20
Feb
08

Is it still baby weight after 14 years?

Monday was President’s Day, an utterly useless holiday since it does nothing more than combine the birthdates of two dead presidents into the justification for an appliance store “blowout sale.”

But in 1994, President’s Day was special, so very special, because it was the day I knew I was having my Girl from the West. Being hugely pregnant and past my expiration date, I was scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 6 a.m. on this federal holiday for my induction.

I was scared of being induced, since it meant I would be pumped full of artificial hormones and have to stay in bed connected to several monitors, a blood-pressure cuff and an I.V. So much for all the natural childbirth classes I took. I also was scared of not being induced because that meant I’d be pregnant for the rest of my life.

Long story short, after hours and hours of laboring and pushing, pulling, poking and prodding, at 8 p.m. that night, my first daughter came kicking and screaming (not just a cliche, but the truth) into this world at 9 pounds, 10 ounces. And, yeah, I didn’t have a c-section.

And now it’s her 14th birthday already. Her babyhood is long gone. Her early childhood nothing more than a few storage bins of finger paintings, Girl Scout sashes and a few treasured trinkets.

But I still remember one of our first nights home with “the new baby.” During one of many middle-of-the-night feedings, I sat on the floor of her colorful nursery and counted in my head how many minutes, hours, days it would be before this servitude would lighten up, when I’d get a little bit of my life back.

I’m ashamed to say it came too fast. I’d do anything to get just a slice of that time back. Before I know it, Girl from the West will be on her own in the world and I’ll count the hours, days and months until I see her again.

That’s the raw deal for first-borns: they are the parental guinea pigs. I’m a much smarter, more efficient and appreciative parent with Girl from the East.

The raw deal for moms of teens? You can’t call all that junk in the trunk “baby weight” any more.

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