Adulthood doesn’t present many opportunities for achievement. I’m not too sure what it means anymore. It was a simple concept in childhood, defined by good marks and smiling teachers. By uni, it simply meant finishing the bloody degrees. These days I wear so many hats, as worker, mother, friend, sister, daughter, and wife, that it’s more likely I’ll feel able to tell you about my ONE BEST FAIL rather than my biggest achievement.
But then I remember, I have an extremely special talent. I can make people. I know nearly all of us can, but in the humdrum and cacophony of daily life I’m quick to forget the miracle of this, my best achievement. It didn’t come easily. Making humans is bloody hard work.
The first human I made was 6 years ago. I was told to try and make one soonish since I was all endometriosis-y, and had had surgery and a short delightful jaunt through drug-induced menopause. Fun for all! Luck was ours, and the human put herself in my very cranky womb quickly and happily.
After all the usual retching and fainting, and a couple of good migraine months, things became more challenging. Commuting daily became a game of ‘catch the guilty shifting eyes’ as the wheels on the bus went round and round and the preggo lady tried not to fall over. Then the techtonic plates shifted, (or the joints in the back and pelvis anyway) and I effectively fell apart. I saw a physio every week to put me back together, and she gave me a super sexy belly band in ‘nood’ to hold me in one piece and to funk up my outfits all at once.Winning!
I started contracting around 35 weeks – with an ‘irritable uterus’. Medical descriptions are so cool in their suckiness sometimes. I’ll say it was irritable. It was saying ‘Eject! Eject!’ The contractions were painful, pant-worthy and regular, so I stopped sleeping and was put on meds to stop labour.
Luckily I produce ENORMOUS babies, so Little L being born weighing almost 4 kg at 38 weeks was not a moment too soon. I just had no idea I was in labour, since the pain had felt the same for the last 3 weeks nonstop. Do you think I want an epidural? Do you think there’s a reason I’m laughing like a hyena when you ask me that question?
Did you know babies also decide to come while you’re sick with the flu and have a fever and chest infection? I stupidly thought they would just wait until it was a good time. Ten days later I’d cracked a rib from coughing and had my first round of pneumonia (with a couple more to come over the next few years). Good thing I make sturdy babies, hey.
I still find it fairly unbelievable that only nine months later I went back and chucked another human into this very cranky womb. Of course it was very cranky again, and tried much harder to chuck its goodies out. Little A, the fighter that she is, just kicked back of course. A story for another day.
So while I’m not very GOOD at cooking people, the fact that I can and have made two of them, who I’m very, extremely grateful and proud to wrap in my arms each day, is more than enough life achievement for one me.