I’m so surprised some days by how much my perspective has changed. People tell you that you’ll look at things differently. They say you’ll love this little person more than anything. They say that you’ll have a new perspective on everything. But you still aren’t prepared for it. You aren’t prepared for this intense love you feel. I used to spend my evenings killing myself at the gym, or occasionally ranting at happy hours with coworkers. These were things that got me through the days. The amount of stress I felt for jobs that brought me no happiness still astound me. To say that new motherhood isn’t stressful is laughable but it’s such a different kind of stress. It’s a joyful kind of stress. Now instead of spending time at the gym at 7 and 8 oclock at night, I’m in bed before the sun is even down. Some nights (and days) I’m so tired, I want to cry. But then she smiles, or just looks so peaceful once she’s asleep, it all feels so worth it.
I always loved this quote when we talked about kids in the future, but it means so much more now that we have Clare.
I also had no idea how my perspective on childbirth would change once I had been through it. I think that’s probably because I wasn’t educated about it in previous parts of my life. Our society and culture makes it out to be this fearful and scary thing, which is not how it has to be. It’s a sacred, special, extraordinarily hard and intense and so completely NORMAL and empowering thing for a woman to go through. Before all of the research I did and going through it, I wouldn’t have been able to see it in that light. I love how many doulas say that a “mother is born” just as the baby is born. You are not only giving birth to your baby, but to the mother within you.
I want to be able to help other mothers have those special births and see birth for the amazing thing it really is. My parents raised me knowing that family was always the most important thing, and I feel like I’ve always known that I wanted to help people in some way, but I was really never sure how, or what that would look like for me, but I really feel like I’ve found the way that I can…one woman and one birth at a time.
My dear friend Elizabeth has influenced me into re-watching Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning, and it’s so funny to see how my perspective has changed in the 10 years that the show has been running. I’ve gone from teenager staying up on Sunday nights to watch it with one of my best friends Emma to mother of an infant now nursing during the reruns in that time, and now I look at so many of the mother/baby mother/daughter storylines in the show SO differently. I tear up at every single one because I can relate in such a different way now.
Clare a few weeks ago hanging out while we watched Grey’s and folded laundry.
So I may not be out killing myself at the gym in the evenings anymore…I may not be doing a hundred things each day and week with my calendar so packed I could barely breathe…I may not be sleeping for more than a few hours at a time. I may be ready to pass out before 9pm every night and wake up before the sun. Breastfeeding may make my back and shoulders stiffer than ever before. Half my conversations during the day may center around my child’s bodily fluids.
I’m really, really so much happier than I was a year ago.
I wake up to sleepy smiles, I watch sparkling eyes as she learns something new each day. I love watching Chris light up when he makes her smile. Having a baby changes your life, your relationships, everything. Boy does it.
But it changes it so much for the better.