Oh yeah, wake in the night, puke like a champion and go back to bed like nothing ever happened. During daylight hours I was a walking mess of dry heaves. Get around me with coffee on your breath and I would puke every 12 minutes for the rest of the day. Mm hmm. I grew bangs to hide the indention of the toilet seat on my forehead.
I craved raw potatoes with salt sprinkled on them and buttered biscuits off other people’s plates. I was amazed that my nose got fat, right along with the rest of me.
But then I was traumatized in Lamaze class and nothing was funny anymore. Our instructor, who spoke like a female Mr. Rogers, showed a childbirth video without sound. She was still trying to sell us on that “childbirth is mildly uncomfortable” bologna. She didn’t want viewers to hear the poor pregnant star on the screen as she screamed and begged somebody to knock her out with a hammer. After class, I was on a mission. I went straight home to inspect my business with a hand mirror.
“Whoa,” I caught my breath as I studied the area. “Houston, we have a problem. I don’t have a birth canal.”
Feeling anxious about that obvious oversight, I called a friend who was already a mother.
“Didn’t you pay attention in anatomy class?” she scolded me. “What you saw with the mirror is the birth canal, silly girl.”
“No way!” I gasped. “That would be like shoving an airplane through a closet door. There’s no way my baby can exit my body from that location. And if that really is the plan, I want to be in a coma before it happens.”
Thankfully, my body knew exactly what to do. After 25 hours of labor, I immediately fell in love with the warm, sticky little person snuggled against my chest. Because everything “down south” felt like it was on fire, I assumed that I would either stand up or sit on one butt cheek forever. But my baby was worth that.
I soon learned that he inherited his adoring mama’s toss-your-cookies trouble. Only my kid also screamed bloody murder while he puked. The doctor said it was colic. But I secretly worried that perhaps he was a little terrorist, intent to drive me over the edge. Eventually, we adjusted. He learned the skill of a big, wet burp. And I learned to calm down.
Here we are, 32 years later. My son has the sweetest wife in the world and a promising career. Sometimes, I look at the man he is and I’m overcome with gratitude that I got to be his mom. Other times, I still see him as my baby boy with blond curls.
Every time I think of him, I smile. Happy birthday to my sweet son. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I cherish you every day. Forever.
A former Southsider and an award-winning journalist and humor writer, Sherri Coner resides in southwest Florida. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com. She also speaks to women’s groups. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.