Sunday, July 15, 2012


Anyone who has ever had a baby knows it sends shockwaves through your well-manicured life. You have this adorable little life set up for yourself - perhaps with a spouse and a little homestead (such as my self), and then along comes Baby changing everything (for the better).

I knew the shockwaves were coming. I knew nothing of babies before having my own, but I'd gleaned that (a) it ain't easy (b) they cry (c) your body will be forever changed and (d) you'll never sleep again.

The First Set of Shockwaves

I was a ridiculous bucket of nerves the whole way through my pregnancy. First off, we both decided to try and conceived Baby Bird in the same weekend. I did not expect that. In my well-intentioned mind, I *knew* it would take us at least three months to get pregnant. HA! So I spent the summer pregnant after having convinced myself that I'd have the summer to do all these cool last-summer-as-a-couple things (white-water rafting, anyone?).  Second, I had myself convinced that I'd have no maternal instinct, that I would definitely not be able to stand breastfeeding thereby disappointing my husband and in-laws. and that I'd definitely get postpartum depression. I thought there was no way I was going to bond with my child as soon as he was born and that any possible motherly deficiency would plaque me. I was convinced I'd struggle constantly.

The Second Set of Shockwaves

Life, changed forever by new life.
As soon as that Baby Bird was born, and as soon as I heard him cry, my heart grew infinite sizes. I love him so much I find myself tearing up on the regular. All the maternal instinct I'd considered myself devoid of came rushing in. All of my pre-conceived notions were crushed.

I surprise myself every day with how much of a grassroots Mama I am. I have become something of an advocate for breastfeeding, after spending my pregnancy convinced I wouldn't want to do it. I wear my baby in a ring-sling. I want nothing less than the best for Baby Bird.

There's another side to this shockwave business, too, though. My life has been upended - inostenibly for the better - but things don't feel normal just yet. I'm still acclimating to life with a tiny interloper, and it's not always rainbows and lollipops. As selfish as I spent the majority of my life being, it takes some time not to learn to put my son's needs before mine (that's automatic), but to learn how to put his needs before mine without mourning the loss of selfishness and still treating myself like I count. And where does K. fit into all of this? Well, I'm still learning how to be more than just Mama. I probably haven't been an excellent wife, and I'm going to have to take stock and make this a priority.

But, then, it's all going to be a learning curve, isn't it? I have a sneaking suspicious there is no 'normal' from here on out - just 'normal for now'.

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