My Listen To Your Mother Piece…

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Listen To Your Mother Was such a powerful experience for me. I honestly am still trying to wrap my head around all the impact it has made on my life. I will blog about the experience soon but I don’t want to rush the process because I want to find the right words. For now I am going to share my piece with you. I am very proud of it and hope that the humor comes across to you the reader in the written form. Of course once the performance video is up on YouTube I will share that as well. Boy it felt good to have the audience laugh along at the craziness that seems to go hand and hand with my life! Oh here is a fun tidbit to add to your reading experience… The “young good looking surgeon” was actually in the audience for the performance! How hilarious is that!

Enjoy!

There’s No Modesty in Motherhood!

By Melissa Bigelli

I wrote this sitting on the toilet, in between the few moments I could sneak away from my two adorable yet clingy children. Of course, they opened the door on me and attempted to climb on my lap several times, but I’m a mother, so I take anytime I can to multitask and writing this piece was no exception.

Thank God I wasn’t really born with a major sense of modesty because when it comes to being a mother, any type of privacy and dignity has to be thrown out the window. This happened long before our little blessings are placed into our arms.

Yes, from the moment you get that plus sign on the pee stick, you know that your lady parts are now officially public domain. And if you are a high risk mama like I was, then you know that no matter how much you “spruce up down there” something in you just clicks and you think, “Screw it! I’m not even shaving my ankles for this next appointment, let alone worry about having to deal with the bumps, itchiness, & regrowth rash.”

Three months before my wedding, I was diagnosed with an early stage of cervical cancer. Thank God we caught it when we did. After three surgeries that left me with a tiny part of my cervix, I was told I was cancer free for now, but any chance of carrying a baby was slim to none. Well, a few short months after my wedding, I was able to conceive and carry my beautiful daughter Molly Mae to 35 weeks. She was tiny, but perfect and I loved every moment of being a mommy. A few short months later we found out to our shock and surprise, we were expecting again. Sadly, that baby was not meant for this earth. That was a crushing blow and my heart still struggles to this day. However, that is not the story I am here to tell.

My story for you all begins 6 months after our second sweet baby was taken to Heaven. My husband and I decided it was time to try again. After all, they said having Molly was a miracle and we hoped that we could give her a sibling to share her life with before I was forced to under go a hysterectomy to ensure the cervical cancer would be gone once and for all. Wouldn’t you know it, we conceived on the first attempt! Way to go honey! Now if only he could remember to put the toilet seat down! At 37 weeks, we welcomed our sweet little Madeline Mary into the world. Getting her here was not an easy journey for my body, my mind, or any more modesty that I may have had left in me! By this point all the appointments I had, the cervical cancer, Molly’s pregnancy, the miscarriage, the check ups, and weekly internal ultrasounds, I was sure that the whole Lehigh Valley had seen my vagina (in a strictly medical way of course) and there was nothing else left to surprise me. Well, all that went out the window once I was told I would have to receive a cerclage.

For those of you who don’t know what the cerclage is, it’s when they stitch you “inside” to  keep the baby cooking where it belongs. Kind of what Grandma used to do to keep the stuffing in the Thanksgiving bird! Sounds fun, right? This procedure is done in an operating room where they give you an epidural to numb you from the waist down. Since I was “a special case” they decided that they needed two surgeons to get my cerclage in. The head surgeon decided that this job called for what they called the candy cane stirrups. Sounds like fun I thought. How can anything that’s called the candy cane stirrups be terrifying? Well, let’s put it this way, they were not red and white stripes liked I hoped. Nope, they were a dingy gray, surgical metal and they were connected to the end of the operating table. I guess at some point, unbeknownst to me, my legs were hoisted up in the air by my ankles and I dangled spread eagle in front of a room full of strangers. Now, any of you who have had an epidural before probably know that you can’t feel anything, so I thought I felt my legs still down on the table. That’s until they asked me to move my arms, which were bundled in a warming blanket, so they could strap me down like Jesus. My hand hit something that I thought was a balloon or something. Nope, to my surprise it was just my meaty thigh dangling high above me.

I was shocked to finally have my eyes focus and realize the spectacle that my body was now putting on.  I began to nervously laughed so hard that, like most pregnant women, caused me to have to relieve myself. “I’m going to PEE!”I exclaimed!

“Oh go right ahead, Melissa,” they said, “you have a catheter in!”

It didn’t feel like I did, but I figured they have that epidural working so well that I didn’t know that my thighs were literally dangling over my ears. Still I questioned, “Are you sure? I don’t want to pee on you!” They assured me it was OK and what I was feeling was normal. So, I peed. I Peed like I’ve never peed before. And I peed all over the sterile operating room floor! I watch the doctors scamper away as it splashed around their surgical booties. “I told your so!” I whined!

“It wasn’t you, it was me!” proclaimed the younger, good looking, might I add, surgeon trying to make me feel better.

