Me…but different, because of him.
November 1, 2012
I’ve had a post brewing for a while but haven’t had the time to actually think about what I feel I need to say and how I want to say it. That doesn’t make sense, I know, but nothing much does when you’re sleep deprived and knee deep in plastic toys and furry friends.
I want to honestly talk about becoming a mum and how it has changed my life in such extraordinary ways that sometimes I can’t actually believe I am that lucky. That’s not saying that it is easy, but for every tough moment there are a million moments of joy and happiness.
I started really connecting with ‘it/him/the nutritional parasite’ after my 20 week scan in February 2011 and started imagining what life would be like with a baby in it. No amount of imagining can prepare you for it, that’s for sure. I was quite relaxed during my pregnancy (once the initial shock, and dismay I couldn’t attend Electric Picnic for a few years, had worn off…after about 5 months) and was open minded about the birth. I had a relatively easy birth – aided by water, gas and air and a very carefully selected playlist which included Primal Scream, The National, The Black Keys and The Low Anthem (whose song Charlie Darwin ended up being the first song R ever heard in his life). No relaxing whale sounds for me.
R was 17 days early and I think I was in shock/denial from the minute I went into the hospital until we actually took him home less than 24 hours later. I was swaying between being completely empowered by giving birth naturally, as I had expected to ask for all the drugs in the world, and feeling the most vulnerable that I have ever felt in my life. This tiny human being was relying on me and his father for everything. Everything. Oh, the responsibility.
But we muddled through (with the help of our incredible family and friends) and all of a sudden a few weeks had passed and we realised that we could do this. Everything was going to be alright. Shortly after this I realised that I was enjoying it. All of it. Apart from the severe anxiety that something would happen to him and aforementioned sleep deprivation. I spent my maternity leave doing baby yoga, fitness with the pram in the park and Baby Sensory classes where I met lots of other lovely mums who I am still in touch with even though we are all long back at work.
You really do feel like you are in a special club when you have a small baby. The knowing looks and smiles between mothers passing in the street with prams, the fact that every little old lady stops to coo over the cute wee face peering out of the blankets and the general drift towards friends who already have kids because finally, finally you understand. The true meaning of life and love indeed.
My son is now almost 17 months old and these past 17 months have been the best in my life. I’ve turned into a more patient person and am less concerned with other people – I’m a better person all round, and it’s all because of wanting to live a good life for my boy. Yes, there have been stressful times such as when R required 2 operations to correct a hernia and there have been issues with work but it’s all worth it. Mr G-S is an incredible father, despite having never held a newborn until his own, and we are happy in ways we could never even imagine before having R.
I do my best everyday to be a good mum and to give him everything he needs to help him grow and develop into the awesome person he is becoming. I’m thrilled that he loves dancing, music and reading so much, and is such a happy giggly wee dude. I miss him dreadfully when I am away from him but cherish the excitement and fun we have when I come home and he is excited to see me. The bond we have is immense. Our little family unit is solid as a rock and I enjoy every minute of this happy life we have created for ourselves. Everything in the future is exciting – every Christmas, every holiday, every day trip out and the rest. Would I be as fulfilled with a life without a child in it? No, is the answer. But I didn’t know I needed him until he came along. And I count my blessings everyday that he did.