On January 29, 2019 our sweet Oliver was born at 10:05 am weighing 8lbs 1oz and 22 inches. Our lives haven’t been the same since. Tomorrow he will be 11 weeks old and the photo above seems like a distant memory. It’s really hard to express the love that I have for him in words that do it justice, because (no offense to words, but..) they can’t accurately get there.
I’m someone who was never even sure if I wanted kids. Despite how hard it’s been (people tell you it’s hard, they just don’t tell you HOW hard it is) I wouldn’t trade it for anything. He’s a light and love that is now the center of my life. A different life. A life I’m learning to cherish every day with it’s ups and downs. The oh so humbling experiences mixed with the heartfelt moments. It’s all so worth it.
I wanted to share something I wrote that just poured out of me one day when I was coming home from the gym and feeling a bit emotional. Sometimes I reread it on the hard days. Being pregnant, giving birth, and caring for a child has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s important to remember how strong we are. How capable we are. How loving we are. So here it is.
We are Incredible
On my drive home from the gym yesterday, (I managed to get out for an hour ) I got to thinking about how incredible we are. Not that I didn’t already know, but I reminded myself of it. We went through 9 months of pregnancy and endured back aches, nausea, sleepless nights, complications, hormonal ups and downs. We did all of this and some of us worked full time jobs. Some of us were raising other children. We did our best to keep up with our homes, our relationships, our bodies. We created a baby registry (not easy!) and thought long and hard about the needs of our future child. We gave birth which is as emotionally draining as it is physically taxing, and then we got right back up again and cared for our little ones while in pain and discomfort from the delivery.
We went through (are going through) postpartum, which is no joke. We’ve bled for weeks after and watched every part of our bodies change in ways we are uncomfortable with. Some of us suffered from extreme tearing other physically and emotionally traumatizing scenarios. We feed our child constantly which demands all of our time, negating our prior hobbies and routines. For some of us, it’s milk that we produce from our own body. For others, it’s formula that we’ve researched and know is the best choice for our little ones. We listen to our newborn cry nonstop and wonder what we’re doing wrong even though we’re doing everything right. Sometimes, it inflicts so much agony in us we cry ourselves, often while we are alone and afraid. We battle emotional highs and lows, we get depressed, we start to absorb and try to understand this new life we’ve been given. We’ve tried to get others to understand which is often a fruitless effort.
We don’t sleep, period. We’ve learned that sleep deprivation is now a part of our routine. We protect our children from the unsolicited advice of those who don’t know the reality of their needs. Because they aren’t with them every second of every day. We do our best to research answers and engage with our child so that he or she has had a good start in life. We make silly faces and sounds for them and we make mistakes.
We reach out to each other for answers because we care deeply about the way we raise our child. We get lonely. We get scared. We wonder if we’ll ever be our “old selves” again while we journey into and slowly understand our “new selves.” But we don’t stray away from this new job, we don’t give up and we do it day in, day out for our children despite the hardships. Because we love them, because it’s worth it, and because we are incredible.