“Well, then that is very unprofessional of you,” I teased back. But as mortifying as it was, it kind of broke the ice.

After a quick cleanup, they assumed their positions between my two outstretched unshaved ankles.

The one doctor said, “See how great these candy canes are? Now we can both fit in here!”

To which I replied, “Gee! That’s what every girl wants to hear! My parents will be so proud!”  The room once again erupted in laughter. At that point I also realized that if I angled my head just right, I could see them working in the reflection of the surgical lights above. I felt like Mary Poppins carpetbag down there! Things were being put in and things were being pulled out. It was terrifyingly comical. I prayed that the stitch would work. I prayed for the baby that was in my womb but couldn’t feel right now because of the epidural. And I really, really prayed that they were not going to leave anything up there inside of me! They didn’t, thank God! But they did provide my body the opportunity to become the mother of two beautiful girls who are 18 months apart.

So now as I sit on the toilet with those two little girls bouncing on my lap, I think about the journey that has brought them here and I couldn’t care less about my unshaved legs or my over grown lady parts. I hope my husband really doesn’t care either because one day we will have the energy to actually touch each other again and he’s just going to have to get used to it like every doctor and nurse and the entire Lehigh Valley who has experienced my vagina (in a medical way of course).

Now if you will excuse me I’m going to be in the ladies room for the rest of the evening, enjoying an uninterrupted “sit”! Thank You!

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Our Easter Blessing Tree

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It’s officially Easter week! Can you believe it? It really seems as if time is flying. It feels like only yesterday when I was still very pregnant with Madeline and getting everything ready for Molly’s 2nd Easter. How can a year go by so fast?

Of course Molly is very excited about the promise of the Easter Bunny, CANDY, baskets, eggs, toys, & a reason to wear her pretty dress. But I really want to take the time to teach her and remind her what Easter is truly about. Now I don’t know if I subconsciously saw this on Pinterest one night when I should’ve been sleeping but just couldn’t wind down, or if the idea really did come to me all on its own from my scattered and frazzled mommy brain but this is what we did today. We made “Our Easter Blessing Tree” from the tree I painted on our family room wall. I try to do something to this tree every holiday since the wall is plaster and it is hard to truly decorate it with anything that’s not “scotch tape friendly”

I told Molly that we were going to sit down and make a list of all the people that we love and that we pray for every night. Then I would make Easter eggs out of colored paper and she could decorate them with markers and crayons. She got very excited and stated sprouting off names faster then I could write. Of course she said the usual, MaMa, DaDa, Madeline, Molly, etc. But between all of the special loved ones in her life she would say “and Jesus, and God, and Our Angels.” I got teary eyed because she really does listen to me when we say our prayers and that made my heart so happy. She of course listed every dog in our family and every person in her class & dance class but I convinced her that we could group them on to 3 eggs because I honestly was too pooped to cut out so many. Ha Ha!unnamed

I couldn’t believe how long she sat and spent on each and every egg. Like her MaMa she carefully selected every color for each person. And proudly showed me each one as she completed it.

Once she finished her master pieces we rolled up some tape and put them onto the wall. She told me where the ones she couldn’t reach should go. After all she is 2 & 1/2 so she knows best!

unnamed-2It was such a fun and touching project to do with her. I hope to make it a yearly tradition. We now have a holiday focal point to remind us the true reason why we celebrate. And all though she is 2& 1/2 she never told me to make an Egg for the Easter Bunny but Jesus, God, and Our Angels were at the top of her list. And although the rest of the day did not go smoothly and I’m now hiding out in my room blogging and trying to block out the temper tantrums and noise that my lovely little angels are creating for their daddy, I think of her list and tell myself, “Good Job Mama! You must be doing something right!”

Drum roll please…

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I can finally announce that I will be making a return to the stage! A one day only performance that you won’t want to miss! I have the honor of being a part of a nationwide effort to “give motherhood a microphone”as a cast member of the 2016 Lehigh Valley production of Listen To Your Mother. I could not be more excited! Our show will be one of 41 cities across the country and through these shows over 450 stories about motherhood will be shared this year.

What makes me proud about this project is that I wrote my piece; “There’s No Modesty In Motherhood”. Me a writer?!?! Who would have thought? Of course in true Mel fashion its a comical piece and centers around the toilet & my lady parts, but would you expect anything less? This was the scariest audition I ever had because I was so out of my element and when I received word that out of all the talented creative people in the LHV I was selected I cried tears of joy.

This show is not just for women by any means and is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. If you have a mother, know a mother, love a mother, lost a mother, made someone a mother, long to be a mother, are a mother reading this covered in snot, sitting in a school pick up line, hiding out on the toilet, avoiding housework, then I hope you will join me and my  amazing cast on Sunday, April 24th from 2-4 pm at The Steel Stacks.  Tickets will be going on sale soon. I will be posting more about this amazing creative opportunity and my journey.

Now the big dilemma WHAT WILL I WEAR????