Photos taken during Rowen's second week at home.
It's been over 7 weeks since my little Rowen was born. Where has time gone? It's been such an exciting, emotional and exhausting couple of months. I'm still not back to regularly scheduled programming yet, but I wanted to check in with a few thoughts and memories while they're still fresh. This whole parenting thing has been a ride! Some of it has been fairly close to what I imagined, but there have certainly be some interesting surprises for me as well. I thought I'd share a few of the things that I wasn't expecting about this fourth trimester we're in.
6 things that have surprised me about being a mother
1. We're all animals
Nothing has made me feel as simply mammalian as childbirth and motherhood have. There have been times where I'm literally crouched over her on "all fours" sniffing her out for some reason or another. I've licked milk off her face. I've spent hours primping and picking her over like a chimp. I have animal ears now that can hear even the tiniest of baby whimpers. And that's not even to mention the animalistic urges that take over during childbirth. I am mother hear me roar!
2. Labor isn't that bad
Okay, call me crazy...but I swear it wasn't that bad! If you ask Jim he'll tell you differently, having seen my pain from the outside view (he specifically said that watching me at my worst point of labor was like watching a sick dog being kicked while they're down...yikes!). And I know that in the moment it was the worst pain I've ever felt in my life. But just hours after childbirth I was thinking, "I'd totally do that again someday". Everything about it just felt so important, womanly, meant to be, special. The magic and excitement of it all made the pain seem unimportant, and therefore, not that bad.
3. Love grows and grows
I was always curious about how it would feel - that moment when I finally held and looked at my first child. And yes, it was a wonderful gush of emotion that I've never felt before. But what I've been surprised at is how much more I love her every day! As I get to know her, and our bond deepens and her personality comes out, I find myself more and more in love - and it feels so good.
4. Where the time goes nobody knows
Okay this one was a legit shocker to me. I knew I'd be busy and probably overwhelmed, I knew I'd be exhausted, nursing a lot and changing a lot of diapers. But where the hell does the day go by? For the first 6 weeks or so time was so fuzzy, and a whole day could easily go by without me having a moment to even put on deodorant, let alone text someone back or do the one task I'd set for myself that day. I had heard rumblings of this but of course I didn't really understand it until I was in it. I'll always remember a day around week 3 when Jim asked if I had watered the plants, and I was like...haha NO. I'll tell YOU when I'm ready to do tasks again! And he asked kindly and curiously, "well what did you do all day?" and I couldn't even answer. (I can tell you now it was a blur of nursing, nursing and more nursing). To think I took books out of the library thinking I'd have time (while she naps, surely!) to read - hah!
5. People are incredibly generous
Oh my, this is a big one. Our friends, family and local community have taken such amazing care of us! I knew we had nice people around us but we were awed by the outpouring of love and support that was shown. So many wonderful gifts for Rowen, offers for help at every turn, and the meal train oh my goodness - best thing ever. We had kind friends dropping by with homemade treats and even helping with our laundry. So many wonderful mama friends made themselves available with supportive words and answers to my millions of questions. Who knows where we could have been without our loving community - thanks, friends!!
6. Motherhood doesn't feel that weird
The best surprise of all has been that it feels so right to have Rowen here with us. I really thought I might miss my life before too much, or feel anxious about this new role I've been thrown into - but instead it feels completely natural. Like she was meant to be here all along.