|A gift from my husband. Mother’s Day, 2001.|
Many of my friends already started their families long before I did. I loved watching them welcome new life into their homes and wanted so much to also have a family of my own. All my life I’ve wanted to be a mom. In August 2001, my wish came true. My first baby arrived.
Labor started Tuesday evening. It ended Thursday afternoon. To describe my labor experience as being long is inaccurate. It was excruciating. But like other mothers say, eventually you forget about the nerves, the anxiety and the pain. All of that is quickly replaced by a new emotion: love.
Those other mothers were right. I instantly fell in love with my little girl.
She and I spent all day together. Sometimes we spent all night together too. Not the best sleeper in the world, I had to learn how to soothe a fussy newborn who had some nursing issues. Without a good latch, my baby wasn’t getting a good feeding. She struggled. I struggled. She was tired. I was tired. It was frustrating. And painful! But, within a few weeks, we finally both got the hang of it.
Before giving birth, I had been teaching. I taught for ten years and enjoyed every minute of it. But after the baby arrived, I was fortunate to not have to go back to work. I was grateful to have extra time to ease into motherhood with my daughter.
Life as a mother was completely different, but it was a good different. Each day was mine to plan. Each moment was ours to create. My daughter and I spent a lot of time in our small apartment during her first few months of life, but eventually we ventured out. We ran into town to do errands. We met my husband for lunch. We planned meet ups with friends. When we didn’t go out, I read and the baby played with her baby toys. Then we napped.
I loved being a Mom, and I couldn’t remember what life was like before having baby.
I’m Mom to five babies now. They’re not wee babies anymore, but they’ll always be my babies.
So many things have changed since I first stepped into the role of mother. We’ve moved several times. Switched jobs several times. Made new friends here. And made new friends there. We’re no different than lots other families in many respects. But we have had to make several changes other families typically do not.
I’d like to think I adapted well to some of those changes, including when I went from typical Mom to “Special” Mom. But I’d be lying if I said that.
Juggling Ronan’s medical issues can be intimidating. Handling his special education needs can be exhausting. His daily care requires focus. And his long-term needs are unknown. Being in charge of Ronan’s care can sometimes be daunting, but I quickly learn what I need to make things run smoothly…or at least to help some days run smoother than the day before.
My days are full. My kids’ schedules are busy. I may not always get to choose what I want to do on a given day, but each day is still my own to enjoy. Being able to enjoy the day, and all of what that day brings, gives me the chance to create moments. Some moments are peaceful. Some are tough. But they are moments that I have created. I am proud of some, and have had others that I wish had never happened. But they are all moments that have taught me, that have shaped me, and that, like my children, will forever be a part of me.
Another gift from my husband. Mother’s Day, 2011.