I've made an effort to join some neighborhood mommy and me groups. They have played a huge part in maintaining balance in my life. They allow me to talk about Nathan non-stop - his feeding habits, his sleep schedule, his adorable personality that shows more and more each day. I get it out of my system as much as possible so I'm able to carry on more suitable conversations when I see my friends without kids, who like to discuss things other than Nathan. So anytime I can get together with a group of people whose daily vocabularies include the words "poopy" or "fussy" I try to take advantage of it.
I've found one particular group that meets for lunch once a week and it's a great way to compare stories - both good and bad. This week we met for Sunday brunch and in addition to Mommy and baby, Daddy was invited too. There were 7 families all together, 14 adults and 7 babies. We sat across from a couple that lives 2 blocks away from us and immediately hit it off.
Within 5 minutes of meeting, myself and the other woman were sharing our labor stories; she was induced and I progressed on my own into natural labor. Upon hearing that my water broke, her husband asked me how I knew - "Was it was more of a trickle or a gush?" and then immediately started laughing, realizing how bizarre yet totally acceptable it was to ask me this question having only known me for a few minutes.
I'm sure it's strange to imagine talking about such personal and graphic information with strangers. But once you've gone through pregnancy and having a baby, this becomes completely normal. I remember a few weeks before Nathan was born and I had told a friend, who's also a mom, about my most recent checkup with my doctor, to check for signs of labor. The next time I saw her husband the first thing he said to me was "I heard you're 1 cm dilated, that's great." Again - so weird yet so acceptable that he was talking about such a personal subject.
But it's because we're all part of the same club now. A club whose members instantly bond because we've all shared the same surreal, overwhelming, scary and amazing experience of having a baby. The membership is lifelong and my initiation was easy - 18 hours of labor and 18 years of responsibility.