Friday, February 17, 2006

Insights

So it's been 11 weeks yesterday since Fin graced us with his presence and so I thought I'd reflect a little on the experience thus far.

I have to start by saying that if you told me a year ago how I would be as a mother, I would never have believed you. Starting with the basics, everyone says "sleep when the baby sleeps" - and as a pregnant woman, this seemed the most obvious thing ever - but I've done it once. There's always something to clean or wash or fold or do, and then there are the times that I'd just rather lay around and stare at my sleeping beauty. I never thought I would be the parent that didn't want to leave her child-ever-with anyone, but I am. I've been away from him exactly four times and even then never for longer than an hour and never more than 5 miles away.

But I feel like I would be remiss if I didn't also say that I didn't feel an instant bond like many women say they do. When Fin was first born, I looked at him and thought "who the hell are you?" He looked enough like his father but where was me? If I hadn't seen him come out of me, I don't know if I'd believed it. When they first asked me to hold him, I didn't want to. Yes, I was tired and all that, but I also didn't really want to hold him. Because of all my IV's, I couldn't really change a diaper with any ease, so Brooks did all that (bless him). I think that the moment they told us we'd been discharged and cut off his little low-jack was the scariest moment of my life. "You mean you want me to take him HOME with me? And there's no home visit or expert to accompany me for the first few days to tell me what I'm doing wrong?" Thank God my mom arrived the next day. But somewhere in those first few days, I realized that I was already totally in love with him. It was like a shovel to the head, but I was so relieved to finally feel that bond everyone talks about. Now there are times when it takes effort to hold back the tears when he smiles. What no one told me was that I would also feel that bond with Brooks - I didn't think it was possible to love him more than I did, but when we brought that baby into the world together it was like that love multiplied more than I can say.

Sometime around week three, I realized that I couldn't leave Fin and that trying to work while taking care of him wasn't going to work out like I'd hoped. I had some serious anxiety about being unemployed for the first time in my life and depending so much on Brooks for all that, but I knew that Fin needed me more and that these days and changes and firsts will never come back around, and Brooks reminded me that this was the most important job I'll ever do. So I'm a full time mom now - and I can't believe how much I love it. We go on a walk every day, we play, we snuggle, we talk and I love it. Many days we spend time with friends or the other babies from our birthing class and I feel like my life is so full. But as much as we both need and enjoy the company, I'm always a little glad when I find myself alone with him again. I feel so lucky to be able to spend all this time with him and to have such an amazing husband who always makes me feel like a worthy contributor to the family even though it's not monitary.

Patience is another thing worth noting. I'm not a patient person and I think that if he were really honest, Brooks would tell you that he was more than a little worried about how this whole thing would go. But my patience for Fin seems endless. He never sleeps more than 5 hours and usually it's only 4 - but I can't get mad at him for it no matter how tired I am. He's generally pretty happy, but he does have moments where he just screams. Sometimes I look at him and think I may understand how some women harm their babies, but just as I'm thinking that, some cosmic mothering thing happens and I'm compelled to kiss his little tears away. It's like the more he does things that would make the average person crazed, the more I want to hold him tight and kiss and love him.

Finally, there's my body. There's no way around the fact that pregnancy destroyed it. I've never seen stretch marks as bad as mine - forget bikinis and I doubt I'll ever wear shorts again! I'm sure when I stop breastfeeding my boobs will go from 36F's to 36 Extra Longs. And there are plenty of other things that will never be the same. I've still got a few pounds to go before I'm at my prepregnancy weight, but I'm taking my time and they're coming off slowly but hopefully for good. But my hips are wider and my shape will never be the same. The weird thing is how little most of that bothers me. I guess you could say that I have a new respect for my body. I know what it's capable of and that's amazing. This body can grow life, bring it forth and nourish it with an ease that is awesome. Compared to all that, a few "racing stripes" seem not even worth noting.

I probably won't blog here very often now, at least not until there's another miracle on the way. For now I'm kinda busy doing great things - just being a mom.

2 comments:

Ladylizard said...

I remember all those nights with you hanging over here, not too sure what to expect and showing off your beautiful puffy feet and toes. I really enjoyed those time, and I knew that once FIn was born you would fall for him, because that's what moms do. So whenever you see me, and I have that stupid smile, well it's not only because Fin is the most beautiful, adorable baby, but it's also because it's so wonderful to see how happy you are hoding him and showing him off. Congratulations to you and Brooks for a job well done. I wish you guys the best of times with your little boy. Judy

MaltshopMomma said...

That was really enjoyable to read and I'm really thankful you posted all of that. I was just thinking this morning of how I needed to get in touch with you and ask you the gazillion questions that are on my mind. Thgough I joke about wondering what my baby will look like, what I really wonder about is how I will feel once the baby comes. I wonder how I will adjust: Will I be happy? Will I want to run away? I just have to think this is what most new mothers-to-be feel. As my stomach gets bigger and my face breaks out, yeah, I freak out about how it will be worse in a few months. I wonder if Mark will still find me attractive (and I mean attractive, not "yes honey, I love you"). I worry about how hideous this tattoo will be (all the prep in the world can't help this!). So you're blog was refreshing. Very refreshing.