Monday, April 7, 2014

unexpected obligations

In the United States, about 50% of pregnancies are planned and very much wanted. 50% of women who have children enthusiastically volunteer for this whole motherhood thing. For many women, myself included, we didn't just volunteer for it...we fought long and hard to get here. But none of us knew exactly what we were signing up for.

Like all things in life, being a mom comes with a plethora of unexpected obligations. Many of them are humorous. Chasing your child through Disney World after he has removed his shorts. Listening to a recital of who has a penis and who has a vagina. Many of them are quite serious. The mom who prays by the bedside of her baby born many weeks too early. The mom who never imagined helping her children through struggles with addiction. But most of these surprise responsibilities fall somewhere in between...not exactly funny, not exactly life changing, but definitely unanticipated and often quite bizarre.

Today I did something that I never imagined motherhood would force upon me. I had my boob cut open. That's right, my friends. Boob. Cut. Open. What I thought was round 3 of mastitis turned out to be a breast abscess, an uncommon breastfeeding complication. I'm not sure why I was lucky enough to be graced with this rather unusual affliction, but I can tell you that I hope to never experience it again. As I was coming to after the procedure (no they didn't put me to sleep, but I did pass out), the kind nurse who was helping me said, "I guess you didn't know this would be part of being a mom." You can say that again, sister.

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