6 months ago today, after an entire day of labour and 3 hours of pushing, my beautiful son was born. I had no idea how much he would change my life, but I am a drastically different person now than I was 6 months ago even if no one else can see it.
When we found out that I was pregnant (after getting past the initial surprise of it) I started to think about how our lives would change once our baby was born. I knew that we would lose some sleep, that we would be much busier than before and that we’d have this sweet little baby to snuggle. We took prenatal classes to help prepare ourselves for what lay ahead. We learned about pain management techniques for labour, how to establish successful breastfeeding, the importance of skin to skin time after birth, and so many other things that were sort of overwhelming for first time parents.
In the weeks leading up to Hunter’s birth, I was so uncomfortable and ready to not be pregnant anymore. All of the tiny baby laundry was washed and folded, we had lots of diapers and wipes ready, the bassinet was set up beside our bed. I felt prepared and thought that I knew just how things would be. It turns out that there is absolutely no way to prepare yourself for a newborn when you’ve never had to take care of one before.
Becoming a mother has been the most challenging thing that I have ever done in my life. It has also been the most rewarding. It can make me cry from frustration and cry from overwhelming love all in the same day. It puts stress on your relationship with your spouse, but it also makes you love your spouse all over again in a whole new way. I question my abilities on a daily basis, but when I see Hunter do something new for the first time I know that I’m doing ok at this mothering thing.
I feel like there are so many aspects of being a parent (especially a first time parent) that no one ever talks about. Most people don’t talk about how you may sit in bed and cry right along with your one week old baby at 2am because you feel like you’re doing everything wrong. Or how getting your baby to sleep properly is a battle that can make you feel like you’re losing your mind some days. No one talks about how demanding it can be to exclusively breastfeed your baby (who won’t take a bottle) and how it can be difficult to get time to yourself when they may need you at any moment. You have so many people/articles/blog posts telling you how you should be doing things or giving advice that it can make you question your choices. Ultimately, you need to remind yourself that every baby is different and you’re doing the best you can every day.
Although there are days when I’m exhausted and feeling like maybe I’m not cut out to be a mother after all, there are far more days when I know that this is exactly what I’m meant to be doing and I feel so incredibly blessed to have this little boy in my life.
He’s hilarious, curious, loves to be active, LOVES to watch the cat (and pull her fur), smiles and giggles when you make silly faces and noises. When we ask for kisses and put his little face up to ours, he opens his mouth wide and smooshes his slobbery lips to our cheeks. He’s a pro at tummy time now, doing mini push-ups and scooting himself backwards. He’s trying out solids now, but still ends up with more on his face than in his tummy. He’s a very strong willed little boy, but also loves to be held and snuggled. He has become my greatest joy, and it’s hard to even remember what our lives were like without him.
These last 6 months have flown by, and some days I worry that I’m not cherishing it enough. I try to take time each day to look at his sweet little chubby hands that some day will be bigger than mine. I breathe in his delicious baby scent, knowing that soon enough he’ll smell more like a little boy who likes to play outside than like a baby. I try to ingrain in my mind what he feels like in my arms, because each day he gets a little bit bigger and soon enough he’ll be able to tell me that he wants to play instead of being held. The saying “The days are long but the years are short” is already holding true at only 6 months in. I don’t know where the time is going, and his growing up is so bittersweet.
I’m so excited to see the person that he will become, what his favourite show will be or his favourite food. I can’t wait to see him play catch with his dad or go skating for the first time. I’m curious to know what his first word will be and how old he’ll be when he takes his first step. Being a mom is something that I’ve always known I wanted to do, and it has completely surpassed my expectations of how amazing it is. I am so lucky to have this incredible boy to love each day for the rest of my life.