For Noah--we made it to 2.
Sometimes I think back to the days when I sat on a yoga mat in Shining Light Prenatal Education here in Pittsburgh before I had my first baby. I had swollen feet and a belly so big that I could barely stand up at the end. I absorbed the information like my life depended on it and while it did, I smile back at the girl who I was while sitting in that class and I wish I could tell her that it would be hard, but it would all be okay. Because with your first baby, it is hard. You're learning what motherhood is. You're learning how to breastfeed for the first time. You're learning what it's like to care for a newborn for the first time. You're learning what it's like to heal from childbirth for the first time. (Because they never seem to mention that in childbirth classes.) Even if you've seen other people do it or you've taken classes, nothing prepares you for the first weeks of being a mom. It's a time period that you will only get once with one baby, because all babies after your first are pretty much a breeze.
It's funny how much changes after you meet a baby you've carried for 9 months. The work you put into birth. The anxiety. The fear. The high of getting through it all. And then... you realize you're in charge of raising a little person. It's not just about buying cute baby outfits or making a stylish nursery anymore, it's about all of the hard stuff, too. It's about holding someone who you love more than life itself down while they get shots or bloodwork. It's about disciplining them even when they look devastated because you know it's good for them in the long run. It's about the guilt you experience when you leave your baby to go to work. It's about setting an example in every day life, even in the boring moments, about making good decisions.
I literally spent the first year of Noah's life feeling on edge because I wanted to hold him constantly and protect him from everything. I didn't ease up on myself until I found out I was pregnant with his little sister, right before his first birthday. I feel so calm when I'm pregnant that it helped me to just go with the flow and focus on myself a little more. Now, I try to go with the motto that anything that us mothers go through is normal. It's all normal.
I know that this post seems to be more about my journey as a mother but it truly amazes me that it isn't just Noah who is growing every single day- it's me, too. From the early days of childbirth classes to the sleepless nights with a newborn (and stitches) to the world of sippy cups and tantrums... To having a little friend who was always up for laying around as I experienced morning sickness for the second time around and came with Dan & I as we had our first ultrasound of Meadow... To standing on a stepstool to help me mix his eggs in the morning before scrambling them... To witnessing him learn all of the things that adults forget were magical once-- like the colors-- and from the days when he thought pulling my hair was a good idea to today, when he crawled on top on me and asked for a kiss on his head, and then said, "Love You, Mommy" (for the first time). There isn't a day that goes by that I don't go to bed completely in love with him (and Meadow, too) and so deeply grateful to be his mommy.