While mindlessly browsing through social media the other day, I fell across a hilarious post about ironic/entertaining/”anything but helpful” Yelp reviews. One witty mother had provided a Yelp review on having a newborn baby.
In a nutshell, she gave it 1 star out of 5 – far from a rave review – and basically mused that although she was “super looking forward to having a newborn” she instead was disappointed with the “long, gruelling hours with no pay”.
Check it out: http://www.theuglyvolvo.com/yelp-reviews-of-newborn-babies/ (Credit to Raquel DApice from The Ugly Volvo)
I thought this was hysterically funny and I’ve decided to take it to another level. In honor of Raquel and her humour, I’ve decided to review a few things that I endured in that first year-ish of motherhood.
First trimester of pregnancy:
I’m giving this a weak 1 out of 5 stars. I’m disappointed, really. After all, in the first 12 weeks I was really looking forward to feeling morning sickness and tender boobs, because golly! that would mean that the baby was healthy and everything was going according to plan! But honestly, throwing up everything I ate EVERY DAY, surviving on only premium plus crackers and ginger ale, and not being able to wear a bra gets REALLY OLD, REALLY QUICK. Plus, I suddenly have a bloodhound’s sense of smell, and dear husband insists on breathing on me, reminding me that he ate an onion or drank a beer. Note to self: do not kill husband, as he may come in handy once baby is born.
Second trimester of pregnancy:
The 2nd trimester was GRAND! I have a lovely belly (but that doesn’t mean you can touch – so please don’t, strange lady), I can feel baby wiggling around, and I haven’t thrown up lately! A solid 4 out of 5 stars. We just missed 5 out of 5 because of the time baby kicked me SO hard in the cervix that I actually ran to the bathroom, expecting a foot to be sticking out of my lady parts.
Third trimester of pregnancy:
2 out of 5 stars. I’m too tired to write this now because for some reason, I can’t sleep anymore. And I have to log roll myself out of bed. And I peed my pants the other day. And I’m starting to feel nervous about labor (nothing to do with the ultrasound tech exclaiming how large baby was). It won’t get stuck in there, right?
Labour and delivery
I just don’t think a negative 7 out of 5 is appropriate here, because that’ s just rude to all those other moms that are frolicking in their 2nd trimesters. But my mom always taught me that honesty is the best policy, so here it goes:
Someone told me labor pains feel like strong period pains. Well, I honestly don’t know what kind of period that person had, but it must have been something akin to having an angry zoo gorilla flinging your insides all around and repeatedly smashing you against a wall. Don’t get me started on my husband. I can’t make up my mind if I want him to rub my back, or to get as far away from me as possible. Despite all the pain, I still have a keen awareness that there is a chance that I will poo when I’m pushing. Mortifying.
I also give the nurse a zero out of 5 for laughing at me when I gave her the laminated copy of my birth plan, but then a 5 out of 5 for when she helped me have a shower after everything was over. Bless her.
But once the baby is out and all snuffly and pink, plopped onto my chest, and my heart is soaring higher than the highest galaxy – well, that’s just a solid 5 out of 5. Best. Day. Ever.
I had an easy time with this, in terms of milk supply and baby’s latch. I think I might be an anomaly, as many people really struggle with breastfeeding. So let me begin by saying
Breast or bottle, whatever choice you make, it will be the right choice for you and your baby
I really can’t stand the pro-nursing zealots and the vehement bottle feed supporters, each shouting, preaching and pushing their views onto others. Especially onto those new mothers that are feeling overwhelmed and aren’t sure what the right choice is. Can’t we all just get along? Isn’t is important that baby is healthy and thriving? I remember my friend telling me a story of pumping her breast milk into the wee hours of the morning, and her nipples were so cracked and destroyed that THE PUMPED MILK LOOKED LIKE BLOOD. But she wanted to persist with the nursing because someone had told her “it was the only way”. Let’s face it, folks – that isn’t healthy for anyone. Plus , blood-milk probably doesn’t taste too good to the baby. Overall, it doesn’t matter if your baby is getting breast milk, formula, donor milk, or whatever else you choose – as long as you are informed properly and you are giving that baby lots of love.
So for me, I’d say breastfeeding was 4 out of 5 stars. It just missed a perfect score because no one told me that the baby would feed 600 times a day for the first few months, rendering me useless on the couch in the same rotten pair of pyjamas for weeks at a time. Thank god for Facebook and late night Golden Girls reruns.
Being a Mom
Some days, zero stars. Some days, 5 out of 5. But most of all, there is no relevant review – yelp or otherwise – that can even touch each of our personal experiences as mothers. How we can sense just what our babies need before they even know, how we could sniff them out of a crowd, blindfolded, in a snowstorm – that’s how unique and beautiful their smell is to us. And how we could never, ever imagine our lives without them. In fact, we can hardly remember what it was like before they were born.