I remember the day so clearly. The day motherhood began for me. It wasn’t the morning I had my son, when I first laid eyes on him or held him, or when I felt my heart explode with love for the tiny human that was ours. It wasn’t even later that night as I struggled to get the rest I needed so very much. Nope, not even the following morning when my nipples started to burn and I started to doubt my ability and desire to breastfeed. All of those things were hard and certainly began to shape motherhood for me, but the day that my motherhood was born was two, almost three, weeks after my son was.
Connor was 18 days old, my mom had left to go back north the previous day and on that very morning, my husband did the unthinkable…he got up an went to work! On top of that, the rest of my support network was about 1500 miles away. What the heck was everyone thinking letting me do this?
Just like that I was alone with the baby.
…No one to help me walk him as my body ached.
…No one to hold him while I slept.
…No one to squeeze my hand with each and every painful latch.
It was just me and Connor. There was no turning back. It. was. so. freaking. real. I went from scared, to confident, to excited, to inconsolably crying and everything else in between every 5 minutes that day. What a whirlwind of emotions, what a whirlwind of a day.
There are so many moments I remember from that day. Some make me smile, some make me shake my head, some make me belly laugh, but they all make my heart feel this little twinge of pain that I get only when thinking about my children and the love I have for them. I was so, unbelievably, overwhelmed that day. I remember being about an hour in when I had to go to the bathroom (no quick feat for a woman that just had a baby), I was so unsure if I should leave the baby in the room alone or wake him and move him somewhere in my direct line of vision. Or the amount of times I tried to swaddle my poor son, my husband made that tight swaddle look so easy. The best, though, might have been the paralyzing moment when poop was everywhere in the nursery; on me, on the baby, on the changing pad and everywhere else you could think of. I had zero idea how to get that onesie off without getting poop all over him (only learned that trick when my daughter was born). It was in those little moments where I was trying so hard to follow “the rules” that all I could see were my failures. It wasn’t failure, though, I was simply adapting to my child and our situation. That is not failure.
All those teeny tiny things that seem so easy today were so incredibly hard then.
But you know what? Even then, at the end of the day I sat back and realized that I did it. I fed, changed, clothed and loved that baby boy all by myself and we survived. I was his mama. Motherhood was real and present in my life and what a wild ride it has been since then!
Do you remember the moment motherhood was born for you?