I have a condition.

I do tell myself not to make every post about life as a mom but, well, part of the mom card is the luxury of being able to repeat yourself over and over even when you swore you wouldn’t.

This should be lighter fair though.

Naively, I thought when you were gifted your kids, rather than actively growing them inside you, that you got to skip a lot of the annoyances. I have since learned that you not only get to experience them, but they are even more annoying because you thought you’d dodged these bullets.

I always thought any kids I’d have would belong to someone else first. I have no idea why – I’d just always known. I was never someone who imagined becoming a mom, or with who, or pictured what my kids would look like if this guy or that guy was their dad. I never felt any clocks ticking or had any panicky moments wondering what the status of my eggs were. I really don’t know why. I just knew.

I remember my mom saying to me once, ‘I’ve always seen you meeting someone with kids,’ and thinking, ‘oh, man, she knows, too.’

Because of that, I’d developed a sly smile when my friends complained of baby weight, staying up all night, hormone wackiness or cleaning up puke. Ha, I’d think, none of that for this girl.

Little did I know. I mean, so. very. little.

You know what happened when I became an insta-mom? All of the above.

Within a year of acquiring my new sidekicks, I gained forty pounds. Forty. That is, yes, a pregnancy gain. Or maybe two. Somehow, after years of relishing in a steady weight, I shot up quicker than my dog upon hearing the fridge open. Did I eat my feelings? Um, yeah. Did I figure out the true glory of comfort food? You bet. Exercising with young-ish kids? Is that even a thing? The only approved meals in our house were chicken nuggets, mac & cheese and various forms of rice – the days of single serving healthy options flew out the window.

I was shocked. But I also had two little people that I could point to as the source of the pesky baby weight I’d never lost. Nobody ever asked for specifics, like if those little people actually traversed out of my lady bits, so it seemed plausible.

And the hormones? I was about done with mine. Didn’t need a cycle, although mine was as predictable as can be. I figured I’d coast into pre and then real menopause without a hiccup. Except for the hiccup. Introducing a ‘just getting started’ hormonal girl to my ‘we thought our time had passed’ hormones sent them into a free for all. Predictable? Where’s the fun in that? Adult acne? Yes, please! Mood swings? Let’s just say Rich’s calendar was awash in potential red alert days.

I used to have a very defined sleep schedule. I now realize it was also the sleep schedule of an 80 year old. Get ready for bed at 9, in bed by 10 to catch the early news, read for thirty minutes and to sleep – then up at 6:50am to get moving in time to watch the start of the Today show. Oh, you have kids now? So long sleep schedule. I discovered the joy of someone always needing something at bedtime – water, a snack, a song, a story, the cat, less scratchy pajamas, different dolls, better blankets, socks, a nerf gun, an mp3 player, softer lighting, brighter lighting, no lighting. If we were going to put this much effort into getting two kids into bed, when was my turn?

Oh, never. Because just when I’d drift off into something promising, I’d be jolted awake by the sound of a door creaking open, tiny footprints and the not-so-gentle whisper of someone telling you they had a nightmare, saw a rabbit, couldn’t find their blanket, needed their fan on, or had just barfed. Rich, of course, would leap into action. I would be too busy Googling ‘when can my kid throw up by themselves?’ Didn’t I miss this stage? Evidently not.

I thought I’d hit all the new mom milestones, checking each box as I went. I one-hundred-percent wanted to invent a mom sash, like the girl scouts wear, where I could earn badges with each corner turned. Then, a few weeks ago, I learned just how far the universe was taking it.

I have a condition. It’s called Diastasis Recti, uncovered weeks ago when I was questioning a doctor about my side boobs (which, as I lose the baby weight, seem to be more aggressive). I kid you not, this is something most common in women after going through pregnancy. It happens when your abdominal wall splits down the middle, sending your potential six pack to sit on either side of your body and pushing your organs outward. Like a beginner’s hernia. Rarely, it comes other ways – such as overusing the muscles. But most commonly, pregnancy. Hello?

The reality is, I have probably had it for a long time and it probably started way back in my long gymnastics phase. After doing some research, I learned there are symptoms, most of which I also have. Without going into details, I went to visit my regular PA to start documenting these symptoms, one of which involved the addition of a stool softener. Which is how I ended up sitting in a pitch black bathroom after relaxing into it long enough for the motion sensor lights at a local bathroom to shut off.

There’s nothing quite as glorious as sitting on a strange toilet in the dark waving your arms around in desperation to get the lights back on while simultaneously begging the universe not to send someone else in the bathroom to discover your plight.

The other reality is, there’s no way to fix it, short of surgery, which is considered elective until (or if) the membrane also splits. Eating differently won’t help it, core exercises make it worse. So while I’m on my knees with relief that I can lay off the planks, sit ups and crunches, I am also destined to carry this condition to term.

I am destined to always look like I did, in fact, squirt those kids out.

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