Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Seven weeks in...

It's been a year and a half since I blogged on this site. In that time, I've gone back to school and finished my masters degree in journalism and had a baby. Now that I've come out of the baby fog, I find myself wanting to write about what I'm learning in this new stage of life. No guarantees of how often I will write, but I wanted to have an outlet.

I have a seven-week-old. Most days I'm still in awe of that.

I have always wanted to be a mother. There is a video of me when I was 4 or 5 where my parents ask me what I want to be when I grow up. I respond, "A mommy." I also say I want five children, but I didn't understand the whole pregnancy/childbirth thing at that age.

I always loved children and babies. My mom did let me regularly hold one of the twins when I was 3, and as they got older, I saw the opportunity to use them as part of my imaginative play. As soon as they could sit up, they were my students. All of my jobs in high school involved nannying in some form with children ages 4 months to 7.

But during my single years, I wondered if this dream of being a mom would ever become a reality. Even when I married Jesse, I wondered if I could get pregnant and whether my body could handle pregnancy. (It turns out pregnancy and breastfeeding have given me relief of my fibromyalgia symptoms.) I never stop thanking God for the blessing of the pregnancy and our baby girl. I know we are incredibly blessed by how smoothly everything went.

After all those years of being the nanny or babysitter or aunt, it is incredible to actually be the mom. When you are just filling in for mom, you know that child isn't crying for you, and you also get to hand the child back to the parents when he or she is screaming. But now I'm the one everyone hands the baby back to, and I am actually able to calm her down when no one else can. (Well, most of the time...)

There are things that are harder than I thought, but there are so many more things that are much sweeter and more rewarding than I ever expected. In this time that I'm home with her, I get to see it all — the fussiness but also the smiles and coos — and the good far outweighs the bad.

One of my favorite things is how she puts her hand on my chest when I'm rocking her, and you can't beat seeing this smile.