My gorgeous baby boy was born on June 21st, about two and a half weeks early. We went in for an induction because I developed gestational hypertension at 36 weeks, and my blood pressure kept spiking. After more than 24 hours of labor, I ended up having a c-section because he just wouldn’t drop and he was facing the wrong direction.
I am very thankful for modern medicine because when they went in the cord was wrapped around his neck and body several times, so a natural delivery would have been extremely dangerous for him. The goal was to have a happy, healthy baby, and that’s exactly what happened. He weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and measured 20.5 inches long. He had a full head of hair and the most beautiful blue-gray eyes.
Being a mom is an amazing experience. I used to wonder if I had what it took because I have never been someone who’s only desire was to raise children. I wasn’t sure that I ever wanted a kid until I met my husband. Making the decision to get pregnant was easier than I thought it would be, but also very scary because of all of the unknown. It’s funny how much motherhood has changed everything and nothing at the same time.
How can that be? Obviously, my entire routine is different. Caring for another human dictates so much of my life. My body is providing the only nutrition for a little person. That’s an awesome responsibility and a great bonding experience. Now that I have to pump all of the time at work it has lost some of the “magic,” but it’s still really cool that I am helping him grow and develop. Seeing him change every day and watching him experience new things has brought wonder and joy into every day.
The first few weeks were really tough, of course, but not as difficult as people would have me believe. Learning to breastfeed was a challenge, feeding every 2-3 hours through the night was exhausting, and there were definitely moments when I wondered how anyone does this with more than one. Baby snuggles are priceless, though, and seeing his little face made it worth it. Even running on barely any sleep, one look at him would give me the strength and energy I needed to push through. We’ve got an exceptionally good baby, too… Seriously, he’s amazing. Not only is he the cutest thing in the entire world (despite my obvious bias, I still maintain that this fellow is ridiculously handsome), but he barely ever cries unless it is clear what he needs and he’s been sleeping for 6-8 hour stretches at night for months.
I am definitely a different person now. I take a million pictures and only ever post about him on social media. I am an expert in things like baby wearing and what different color poop means and how to sanitize bottles. I track exactly how much he eats and sleeps, and I have become extremely organized (at least in his room). I have learned that cute outfits are overrated, footie pajamas are fantastic, and it is possible for a baby to projectile poop over 2 feet. Speaking of poop, I have been pooped on, peed on, puked on, drooled on, and been bit, poked, scratched, and even punched. Motherhood is so glamorous… Still, I feel like a piece of me is left behind every time I walk out of the door to go to work.
At the same time, I am still me. I haven’t lost myself in a new identity of “mom” like I was afraid I might. Now that I’m back at work, I still have that identity as a boss and employee. I get to have at least one meal a day where I can take my time and not eat around a baby’s head. I still enjoy the things I enjoyed before and listen to and watch the same things I did. I’m sure I’ll have to listen to annoying kids music and watch Sesame Street a million times later, but for now my son watches Game of Thrones and Grey’s Anatomy with me and seems to love rap (he’s wearing a Wu-Tang onesie today).
My relationship with my husband didn’t suffer. If anything, it has gotten stronger. He held our son while I was shaking and puking from low blood pressure for three hours after the delivery. He swaddled and changed him more in the first few weeks than I did. He was awake and helping during those long nights, bringing him to me to nurse and handling everything else. Seeing him being nurturing and loving and a wonderful Dad only deepened the love I have for him. I am grateful every day to have such an amazing, supportive, handsome, caring husband.
Being a good parent is sexy, so having a baby hasn’t negatively impacted our sex life too much, either. If something is important, you prioritize it, and my relationship with him is the foundation of our family. I refuse to let that get ignored or pushed to the side. Certainly, if the baby is crying and needs something immediately, we take care of it, but babies sleep. It helps that even when I’m exhausted I find my husband irresistible, and being in his arms recharges me.
That first cuddle on the hard hospital bench after days of pain and stress is one of my favorite moments. I could feel everything else melt away -it didn’t matter that my c-section site hurt, we hadn’t eaten a decent meal or slept more than an hour and a half at a stretch in days, my nipples ached, or that we had to spend an extra day in the hospital because the baby was jaundiced and my blood pressure was still too high… Everything was perfect and right in the world because he was there with me, and we were getting through it all together. Just thinking about that makes me relax and tear up a little.
So, I’m a different version of the same person. I have a stronger appreciation for my husband. I have a new perspective on life. I have the cutest, sweetest, happiest son. I also have a pile of laundry to do, a house that needs to be cleaned, and a permanent case of sleep deprivation. But it’s all okay. More than okay… Wonderful. I wouldn’t trade this version of me or my life for anything.