I have to admit that I had a difficult time adjusting to Motherhood. My issues were compounded by difficulties with my stump that arose after delivery. I developed bone spurs during the pregnancy. Six weeks after Robby was born, I was in the hospital having a revision surgery. This was a difficult time for our new family.
Although he has grown into a delightful (most of the time) child, he was a difficult baby. He was awake every three hours. He was difficult to comfort and sometimes he just screamed for no particular reason.
I remember the first time I went to visit my Mom after Robby was born. Exhausted from the two hour drive with a screaming newborn, I handed off her newest grandson. I then broke down sobbing. As I was crying, I was trying to explain to my Mom that I gave birth to the demon child. I was convinced that the tiny little baby was, indeed, going to chase me around the house with knives someday.
Luckily, Robby's temperment evened out quickly. We discovered shortly after this incident that he had two infected toenails. My husband and I both found this strange, given that I am missing one foot and Scott is missing his big toe. To have a child with infected toes at one month old was bitterly ironic.
After the revision surgery to remove the bone spurs, my recovery was relatively quick. Although it was painful, I was able to wear my prosthetic and resumed walking within 8 weeks. I had a significant limp due to the pain from the surgery. I was, however, able to focus on my newborn and life as a Mommy.
Needless to say, I was not feeling social. When we had company, many times I opted to stay upstairs with Robby. In retrospect, I am sure I experienced a classic case of the "baby blues." Combined with my typical "post surgical depression," I was really a mess.
A friend of Scott's from work, came over to watch a football game one Saturday. I'll refer to her as "Polly." I avoided interacting too much and opted to stay upstairs to prepare the snacks.
At half-time, Polly came up to talk to me. Now, she is a size four on her heaviest day. Perfect hair and skin. I was wearing a shirt covered with baby spit-up. I am pretty sure that I hadn't washed my hair in several days. In fact, it is possible that I hadn't brushed it at all that day. I was overweight from the pregnancy and eating too much. I was exhausted. To say I felt ugly is an understatement.
She started talking, telling me how cute my baby was and how my house was nice. Then she started to talk about Scott. She started to smile that "he makes me want to giggle" smile that all women know. She said, "You must wake up every morning, so thankful to be next to somebody as wonderful as Scott." Distracted and too tired to mark my territory, I responded with an eloquent "Huh?"
It was a horrible feeling watching another woman flirt with my husband. I think I had such a passive reaction because of my pain and exhaustion. To be honest, I just didn't have the energy to take care of myself. Hence, I didn't feel attractive or have the energy to "fight for my man."
Time passed and I became adjusted to my new role as Mother. Slowly, the pain from my bone spur surgery began to dissipate. My limp lessened and my activity level sky-rocketed. I began to exercise, eat better, and perhaps more importantly, I began to laugh again. I finally feel secure in my role as Mom and more comfortable living my life as an amputee.
I ran into Polly the other day. I think it took her a few moments to figure out who I was. Although very polite, I could see the glint of disappointment in her eyes. She was no longer prettier than me. I have lost weight, adjusted to motherhood, walk gracefully with my prosthetic and take of myself and my family. So Polly, how do you like me now!