“I’ll be Supergirl. Cady will be Batgirl. Baby will be Destroy Baby. Daddy will be Superman. And you’ll be Wonder Woman.” My 4 year old has recited this tale since she was not quite 3. She creates scenarios of her superhero family fighting the bad guys and helping each other. I find her name for me endearing and chuckle when I hear it. I don’t think of myself as fitting the Wonder Woman type. A mighty superhero would not come to mind if you met me. I’ve never been athletic, I’m kind of petite, and I’m quite the nerd. I don’t even consider myself to be a supermom. I’m not an overachiever, I’m never ready for a selfie, and my house is always a little messy. Supermom status is not something I’ll ever achieve nor is it something I covet. And here I was preparing to have my third surgery. It was something I was hoping not to have and was not on my Christmas list. I’ve had surgery after every baby simply because of the strain that pregnancy does to my body. Who else does this happen to? Certainly not Wonder Woman. I had known there was risk of surgery if I had a third baby but chose to anyway. Who does that? Quite possibly a mad woman.
As disappointed as I was, I started to focus on the reality that I couldn’t change it and wouldn’t change it. I had three beautiful babies that were worth every second of discomfort and pain. I would give my life for them, and I would make those choices again without hesitation. Sometimes, in life, we can’t choose our path, but we can choose how to walk it. I had to prepare for the worst and pray for the best. I began asking around for help during my recovery, completed much of our Christmas shopping, and went to town cleaning my house. I could be down for at least 2 weeks. My thought “of course this would happen” began to transform to “I can handle a week of complete misery. I’ve done it before.” My doctor informed me that my surgery could quite possibly be more invasive than the other two and that I may be out of work longer than before. That didn’t stop me from asking God for an easy surgery and fast recovery. Here’s to hoping for the best.
On the morning of my surgery, my 4 year old began to cry and asked to come along. She also asked if I would be ok. I knelt down and hugged her and said “Mommy is going to be fine. Remember? I’m Wonder Woman”. I had never called myself Wonder Woman, but in that moment I believed I was. No matter what I was facing, her mom was going to handle it.
At the hospital, I surprisingly felt very calm and peaceful. I joked around with the nurses about asking my doctor to throw in a tummy tuck, liposuction, and a boob lift. With my IV in and waiting to be wheeled in, I declared with a smile on my face “I’m ready”.
Moments later, I struggled to wake up and asked my husband what happened. I was anxious to hear how big the incisions were and how much extra time I would have to take off of work. He simply said, “you had the best case scenario.” I had a minimally invasive surgery, and my prognosis was a very quick recovery time. My doctor jokingly said it was a Christmas miracle. But for a mom, it was no joke. Sometimes, you get what you pray for, sometimes, you get what you fear, and sometimes, you get a strange mix of the two. I have the 10 scars to prove that.
So, when life throws some good punches, will I be Whiney Woman and feel badly for myself or will I be Wonder Woman and face the challenge, even with tears in my eyes? Will I believe in myself or believe my fear? We mothers are amazing. We can do things no one else can. We are superheroes in our children’s eyes. We can take away pain and fear. We bring life and magic. We give everything we have willingly. So, I may not be Wonder Woman to anyone else but to my 4 year old. And I’ll gladly live that role.