It's something I wasn't prepared for. My eyes opened. It was a short birth, but it was only the beginning. That night I came to realize that this thing that I had been waiting for my entire life was something that I could never be prepared for. There's no way I could begin to know what to expect. I knew from the million and one people who had told me that it was worth it. In my mind I would roll my eyes because, well...I knew it was worth it. I also knew it would change my life. Those two things were told to me over and over again, but that night I realized those statements were so small compared to what they actually meant. That night, while staring at this miracle, stumbling my way into becoming a mom, and listening to the man I love tell our son our story, I was overwhelmed. I'll admit that it was a sickening feeling. I was literally sick to my stomach and felt like my heart would pop out of my chest. Part of me wondered what we had done. I didn't know how overwhelming the love and the sense of responsibility would be. It makes me think about people who choose to shy away from love out of fear of what they could lose. I get it now. The love I have for Steff is so great that it consumes me. It overwhelms me. It humbles me. That night, and the weeks to come, it, quite frankly, scared the hell out of me. I just kept asking my best friend, Andrea, why she didn't warn me about this and she just said that there was no way to do that. There's simply no way to explain it. It was probably the most surprising feeling. I knew I would love him, but I didn't know what that intense love would feel like. In the beginning, I often wondered if we could do this. Could we fill those roles that God had given us. I also thought to myself that anyone who did this more than once was a little insane and those who do this alone were super heros in disguise.
It's amazing how God designed us. Overtime he softens the memories of the hard parts and brings to light all the beauty that you seem to miss at the time. I'm convinced this is to ensure that the human race keeps on going. During those first few weeks, I would sometimes find myself crying just because I was scared we were focusing on the hard parts and not appreciating the beautiful parts. I thought we would surely regret that. I didn't know how we were "suppose" to be, but I just knew that wasn't it. I was too hard on us. If I could, I would go back and tell myself that it's okay that you're having a hard time. It's normal. You won't feel like a zombie forever. Yes...again...it IS normal. Let yourself feel this way. You're doing the right things and you are a wonderful mom. There's no wrong way and yes you will eventually learn how to listen to your motherly instincts...you do have them. You can do this.
So, 9 months later, we have managed to not only keep him alive and well, but are raising a pretty awesome kid...not that we are biased or anything. He is the perfect combination of sweet and wild. My heart bursts each and every time he takes his tiny hands and places them on my cheeks (or in my hair...whichever is most convenient) and pulls me in for a slobbery, messy, kiss. I know, in that moment, that he loves me. Or when he sees me walk into a room and his face lights up. He crawls to me as fast as he can. I pick him up and he gives me another one of those slobbery kisses. Or when he cries in the night and I go to get him and he places his head on my shoulder, his thumb in his mouth, and plays with my hair with the other hand. I know he needs me. He wants me there. I am thankful for him. I am thankful that God answered our prayers. All those years we struggled to bring him into our lives, I couldn't imagine being without him. That was even before we knew him. I am not only thankful for him, but I am thankful for those struggles. I thought all those struggles would just disappear out of sight once we had him. They haven't. They are a part of us. A part of him. A part of our family. A part of our story. I don't want to forget them. Instead I will embrace them. They will forever be etched into my soul, as his love is. Daily I think to myself and often say it out loud that I just can't believe we're parents. I can't believe I am finally a momma. I feel so blessed to celebrate this Mothers day in a way I never have before.
I want to say a big happy Mother's day to all you mommas...those who have already been blessed with their babies, those who see a baby in their future, and those who are currently fighting the battle to becoming a momma. I see each of you in a way I never did before. I hold your ups, downs, giggles, sloppy kisses, happy tears, sad tears, struggles, and battle scars close to my heart. I know you. I feel you. I celebrate you. I thank you. I love you.