Jacki is a book-obsessed, Capricorn (i.e. stubborn) mom who writes about exploring the magic of her life at The Raven’s Spell. While she struggles to balance work and going back to school, she also walks the often confusing line of blending two families and raising her son in a non-mainstream religion. Somehow, she manages to keep her head above water and finds a way to enjoy it all.
There comes a moment in every first mother’s life when a realization sinks in, the realization that they are a mom. Sometimes that moment sinks in right as their child is born, sometimes it is weeks later, maybe even months. Sometimes that feeling comes and goes, never truly sinking in for years. For me, realizing I was a mom came a day after my son was born.
My son was born early on a Wednesday morning. I will forever remember what day of the week because his arrival meant I missed an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for which I will never forgive him. My brother had been visiting for several days as his spring break happened to fall around my due date. However, with much regret, I said good-bye to my brother still big as a balloon, and soon discovered my future son’s sense of humor. My water broke in the same moments that my brother was boarding his plane.
The labor was pretty straight forward, until my son refused to come out. After pushing for longer than I wanted (okay, I didn’t really want to push for more than 2 minutes, but I held out), it was decided that I would undergo a C-section. It was with this decision that my labor, and the birth of my son, became very hazy.
I do not remember much after being strapped down to the chair and the doctors hoping that I would not feel the incision as the epidural wasn’t really working the way it was supposed to. I do not remember my son being pulled from me. I do remember frantically asking if he was okay and not getting an answer. I do remember screaming, “Does he have all his fingers and toes” like that would mean everything was fine. His father nodded, too choked up to speak. And all went black.
I remember returning to my room and looking at my new born son and saying, “Man, he has a funny head.” And all went black.
Most of that day remains fuzzy, and was so at the time. There were lots of people coming in and out to visit and wish us well. There was me, swelled up to popping, with a child stuck to my boob. There was me wishing I could stand up. Those I remember. Details are gone and therefore any real chance of having life changing realizations about the whooping big transition I had just made.
The next day was better. In fact, I clearly remember standing by the side of my hospital bed with my infant son tucked in my arms, rocking like we so instinctively rock. I cooed, I ssshhh’ed, I bounced. I did everything I could to keep him calm so I could watch my tape of Buffy.
In those 60 minutes, I watched that tape, I held my son in one arm, and I shoveled food into my mouth with my free hand. In those minutes, my grandparents arrived, and I continued all of the above while playing hostess. It was easy enough, although a little frustrating as nothing was really given 100%. But in those 60 minutes, for just a brief moment, I remember looking down into my baby’s face and then all around me. I remember hearing the “Aha”.
In those moments I realized that my skills at multi-tasking had completely quadrupled in a matter of a day. Just one of the many skills that makes a mom, and now I was one.