30 Days of Thankful - Days 13 and 14
Being a Mom to Ellie
I skipped another day.
Good thing my next topic is another one I am extra thankful for, and therefore deserves 2 days.
When I was little I wasn't much into dolls.
I preferred my stuffed animals.
When I was a teenager, I didn't like to babysit.
I would much rather have fun on a Saturday night with my friends.
After college, children were the furthest thing from my mind.
I was far away from home, being on my own for the first time.
The first few years of my marriage I was having entirely too much fun to bring a kid into the mix.
Chris and I loved those first few years.
Then I got the itch.
And I loved babies.
Saw babies wherever I went.
Started thinking, maybe it was time.
We decided to start trying.
The next month we were pregnant.
I had a fantastic, easy pregnancy.
Gained only 25ish pounds.
Felt good most of the time.
No serious morning sickness or complications.
I had a horrible, horrendous, awful delivery.
I had taken Bradley classes.
Was going all natural, baby.
Went into labor on my due date.
Spent 24 hours laboring at home.
Left for the hospital when contractions were 4ish minutes apart.
I thought for sure I was 6 or 7 cm.
I was shaky and sick to my stomach.
My water broke as we were walking into the hospital.
I was 1 cm.
Paige was my doula and she met us there and told me that now things would really get going.
I labored for another 20 hours unmedicated.
I tried every possible thing to get things going.
I never got past 4 cm.
Ellie's heart rate started to drop.
I had a c-section.
I was so doped up and exhausted I barely remember anything.
Except the very cute anesthesiologist who had the unfortunate job of holding my puke bowl.
It was not the experience I wanted.
However, the outcome was more than worth the trouble.
Ellie was 8 pounds 3 ounces of perfect.
And I fell in instant love with her.
I was kind of a mess after the delivery.
I was tired.
I was in pain.
And I wanted my mom.
Ellie must have known to be a good baby.
She was a fantastic eater and sleeper right from the beginning.
And always a happy little thing.
I will admit though, those first few months were hard for me.
I missed my independence.
I missed Friday nights out with my husband.
I missed my sleep.
Looking back, I probably had a touch of postpartum depression.
But I was so in the middle of it all, that I didn't recognize it for what it was.
But about 6 months in we hit our groove.
I started to really enjoy her.
We got our routine down and she became fun to be with.
And not just something to take care of.
(Gosh, does that sound awful? Apparently, this is also 30 days of truthful.)
Kids let you live your childhood all over again.
You remember how fasicinating snow is.
How fun it is to make cookies.
You remember how hard it is to learn to ride a bike.
And how having a friend over is like a vacation.
You remember how staying up past your bedtime is exciting.
And how swinging makes you feel like you can fly.
You remember how scary storms can be.
And how much a skinned knee hurts.
Being a mom is freaking hard work though.
When they are tiny, you are responsible for keeping them alive.
And you are convinced that it will only get easier.
At some point, she will be able to tell you when she is hungry or when she is cold.
And you won't worry that the blanket is going to suffocate her at night.
Then they get older and you realize the real work is just starting.
Now you are responsible for making them good people.
Making sure they know how to share.
And what hurtful words can do.
Making sure they give respect where respect is due.
But teaching them to stand up for themselves.
Making sure they are safe but giving them some independence.
I can only imagine how hard it is going to get.
Letting her go.
I don't want to even think about it.
I wavered back and forth and back and forth and back and forth on whether or not to have another.
It was a difficult decision.
But she will be my one and only.
(Unless we decided to adopt, which is still on the table, which is a whole nother post.)
She is everything I thought she would be.
And 100 times more.
She is funny.
She loves dolphins.
She loves to swim.
She loves her friends.
And she loves school.
She talks back.
She is whiny.
She is far from perfect.
And that is why I love her so.
I am not the perfect parent.
I lose my patience, more than I would like to admit.
And I probably expect too much from her.
But she loves me anyway.
She is all mine.
Forever and ever and ever.
For that, I am most definitely, thankful.