicably, I started laughing. “Well, this is the perfect time to tell me. Because I’m never doing this again. Go for it.” Mama looked stricken.

“Can I just hold her once before I go?” I asked.

For a brief moment, they put my little, warm monkey girl on my chest. And then she promptly shit all over me.

Motherhood had begun.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby May 12, 2013 at 9:35 am

Awww…both so sweet and so sickening at the same time. Mostly the fact that you had no drugs to make it OK. However, it was obviously all worth the crap–both literally and figuratively speaking. Happy Mom’s Day to one super mom ;)


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me May 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Ain’t that just the way they do it…make you feel all warm and fuzzy and Mom-ish and then shit all over you.

Happy Mother’s Day to you, Kitch!


ayala May 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Oh wow-what an ending :) Quite the story. are brave! Happy Mother’s Day to you Dana!


Cadry May 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Wow, what a story! I don’t have any plans to have children, and so I’m always fascinated by a peek into other women’s experiences with motherhood and all that it entails. Like Judy Blume’s window into the hidden world of adolescence, there’s a lot that’s kept secret about becoming a mom. I hope you’re enjoying your day!


Jessica May 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Your story reminds me a bit of what it was like giving birth to my second child. Labor came on hard and fast, no time for anesthesia, and my husband nearly missed it. A scary experience, no doubt, but also an empowering one. Happy Mother’s Day!!


Alison May 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm

What an entrance into motherhood!
Hope you had a great Mother’s Day!


koreen May 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm

And then you did it all over again. ;)


Jamie May 12, 2013 at 9:22 pm

So what changed your mind and convinced you to go for darling number two?! I loved this story!


Naptimewriting May 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Awesome. This is the reality, right? We’re built for it, we can do it on our own when we have to. And we often do. Then we get crapped on.

Good thing she’s cute.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes May 13, 2013 at 4:17 am

I was lucky, it was my husband who had the grand honor of being pooped on by the newborn. Serves him right for falling asleep while I was having contractions and for hogging all the medical attention by (nearly) fainting during the delivery.


TKW May 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm


Your comment made me laugh! When Mama was giving birth to my older sister, she got out of the bed and ordered my father to lie down because he was about to faint! Men…I tell ya.


Katybeth May 13, 2013 at 5:03 am

Best gig ever, right? Happy Mother’s Day ♥


Tiffany May 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

The ending made me laugh out loud…and so it begins!!! So glad you were able to have Miss M too…hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!


Sherri May 13, 2013 at 11:20 am

Happy Mother’s Day!


Jennifer May 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I think only mothers can feel the love in this. Mostly because we’ve all been there.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri May 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Happy Belated Mother’s Day, Kitch!

So many beginnings and endings weaved into this piece, Dana. Essence of motherhood, right?


Biz May 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm

I loved reading this story!! I told my boyfriend of three years I was pregnant with my daughter when I was 2 months along. He stared blankly at me and for six months never once returned a phone call. Asshole.

I didn’t even tell my parents until I was 8 months along, I wanted to figure out on my own what I was going to do. I finally reached him two weeks before she was due to tell him I was keeping it. He told me point blank “you’ll never have a boyfriend, you’ll never get married and your life will be miserable.” Awesome.

Turns out he was wrong. Hannah is the best thing that ever happened to me and this year for Mother’s Day? She brought me a “Mommy Sippy Cup” wine glass and is old enough to buy me a bottle of wine to go with it. I just didn’t have the heart to tell her that Arbor Mist “sangria” isn’t really wine!


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