I remember being helped from a wheelchair onto an x-ray table to have a paracentesis tube placed under ultrasound guidance at the radiology unit of the hospital where I was being treated for OHSS. It was February 2006.

As I lay back, the nurse gave a chuckle and a wink. "The things we do for kids!" she said, and there was a general echo of friendly laughter around the room. Then she continued more gently and seriously, leaning closer and brushing the hair from my brow: "It never stops, you know." For a long time those words gave me comfort. For a long time I wondered why.

On Friday I cross-pollinated The Secret Society from Mrs Spock's blog, and it threw a new light onto The Mummy Club and its hazing rituals. It was also quite timely, it turns out, since my hazing began this morning when I phoned my mother. Somehow or other I ended up hearing my birth story - suffice to say it includes an emergency C-section and a stay in the NICU - as well as a cheerful history of my mother's breast-feeding difficulties. To finish, because by then she was on quite a roll, I got to hear about the arduous battle to have me sleep through the night, which was finally won, for the very first time, when I was no less than fifteen months of age. "You were such a horrible baby," my mother concluded dreamily. "No wonder I got depressed."

But you know what? It all kind of rolled off my back. Now perhaps, in my mind, it's just too early to be worrying about those sorts of things, but to a certain extent I think I've already been hazed. Our conception story may seem pretty par for the course - tame, even - to most of you, but from the untrained comrade it commands awe and respect. C-section? NICU? Sleepless nights? I'll raise you one bout of moderately severe OHSS, three biochemical pregnancies, a miscarriage and a vanishing twin - not to mention the infertility, IUIs and IVF. When it comes to rocky beginnings, my own mother can't beat me. But that's going to take her a while to accept.

That radiography nurse, on the other hand, awarded me my Mummy Club papers long ago, on an x-ray table in a hospital, during an injection of local anaesthetic. Far from labelling me an inductee - or an obsessed tryhard who doesn't know when to call it a day - she spoke as one member of The Club to another. "The things we do for kids!" she chuckled. And then, because she could see I was freshly arrived, "It never stops, you know."


13 Comments

Rachel Inbar said...

I bet you end up with a calm baby and can brag to your mom that she must have just done everything wrong (tee hee).

TeamWinks said...

Yep, I think all of that puts you light years ahead of your mom's journey.

On a side note, it's entirely weird to have strangers relay all of these induction into motherhood stuff (labor, delivery, breastfeeding, etc.) when you are adopting. It feels so strange!

Beagle said...

Oh God, there's more hazing? As though infertility isn't hazing enough.

Sigh.

You do have your mum beat by a large margin.

Ellen K. said...

Agreeing with the others: You win. No contest.

What a great nurse, too.

megan said...

much like advice, i don't think the hazing ever really stops either...i think that's a good part of the reason that i let everyone know that this wasn't an easy pregnancy to achieve -- it was my way of trying to let them know that i wasn't an a-class member of the club.

The Town Criers said...

Great post. And I love the sentiment about when motherhood begins (and for you, it began a long time ago).

Jess said...

So true, yet so strange...it DOES feel like "motherhood" for me, like you're saying, started years ago.

Sometimes when people get on a roll I'll just keep one-upping them. Oh, you had a lap and insurance paid 10k, well...two IVF's and 100k out of pocket. Trump!

lol!!

How are things going, btw? Feeling well enough? Boobs growing at an alarming rate? Feeling scared still or any better?

SarahSews said...

The hazing doesn't stop? Well crap. That sucks!

And your mother may be slow in coming to the realization that your journey trumps hers, but we aren't. Coliky babies sound like a piece of cake compared to the stuff it sometimes takes to make them. (And I probably just jinxed myself).

And that nurse deserves a gold star for being so kind.

Geohde said...

Just think that one day you'll be telling your OWN child what you did to get them. :)

J

Vee said...

Yes I agree with Rachel you will end up with a very placid baby. You don't want to beat your mum in the next phase ;)

Nice post.

My Reality said...

I wish more people saw it as the nurse did. We are all doing this for our kids, even if they have yet to be ICSI'd!

Bumble said...

That was a lovely post Bea... Thanks, and I hope it just gets easier from here onwards x

Sarah said...

LOVE this post!!! it really got old how so much of that club always saw us as outsiders.

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