Friday, June 12, 2009

I would have called it “Dear Vagina…”

I’ve been getting free copies of Parents magazine since I registered for the entire planet’s worth of baby crap at a huge baby store run by Geoffrey the giraffe.  I appreciate Geoffrey having the sense to know that I needed this magazine for free since I had no plans to ever pay for another magazine again in order to save money I don’t have and a few trees in the process.  Unfortunately for the trees, I kind of like getting free stuff especially when said stuff contains pages and pages of bright shiny pictures of things I won’t ever buy and great articles I can read in short bursts throughout the day.  Who ever knew it would take me a full month to flip through a 196 page magazine?  I'm a few months behind on my Parents reads but yesterday morning Avelyn brought me the June 2009 copy open to page 82.  Before I shut the cover and put it on “the pile to be dealt with later” I caught a glimpse of the title, “Regrets, I Have a Few” by Merrin Dungey.  I was intrigued.  I let Avelyn run around with scissors and plastic bags over her head for 5 minutes while I read all 1-1/2 pages and laughed my butt off.  It was everything I wanted to say but with a much higher caliber writing style.  Do you relate to any of this?  I do.  About 105%.  Enjoy.

Regrets, I Have a Few
Being a new mother means feeling a need to say I’m sorry.  By Merrin Dungey

Since I had my first child three months ago I've dealt with an endless string of sleepless nights, the relentless cycle of feeding and pumping and changing and comforting, and the slow realization that my life will never be the same again. Now that I've emerged from the fog of being a new mommy, I have a few things I need to say.

I want to start by apologizing to my vagina. I just … I just didn't know what was going to happen. I thought it would be easy. All my life I'd been told I have "child-birthing hips." That turned out to be a dirty lie. I pushed for three hours, and I put you, dear vagina, through hell. I did my best to protect you, and I apologize. I can only hope that the bad feelings between us can be healed. This relationship has gotten really painful, and it's been weeks now. Please let the healing begin.

I'd also like to say I'm sorry to my husband for all my inappropriate name-calling in the delivery room and the resentment I felt because I had to carry our child for nine months and you didn't.  I will have sex with you again someday, I promise.  Don't hold your breath or anything, but we'll get there. I'll wear attractive lingerie again as well. These grandma underpants aren't forever!

And honey … about my boobs. While I appreciate your attempts to touch them, try to understand that they are not for you at this time. These are working breasts, they are under construction at the moment, and we appreciate your patience. It's funny: I can see a mixture of fear and delight in your eyes at the size of them. And trust me, they are something to fear. I never thought a boob could dwarf the size of my baby's head, but it is true. Little Maisey’s bravery in attacking them day after day is impressive. I must apologize to her as well. I had no idea they would operate in a sprinkler fashion, and I have sprayed her in the face many, many times. But the way she fights through it is quite something.

I apologize to every woman whose baby shower I attended before I became a mom. All those useless stuffed animals and baby booties I bought … well, I'm sure they might have come in handy at some point, but I should have stuck to the registry and gotten things you truly needed.

I also must quickly apologize to my cats for bringing home the new “hairless cat that gets all the attention theses days.”  I’m sorry you are no longer permitted to sleep on the bed and that you have felt it necessary to let me know how you feel about things with your poo.  Message received.

I apologize once again to my husband, this time for criticizing you about the way you dress our daughter. I know she's my very own personal doll come to life, and I like to play dress-up. But you make such weird choices. Why would you put her in a sweater when it is 85°F? It's the middle of the day--a night-gown really? It's bedtime, sweetheart, why is she wearing a hat? I recognize this is not America's Next Top Model, but I do ask you to think about what makes sense sometimes. That's all.

I must also apologize to every new mom I ever bumped into before I had a baby for judging your appearance. I mentally criticized your old sweatpants, your over sized T-shirts, and your haphazard ponytails. I figured you just hadn't taken the time to get ready before you went out or were in dire need of a makeover. Now I understand those precious minutes you savor when the baby goes down for a nap--the desperation to make the most of them. I could shower! I could eat! I could sleep! Check my e-mail! Work-out! Do laundry! Have sex! (Well, maybe not just yet, but…) I could do so much if she would just sleep a little longer. Then, inevitably, there's that sound through the baby monitor. (Stop. Wait. Listen.) Was it for real? … That was just a sneeze, right? … She's not up,right? … Oh, please, I'm almost done eating, the coffee's finally ready, I thought I could shower. Just five more minutes please. Just … nope. She's up. She's hungry. She's wet. She's something. And once you've got her fed and changed and played with her, you're on the clock to get that errand done before it all unravels again. I get it now: There is absolutely no time for a blowout or blusher.  I was a complete jerk, and I’m sorry.

I see how people look at me--with that mixture of pity and disgust--in my old nursing tank covered in spit-up and the same maternity shorts I wear every day. I'm like the Elephant Man. I put my daughter in fancy clothes to compensate for the monster pushing her around. I see the stares. I know what you're saying. Well to heck with you, you small-pants wearing Miley Cyrus fan. I just had a baby. I am not always this fat.

I guess I should apologize for my anger.  But in solidarity with new moms everywhere, I'm not going to.

But I would definitely like to apologize to my former self. I always thought I had a few pounds to lose and could look better. I never knew how great I had it. What I wouldn't give to fit into my old clothes again! I look at them longingly day after day. Hi, jeans. Hello, Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. You were all so good to me. (Sniff.)

I should have slowed down and enjoyed my freedom more when I had the chance. I used to beat myself up if I slept past eight or stayed out too late. I was a fool. A fool. What did I know? Oh, to do anything at all at a leisurely pace--shop, eat, read the newspaper--and anything without having to wear a monitor. Waiting. Listening. For her.

While I'm sending regrets I should apologize to my pre-baby boobs for not appreciating them enough. They were a great pair of boobs--not too big, just enough décolletage. And now … sigh … who knows what will be left of them once I stop nursing? I'm sorry, former boobs. I truly am.

I'll never be sorry about deciding to become a mother, though. There may be no going back to my old body or my old lifestyle, but having Maisey is worth everything I've had to give up and then some. But you already know that.

To find the original article click here to view Parents digital magazine.


  1. The useless gift one is classic. It's much easier buying baby shower gifts since I've had a baby rather than the "cute" but totally not practical things.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hahahaha! So, so true! While Avelyn is running around with scissors and a plastic bag over her head, do you also put her in the tub and walk into the other room, leaving her to her own devices? My boys are all over that. :)

  3. i read this the other day and laughed and laughed. i'm so glad you enjoyed it too!

  4. Love it...I probably would have cried my eyes out if I read this months ago, but I am now laughing my ass off thinking oh how true it is. Thanks for the laugh ( :

  5. I read this article a few weeks ago, so freakin true! Every mom can identify with it. :)

  6. Wow, that was really a great article! Found myself giggling as I read it.

  7. LOVE IT. 110% true. I haven't read this issue yet since I am like 10 months behind on all my magazines. And Parents is the only one that hasn't expired. LOL.

  8. (that sounds like Jean T.'s and my conversations daily... lol)


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