Two weeks today, I gave birth to my daughter. Two weeks later, I still struggle with wrapping my brain around that. You see, when I was in my early 20’s, I used to have two lists. “Reasons Not to Get Married” and “Reasons Not to Have Children”. Both a direct contradiction of what being a Good Mormon Woman demands. Oh sure, the higher-ups in church would tell you that’s not the case, but the message “There’s no greater calling than that of mother and wife…” tends to impress certain expectations in your head.
But I digress.
I really did have two lists. Not born of hating the institute of either, but rather seeing the worst of both, and wanting to avoid history repeating itself.
As life went on, and I saw that not all moms and not all marriages worked the same way, I stopped adding to those lists. As I got older, all the reasons went away. Instead, one reason remained, the same one, for both lists: Because you are alone.
And then Log came along, and now I have both. A good husband, a solid father. He’s engaged. Interactive. He soaks up being a Dad like a dry sponge dropped into a bucket of water. I really could not have designed a more perfect partner in my most vivid of imaginations.
So, now I am a Mom, and it’s stunning. I can’t stop staring at her. Kissing her. Feeling her soft, baby skin against my cheek. The way she sounds. The way she smells. The way she curls herself against my chest when I feed her. Looking into those baby blue eyes and wondering what color they are going to change into. (I’m hoping her Dad’s.)
With all this wonderment has come fear. Fear that I may get something wrong, make a mistake. I felt a similar fear when I finished nursing school and started working on my own. How will I know what to do and when to do it? Imagine that magnified. I want desperately to be a good Mom to her. I don’t ever want her feeling the things I felt when I was growing up. I don’t ever want her knowing what certain experiences are like, for they are things no child should ever have to experience. I want to show her all the good things, and protect her from the bad. All the while, I want her to grow up to be a good person. Kind. Compassionate. Smart. I want her to be close to her father, to experience what that rich relationship is supposed to be like, and I want to observe it.
My relationship with my husband has even changed since Lil G was born. It feels even more organic. Like he is a natural extension of myself. I can’t say that I love him more than I love my daughter, for the love is like comparing apples and oranges. It’s different, yet vast and cannot be measured. My love for my husband is the foundation on which our house is built, and when Lil G has grown and moved on, that foundation will still be there.
On a lighter note, we are quickly learning about what we need and what we don’t need. Going into a baby store to register was overwhelming in that there is so much crap, how do you know what you will need to raise a baby? After baby comes, you figure it out. Sometimes, you don’t know you need something until you actually need it. Babies are simple, they don’t need a lot of fancy gadgets. Just a boob, clean diapers, some onesies, and a warm place to sleep.
In other news, after two weeks, I am back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. So, I gained 37lbs with Lil G. I’m convinced most of that was fluid. I can wear my regular clothes, shoes, and my wedding ring. Other than two tears, I think I came out of this pretty good. Even the gestational diabetes went away.
I am filled with all kinds of feelings. Love. Peace. Fear. Anxiety. Which is, apparently, normal. I feel as if the big picture has now come into sharp focus. I look at my husband. My daughter. My surroundings. And I have come to realize that I now have the life I have always wanted, for as long as I can remember.
Life is pretty good.