Meaghan O’Connell’s “And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready” makes this abundantly clear — and, because of this, is the one baby-themed ebook that has but provided me precise solace. This is due largely to the truth that O’Connell provides no recommendation. She doesn’t suggest sure carriers or protein-rich diets, nor does she really feel compelled to let you know how being pregnant and motherhood must be. Rather, hers is a very trustworthy, typically neurotic and searingly humorous memoir of her being pregnant and childbirth.
When O’Connell, a author dwelling in Brooklyn, learns she is pregnant, she instinctively desires a baby however, given the circumstances of her life and work, feels unready. After a protracted dialogue together with her boyfriend, Dustin, that begins as they’re selecting up their weekly farm share and continues into the evening, the couple lastly, definitively decides to maintain the newborn.
She shares the information with buddies, casually posts about it on Instagram, navigates the regular stream of physician’s appointments — all whereas a petrified, what-on-earth-am-I-doing feeling simmers below the floor. Everything feels life-or-death as she’s dwelling it, unable to foresee that it’s all going to prove high-quality. There is a automobile journey with Dustin by which she doesn’t really feel the newborn kick. Her thoughts leaps to the worst attainable place: “‘The child is lifeless!’ I scream the scream of a girl who is just not being taken severely, who is just not being fed sufficient, coddled sufficient, who is just not being ultrasounded each hour in order that she might be reassured that the attainable is just not possible, is just not inevitable.” She worries about dropping the newborn, about not savoring being pregnant sufficient — about not being a very good mom.
The creator rapidly learns the distinction between being pregnant and the way in which it’s carried out for the world. “There should be Polaroids our son finds in a shoe box 30 years from now and feels sentimental about,” she writes. “I want this baby to think his mom was radiant, effortlessly so, hugging her massive, miraculous body in floral prints. I want him to post them to the 2045 version of Instagram. I want his friends to leave comments about my fashion sense.”
Much of her being pregnant is spent planning for a pure start till the significantly harrowing scene by which she receives an epidural after which an emergency cesarean part. Once her child is born, when buddies come to go to, she envisions herself as “the matriarch welcoming everyone in with French-press coffee and banana bread that I had somehow baked during early labor,” regardless that in actuality she is bleary-eyed and rattled from the surgical procedure. Eventually, after conquering her fixed worry of SIDS, she will get the grasp of it — and finds in motherhood an surprising peace.