When I was six years old, my friend Dayna and I liked to play hospital. One of us was the pregnant woman, the other was the nurse/Doctor/entire hospital staff. I had seen an episode of General Hospital at a friend’s house (yes, my mother was appropriately horrified), so I knew everyone made very dramatic faces in hospitals. We made sure to do likewise.
Nurse: No! No food for you! [insert maniacal laughter] Patient: [Languishing with hand over forehead] Surely this will be the end of me! Doctor: [Heroic face] “Don’t worry…I will save you and your baby!” [Pulls baby from under the blanket over my stomach.]
The narrative always went this same way. Mean nurse. Heroic doctor. Easy-to-deliver baby. What we lacked in our understanding of reality, we made up for in imaginary awesomeness.
Dayna and I had not yet learned the traditional way of removing an entire human from the belly of a woman, so the baby was always born c-section. Once birthed, the plastic baby was quiet and never needed a single thing to ensure survival except one fake orange juice bottle.
We immediately moved from the hospital game to pretending we were dress designers using my Fashion Plates, and then airplane pilots who flew those dress designs around the world. Like proper daughters of the 80s, we were capable of greatness and the world was our oyster. As long as we Just Said No to Drugs and practiced good self-esteem, we knew we would grow up to be Madonna or Jackie O or Princess Di. It was a done deal.
Thirty-four years later, I find myself living a slightly different story than Dayna and I imagined. I don’t work in a hospital or fly a plane, I write words. My four babies came out the old-fashioned way- which is to say, squeezed through the ring of fire. They needed a lot more than one bottle to thrive. Basically, reality has taught me that all a child needs to survive is every ounce of your being on a platter for the rest of your life. Motherhood is so easy!....
to read the rest of this post, hop on over to Amber's blog....