Happy Tears

Yesterday Logan laughed for the first time, like really laughed! And OMG my heart melted. It’s the most indescribable feeling raising a little human. I had heard moms say things like that in the past, before I had a baby of my own. But now I understand what they meant. The first time she smiled at me, my eyes started to tear up because my heart was so happy. When she laughed yesterday I had tears rolling down my cheeks as I laughed with her. I saw her little personality shining through those pretty blue eyes and thought, “I can’t believe I made this”. It’s these little moments that make me understand why people decide to have more than one kid.

There are so many things about pregnancy and becoming a new parent that people don’t talk about. The recovery process is really tough for moms. Your body just pushed another human out of it, of course its going to take a while to heal. A long nine months of buildup all comes down to this one day when your body just spits out a mini person. The belly is still there, just smaller and saggier. Your body is this alien thing that you don’t even recognize and your stretch marks are painful to look at. You know that you just preformed a damn near miracle so you love your body anyway and just hope that it goes back to how it was, and as hard as it is to believe.. it pretty much does, eventually.  Going to the bathroom is terrifying. All that blood and junk that was in there with your baby is still coming out of you for weeks! I KNOW..TMI but I really feel that this needs to be shared because I was not expecting to have to wear mondo maxi pads for over a month after having a baby. Breastfeeding is painful and SO time consuming, you’re at your baby’s beck and call every couple of hours all day and all night.

One thing you’re probably expecting but never actually ready for is the sleep deprivation. Why are you expecting it? Well because every friend, relative, and acquaintance with a child will be sure to tell you to enjoy your sleep while it lasts, of course.. ensuring you that it won’t last very long! Well being 9 months pregnant, waking up to pee 5 times a night, struggling to get comfortable, having a hard time flipping from one side to the other, and trying to ignore the back pain while fighting off leg cramps and acid reflux isn’t exactly a great nights sleep either. (run-on sentence much?- yeah, it was necessary)

The lack of sleep might cause you and your partner to get into stupid little arguments. I know it was difficult for Blake at first because I was the only one who could feed Logan but I was just SO tired and uncomfortable and two hours felt more like two minutes between feedings. When he would say “she’s hungry!” as if I didn’t know, it honestly was annoying to me. I know he didn’t mean to be rude about it, he was just frustrated that she was crying and he couldn’t give her what she needed. I would have to mentally prepare myself for the pain of breastfeeding each and every time. We had to stop ourselves a couple of times and verbally point out that we were arguing with each other for no good reason other than we were both sleep deprived.

It was those first few weeks that made me wonder why the hell anyone would put themselves through that on purpose multiple times over. I looked at my mom and thought, woman you are insane for having three children so close together. I’ve always loved her for being my mom but I definitely had a newfound respect for her and all the other great moms I know. Those first few weeks go by, and breastfeeding is no longer painful. You start to get used to waking up in the middle of the night and functioning with less sleep. Your body starts to heal and your belly slowly but surely begins to shrink. Going to the bathroom becomes less scary and suddenly you’ve got the hang of life with a newborn. Then all of a sudden, your baby isn’t fitting into those newborn clothes anymore and you’re feeling conflicted about how fast they’re growing. The first couple weeks are a huge blur. Your baby is this little slug who can’t do anything for themselves and they do nothing exciting… but the baby cuddles are intoxicating. Feeling that soft little head on your cheek is another indescribably wonderful feeling. Then come the smiles, and then the laughs and you realize that your life before baby was void of something and you never had any idea. You never knew that your heart could be SO full of love. You understand why people want more. You may even try to remind yourself of all the hard times and difficulties so that you don’t end up with Irish twins.

I am loving being a mom and I could go on all day about about the cute things my baby does and how much I love her, but I think it’s equally as important to acknowledge the harder parts. Spreading baby fever with pictures and videos is easy but people don’t see all the hard work behind those pictures. The ten thousand diaper changes and the never-ending neurotic google searches about whether the color of baby’s poop is normal, what that rash could be, and when they will start sleeping through the night, etc. ect.

Motherhood is a difficult lifestyle change. It’s a demanding job and it can be really draining. But that first laugh, yeah…. that first laugh makes it all worthwhile.

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Preparing for Parenthood

It’s pretty unbelievable to think that our daughter will be here in only 10 more weeks. The past 7 months have been filled with so many different emotions. It’s kind of overwhelming knowing that I’m bringing another human into the world. I’ll be responsible for keeping her safe and teaching her how to be a good person, but she will be her own personality. Yes, it is my responsibility to bring her into the world- but who she becomes as a person is embedded within her at birth. She will have a personality and sense of humor all her own. She will show interests in certain things and choose other humans to make relationships with. I can guide her along the way and do my best to instill good morals and behaviors into her life but ultimately, she will be who God created her to be.

