Maybe I Can Do This Motherhood Thing

My son was born on January 17, during the heart of winter in New York. An emergency C-section left me more bruised and battered than I had expected. Sitting in the blue nursing chair in the baby’s room two weeks later, I called Judi, my C-section mentor (she’d been through two), and cried, “when does it stop hurting?”

“Soon,” she promised. “Soon.”

And then the sun came out. Literally. On one of those rare February days when the sky is a spectacular blue and you can feel the warmth of the sun streaming through the kitchen windows.

“Let’s take a walk,” Karen said through the phone. We had met in a baby care class and her son had been born the “usual” way 10 days before mine. So three weeks in, she was far, far more advanced in the motherhood thing than I was.

“Can we do that?” Other than a couple of well-visits to the pediatrician, one follow up to the OB and a fraught quest for the perfect nursing bra, I hadn’t left the house. It was winter and the baby was so little …

“Yes” she insisted. “Bundle that baby up. I’ll be there in 10.”

And she was. We walked down a quiet side street pushing carriages side by side. And we talked while the babies napped about nursing and motherhood and fears. We talked about husbands and cravings and wondered how it was that creatures that were so tiny required so much gear. We talked about love and sleepless nights.

As we turned around to head back to the house, I recall with the crystal clarity of life’s most important moments, thinking “I can do this.”

That’s the power of walking with your girlfriends.