I cannot express how thrilled I am for you to be entering this journey of motherhood!
It is like you are joining a sorority of sisters who have all lived through 10 months of bodily changes plus an additional six to 12 weeks (or more) of sleep deprivation, engorged breasts, and episiotimies.
And if we all lived through it to tell our stories, you will too. Don’t you worry.
Somewhere along the way, you will find your maternal instinct. You will know your baby, and your baby will know you. And if it doesn’t happen immediately, be kind to yourself. It takes time to build a relationship. And one day your baby will lock eyes with you and smile, and at that moment you realize that you would jump in front of a moving train to save this perfect, tiny little creature. And your heart expands to levels you were not even aware existed.
My friend Kate once told me, “Children teach us that we are not in control and that we have to depend on God day by day.” It is the truth. I would imagine this lesson becomes harder to learn as your children approach adolescence and start becoming independent and making their own decisions – good and bad. But it is also true at 3 AM when your newborn shits all over herself for the third time in a row, just after you have given her a fresh diaper. Or when your baby suddenly gets a bout of hiccups lasting for fifteen minutes, just seconds before falling asleep. Those are the moments you throw your hands up to the sky and ask, “Why God, WHY?”
The sleepless nights will feel like an eternity, but you will sleep again. Time will resume its normal course and you will see how much faster it flies by with an infant. One day they learn to lift their heads. Then they smile. And then they can roll over. Soon they start sitting on their own, crawling away from you, and during those wardrobe and diaper changes that turn into a wrestling match you’ll sit back and think, “Remember when you were just a little blob that couldn’t move? Yeah.” I have heard from other moms that with each stage/milestone, one thing gets easier and another thing gets harder. I just can’t wait for toddlerdom.
All to say, I am genuinely excited and happy for you! To all of the mamas who had babies between July – December of 2011, I must confess, I feared for your lives. Instead of excitement, I felt terror and dread for you. I thought, “Watch out! Your newborn is going to END you!” I probably should not have been allowed to attend any baby showers during those months, because when asked at my friend’s shower what the “most enjoyable thing about the first month of motherhood” was I answered, “Nothing. Nothing is enjoyable the first month.”
Now I am three months shy of my baby’s first birthday and I can not imagine my life without her. Becoming a mother has been incredibly humbling, life-changing, and challenging, but I would not change a single thing.
It helps that she is cute. Hopefully you are all just as fortunate.