love letter the day after

Dear You,

You became a mommy today (I’m writing this on Sunday, of course).

When your husband texted me the picture of your new little man I laughed and cried.  There have been so many things I have wanted to talk to you about and share with you and compare with you during your pregnancy, but it hasn’t been possible since we live almost 200 miles apart.

I feel like I should have been better about calling and texting, but I wasn’t.  But that’s Ok, because our 20+ year friendship has always been that way. I think this is why we are such great friends. But that is another topic all together.

So, because I suck at the phone and my blog is my love language, this is what you get.

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First I have to tell you that I still can’t believe you have a baby. I can’t believe you got pregnant.  I just can’t.  Remember in Psychology when we watched that birth video?  The uncut version?  That horribly hard labor and delivery?  Remember how you yelled out, “WHAT IS THAT BABY DOING TO THAT WOMAN?” And then you put your head down and needed a rest after the video was over?  Remember how both of us swore we would never have sex because OMG what if that happened to us?

Yeah.

I’m laughing just typing that, although I will admit that video (and the graphic pictures of chlamydia) single handedly did a better job of promoting abstinence and birth control than anything (or anyone) else ever did for me.  Sorry, college boyfriends. That video was why I was a prude.

ANYWAY, you swore off parenthood from that day and you kept true to your word for 16 years.  Even after you got married 13 years ago.  You guys talked fleetingly about having kids, but you were pretty clear that you maybe wanted one, but not yet.  Not yet. Not yet.  When you guys moved to Chicago and it was clear you both fell in love hard with the city, it became even more fuzzy if you guys would add a baby to the baby carriage. “Maybe just one…someday,” you would casually say.

When I went through my miscarriages and pregnancies you were always so positive and right there with loving words.  When I was big and round with Eddie you loved to pat my tummy and laugh about how I was going to have a baby and it would be painful and HA HA HA KATE AN PAIN!  But you also told me I could do it.  And you were right.

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You cried when I had Eddie because you couldn’t be there.

I cried last night when you were in labor because I couldn’t be there.

When you found out you were having a boy I laughed and cried.  We were both going to be Boy Moms.

I wish we had had the time to sit around and compare pregnancies.  Foot in the ribs? Bladder punches?  Acrobatics? Pain here there and everywhere?  Trouble sleeping?  Wonderful flutters?

You measured big.  So did I.

You had to be induced.  We texted all day yesterday. I know I was annoying…especially to your husband.  I just wanted to let you know you are both amazing and it would be Ok.  I wanted to be there, but I didn’t want to intrude.

You got the epidural (DON’T BE A HERO!  Ha ha ha!) just like we always talked about.  We always said if we had babies?  We would get that epidural.

I slept with my phone last night. I never do that.  I fell asleep praying that God would just get that baby out quickly.  I knew your husband was freaking out (because I know him.  He’s a worrier, bless him, just like me).  I knew what a physical toll it was taking on you to be in labor that long…even with an epidural.

At almost 6am I woke up to a buzzing phone that you were pushing.  I was too tired to text back, but I drifted off with more prayers to God that your boy would fly out with ease and speed.

That was not the case.  Just after 8am, I got another text that they were taking you for an emergency CS.  I was both relieved and bummed for you.  I knew this meant he was going to finally get here, but having gone through the trauma of 36 hours of labor with hours of pushing and ending with an emergency CS myself, I knew this was just one more thing your body was going to have to deal with.  There would be relief, but there would also be a LOT of pain and healing when you finally came off the IV meds.

I didn’t want that for you.

The past 9 months I prayed you wouldn’t go the same way I did.

But you did.

Boy Mom to a BIG baby (10 lbs, 3oz? Girl, you are ALWAYS trying to out do me) via Emergency CS.

You are amazing.

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Really.  I wish I was there right now to tell you that to your face.  But I know that I wouldn’t.  If I was there, I would say some funny things that would make you laugh and you would tell me to cut it out because holy  hell it hurts to laugh after a CS.

I suck at saying beautiful things out loud.  I do.  It’s probably why I blog.  I can write it here.

So here is the stuff I wouldn’t tell you if I was there because I don’t want things to get emotional:

I love you.  You are an inspiration to me.  Your husband was right when he wrote on Facebook early this morning that you are the strongest woman he knows.  You are the strongest woman I know too.

