I’m not officially back for another six weeks, but I wanted to check in to say hello and thank you for supporting my leave so far. Actually, my mom told me to do this—she felt I owed it to all of you to assure you I was alive, and being a new mother myself, it seemed karmically prudent to listen. It’s true: I’ve officially crossed the rubicon to motherhood (i.e. have lain spread eagle before several health professionals while crying) and now have a two-month-old baby. She’s here in the flesh and she smells like pancakes. We named her Sunny. Please observe her full head of hair, which our ultrasound technician spotted before she was born, whooshing around the amniotic fluid like seaweed on the ocean floor:
My labor lasted more than 40 hours and, for days after it was over, haunted me via flashback: moaning in the hospital waiting room, bleeding all over the staff-only bathroom, vomiting into a plastic container at 3am. Luckily, my memories of it are strangely distant now, as if my brain has locked them away in a padded room. I heard that might happen, but couldn’t fathom it until it did. I guess the nurse who told me to re-fill out my postpartum depression survey with happier answers to avoid hospital intervention was right—I wasn’t depressed, I was just a woman who’d recently given birth.
I’ve been thinking about what I have to say about all this, and have so far crammed my ideas into a lawless, 1,500-word iPhone note titled “notes on motherhood,” with disjointed items ranging from “the Truman show” to “bone-dry hands.” So I’m going to spend the next month and a half sorting through all that, probably between the hours of 2 and 4am. I have no plans to become a mommy blogger, but I have a new respect for anyone who’s done this, regardless of their penchant for referring to their peers exclusively as “mama” while sipping from holiday-edition Stanley cups. It’s a brutal rite of passage; it involved a lot more diapers (adult) than I anticipated. On the upside, in addition to being harder than I imagined, it’s better, too.
I can’t wait to be back! Thanks for waiting for me. I definitely have thoughts on that Ariana Grande music video. (Academic, of course.)
P.S. for my paying subs: If you have specific questions you’d like me to answer in an upcoming podcast about any of this, feel free to reply to this email with them! Birth story also coming your way soon 😵💫 Lmk how detailed I should get…