Well, this morning marks another mini-milestone that I’m probably one of the only people to count. Russ is three months old today, and I’m back in that labor & delivery suite in my mind. It’s funny, we have several videos of me in the hospital before and after the birth, but when I watch the videos from before – especially quite shortly before, when my epidural was really cranking – I don’t really remember where my mind was. My memories are all really just fuzzy snapshots and videos taken from behind my eyes – flashes of the doctor telling me I was fully dilated and ready to push, snippets of my mom laughing at me because I was chatting and joking in between contractions (like I said in my birth story, epidurals are amaaaaaaazing, dahling), a clip of my husband losing it when our son was held up and laid on my chest. Birth is seriously the most amazing thing I’ve ever been through. I still find it weird to think that this little person came from me – even though he’s lying right beside me here, sleeping peacefully.
I remember the morning after I found out I was pregnant, back in January. I woke up at maybe 4:30 am and just couldn’t sleep anymore. My mind was just churning with thoughts, so I came downstairs, sat down in front of the Christmas tree, and just pondered what the coming year would be like. This morning was somewhat similar – except this time, I got up at 4:45 am to feed Russ, got too “woken up,” and put him back down for a couple hours while I came downstairs. I brewed some coffee, watched the news, and did some work on a craft project I’m doing with Russ’s hand and foot prints. Oh, how my life has changed! But some things never change, and I imagine I will always take Russ’s milestones and birthdays with a certain thoughtfulness that is characteristic of me in so many avenues of my life. People have always told me that I “think too much,” a criticism that I’ve never fully understood or appreciated. If you’re someone who “thinks too much,” you know – there’s absolutely nothing you can do to change that. It’s a thing with my wiring, I guess. I wish I could be one of those people who floats casually through life, but for all my sarcasm, I really do take a great many things in life with seriousness and reverence.
I suppose it won’t always stay this way, but right now, the memories of what that day (or rather, the night before and that day) was like, the emotions, the little funny things that happened during labor, the pain/discomfort I felt (until the epidural), etc. are still pretty vivid to me. It’s totally true that, no matter what you go through, you always look at your child and say “He/She was 100% worth every single thing that happened.” And you say that whether you have a great experience like I did, or a really crappy one – I know, because I’ve yet to meet a woman who said that her children weren’t in every single way worth every bit of torture/pain/tribulation/medical bills. And in that vein, it seems the thing that has become fuzziest in the least time was the pain. I wouldn’t remember it at all, if not for that unfortunate IUD-insertion experience a few weeks ago (or the attempt to insert the IUD, anyway…hmph…).
I was telling someone about it earlier – a friend who is going into the hospital tomorrow to be induced for the birth of her first child, a baby girl. Labor will fade, rather quickly, so it doesn’t pay to be fearful. The baby has to come out some way, anyhow (MUAHAHAHAHA!!). Not helping matters is the fact that most people are all too happy stories with pregnant women – usually the horror story of their cousin’s-brother’s-sister’s-niece, whose vagina split eighteen different ways during the birth of her 45 pound youngin’, had 732 stitches, and who will never again be able to pee, poop, or have sex without a gallon of Jack Daniels and a pound of Loratab on hand. Honestly, it’s not that dang bad. It can be bad, for sure, but I’ve yet to locate the woman whom is the real-life subject of all these fables of maternal misery.
Labor just doesn’t matter that much, it doesn’t stick with you, as someone pointed out to the friend going into the hospital tomorrow. But birth, I added, does stick with you. Ohhhhh, does it. That moment when that baby is placed in your hands, whenever that moment happens, is so divine, so heavenly. I look at Russ sometimes and I marvel at how perfect he is in every sense of the word. He’s never had a wrinkle or an age spot. His knees have never been skinned. His eyelashes are so thick and gorgeous that it looks like I overdosed on Latisse while I was pregnant. And he’s never done anything wrong in his entire life – I know I’ve mentioned it before, but from the standpoint of a Christian and someone who is inherently, deeply, irreparably flawed…that one always stops me in my tracks. He has never, ever done anything wrong. He’s never been hurt. He’s never been used or lied to or taken advantage of. That’s a beautiful time in his life. I’m enjoying that about him so much – just as I will enjoy him when he’s older and has scars from falls off his bike, or when he punches his little brother in a fight that I have to break up, or when his high school girlfriend cheats on him, or when he’s no longer a virgin and we all know it and it just gets…aaaaawkward. Yeah. I’ll still love him then. I’ll still be amazed that he’s mine. I’ll still be his mommy, and he’ll still be my baby boy.
But like I remind myself all the time, we’re only three months in. And I’ve loved every second of it. 🙂