I was going to write this on Mother's Day but... ya know. Life.
I had an interesting start to Motherhood so I don't consider this year to be my FIRST Mother's Day even though that is what everyone kept calling it. "Happy First Mother's Day." I just politely say thanks you. A year ago I was still grieving the loss of my daughter while simultaneously rejoicing in the anticipation of meeting my son. I felt like a mother but my heart ached to hold my child. I didn't even know which one I was longing for. I just felt the weight of my empty arms.
This year was different.
I always thought I was "ready" to have a child. Now that phrase makes me laugh. How can anyone really be ready? No matter how much experience you have with children, once that baby is born you are thrown into motherhood, ready or not! And it was harder than I ever really imagined (and based on what I hear from other women it sounds like I have a really "easy" baby).
In the last year I have grown so much. In the last couple months leading up to Luke's birth I experienced pain I had never felt before on a daily basis. I watched my body change drastically and I watched permanent marks develop on my abdomen. It was humbling. And totally worth it. Then September 17th arrived and though I had been in early labor for well over a week and experienced that discomfort, true labor was another beast entirely. I had the option to easy the pain with the potential risk of it affecting my child. That would not be worth it. I would endure any pain that came my way to protect the child I had never seen. And the physical damage, the aftermath, done to my body did not matter.
The first moment I layed eyes on him is forever engraved in my mind. I wish that there was physical evidence, a photo or something, to show people that moment so they would understand. But nobody else is his mom so no photo could adequately display the warming of my heart in that moment. Love was spilling over the rim and invading every inch of me. One look at him and I was forever changed.
In the last 7.5 (8 tomorrow actually!) months I have given everything. I have poured myself out day and night. I have done all the normal baby thing like changing diapers, giving baths, feeding... I always thought those things would feel like chores but they don't because they are done completely out of love. Does it often get overwhelming? You bet. I am human. I have cried, raised my voice... I have certainly had some ungraceful moments. There are even times that it has caused a tiff between Patrick and I. We are both human. But we have both given everything.
I am not writing this to toot my own horn. Not by any means! I just want to express to my mom and to other experienced moms.... I get it now.
I get the sacrifices that you make on a daily basis. I understand giving of yourself to one tiny little human until you feel like there is nothing left by the end of the day. Even though I work, I do get a day off during the week. And I do get that being a stay at home mom would be a full time job in and of itself. I understand the frustration of a crying child and trying EVERYTHING to stop the tears because evry single one breaks your heart. I get what it means to be tired. I get that sometimes you have to run to Target with dried snot on your shoulder because if you change your clothes again #1 you will probably still end up with more bodily fluids on your shirt by the time you get there and #2 if you waste your time changing clothes you might miss your small window of time and then not make it to the store at all. Sacrifice.
Being a mom is my second job but it still comes first. It is the hardest, most difficult, most draining but most rewarding job there is. It is hands down the best thing I have ever done in my life and I would do it all again. All of it. For my daughter in Heaven and my son here with me on Earth. So mamas... thanks for letting me join your club. And God bless each and every one of you!