Facebook has a feature called, “On This Day.” It pulls up posts from previous April 30ths, and gives you a cozy (or sometimes uncomfortable) flashback.
Today’s from 5 years ago was: “Off to the spa for my first afternoon without The Child. Hope I don’t fall asleep during my eyebrow wax, because after that comes the massage!”
This was such a big deal, 3 months post-partum: a gift to me and the two other new moms on the block. I had to schedule a pumping session during our pampering, which meant locking myself in a bathroom stall / changing room, and pretending I was already self-assured when other women came in to my whee-whoo, whee-woo sounds. By the end of my pumping days, I was no-big-deal fitting sessions in airport family bathrooms, and hopping on conference calls. But that first outing took ounces of reserve and confidence I did not quite yet have.
I remember being so grateful my therapist had been a breastfeeding mom (“I’m gonna leak,” I said, “My kid still eats every two hours.” And, “I’ve never had breasts before, so I might be uncomfortable on my stomach.”) I was grateful my two friends were 6 and 12 weeks ahead of my motherhood journey, and could model the relative collected breeze that was in my near future. (LOL J/K WE WERE ALL WRECKS, but it was good to be together, faking it.)
That morning I’d been awakened by The Child smacking me in the face with a power chord arm jerk in his sleep. It was 6:30, which must have felt heavenly. Although he was sleeping a maximum of 4 hours at a stretch, so heaven is a relative concept. I wasn’t yet back at work, but soon would be. My body was still achy and reshaping itself. Actually, body was not my own in any way.
There is sweetness in these memories. But I have no idea how any of us survived. And, honestly, if it weren’t for my two-sentence posts on Facebook, I would have little recollection of these days. At least I would not remember the specifics.
A friend told me while I was pregnant, “The sleep deprivation is hell. It also makes you forget precisely what happened. So then you have more children. It’s how the human race survives.”
He was not incorrect. Sleep deprivation, faking it, and a massage every three months. Apparently that was my method. At least that’s what Facebook tells me.