This time last year, I was three months pregnant. I had just had my hair cut short, told nearly everyone I knew that I was expecting, and was really hungry and exhausted.
I still wore makeup, got up out of bed for work every morning, and was still wearing my pre-baby clothes, without the Bella Band. I had no morning sickness, but I felt the hormones coursing through me, eerily reminiscent of my Junior High days, (which was the LAST thing I ever wanted to remember about Junior High).
I felt akward, shy, unsure of what was going on with, and within my body. I was ruled by feeling, (Women are not always ruled by feeling, no matter what "they" may say) hunger, exhaustion. I felt like a flower, outer petals tender, unfurling in the light of the sun, tickled by the breeze. I felt vunerable and exposed, which made me tense and guarded with everyone, about everything.
I was thinking earlier today, that having a child for the first time was quite losing one's virginity. For a Woman losing her virginity, most of us hope it's a time that will fulfill our hopes and dreams, that we make the most of this once in a lifetime chance, so that we may cherish it always. Having a baby for the first time is much like that.
During the nine months we gestate a human life in our bodies, we imagine, love, fear and hope. Our senses are alive, sometimes detestably, but alive nonetheless. We endure this nearly year long build up, preparing ourselves, our home, our loved ones for the arrival of a new life. We endure poking, proding and advice from others, all for it to culminate in one moment that builds from discomfort, to pain, to shock, wonder, awe and love.
I prepared for the arrival of my first with stress, and fear from anticipation, only to have the hours leading up to his entry into this world be the most peaceful, joy filled hours of my life. I did not have the birth without aid of drugs as I wished, I did not have my Mother present in the room with me, but I had my Husband, a great team of Medical personnel, security and perfect timing of it all. The absolute wonder of holding a child that just came from within you is nothing short of remarkable.
Yet, we only get to have that moment, new and untarnished, once. For me, there are always going to be things I think could have gone differently, but it does not blemish the contentment, pride and joy I feel from the memory of it all.
Six months later, I am just starting to hit bumpy roads with my child. He has been a challenge these last couple of days, veering from the routine we've established because he belatedly realized that his world became much larger after learning to roll, and needs me close by to know that he can explore his expanded territory with security and contentment. It's difficult, after how easy he has been about everything else. Just once we've thought we both procurred a new level of independence, to find that we still need each other more than ever.
When I become most frustrated or tired, I try to see through the haze of stress and remember, he will only cling to me like this now, and not forever. He will only turn to me, grab for me, cling to me for so long before he is sticking his tounge out of the corner of his mouth trying to tie his own shoe while I watch from afar wanting to just tie it for him. One day, he'll be fourteen, akward and pimply, quiet and surly, hiding the fact that the person he has a crush on wounded him at school that day, rebutting my inquiries as to if there is anything wrong with one syllable answers and guarded shrugs. One day, he'll sweeten his request for the car keys, pouring on the honey, making me gush with joy before he snatches the keys out of my outstretched palm, planting a whisper light kiss on my cheek, a mumbled thank you, leaving me breathless and worried at the front door as he speeds his way out of the driveway.
Right now, my Son is chubby, soft, sweet and allows me to pepper his cheeks with uncountable kisses that result in a goofy, drunk with love and adoration smile. Right now, my Son has two bottom teeth that flash when he opens his mouth wide into a smile. Right now, he snuggles his head into the crook of my shoulder and neck without reservation and self conciousness. Right now, he is purely love.
I started this, wanting to tell you how I have come so far in my female evolution to stop worrying about printer ink, deadlines and viper bosses. In the end...I nearly forgot that was what I was writing about.
Now, i'm going to make sure my Son is warm enough as he sleeps the night away. He's a light sleeper, so i'll have to be quiet and quick, but i'm going to risk a brush of his hair, a light touch on his forehead to make sure he's warm, before I am reassured that he is safe, he is sound, he is happy.
3 months ago