The First Year of Motherhood

Geddy's Birthday is tomorrow and it, of course, is a very special day. I knew that I wanted to do a Motherhood post about my first year but it has been one of those posts that I was afraid to even start because I had so many emotions come to mind...but here we go!

This year has been the most educational year ever. I learned more about myself, about life, and about people than I have in any college course. And I am still learning, constantly. My goal in life was to be a Mom. That is all I wanted to be when I grew up. That is what I knew I would be when I grew up. My friends would joke about the obviousness of me being a Mother and the shock when I wasn't the first out of my friends to have a child. But as obvious as it may have seemed, it has still been a gigantic adjustment. I have been humbled many a time because I am not nearly as perfect as a Mother as I thought I would be or should be. Oh goodness, my weaknesses sometimes blind me because they are so prominent.

This year has had the highest highs and the lowest lows. There were moments that seemed so dark that I didn't know if I could go through it ever again. It took me a good 3-4 months to even consider having another child. Sleepless nights, being screamed at, trying to close an incision that had other plans. Losing hair. Oh the hair loss! Living on granola bars and fruit snacks because I couldn't put the baby down. Bleeding and oozing from all sorts of places. And I totally know that every Mother goes through this, it was not harder on me than anyone else. But oddly, there was something so right about this tiny screaming human being in my arms.

I love this pic of a Mama and her son.

Now, I realize that I have painted Motherhood to be utter Hell. But here is the good part. I will never forget the moment that I held Geddy for the first time. He was in the level 2 nursery, struggling to breath on his own. He was mad and didn't feel good. I help him on my bare chest for the first time and he went quiet. He recognized me. I don't even know if I recognized him yet but he knew who I was. He felt peace for that moment. I remember rejoicing with the night nurse at 3 am when I finally got Geddy to nurse without supplementing with formula. I was nearly in tears because I was so proud and excited. Even the following weeks when they were the hardest, I had the firmest confirmation that this was worth it and I wouldn't reverse having this little gift. The moments when Geddy would fall asleep on my chest and I would hold him for hours and hours as he slept, were some of the most rejuvenating moments that I had. I could feel his little body breathing and connect with his sweet little spirit. Once Geddy hit 3 months, Motherhood took a huge turn for the better. My little dude became fun! He would finally smile at me and sleep lots (I was blessed with a good sleeper from the start). He was starting to be so pleasant when he was awake and I could play with him. If babies came to you as 3 month olds, I would have dozens. They are so charming!

One of the things that I learned during this year was forgiveness. Not because I forgave Geddy but because he always forgave me. Even the moments in the middle of the night when I would be crying so hard that I sounded like a Moose, he would get over the initial shock and keep on working with me. He didn't give up on me and I know that I couldn't either. Many times I see other Mothers with their children, especially small ones and think "I don't remember things being like that", good or bad. I know Geddy and I went through the same phases as every Mother and Child but it seemed so unique to me. I know that is how it is for everyone but I never realized that would the case.

Now that Geddy is approaching his first Birthday, I cannot gush enough about him. He is the toughest, funniest, happiest, strongest boy that I know. He has his Father's personality and his Mama's nervous twitch. He has easily been the biggest blessing in my life (well, maybe second to Chad).

Motherhood has changed me. I am a different person now. I understand things better. I realize that not everything is black and white in life, not just Motherhood, but in life too. I have grown up. Though we still spend our nights reading The Hobbit or watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I am a Mama now. That is the biggest honor that I could ever have. I am proud to be a Mother. Even if I stay in my jammies past noon (like right now). Chad you are a lucky man ;)

I am sorry this post, like most of my others, is so scattered. I just wrote everything that came to me. I tried to be really honest. Motherhood is not perfect. The other night I had a chance to go to dinner with some of my longtime girlfriends and we were discussing pregnancy. The topic came up about not wanting your body to change when you had a baby and the fact that it would be so upsetting. As a knee jerk reaction, I blurted out "if you are that worried about your body, maybe you shouldn't have a baby". **Insert Foot in Mouth** I don't feel like that it was my place to say that, at all. I wasn't in the right. But I do want to explain something. No matter how hard you work out or even if you drop all the weight. Your body changes. That is Motherhood. It is about change. You sacrifice your body because you share it with another growing person. My butt, boobs, and tummy are nowhere nearly as perky has they were but that was part of the sacrifice. It's part of the payment of receiving the biggest gift. Life. You created a life. That drastic change is going to leave its mark. Though I can't say that I love my stretch marks or the fact that everything has started to head South, I am trying ever so hard to change the way I think about it. I am not the same person emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, nor is my body. But it was worth it.

Chad and I immediately after Geddy was born. I look hot...and bloated. 

Man, I can't believe I decided to tackle Motherhood in one post. It was foolish for sure, I apologize for the length! Some things that I learned about during this transition would be:

* How many days you will wear a shirt that is covered in spit up. I am talking 3 or 4 days of smelling sour. For real.
* How often little boys pee on EVERYTHING. I don't know if little girls are the same but wow!
* How valuable a shower can be.
* How offended I can get when my 11 month old screams at me. It's a guttural, red faced, scream and I sometimes feel like I am being verbally abused.
* How little sleep you can survive on. It's crazy.
* How I can't even imagine having a baby girl now. I want all boys. Dead serious. But I am sure if I had a girl I would be an absolute puddle for her.
* How much help I needed from Chad. I didn't want help from anyone else. I just wanted Chad.

Motherhood is hard. It requires so much sacrifice but that sacrifice provides the greatest reward. To close (for those who are STILL reading, thank you), I just want to say that I am not perfect. I hope that my words have not come off elitist because I am SOOOO not better than anyone. I don't know more, nor am wiser, I just wrote my thoughts.

Also, I tried to read through this again for typos but Geddy woke up from his nap so its wasn't very thorough. Sorry!

Happy Wednesday!



Haley said...

I love the story about the first time you held Geddy. I'm so glad that you wrote that down because it is powerful, indeed. In his first days of stress and exhaustion, he wanted YOU. Not a mother more seasoned or experienced, he wanted HIS Mommy. What a gift it is that our babies recognize their mommy so quickly.

Also, I love that you only can envision a house full of boys! I'm the same way with girls! It illustrates how full of life and love your home is with little Geddy by your side.

Chad de Lisle said...

This is beautiful Hilary-- Bravo.

I AM SAM said...

Thanks for your post Hilary, what beautiful, powerful, and honest words on Motherhood.