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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

thoughts on motherhood (6 weeks)

As I write this post, my six week old son is sleeping next to me in his bassinette.  He has that angelic sleeping newborn look going on, and I stop every minute or so just to look at him.  

It's hard to imagine that six weeks ago, I didn't know that he was going to be our baby.  I didn't even know our baby was going to be a he.  I remember feeling slightly shocked when the hospital nurse showed Theo to me for the first time.  For ten months I had been pregnant with "a baby" - no defining characteristics that I knew of yet that set him apart from any other baby.  And then I saw him, and there was no mystery or generalness anymore -- he was himself.   He was Theo.  

Six weeks ago, at this very minute, Theo was born.  

We've come so far since then.  In that moment six weeks ago I felt exhausted, broken, scared, so so happy, and overwhelmed.  In this moment today, I feel rested, strong, nurturing, happy, normal, and so so in love.  

Our days don't seem so hard anymore.  Theo keeps his eyes wide open for longer stretches during the day.  He smiles in recognition when he looks at me.  He's gotten the hang of nursing.  He loves looking up at the ceiling, at fans, at contrasting colors, at fireplaces.  He falls asleep in his carseat - in the car and on walks.  He's easier to soothe.  It already seems like he's getting so old, and I'm still measuring his age in weeks - not months or years. 

I've changed too.  I feel stronger and more confident.  My body feels more normal.  My wedding ring somewhat fits again.  I can walk for longer distances.  I can go up and down stairs and carry things heavier than Theo.  I don't feel as anxious or as overwhelmed by motherhood.  I actually enjoy "babysitting" 24/7.  

I still struggle with having a c-section, and I don't know if I'll ever fully believe that I gave birth to him.  Mostly because of how disconnected I felt with my body and the whole birthing experience.  But I love this boy of ours more everyday, and I'm so thankful that regardless of the way that he came into the world - he is healthy and growing and well cared for.   

My new favorite thing is when Theo falls asleep on my chest in the evenings.  No matter how big he gets, I'll always remember that feeling of him sleeping peacefully close to my heart.  I feel like I'm taking something from him it feels so comforting.  But I remember what it felt like to fall asleep with my mom or dad patting my back as I fell asleep as a kid, and I know that falling asleep the way he does must feel just as comforting to him as it does to me.

These past six weeks have been some of the best of my life.  Seeing my husband become a father, my parents become grandparents, my siblings become aunt and uncles has been amazing.  And the time off to sit, and read, and watch tv, and spend time with family and friends -- all while caring for Theo - has been one of the biggest blessings of my life.  

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