It was a warm fall day in November, 2011.
As I walked through the beautiful fall foliage, past waterfalls and ponds, all I could think about was whether or not I was going to piss myself. I was hugely pregnant, and overdue. The nurse midwives had told me that if Sweetpea didn’t come over the weekend, I’d have to come in on Monday and talk about getting induced.
Not one to be told what to do, I set out to make damn sure that Sweetpea arrived.
I kept pausing as I “hiked.” Really, I was shuffling and hobbling in slow motion. Hubs has pictures of me hunched over, and some of me flipping him off.
After the hike, we went to our favorite burger dive for a late lunch. Hubs said, “I think you’re in labor. You’ve been telling me how uncomfortable you are in regular intervals.”
I said, “meh. It’s probably just more Braxton Hicks.” (I’d had them for the last 3 months) “We’ll time them when we get home and see if it’s anything.”
Surprise! It was something. I was in labor.
I called the midwives, called the doula, took what I figured would be my last shower for a while, and laid on the couch to watch trashy TV. The midwives told me to stay at home for as long as possible. I morphed from watching trashy TV on the couch to cussing a blind streak on my hands and knees (the channel accidentally got changed to Fox News). After doing that for a while, I decided to go to the bathroom. I’ll spare you the details, but what I saw in there made me realize I’d better get to the hospital, yesterday. As I told my doula we’d better book it, my water broke.
Luckily, we live only 10 minutes from the hospital.
I’d had this vision of a “hypnobirth,” where Irish women would sing to me in gentle voices and the baby would just slip out quietly. I took the class, after all.
Yeeaahh...not so much.
I clung to the hospital bedrails and yelled F bombs at every opportunity. Literally.
Finally the midwife - the militant one I was afraid of and had hoped wouldn’t be at the birth - told me I was wasting a lot of energy and I might consider doing it her way. The way they told me NOT to do it in hypnobirthing. The way that would give me a purple face.
I said “Okay.”
I pushed a few times, and then Sweetpea was lying on my belly.
With that, my life changed forever. I was a mom.
Before she came, I thought there was no way in hell that I’d ever be totally okay dealing with another person’s squirty fluids on an hourly basis, 24/7. After she came, I was more than happy to do it. And let's be honest, a tad obsessed with it.
And it’s so cliche, and words don’t do it justice, but nothing prepares you for the amount of love you’re capable of feeling for another person. It’s like a love attack. A love attack that makes you think everything this tiny person does is amazing and cute, including taking a major dump that you have to clean off the floor.
I also didn’t think that I would ever want to leave my fast-paced career to hang out at home in yoga pants, drive a completely uncool car, make playdough and listen to ukulele music, but I did.
Oh, hi - forgot to tell you. I’m Sara DANNER DUKIC.
I’m the mom of two kids. I consider Italy to be a second home and lived and worked there on and off for many years. In my former(ish) life I was an event and opera producer. It was extremely fun (and sometimes very irritating, because opera = DRAMA), and I still take producing gigs here and there.* But for now I’m down with chillin’ with my two little zen masters as much as I can.
I also know moms + women are the single biggest untapped resource in the entire world.
So now I'm doing this, and I hope I make your Cheerio-encrusted, mommymommymommy, grape-slicing day just a little bit better and brighter.
Because when moms are doing great, everyone is doing great.
*If you really, really want to find out more about my event/opera producing, you can do that here.