Motherhood

All the times I didn’t win mother of the year award.

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I understand that for a vast majority of women who plan on having children, it’s a heavenly thing to become pregnant and anticipate the next glorious stage in life — parenting.

You and your significant other do your best to get your freak on at the most optimal times each month, in hopes that you’ll hit the nail on the head and conceive. That’s when your magic begins.

But can we just be honest for a minute?

There’s also a minority of us out here who never planned on becoming parents. We didn’t pay attention to anything fertility related because we were just floating through life, naively thinking, “I can’t get pregnant. I use condoms”

1 out of 5 moms may not recommend parenting. I feel like that’s a fair ratio.

Here’s what it’s like for someone who didn’t go the planned parenthood route.

Picture being 18 years old and your period is late. Only you don’t realize it’s late because who’s using a period calendar at 18? The only day on the calendar I paid attention to were Friday nights. Partaaay!

Once it dawned on me that I really hadn’t had my period in a while I started to sweat a little, and tried to think of a way to get to the bottom of it without having go public, a.k.a. visiting my family doctor who’d known me since I was born.

Instead, I went to the pharmacy and shoplifted a home pregnancy test because I was too embarrassed to make the purchase. Hiding behind a locked bathroom door at home, I peed on the stick and then waited.

I can’t remember if the stick was the kind with two lines or a + sign for positive, but I can remember leaving that stick in my dresser drawer for three days, thinking it would change back.

It never did.

I had to confide in someone, so I asked my mom if she wanted to go for coffee one day. Immediately, she asked, “Why? Are you pregnant?”

Dumbfounded, I asked how she knew. She replied, “You’d never want to go for coffee with your mother for any other reason.”


During my pregnancy, I quickly grew to the size of a log cabin. I remember midnight walks to the corner store to buy one Twinkie, because that’s what I wanted to eat at midnight.

I gained 70 pounds in total and became so round that my doctor thought I may be carrying twins, even though the ultrasound only showed one baby in there. Was it possible that another one was hiding behind it?

While pregnant, I vividly remember crying like a madwoman every time I saw an airplane flying in TV commercials. What was that even about? Oh right, the glory of hormones.

At 7 months preggo, we went on a family vacation to Disneyland and I also cried sitting on benches, watching everyone go on rides I wasn’t allowed to ride. However, I did stand in line attempting to get on the Matterhorn roller coaster, just to see if I could pass for fat instead of pregnant. It worked.

My poor unborn child, having to endure that kind of rough-ridery inside me.

First mother-of-the-year award right there.

When my baby started moving inside me it was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. I could watch him from the outside, punching and kicking my insides, and that’s when he became real to me.

I always knew he was a boy because of his punch. In fact, I was so confident I was having a boy that I never even made a list of girl names.


My mother was my partner for prenatal classes and by far, I was the youngest pregnant person there. I was also the only one attending with their mother. Everyone else was accompanied by their spouse. Awkward.

Even more awkward was recognizing one of the spouses who was there with his wife. He was a male stripper at a bar I’d been to with my girlfriends. I wonder if his wife knew that I knew what his penis looked like?


One night, during my ninth month of pregnancy I went out for nachos with some girlfriends and left a note on the kitchen counter for my mom that read,

“I went out for nachos with the girls. I’ll call if I go into labor. Hahaha.”

I think I still have that note paper saved in a box of memorabilia somewhere.

That night, I came home before midnight, went to bed, but couldn’t fall asleep. My back hurt too much and there seemed to be no way to get comfortable.

I went into my mom’s bedroom to complain about my back pain and she was smart enough to ask if I had timed the pains. Of course I hadn’t been timing the pain…it was constant.

She ran me a hot bath and made me some tea so I could try to relax. But the pain became unbearable so she thought we should go to the hospital, just to be safe.

During the drive, my pain became so excruciating that every tiny crack in the road made it noticeably worse. I could hardly bear it, and by the time we arrived at the hospital I crawled on all fours through the front door.

Through nine arduous hours of non-medicated labor, the nachos I’d had with my girlfriends didn’t stand a chance. They saw the light of day long before my baby did. No one told me throwing up was part of this deal.

During intense labor there was unexpected trauma for my baby so they had to call in a specialist. There I was, buck naked and legs splayed on a hospital bed, when in walked the most good looking man I’d ever laid eyes on. He was wearing dress pants, a dress shirt, and dress shoes. I thought he must be lost.

Full of embarrassment, I asked my mom, “Who is THAT and why is he in here?”

He was the specialist and he walked in during the most shameless moment of my entire life. Who shows up in dress clothes to deliver a baby? I would have expected more along the lines of a hazmat suit or riot gear.

That good looking specialist, along with a team of many, saved my baby’s life. In turn, my baby upended my life. I went from living with my mother to becoming a mother, within nine short hours.


I never saw my son at the moment of birth because they whisked him away rapidly due to complications. I had no idea what he looked like, I just knew he had a mop of thick, black hair. That’s all I saw of him when he was born.

So naturally, when I went to the nursery to see him for the first time, I walked up to the baby with the thickest mop of hair and started whispering sweet nothings to it.

That’s when I noticed the name card on the cradle. I was whispering to someone else’s new daughter.

Again….mother-of-the-year award.

The things I didn’t know.

There are a myriad of things no one told me about childbirth and motherhood. I wasn’t prepared at all and I wished I’d known these things going in.

Nobody told me that I’d still look pregnant for months after giving birth. I remember staring at myself in the mirror, perplexed that I still appeared to have a beach ball in my belly. I was very disappointed.

Nobody told me I’d be constantly wiping breast milk spray off my bedroom walls, because my boobs spontaneously combusted whenever they felt like it.

No one told me I’d be too scared to take a #2 after childbirth, for fear that it might blow the stitches out. Was that TMI?

No one told me I’d lay awake waiting for my baby to cry every night, just to make sure he’s alive in the other room, all alone.

And certainly no one told me I’d be more concerned for my newborn’s well being than the utter destruction of my va-jay-jay.

But the one thing I did know?

Of all the uncertainty and tough decisions a young single mother faces, choosing to be his mother was the only decision for me.

Through all the tumultuous times we would face going forward, I chose to stay on that roller coaster ride with my son, for life. That was my ultimate mother of the year award.


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Danh Ho

Unfortunately the lost one only lost the current ones. The pain was over only hurt the rest of the life.

About Danh Ho

Unfortunately the lost one only lost the current ones. The pain was over only hurt the rest of the life.
View all posts by Danh Ho →

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