Friday, May 6, 2016

"Wow, that must have hurt.."

Posted by Adele Hattingh at 5:26 AM
It's a beautiful Autumn day. One of those days that you can feel the cooler winter air creeping closer but it's still sunny enough to enjoy a mid day walk. My little one is just over a month old as I wrap him tightly and we set off for a walk in the stroller. He loves the outdoors and I enjoy the walk. Feeling like the walls close in on you is a real thing. Especially if you are a working mom on maternity leave, that has been home for a full month with a new baby that spends all his time either drinking or sleeping. We set off to the local butcher - a nice 20 minute walk. When you are still in adoration of the miracle that happened to you in the form of a baby, everything seems greener, fresher, prettier and more alive. I select a few things for dinner and make my way to the pay point. The cashier is a young Afrikaans girl, overly interested in my little one. She ooh's and aah's and tells me how beautiful he is. I wanted to say 'Right!!?' but responded with a pleasant thank you. The questions roll off her tongue like balls in a busy ten pin bowling alley on a Friday night. I answer with short polite answers every time. Yes, its a boy. He is 6 weeks old. He sleeps a lot. Yes I breastfeed. No I don't have to go back to work soon. Then she asks about the birth method. I was slightly taken aback - such a personal question from a complete stranger. Yes, it was a natural birth without medication. "WOW" she exclaims, "that must have hurt". Suddenly, in that moment there is a thousand thoughts rushing through my head. How do I tell this young girl that the pain of giving birth is nothing compared to the pain you will still feel as a mother? The first time they are sick and you are completely helpless. The first time they don't succeed at riding a bicycle or building a LEGO figurine and they feel like a failure. Their first rejection from a friend. How do you tell her that the heartache of leaving them at daycare or school for the first time far supersedes the pain of labor? The tears you cry when they struggle to adapt to this crazy world. There is no comparison.

I just smiled and said "Yeah, it was quite something".


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