Motherhood 101

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short non-fiction essay on my journey into motherhood.

Submitted: August 10, 2012

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Submitted: August 10, 2012

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Motherhood 101

As I stepped away from the closet where I had just placed the last pink and green receiving blanket, I felt my chest tighten a little. Nineteen years old, with my whole life ahead of me, in the prime years of my life, and I’m preparing to bring another life into this crazy world. Instantly, a running commentary starts in my head, “Cassandra Marie Cordova, you’re still a baby yourself, and here you are about to be raising one! Who are you trying to kid honey? Ten days! Ten days until life as you know have known it thus far is over, and a whole new one starts!” Little did I know, I didn’t have ten days, no sooner than my mind shut up, did the first contraction rack through my body with the most gut-wrenching pain. I fought the urge to fall to the floor and cry, because whether or not I was ready, I was about to be enrolled into a crash course of Motherhood 101!

Flash forward to a few days later, where I’m preparing to leave the hospital after a not so great, super intense labor. There I was thinking that I’d breeze through labor, no pain medication needed… Ha ha! The joke was on me! Sweet little Caitlyn made her entrance into the world a fierce one, resisting almost every attempt to get her here! “Stubborn from the get go”, I thought, this is going to be interesting! As I put her in her car-seat to go home, she pitched a fit of epic proportions, I never knew someone so little with their lung capacity just barely being tested could make so much noise! “Patience, patience, patience honey, that’s all you need to get through the beginning,” both the nurse and Caitlyn’s grandma told me. I laugh inside, because I know that it’ll be so much more than that if I intend to survive!

Caitlyn slept peacefully the hour and a half it took us to get to our house, with her tiny little fists curled around her blanket and her stomach just moving ever so slightly. As I watched her, my entire being was calm, and I watched the colors of her aura swirl around her. Shades of red, orange, purple, blue, of every color just enveloped her, it was quite honestly the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed. As we pulled into the driveway, a tiny little hiccup left her lips, and her eyes instantly popped open… We were home, and she knew it! Her papa opened the door to get her out, and she let her presence be known with yet another baby fit of rage.

Her nana and papa helped her dad and I get settled in the house, and then left us to brave the waters of parenthood alone. Caitlyn did okay, and I relaxed a little, thinking “Alright, I can do this, I can be a mother. I can nurture her and be the mom she deserves, without losing my cool. This is nothing!” I jinxed myself, because that first night was like no other I have ever experienced in my life! I fed her, changed her, and laid her down in her crib to sleep, praying that she’d sleep for at least an hour before waking up. Wishful thinking on my part, it felt like I had just closed my eyes before the screaming began. I tried everything under the sun to soothe her, but nothing helped. I rocked her, I held her close to my chest and sang to her as I walked through the house, I swaddled her tightly in her blankets like I was taught by the nurses, and I fed her, and changed her. Nothing, absolutely nothing, helped! To make matters worse, her father was a grump and zero help, Caitlyn got more upset as he told me to make her be quiet, he has work in the morning. “If only babies came with off switches, we wouldn’t be doing this right now!” a voice inside my head said. I laid down on the couch, and held Caitlyn up over my head and talked to her, probably not the best idea at the time, because she was about to give me a little surprise.

She let out a little gurgle, and I felt as if I was in a movie scene being played in slow motion as I watched a river of regurgitated milk come flowing out of her mouth. It went EVERY WHERE! It hit my hair, my face, and trust me, baby formula doesn’t taste well! I cleaned her up, and in the process, little miss fell asleep… Imagine that! All her trouble was due to an upset stomach apparently, why I couldn’t have figured that out! I didn’t want to leave her side, so full of spit up and all; I laid next to her on the bed and passed out as well. I woke up to the sound of a gentle cry, much different from the one I had become accustomed to the past few days, and there began the zombie type routine my life was to become.

The next month or so was the hardest time of my life, where I had to learn how to function on little to no sleep. Caitlyn was backwards; she slept all day, and screamed her head off all night! I had to try and balance taking care of her, doing the things around the house that needed to be done, and finish out the semester before college was done. I hated looking in the mirror, because most days, I didn’t recognize the girl staring back at me. I was pale, had the darkest circles underneath my eyes, and my hair was constantly a mess! I slept when Caitlyn slept, I ate when she ate, I showered in between her five minute naps, and my entire life was dictated to me by a child no older than a month! As it turned out, everything I thought I knew, I didn't. Although I struggled with being a mom in the beginning, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I learned so much about myself in that first month, mainly that I am capable of so much more than I ever thought possible. Yes, I looked like I belonged in “The Walking Dead”, but none of that mattered. Why didn’t it matter? Because I had conquered motherhood, head on… And I won!

 

 


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