I say it every time. Each time we reach the beginning of a new phase in my little one’s life, I am overjoyed, amazed, and closer to a full night’s sleep (in 12 years). But really, the phrase that turns over in my mind is, “I can’t believe it.” We’ve come so far from colic, and spit-up, and a stressed out mama wondering if she’s doing anything right while crying in the shower. (OK, that may still happen from time to time.) These last three months we’ve seen solid food, and teeth, and crawling. Now, we are just baby steps away from party hats and a first-year birthday cake, where again I will exclaim, “I can’t believe it,” this time, with tears of joy falling down my face into E’s Birthday cake—while 20 partygoers look on. But, before we don our Star Wars party hats, here are some things I didn’t know about the first 9 months:
1. I didn’t know I’d be wearing a bra constantly for a year and half straight.
Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, my boobs further confirmed my suspicions by growing to 4 times their normal size. Not only did Dolly Parton want her 1970’s boobs back, but my “girls” suddenly became very sensitive—not crying at Christmas commercials sensitive, but more like (much to my husband’s chagrin) GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME sensitive. That’s when I started wearing a sports bra ’round the clock. And now with the breast feeding (or pumping, rather) my girls have not seen a night out for well over a year.
2. I didn’t know I could shower in 1 minute and 9 seconds.
It’s the like I’m in the NASCAR of showering. The race back to the baby is always on! The water signals the beginning of the race, and suddenly I’m a soapy speed demon, cutting corners and shaving once a month (it is winter, after all).
3. I didn’t know I could become a contortionist.
While convincing my child that sleep is actually a good thing, if he falls asleep while I’m holding him, I will stay in strange and unusual positions just to keep him asleep. I’ve learned that my shoulder can almost entirely disengage from my body, and that my fingers will not fall off even though they tingle from falling dead asleep. I think I might be ready for that next Cirque de Soleil audition—after I lose my baby weight. (Those leotards are not very forgiving.)
4. I didn’t know how much of an idiot I could be just to get my child to giggle.
Alright, my husband might have known.
5. I didn’t truly know unconditional love until I met him.
I thought I did. I thought I understood the concept, but really I had only scratched the surface. The only thing my little (well, now bigger) baby has to do for me to love him is to have been born.