Posted tagged ‘motherhood’

Just in case

January 28, 2011

My colleagues at work ask, “So, when will Lukas get a little brother or sister?”

Strangers at the grocery store ask, “Are you ready for baby number two yet?”

Family members ask, “When will we meet grand baby/niece/nephew number two?”

Even doctors comment, “When you’re ready to have another baby, come back and see me.”

Usually I smile and shrug, or say something non-committal like “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see” or “Oh, I don’t know.” But inside, I’m thinking, “Are you kidding me?”

You see, a diabetic pregnancy is hard. And postpartum is no walk in the park, either. Whether you’re thinking about the 16 BG tests a day or the three doctor appointments a week, or the three-day labor that ended in a c-section, it was all just plain hard. And then there’s the grueling newborn feeding schedule. And the ricochetting BGs as your hormones readjust. And the ricochetting moods. And the c-section recovery. And the exhaustion. I can remember standing in the shower one day when Lukas was just a couple of weeks old. I was not standing there because I was still showering. I was standing there because I was simply too tired to step out, dry off, and get dressed. And I thought, “Who would ever do this again?”

I think everyone has these thoughts during those first few months. They just don’t talk about it or share it with prospective parents. Because if they did, they  might scare you away from experiencing parenthood for yourself.

And that would be a shame, because while you do have these thoughts, these moments of complete and total exhaustion, you also have these moments of absolute bliss. When he smiles at you as he dozes off. when he erupts in laughter at your silly face. When he FINALLY rolls over. When he discovers his feet. When he reaches for you to pick him up. When his face lights up at the site of you after a long day at work.

For the most part, we are past the sleepless nights and never-ending feedings in my house. We’ve hit a stride of sorts. But I’m still in the “I don’t even want to think about it” frame of mind when it comes to another pregnancy.

I was cleaning out the closet the other day and I came across my maternity jeans. I held them up and wondered at the fact that my belly was actually that big. Then I folded them neatly and put them into the donation bag.

But a few days later I returned to the donation bag and pulled the maternity jeans back out. I unfolded them and looked at them again, and then placed them on the highest shelf in my closet, in the back where I can’t even see them.

I’m watching Lukas nap right now in his favorite bouncy chair. And I am so content. Just the thought of another diabetic pregnancy is enough to wear me out. But I’ve still got those maternity jeans. Just in case.

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US rank drops in annual State of the World’s Mothers Report

May 4, 2010

Save the Children released their annual State of the World’s Mothers Report today.  The report indicates the best places for mothers to live and is based on indicators of women’s and children’s health and well-being, including access to education, access to health care, maternity leave policies, and economic opportunities.

Topping the list as the best places for mothers to live (in order from best to worst) are Norway, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.

The United States fell one position, from 27th place in 2009 to 28th place in 2010, largely as a result of its mortality rate – 1 in 4,800. This rate is one of the highest in the developed world. The press release also points out that the US “also ranks behind many other wealthy nations in terms of generosity of maternity leave policies.” Boy, don’t I know it .

Why did I move away from Germany, again?

It could always be worse, though. At least I don’t live in Afghanistan. According to the report, this is the worst place in the world to live if you are a mother.

In Afghanistan, child mortality rates are 1 in 4. In comparison, in Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, and Sweden, only 1 child in 333 dies before his or her fifth birthday. Most females in Afghanistan receive less than five years of education, compared to more than 20 years in New Zealand and Australia. The risk of dying during childbirth is 1 in 8 in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, in Ireland, the risk is 1 in 47,600.

You can read the press release here, and the full report here