Editor's Note: Today I bring you a great guest post from Laurie Schlueb, as part of our Mother's Day Eve series. To learn more about how you can participate on Saturday, May 11, check out Elke Govertsen's kick-off post.
The 2008 Missoula Mother’s Day Eve Bash brought me back to life. That’s not hyperbole. I still remember the car ride home afterward, grinning from ear-to-ear with radio blaring, knowing my husband would stare amused and amazed: What the hell have you been doing?
After the birth of my first son, I was in a fog of pain, fatigue and mental anguish for almost a year. My body had galloped through labor. It was only five hours, but it was a thundering natural birth with a midwife who I don’t remember checking in on us. At ten centimeters, everything changed and I was suddenly in an episode of ER. Cool as a cucumber in a room that had filled with nurses hopping from foot to foot, an OB gently but urgently stated that I needed a C-section, and the world became a blur. I was raced down the hall to surgery, my husband left behind the closing swinging doors. Staff swarmed around the room, the anesthesiologist yelled, and I was knocked out in seconds. My abdomen was sliced open; my son pulled to safety. It was six minutes from the OB’s announcement to my boy being in his arms.
I learned the definition of train wreck in the following weeks. A half-dozen friends who gave birth the same month were taking hikes along the river and lunching together every Friday. I could barely walk and all I wanted was sleep. What was wrong with me? Was I really so pathetic? It was months before my midwife explained how brutal my son’s birth had been to my body. A labor nurse recounted how scared they were in that room. Look at your scar -- normal incisions don’t look like that, especially from the most skilled obstetric surgeon in town.
Why didn’t anyone tell me this sooner? Why hadn’t they informed my husband? I spent months in torment, feeling like I was just a weak person.
We all know and have lived the rest of the story: back to work, juggling act, relentless demands, merciless exhaustion. Then. Then I heard about this party. A homegrown Mother’s Day Eve bash at a local fitness center and spa, open to all moms at no charge. I arrived stag; spent most of the night alone as was my custom my entire introverted life. But, I played basketball. I played basketball! I did a yoga class and from the back row I yelled a declaration of love for the prenatal yoga teacher who stepped in to teach last minute. I worked out, I got a free facial, I drank wine and ate appetizers from platters carried by men in tuxedos who would have peeled me a grape without batting an eye. I closed the place down, then skipped across the dark parking lot with a gift certificate to a schwanky restaurant in my hand and my heart feeling so light that I could fly. Yes, that’s how superlative and Lifetime-Movies-for-Women it all was. That’s how perfect. That’s how a new life was breathed into me. Grinning, optimistic, invincible.
Want to come with me this year?
Laurie Schlueb is mom to Spencer and Levi; wife to Chuck; and Executive Director of the Wild Rockies Field Institute in Missoula, Montana. She was both pleased and healed when her second son came out the old-fashioned way.
Mother’s Day Eve® is a moment where moms come together to celebrate each other and the sisterhood of motherhood. The Saturday night before Mother’s Day, line up the sitters and ditch the dads, because this party is just for the mamas. Find out how to join the Mother's Day Eve party now!
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