The CS healing is going to suck ass.  You will want to punch people because you can’t do what you want as fast as you want.  That’s Ok.  Feel that way.  It’s cool. It will pass (but if it doesn’t, you know I’m here, right?  You know you can text me or call me or email me that you don’t feel right and I’ll listen.)

I am not kidding when I say I will come if you need me.  I will.  One text that says, “I need you, Kate” and I will be there.  I mean, it will take me 2.5 hours to drive, but I will be there.  I know you have tons of friends in Chicago who can be there quicker than I can, but I want you to know, I will show up and even not shower if you want to feel like the prettiest girl in the room (because you are anyway, even if you don’t feel like it. It’s the new mom thing.  Makes you beautiful). If you just want me to sit there for no rational reason? I will do it.

Everyone is going to be full of compliments and telling you how great you did and what an amazing mom you are.  Believe them.  You will feel like a hot freaking mess, but they are not wrong.

Even though you will be shuffling to get to the bathroom where you will have to painfully pull down your mesh granny panties and maybe need someone to help you stand back up?  You are gorgeous.

Even though you will stand in the shower and feel like every hole in your body is leaking…including your eyes?  You are lovely.

Even though your hair will go unwashed and you will feel like the entire apartment smells like spit up and poop?  Things are just right.

And when it feels like things suck, but people say to enjoy it?  It’s Ok to want to tell them to go to hell.  Because some stuff does suck.  It just does.  People will say you will miss this, but that is not what you want to hear. Even if it does become true someday.  Right now?  Crying babies, dogs that have to be let out, leaking boobs and crotches and diapers, and a husband who wants to help so badly but you just want them to have the leaky boobs and painful incision for a while so you can sleep?  You won’t miss that.

(As an aside, when your husband feels like he is being yelled at for no reason other than being helpful?  You have him text/call Cort.  Cortney has some experience with being yelled at by the lady who just had a baby.  He survived.)

Knowing you like I do, you will probably take all this in stride.  You will probably do it all without complaining.  You will even probably acknowledge the stuff that sucks, but just do it.  Because it’s how you roll.

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But I’m still here for you.  Even if everything is going fine and you just want to talk to an adult.  Even if you just want me to come and have coffee with you.  I’ll be there.

It makes me smile to think that we–the two 12th grade girls who wore over-sized flannel over our awesomely skinny bodies–were never going to get pregnant because of the pain.  And now we–the two 35-year olds who wish over-sized flannel was back in style…or perhaps that we could get a re-do on those 18 year old bods of ours–have both gone through one of the most long and painful labors and delivers possible.

I’m sure this happened so we can give our husbands ridiculous looks when they complain about pain now.

I love you, friend.  So SO much.

You are one of the most gorgeous moms I know.

xxoo

Kates

ps. when I come to visit, I promise to show you how to wrap the moby so your little man does not fall onto the sidewalk.

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pps happy 13th wedding anniversary.  I won’t mention the bun I had in my hair, because it drives you crazy when I bring that up every year. So I won’t do it this year.  I promise.  Now go take a nap, mommy.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Awwww, girl, you made me cry, and I’m not even Tonya.
    Congratulations Tonya. Everything Kate said (because she said it better). You will love each and every moment. Even when it’s hard.

  2. We all need friendships like this…congrats to you both…on your friendship, on motherhood, on just being great women!

  3. Aw Tonya, you’re so lucky to have Kate in your life. SO LUCKY girl.
    CONGRATULATIONS on the birth of your son, WHOOT!

    and Kate, I just found out a few weeks ago that my BFF is pregnant with her first baby and my eyes haven’t stopped leaking let, I am so excited and I might just write her a love letter like this in January. Because thsi was such a gorgeous outpouring of love ..it made my heart just burst.

  4. Seriously Kate! Now I am crying again. Yesterday as I left my beautiful sister and that gorgeous nephew of mine, I cried all the way home (do you know how hard it is to drive in Chicago traffic and cry? I don’t recommend it).

  5. This is just so sweet and beautiful and amazing. Congrats to Tonya and her family. Hope you get to see her soon , Katie!

  6. Aw… I love this. You are a good friend and you and Tonya have a beautiful friendship.That’s so hard to find. Congratulations to her and her family.