I apologize for my absence on the blog since our baby was born, but I’ve had a lot to learn about being a mother, relearning to be a wife to a new mother, and I haven’t had words to put to the experience, so busy have I been just experiencing it all.
I can say without hesitation that being a mother is as satisfying and wonderful as I imagined it would be. All those years T and I spent dreaming about being parents, plus the almost two years of TTCing, and then the nine months of pregnancy, every yearning I ever had throughout this journey has been fulfilled by the birth of our son. He’s brilliant in every aspect, and our emerging family is so precious to me that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to protect us. I am fully immersed in the experience of being a mother, a wife, a family that I barely know how to articulate what this is like. I now know why so many bloggers disappear after they give birth. I’m impressed that T has had words to put to her experience. I really feel like I’m babbling, which is weird because I never run out of words to express myself. It’s both a blessing and a curse, and yet here I am making no sense, spouting cliches and bumper sticker phrases.
I watch T with our son and am filled with so much love and admiration. She’s such a natural with all of this. Her patience and love seem bottomless. No matter how tired she is, she still smiles and coos and loves him. She’s teaching me so much about how to take care of him. For example, did you know that if your baby is trying to wake himself up, and you go “sssshhhhh” it will soothe him? I didn’t know that until recently. Apparantly it mimics some of those in utero sounds baby is used to.
I did get a little frustrated early on by not being able to meet all of his needs. I mean, I can change his diapers, give him a bath, rock him, sing to him, walk around bouncing and “sssshhhhhhhing” all day, but if he’s hungry, none of my awesome mommy tools work, so I hand him over, a little defeated, but utterly understanding that when a hungry boy needs to eat, well, he just needs to eat. I’m not jealous or anything, but I’m a fairly independent do-it-yourselfer, and I don’t like to ask for help. Now that T is pumping, Baby Genius (oh, and he is just brilliant!) and I are practicing with the bottle. We’re making progress. He doesn’t fuss too much, and eventually he’ll figure out that he needs to suck it. We spill some, and we’re still working on which position is most comfortable, but we’re getting there, and I’m so proud of him for not giving up! It’s awesome to see him figure it out, and he’s only a month old. How fantastic is that?
I’ve been helping T with her post-partum recovery as well. I run errands and keep the house clean. I also encourage her to get out from time to time because it’s so good for her, and the weather is quickly becoming too cool for outdoor stuff. She’s not getting as much sleep as I am because she nurses in the middle of the night, but I do try to wake up and keep her company for part of the midnight feedings. I try to get up in the morning to change diapers and keep the baby calm so she can sleep a little more. She’s looking really good and is smaller than her pre-pregnancy size. It seems the bigger the baby gets, the more weight T loses. Her pre-pregnancy clothes are loose on her, and I imagine we’ll be shopping for new clothes in no time. Speaking of new clothes, we had to get new clothes for our son because he had quickly grown out of newborn stuff and didn’t have enough long sleeves in his current size. There’s a warning in there somewhere about buying too much of anything in one size, since you never know how big your baby will be or how fast he’ll grow!
I’m doing great, Dear Readers. I love being a mom. I’m figuring stuff out–we all are. I make mistakes, rookie mistakes, like not having my supplies at arm’s reach, but so far the baby hasn’t starved. I haven’t dropped him or rolled over on him. He seems to like me, and I’m sure crazy about him. He’s starting to smile, and it fills me with so much light I can’t imagine ever being that empty, sad person I was before.
So, we’re learning how to be a family. T and I are learning to be moms. I think we’re doing pretty good. I recommend it whole-heartedly. And for those of you still trying, may I be presumptuous for a moment? Don’t give up. The dream of having a baby is wonderful, but the reality is so much better than we can imagine, and it is worth every f’d up thing you have to go through to get to your heart’s desire.