Despite all the ways I tried to prepare for motherhood, the books I read and all the [good] advice I tried to absorb from trusted people, I realized right away that nothing could truly prepare me for mommyhood better than being thrown right into the experience!
I’m a mommy!!! Have been for 6 weeks and 3 days, and I’m just NOW sitting down to write! It may have to will be worked on in snippets, though. I’ll write what I can for the moment, because my little pumpkin is sound asleep in his baby swing, but it won’t last for long. I promise. He has this perfectly angelic look on his face, his hands are folded cutely in front of him like I posed them there (which I would NEVER do…well, I might. Yeah, I totally would. I love cute, no-way-ever-my-baby-would-just-happen-to-actually-be-that-perfect-for-this-picture-look! But this time, I didn’t pose him!) and he’s breathing very deeply.
This kid doesn’t sleep!!! Why did everyone lie to me and say that newborns sleep 18 hours a day?! That was a mean joke. Don’t get me wrong, I love Judah like crazy. I love holding and cuddling and snuggling with him. But it’s so hard to get anything done around the house when I can’t put him down. He is like an Energizer baby…he’s awake and wanting to be held like 21 hours a day. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, but seriously, my friends bring their babies over or we meet for coffee or whatever and mine is bright-eyed and awake nearly the whole time while the other babies are fast asleep, lulled by their mother’s voices and perfectly at rest. Hmmm…must be nice, eh?
All joking aside, I love being a mommy! It’s been beautiful and really difficult and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There are no words to express what it means to me that we have been given this perfect little baby that is absolutely dependent on us-imperfect people who are suddenly motivated by an amazing new love we anticipated but never understood until we saw his sweet face.
I’ve struggled emotionally as I’m coming to terms with the fact that so much of what we planned for Judah’s birth happened opposite of what we had hoped for. We wanted a water birth at a birthing center…I had an emergency Caesarean Section (after 2 long days of back labor) for which I was put under general anesthesia. My husband and my mom weren’t able to be in the operating room. I didn’t get to hear my baby’s first cry. I didn’t get to hold him until hours later when he was stabilized.
I wasn’t under any illusion that I would have the ideal delivery in which I was in little pain and able to push the baby out in one strong effort, but I did imagine his birth much differently than it happened, and so I’m working out all of that in my head and my heart.
We have been richly blessed with a beautiful baby boy and it is our responsibility to be wonderful parents to him for the rest of our lives. As I’ve worked through some of my own disappointments concerning his birth, I think I’ve learned a life lesson. (Is it just me or do the really hard things in life always teach the best lessons?) I will always try to hope for the best in everything, but the reality in this life is that some things flat out suck. Things don’t always end up like we plan.
But I always want to hold on to HOPE. When my dad died, I let a part of my heart die. Normal things in life suddenly had a cloud over them (like my heart pounding out of my chest when the phone rang unexpectedly for fear of bad news). While I sometimes find myself in panic mode once again, I don’t live there anymore. It took a long time.
As we raise our son the best way we know how, I know that some things we’re going to be great at and others we’ll fail miserably at. And we’ll have to work those situations out as they come. But one thing for certain is already worked out and that is the fact that Judah is in God’s hands. I will rest in that as the moments pass and years go by. Nothing else is guaranteed.