We went to a wedding recently and the minister spoke about changing seasons and love’s endurance throughout each of them. As I reflect on the time I’ve been with Ian since his birth on August 29th, I realize that not only have the seasons changed from warm, musty, humid air to cool, tingly, autumn breath, but I feel that I have gone through my own “seasonal” changes. Sure, my body has changed physically and I’m a new mom so this has changed me emotionally, but I feel that my time with Ian has ripened and each day is a new adventure.
The birth experience was so positive, exciting, that I don’t really feel that the aftermath and healing or the pain I endured before I was medicated outweigh the positives of this major event in my life. The weeks that followed, however, with the hardships of no sleep and demands of nursing is really a trying time. Exhaustion makes everything that much more difficult. That is until Ian turned two months old and started sleeping through the night (!!!). And the fact that as someone who avidly and enthusiastically wanted to nurse and was doing so successfully, really had trouble coping with the initial pain of it all. And the constant and persistent yelps that meant Ian was hungry? Those were intense times. And ones I could not get help from anyone on since hi, I’m the one with the boobs.
And then came the first and what will hopefully be the last of any scares. ER visits, constant questioning of “Is he OK?” and doctor checkups that make someone who is already anxious and nervous and a full time worrier worry even more.
Once my worries were reigned in there was the fear of going out in public alone with the little guy. What if he wails? What if I don’t find a good place to change a diaper? And my biggest concern–where do I nurse him?
After several car sessions of nursing and some public ones too, I was good to go. And diaper changes in the car although tight and confining (and sometimes smelly)? Nothing I can’t handle now.
But then I had to go and hurt my back and hip and limp for a good few weeks. And today I continue to go to physical therapy with my little guy at my side. As always, he’s an angel while Mum does her thing.
And so now I let weigh on my shoulders a new set of fears: returning to work where at least I have a new, shorter schedule, one that allows me one less day of work and one day of work at home. But still a daycare must watch him for three days and a new mom wonders how it will all come together and will my baby remember me and still grace me with tons of smiles, gurgles, and coos? A baby who I must admit I love when he turns his head to find me in a room when someone else happens to hold him while visiting. Will I then be the visitor he wonders about when dropping him off and picking him up from this new place?
I want for our bond to not get wiped out by a couple of paid employees who have shown their adoration for children but who do not know the love I have for my baby because they did not birth him, they did not stand by to wipe the tears from his first vaccinations, to bathe him in love, to sit silently in the wee hours of the morning while the world slept or pressed snooze so that they could extend their warm residence under the sheets, snuggled with their spouse. No, I was there, rocking my son to sleep after so carefully stroking his head so as to not disturb his concentration as he suckled. I was the one whispering that Ian can and will be the focal point of my heart. And yes it’s hard to divide your love and attention between your new son and your husband. But I’m working on that.
It’s been a trying time and a time of happiness. It’s been an amazing journey. And amazing is a word I hate to use since it’s overused but it has been truly special. To wake and see the smile of your son as he connects with your eyes and recognizes the love that is there, always waiting for you, is something I hope everyone is able to experience at some moment in this life.
itsy bitsy mama