My newborn and I were anchored on our couch for her first few months. I wrote hundreds of thank you cards, emails, and Facebook posts to let people know that baby and I were indeed healthy and snuggling under the receiving blanket they sent. I thought I was taking the bull by the horns to be communicating with that world out there…until I met the Extreme Parents.
EPs don’t let the gift parcels come to them. They get on the plane and in the car and on their scooters with their baby to see the world. They visit relatives. They cross international borders and suffer jetlag to make the most of their maternity leave. Are you freaking kidding me, people? Did you not realize that your baby can give you jetlag in the comfort of your own home?
Yes, my sarcasm kept me feeling righteous and pleased to be sitting on that couch. I was singing, reading, snuggling, and breastfeeding – all without fear that my uterus would prolapse out of my vagina. I don’t mean to be crass. I say this because I have a girlfriend who attended her sister’s wedding with her several day old baby. While standing during the usual parts in the church, she felt the weight of her labor and delivery and the toll it had taken on her body.
I should have subscribed to a magazine during my maternity leave. Thankfully, I did have inspired moments where I walked a block to the public library and read the latest People magazine or signed out a movie. I developed an unhealthy addiction to celebrity baby websites. Like Neo from The Matrix, I practiced bending the world. If I mastered telekinesis, I could bring my water glass from the kitchen counter back round to my spot on the couch. It never happened so photos from my early days as a mother show a dry-mouthed woman surrounded by thank you cards and the occasional post card from an EPing friend. “Climbing Kilimanjaro. Wish you were here.”