I want to know what love is...

I want to know what love is..I want you to show me ...Foreigner

I have always been honest about the fact that I was not always sure if I wanted to be a mother.  I am a person who enjoys her independence and that is coupled with the fact that I have a hard time giving someone that much control over my feelings and heart.  I also was not sure if I would be a mother who took my independence to a place where a child felt it as distance.  I did not swoon over babies, still think many newborns look slightly underdone, and never baby sat so no I did not dream of it like many do.  

I enjoyed my 20s and part of my 30s with all that I had.  I traveled, I partied and I partied while I traveled.  I   did not like to be kept track of and had to learn to compromise on that with the men I was with ...because at heart I am a person who really likes to wander.  As we decided to get married, after a crazy long dating relationship (fine be me to not have rushed - I never really played wedding even as a girl - I know commitment issues but that is either another blog or another therapy session), we talked about kids and being in my 30s I knew it was not a decision that I could defer.  I decided that I would give it my all and that I would try so hard to remember to do the things my parents did that made me happy while concentrating on not repeating the things that made me unhappy.  After all before you have children you also have a very clear and definitive approach to child rearing.  Most of us, B.C. - Before Child, would never yell at our children, would never open a bag of cookies in a supermarket, would never allow tv for more than 1 hour a day and would have incredibly well behaved children who never needed more than a "please don't honey".  

I remember finding out I was pregnant - after 4 sticks, that pink plus sign seemed so faint but as the old saying goes "you can't be a little bit pregnant".  I was scared and insecure and happy.  I had a fairly easy pregnancy, no morning sickness, did not add pounds to my bulk ( as I needed to lose some weight to begin with it helped that my ob reminded me that I was eating for a peanut not for 2 people) and took the famous birth classes.  I learned how to breathe and my husband learned how to coach me to breathe.  The night my water broke I was not prepared though - all of a sudden the idea of pain and holy shit is all that kept going through my head.  We were in our weekend place, 2 hours from NYU hospital - not to worry the doctor said first babies usually do not come very fast, and there I was driving back in my maternity mini skirt (beach weekend) and tshirt walking to the security desk at 2 am.  

My son decided that he would be a typical first baby - so I walked the walk with squats that I had learned at birthing class. I breathed and saw people come and go, nurses change shift and I was still not in the pain I feared but at almost 40 hours was approaching the point where the baby had to possibly be a C Section.  Now in all honesty I did want a C Section - I thought it would be easier - I thought it would faster....my doctor (he is not warm and fuzzy but I love him for his candor) told me he did not do Cs on demand as they were surgery and in his opinion only to be done in as a last resort.  He also only administers pitocin if he thinks the C is a possibility any way not as a first measure so they finally tried some pitocin and wham..the pain...I know friends who embrace the pain, who tell me "natural" childbirth is beautiful...well good for you all - I asked my husband to take me home when it hit because I was done, I can laugh now but can assure you I was serious then.  Not for me - I have no Puritan streak looking to suffer, no need to commune with my sisters of years past - I thank the people who invented the epidural and the doctors who administered it to this day.  Pain sucks - and like I said for those of you who embrace well good for you but not for me (and if you do choose this route I have a terrific, intelligent friend who will be a great resource for them).

I remember seeing my baby for the first time, 8 years ago tomorrow - and I literally think I stopped breathing.  I have never known how much I could let myself love someone - I have learned from that love to allow myself to experience feelings for him and his brother and others in my life with abandon.  I am not the BC mother - I yell and I have actually asked them to watch TV to get some time to do the things I need to do - and yet the way we interact lets me know I am doing ok...not perfect but I have learned that what love is ..not perfection, open to possible pain and most of all something that if you never experience it in it's POW - ZOOM - BANG way is something that will leave a spot of you empty.  I love being a mother more than I could have imagined - thank you to my sons for showing me what love is.


  1. Juliana, How lovely to read your birth story! Your writing is so genuine, I can hear your voice recounting the story in my head.

    I am one of those women who joyfully embraced the intensity of labor, including with pitocin. I also embrace each woman and each birth as a unique journey to be honored. You had a wise practicioner, a supportive husband, and most importantly a guiding internal voice—all important elements for a wonderful birth.

    Happy birthday to your son, and to Juliana The Mother!


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