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Friday, May 12, 2017

As I Muse On Motherhood...

I don't blog very much. (No, really, Rebecca, you don't? Why you haven't blogged since Kidnapped By Her Husbands came out and that was...five books earlier in that series alone...) But, I digress.  I find myself thinking right now about what it is to be a mother and if there was anything at all I had learned on the subject since 2005.

I don't know if I have. I call this blog Rebecca's Random Musings and so from there I will actually go ahead and muse.  First off, happy mother's day to all of the mothers out there and to all those celebrating with their moms.  If you are alone this mother's day--either because of a separation from your children or if you have lost your mother--than you have the biggest hugs from me. I see you. I know this is miserably hard.

As for me, I still have the greatest mother in the world even though most of the time we are separated thousands of miles and I have an incredible mother in law who lives very close by.  I have loving women who don't just adore me and my husband, but our children as well.

In 2005, when I was twenty-five years old and a second after I got married, I got pregnant with our oldest child.  I was so excited to be a mom and I was so incredibly young. Looking back, I don't think I knew just how young I was.  Our oldest guy came into this world earlier than we expected him. They didn't like my blood pressure so at 37 weeks they induced me and after a long, long labor my 7 lb one ounce boy came into this world, not crying the way they wanted him to.  They took him from me and ran off to the NICU with him.

I was terrified. The world is filled with stories of mothers who instantly knew what they were doing, who's instincts were so right on that they changed the second that baby was placed in their arms.  MRIs have been taken of a mother's brain before and after birth and there are actual physical changes to the workings of her brain post-birth.  Everything about us changes.

And yet...

I was lost. Before you think I'm taking us down a story of postpartum depression, please know that I am not. I was not depressed. I was lost. When I was finally able to move I made my way to the NICU to see my baby and was informed by the nurse that she had put the baby down for the evening and that I couldn't hold him.  I should go back to my room.  And at 25 and used to following directions like the kind, good, accommodating person I have always been, I did what she said.  It wasn't until the next morning that I wept on the phone with my mother, that anyone told me that I could absolutely demand to hold that baby. That was my baby, my mother told me, and unless they could give me a good medical reason why my holding him was not appropriate, they needed to give me the baby and let me hold him.

For the record, his health issues turned out to be very small. He needed no intervention, they watched him for four days as he slowed his own breathing and then was fine.  I marched down there and fortunately the day time NICU nurse was a dream.  She never suggested I couldn't hold him.

I'm not the same mother at 37 that I was at 25.  I've had two more boys since then. My three men (and their dad who somehow manages to love me despite or maybe because of my eccentricities) are so bitably cute that I almost can't stand it.  We've had ups and downs. What family has not?  Saving the middle one's life when he was three--his appendix tried to burst and the doctor in the ER refused to give him a second look until I absolutely refused to leave stands out in my mind particularly....
And yet, I think often to that first conversation with my mom, when she told me that way my baby and that I could hold him if I wanted to.  You see I was born at 35 weeks and back then (in ancient times...) my mom got up every morning and took the bus in NYC to visit me at the hospital so she knew of what she spoke...

Maybe motherhood didn't come as naturally to me as it did to some. Maybe I was 25, scared, overwhelmed, exhausted from a long labor, and I didn't know that I could actually tell a medical professional no.  The NICU nurses would all turn out to be wonderful, by the way.  Nothing but love from me.  I did get there.  I would swim to China with them on my back if they needed it.  At the end of the day, what they should remember from me is despite the fact that mommy was a romance novelist who spent most of her days thinking about fictional things, they were always foremost in mind.  And that day my mother once again proved to me that she is the best mom I'll ever know. She didn't judge, she just set me on the path I needed to walk down.

My three guys. The best thing I'll ever do.


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