Control is Overrated

The doctor’s office table was uncomfortable and my legs kept sticking when I lifted them to move around, but nothing could ruin that morning for me. I had marked the day on my calendar with a bunch of silly heart emojis and I was psyched.

Today, I was going to see my son’s face for the first time.

“They” bill the 3-D ultrasound as “the first glimpse you get of your little one!” I was ready.

The tech moved the wand over my giant belly. Here we go! Who would Samuel look like? Did he have hair? Would he flip us a little baby “thumbs up?”

Spoiler alert! No. To ALL of the above.

A full 30 minutes later and the only view we were getting of this kid was of his rear end. It was uncanny, really. He just did NOT want us to see his face. If he were a celebrity he would be screaming NO PICTURES, PLEASE!

The tech would move the wand to catch his face in one position and he would turn away. He flipped. He twisted. He turned. And by golly, we got a view of every angle of that stinker except his sweet little face.

So when we left, I did what any hormone-crazed third-trimester-pregnant woman would do. I cried. Hard. Big, fat, ugly tears. I walked to the car clutching the paper of the one measly shot we got of his face—a poor excuse for a profile shot, even—and I was incredulous.

WHY didn’t this turn out like I thought it would? …Which really translated to: Why didn’t this work out EXACTLY how I wanted?!
Because I was no longer in control. That’s why. And there’s no better person to teach moms and dads that lesson than the tiny little person that they happened to have created.

If I needed another reminder that I had been thrown from behind the steering wheel (cough cough I DIDN’T), God threw a couple other maneuvers in there for good measure. Let’s tick down the list, shall we?

The emergency C-section after 34 hours of labor and an epidural that stopped working after pushing for 2 of those hours (birth plan WHAT??)

The postpartum depression (why in the world don’t women talk about this more?)

The nursing problems.

The late nights.

The early mornings.

The complete lack of a schedule, the roller coaster emotions, the debilitating lack of sleep and on and on and on and on…

Well, life only needs to teach you something in a dozen different ways before you throw up your hands and relent. So I’ve gladly slid myself down to #2 on the priority list and have gotten comfortable caring for The Littles before doing anything I need or want to do.

This little lesson rears its head in other ways with the second child too, as I imagine it would with all subsequent children too. The other day I looked down in the shower and had to laugh to see an entire clump of hair fall out of my head as I was shampooing—the dreaded Post-Partum Shed. I chuckled even through my horror, telling myself, Mama, just enjoy the ride.

So when a recently-pregnant friend of mine started talking about all the changes she was already seeing in her body, mood, etc., I had to shoot her straight.

I put it simply. You are no longer in control. And it’s a hard pill to swallow at first, when you’re used to calling all the shots all the time. It’s frustrating. It’s messy. It’s far from perfect. But it’s beautiful.

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