Friday, April 13, 2012

6 months minus 1 day

My belly about 2 weeks before P was born

6 months ago I was restlessly walking around the East Village, pausing to get through my contractions and bargaining everything I had with the universe to help get this baby OUT. On the eve of Phoenix's half birthday, I'm happy to report that life on the other side is better than I could have imagined on that day. I'm sure I will feel even more grateful and emotional on his one year birthday but 6 months is nothing to frown at. And what a six months it has been...

My pregnancy was pretty wonderful. Every weekend in the ocean, not much discomfort until the very end. I had about two weeks of sciatic pain and of course the enormity...oof. It's difficult to bring myself back to that place. Even though it was only 6 months ago, it feels like a different life time. I know a lot of people say that they can't remember their life before they had children. I don't believe this is true. I don't mean that in a selfish way. I love my child and my life now but it is just different.

As my due date approached, the reality hit me that this person was mine to take care of forever. That is a huge statement. All of a sudden, nothing was good enough. (Of course it wasn't.) Our apartment was crap, we didn't have enough money, we should be more prepared!!! What were we thinking??!! Ah!

I spent a lot of time going inside myself and searching for the strength to embark on this journey. My whole pregnancy, I was so focussed on growing the baby, keeping him safe in my belly, and taking care of myself that I forgot that he was eventually come out. Crazy, huh?

After my water broke (three days before I went into labor) I felt frozen. I mean, I was excited to meet him but terrified of not only this crazy, nondedicated, home birth that I agreed to (What?!! Can we still talk about that epidural???) but also to the beginning of this new role, responsibility, and chapter in our lives. Was I ready? It didn't matter. This baby chose us and he was ready to meet us. Ready to meet the world and begin his own journey, write his own birth story.

These thoughts feel so scattered now, but as I sit here writing this all out I'm in awe of how much my life has changed in such a short time. When I wrote that life is different, I mean, how could it not be? You're thrust into this new version of your old life with a couple hours (maybe a day's) notice. One second you're contemplating another cookie and within several hours you have this impossibly tiny (so tiny!) person with a beating heart and breathing lungs and all they need is you. And to be honest, having a partner is essential in the way of support but in the beginning, all that little person needs is you. In an alarmingly, overwhelming way.

But all at once, that little person is 6 months old and you are left to wonder how this bubbly, funny, little baby came to be. Where is the newborn who was hungry every 45 minutes? The tiny (did I mention tiny?) little koala who slept on our chests more than half the time...the little sack of potatoes, as I so sweetly referred to our sleepy son. He is a different baby. He laughs every minute and has a giant gummy smile that will melt your heart. On the worst days he can bring my heart to light and on the amazing days it feels like they should never end.

6 months ago today I was about to embark on a journey that I was completely unprepared for. I would go to sleep wondering how much more time I had to endure the oncoming contractions and how bad the pain would be (ha!). I was about to find out that even though the easy part was over, the best was yet to come.

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