It filled my heart with happiness when you slid the sonogram picture across the diner table, your way of sharing the amazing news with me. I know this baby was a dream that wasn't easy to come by, as my first baby was also "the dream that I'd been chasing" to quote Martina McBride. When you want a baby of your own, it is a wanting like no other. It is a deep yearning and a worried question mark about what the future will bring. For me, getting the news that I would be a mom came from a doctor's office voicemail on my cell phone, which I listened to, disbelieving, in the closet in my kindergarten classroom. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Being pregnant is a unique season in your life. For me, I eagerly counted the weeks, noted how the baby changed from a poppyseed to a blueberry to an orange to eventually a melon. I read all the books. I kept the pregnancy journal. I eagerly anticipated doctor's appointments and sonograms. People love a pregnant person and the attention was fun. When I was pregnant, I wrote letters to the baby and washed all his clothes and read him stories, while rubbing my stomach. The waiting was so hard and I impatiently counted the days.
My first lesson as a new mom came moments after Alex was born. Expect the unexpected. The relief I felt that labor had stopped was quickly replaced by alarm that doctors and nurses were rushing into the room and my baby was surrounded by them on a table, across from my bed. My doctor continued attending to me, but what was the matter with my baby? The nurse came to me and explained he was "stunned." The cord tightened around his neck during the last push and he was initially unresponsive but was doing better each moment. After a few minutes, they finally let me hold him. He was so calm and beautiful and the second they placed him in my arms, I had the feeling of, "Yes, of course it's you" as if we'd known each other for a lifetime. Alex had to spend a few days in the NICU, and the first time I visited him in there and called his name, the nurses remarked at how he turned his head...he knew me, too.
Being a mom is full of moments of certainty and confusion, love and fear, and always the worry. You only want to do right by this little person you helped create, but there are times you will get it wrong. Times you say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, and feel like you are screwing up. You will be tired and sometimes even a little resentful. Your greatest and weakest moments as a human will all come to you on your path as a mom.
But oh, the snuggles. The cozy baby smell, the feeling of warmth and all encompassing love, will carry you through the sleepless nights when you really don't want to get up yet again. The drooly smile, the chubby outstretched arms, reaching for you, the star in his universe, will fill a part of your soul you didn't know needed filling. A baby changes every single thing about your life, most especially you.
You will get a lot of advice. I won't give you any. This mom thing is hard and we all have to find our own way. We all do. Your little boy is growing inside you each day and before you know it, he will be here, your son but your sun, too- the center of your world. I can't wait to meet him.