Being a parent is a big responsibility, it can even be thought of as sort of a job. My job is to love, encourage and believe in my daughter. To be an example of kindness and strength to her and to always be patient when she is learning new things or expressing difficult behavior. I feel the way a lot of people probably feel when they graduate college and start a new career. Going from a life of freedom and fun into a life of bills and 5 day work weeks. I know it’s not exactly the same, but it’s a big life change. It’s no longer just about me, and this is a very permanent situation. It’s something that takes some mental preparation and acceptance. Accepting the fact that my life is going to change drastically once this baby is born has been a bit of a struggle for me. I’ve been babysitting since I was 15 and I know how hard it can be to take care of children. It takes a lot of patience and attention. I worry that I might not do a good job, that I may lose my patience or not give my child enough attention. Realistically, I know this is bound to happen from time to time. I just have to try my best, and that’s all I can do.

I’m terrified that the little baby who’s been growing so comfortably in my belly will soon be ripping my body open to get out. I don’t think about it very often, and I say I’m terrified.. but I’m actually a lot more calm about it than I would have thought I’d be before I got pregnant. Ever since I was a little kid the thought of having to go through that kind of pain really freaked me out. I would cringe at the thought of having to push a little human out of my body. And even as I got older I would joke about just getting a surrogate because the thought of childbirth was scary to me. Yes, it’s still a scary thing but the pain won’t last forever and at this point, I kind of have to do it…. so there’s no point in freaking myself out about it. I like to think that everything will go smoothly and I’ll get to brag about how it was no big deal…. positive thoughts right? I also think that things are more likely to go smoothly if I believe that they will, the mind can play some horrible tricks and I don’t want to spiral down a hill of negative thoughts. All I know is that I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. All women for that matter, are stronger than anyone gives them credit for.

It’s also scary to think that bad things can happen to my little human. She can get hurt or sick or have her heart broken and I may not be able to do anything to help her or relieve her of that pain. My dog gets an eye infection and I’m freaking out trying to figure out what I can do to make her better, I can imagine this worry will only multiply by 10 when it comes to my child. I need to remember that I don’t have control over every situation in life and to trust God. I don’t want to be an overbearing parent who won’t let my kid make her own mistakes. I have to let her fall off a bike so that she can learn how to stay on it. I can do everything in my power to keep her safe and healthy but I know that I don’t have complete control over everything that will happen in life. This is where the positive mindset theory comes back into play. I just have to hope and pray for the best and take things as they come.

I’m unsure how to feel about having my own little baby to take care of. I know I can do it and that I’ll work hard to be really good at it. But I still can’t quite grasp the fact that I’m actually going to be a mom. I think once I see her little face and start to bond with her, then I’ll feel that connection. I keep wondering what she’s going to look like and what her little smile will be like. It took me so long to actually feel connected to this pregnancy, but now that I can feel her moving, it has definitely helped make things more real. It honestly freaks me out. People talk about what an amazing feeling it is… and they’re not wrong, but it’s also so so strange. Being able to look down at my stomach and see her shifting around, wondering whether it’s an arm, a leg or her head that’s making my belly poke out on one side, is the most surreal thing. I don’t always feel pregnant, but when I see or feel her moving, I remember that theres a person growing inside me and it trips me out. This has been my body for my whole life, I’m familiar with most weird feelings I get and how my body looks. But this is a whole new thing that my body has never done before, so unfamiliar and almost unbelievable. These feelings are so foreign and so is the shape of my body.

I’m excited but it’s a different kind of excitement, for it comes with so many fears and other feelings. It’s the kind of excitement one might feel when they get a promotion at work. There are reasons to be happy about it, but the hours are longer and the work is harder. I’m excited to meet our little girl and to watch her grow and find out what kind of parents Blake and I will be. I can’t wait to teach her things and raise her to be a strong, fun, and kind person. I have always wanted to be a mom and I kind of feel like it was one of the things I was born to do. I’ve never really had a passion for anything when it comes to school and “what I want to be when I grow up”. Some people have a passion for a certain career even at a young age. I remember being asked in first grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, I went with teacher… probably because it was a teacher who was asking so that was the first profession that popped into my head. I love a lot of things and it’s hard for me to commit to doing one thing for the rest of my life. I don’t feel that way about becoming a mom though, I feel like it will come naturally to me. Of course it will still be difficult at times but I will treat it as a job and work every day to be the best mom I can be for my child.

I feel very fortunate to have a husband who supports me emotionally and financially so that I can take my time to figure out my own career. Also now, so that I can be home with our daughter to raise her. I know a lot of people don’t always have that option and I’m aware of how lucky I am. Honestly, my life would be so different if it weren’t for Blake. I don’t know if it would be good or bad. All I know is that I love the life we have created together and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m sincerely the happiest I’ve ever been in my life and I know that bringing a child into the mix can sometimes make things difficult. However, I like to think that we’ll make a great parenting team and come to agreements on how to raise our children without it becoming a stressor on our relationship.

Parenthood is rapidly approaching and I feel so many different things. But most of all I feel like I’m ready to take on the challenge and excited to meet the little person who is made up of me and the person I love.