Okay, so as a pelvic reconstructive surgeon doing high-tech robotic surgery, one would think I’m a tech-y kind of gal….well, no, not at all. I know nothing about blogs and have never blogged before, so I’m a ‘newbie’!
I’m glad Rebecca Stewart invited me to share this experience because it gives me a break from my otherwise hectic work-mom-wife-daughter-sister-daughter in law-etc. life that I otherwise have. I feel like I’m now part of the ‘in-crowd’ and look forward to bonding with other moms out there!
I never wanted kids. Never. When I was 14 years old, my girlfriends used to brag about their babysitting jobs. I just thought, “ew, gross! Why would you want to take care of kids?” I turned 40 and my family and friends would say, “Come on, Chris, your biological clock is ticking…tick..tick…tick…” I would vehemently respond, “NO IT IS NOT TICKING! I DO NOT WANT KIDS !” and I really meant it.
I had 2 beautiful Collie dogs, and if I forgot to feed them, I wouldn’t get called to DCYF.
I had silenced my mom: she was not allowed to give me the guilt trip, to drop hints, to ask, etc.
“No, mom, I’m not having kids.”
It wasn’t because I was a ‘career-woman.’ Yes, I had completely devoted my life energy and soul to my work and for caring for women, but that wasn’t the reason I didn’t want kids.
I came from a great family with a relatively normal childhood.
My husband and I were high-school-sweethearts and had a great marriage.
I just didn’t want kids.
I didn’t like kids (except my nieces and nephews and some friends’ kids as long as they were well-behaved without too much snot running down their noses….)
In fact, I had 97 reasons why I didn’t want kids (some of which still remain clearly!)
And then, one day while driving home from work on I-84, an asteroid came out of the sky and hit me on my head. And I thought, “maybe I want to have a child.” Well, this was absolutely insane! The right side of my brain said, “come on, Chris. You’ve done everything you’ve ever wanted to do. It’s time.” The left side of my brain said, “No way. What about tennis? What about Aruba vacations in January?” The right side of my brain responded, “You sucked at tennis, anyway. You can go to Disneyworld instead of Aruba….”
I thought I had just eaten something bad for lunch. I thought these weird thoughts would go away. They didn’t. I thought about it before I’d go to sleep. I thought about it when I woke up. I kept thinking about it. I told nobody. Two weeks went by when I finally sat down on the couch next to my husband (who is normal. He’s not a doctor. He’s a computer-geek.) I told him, “well, what would you think if I go off the Pill.” He looked at me. He was paralyzed. He said, “who the hell are you and what did you do with Chrissy? You’re an imposter! WHere is my wife?”
That was March 2007.
I was pregnant in May, 2007.
I was 42 years old.
I was an OB/GYN. I was a high-risk pregnancy (advanced maternal age.) I was kind of a VIP at Hartford Hospital.
I had shocked the world with this announcement.
What I remember most is the outpouring of joy and support from everyone that knew…my family, colleagues, coworkers, patients, friends, strangers.
What a truly amazing experience.
When I told my office staff (who had known me for many years and knew that I NEVER WANTED KIDS, our APRN was in such a state of shock, she said, “Oh my. I have to go home and lay down. I can’t work. I’m in shock.”
I had told my partners and my office staff that I would work until I was 38 weeks pregnant and then planned to take an 8 week maternity leave. My partners said I was crazy, and didn’t I know that I was a high-risk pregnancy and would not likely reach 38 weeks gestation? My office staff refused to listen to me and told me that they would not book any patients or surgeries for me for at least 16 weeks after due date and that I was going to take the full FMLA. I said to them, “Hey, I’m the division director of Urogynecology. I make the rules here.” They replied, “tough…you’re taking off the full 16 weeks FMLA. What we say goes!” (We compromised. I took off 14 weeks maternity leave and it was the best thing I could have done. I still thank my staff for making that decision for me!)
I signed up for some of the prenatal classes offered at Hartford Hospital (Amy Schroder is in charge of them.) I was not going to be a doctor. I was going to be a patient. I think I was a very good patient, too. I planned to take prenatal yoga, but expressed concern to Amy about me being the oldest woman there. She said, “I’m sure that’s not true…” and we looked at the ages of the other women on the class roster….25, 28, 28, 28,….oh, here’s someone who is 33!” she said. I reminded her that I was 42! “oh….” she replied.
My daughter, Amalia, is now 2 Â½ years old.
She is, for the most part, a joy!
I am absolutely so amazed by her.
Every single day my husband and I say, “can you believe it? Can you believe we did it? Can you believe we have a baby?”
I still work full-time. I still love my job (for the most part!)
Most of the time I love being a mom, although there are those occasions when I say, “I had a really great life before Amalia……………..”
This is my introduction to the mommyhood blog.
I will write in periodically to talk about (and hopefully read about from others) the life of an ‘older’ mom, the life of a ‘full-time-working-outside-the-home mom’, the life of a woman.
I must give credit to my family, friends and colleagues for all their support as I could not do all that I do without them!
Ciao for now! I’ll write again soon!