The birth of my son has changed my life. I know that everyone says that… but I didn’t realize the enormous impact that this tiny person could have on every aspect of my… well, everything.
It has been an emotional and crazy ride. There have been struggles and tears of every possible nature.
I always knew that I wanted children. Deep within my heart that was one thing that remained steady among all of the other changing variables in my life. So much so that I found myself making pacts with guy friends that if we were childless at a certain age we would get together and create our own little wonders. It never came to that, my son was born with my partner in crime, the man who puts up with all of my quirks and craziness.
I was not a happy pregnant woman. Scoliosis caused my back and hips to hurt constantly. I had severe tailbone pain… it hurt to do anything other than lay down on my back… which you aren’t supposed to do. And the further along I got, the more difficult it was to breathe so constant pain just became a part of my life. I accepted it knowing that it wasn’t going to be forever. I vowed over and over that I was only doing this once. I was lucky enough to skip morning sickness for the most part. Don’t get me wrong, I felt like crap… but I was able to figure out how to manage that symptom.
The birth of my son was a long awaited and joyful experience. It was a painful and exhausting 30 hours but I would relive it in a heartbeat. The instant that he came into the world I felt like the Grinch when he figured out the true meaning of Christmas. Not that I was a furry green beast that didn’t know how to love, but that my heart grew ten sizes that day. I thought I could pack a lot of love in there before, but now… now I just have love bursting out of me. Literally. Sometimes I look at my 3 guys (Jason, Jayden and our newest edition Jensen) and my eyes just leak love all over the place. Then the dogs get concerned, Jason and Jayden look at me funny and the baby spews some kind of bodily fluid and things are back to normal.
In addition to the emotional changes, there are physical changes as well. I’m not going to get into anything gory, don’t worry. And really, I guess the changes I’m referring to are more about how I perceive myself than anything else. I was a little overweight when I got pregnant, but after having the baby I quickly dropped down to 10 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight. Then I promptly stalled out and have been here for about three months. I’m sure that if I exercised and ate better that I would start losing again… but I don’t have time for that right now. I work full time (and let me tell you, going back to work after having a baby SUCKS) and have a house to take care of. I’m still writing (working on the book, freelance spots, and also trying to get my blog going again). And any free moment I have, I would prefer to spend it playing with the handsome miniature person that has taken up residence here rather than breaking a sweat and causing myself physical pain.
None of that even seems to matter for me though. I look in the mirror and I’m not upset with what I see. Yeah, I’m still a little overweight. My tattoos are now messed up, I have stretchmarks and a belly pooch. But I don’t really care. Instead of love handles, I see the hips that bore my son. Instead of a belly pooch, I see the place that was home to him for the first nine months of his life. I nourish and care for him with this body. I grew him and carried him and now, 4 months after birth, I am still breastfeeding (and plan on continuing). My hair rarely gets done, I don’t remember the last time I wore makeup… but honestly, I’m okay with that. Maybe someday I will wake up and feel like I should look a certain way in order to conform with societies norms. But right now, I’m content being the best mother that I can be.
I don’t even mind the lack of sleep. Not saying that it is always a walk in the park. But I’ve gone with less sleep for far less important reasons. Waking up 7 times in the middle of the night is no problem if it is for him.
My life has changed in other ways as well. I’ll trade a shower to see baby smiles. I’ll trade a cocktail for bedtime snuggles. I’ll trade looking like a sane person for baby laughs. Not everyone may be able to understand this, but he is only going to be this little once. He doesn’t care if my hair is done or if I only shower every other day. We’re only having this one baby so I want to breathe in every moment.
I want to record each second of time in my mind with both of our boys because this truly is one of the most remarkable jobs I’ve ever had. I may be tired and look like hell, but those are small prices to pay when raising these boys. I don’t view this change as me losing my life, or missing out on things. They are my ilfe. And I would regret far more if I missed out on them.