I’m a mom.
It’s still hard to believe I’m typing that sentence. Our little Isaac has been in this world just under 3 weeks, and already I cannot imagine my life without him. He’s changed everything.
I’ve known since I was a little girl that someday I wanted to be a mom, but as an adult I started putting up a wall, scared I’d never get to be one. Due to health issues on his part, my husband and I found ourselves in the fertility specialist’s office after years of trying to conceive. Doctor #1 turned out to be a total dud. We spent the better part of a year and thousands of dollars only to find our hope dwindling. After a particularly frustrating encounter with Doctor #1’s nurse practitioner, I sought out a recommendation from a co-worker and made an appointment with Doctor #2. They quickly identified that I had not even been ovulating and with the help of some wonderful drugs, we were pregnant within the month. Needless to say, we love Doctor #2.
My pregnancy was great. I promised myself from the start that I’d embrace every moment of it, and enjoy the experience that we’d prayed so hard for. I set aside my tendency to focus on my weight, and let my body do what it needed to do to grow a person. We decided not to find out the sex of the baby. This increased the excitement leading up to the birth, and also served to annoy our parents, which was fun. I enjoyed seeing my belly grow, and did my best to let the dumb comments people inevitably made roll off my back. I savored every kick, knowing full well that I’d miss them one day. All the while, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the fact that we were actually going to be parents.
Then, the most amazing thing happened…I had a baby! It didn’t happen at all the way I’d planned. Actually, I take that back. I had hoped that I would go into labor naturally, instead of needing an induction. At 37 weeks 5 days, my water broke in the middle of the night. The evening before, my husband and I had gone out on our “last date before baby arrives” and had even stopped by the side of the road to take some belly photos in case I were to go into labor before we had another chance. Little did we know how soon it would be.
After 14 hours of labor, aided by a Pitocin drip, I was only dilated to 4 cm, and had developed a fever. My doctor made the call that we needed to do a c-section, and needed to do it soon. I’ll never forget how shocking that was. I had completely dismissed a c-section as a possibility. I did my best not to freak out, and the next thing I knew we were in the surgery room. I’m still amazed at how much you really can feel during a c-section. I know, I know, it’s “pressure” not “pain”. Let’s be real, it’s some pretty intense pressure. I even remember crying out a few times.
Turns out, my doctor made the best possible call. Our baby boy had the cord wrapped around his neck twice and in a true not. Kid was not coming out the good old fashioned way! Also, the same infection that had spurred my fever had reached him and ended up landing him in the NICU for a week.
There is so much I could say about that first week. How devastating it was to only get to hold him for 10 minutes in the first 20 hours of his life, or the terror I felt when they told me he would need a spinal tap. How fabulous our lactation consultant was, or how blessed we were by family and friends. Or, how absolutely amazing my husband was. He’s a natural daddy, and took such good care of me too. I’ve fallen in love all over again.
Most of all, what stands out is my sweet baby boy. I knew I would love him, but I had no idea just how deep that love would be. In an instant he changed the way I look at the world and everything in it. Every person I see is someone’s baby now. All the stressors of everyday life have been put into perspective, and now I know without a doubt that the only thing that truly matters in this life is family. I’ve spent countless hours since he was born just sitting and looking at him, giving thanks to God for this beautiful little blessing. My heart is so full of love, that sometimes it aches. I still cannot believe that I grew him in my belly, and I get to be his mama.
He’s changed everything, and I cannot wait for the adventure that lies ahead.