Here we are at seven months pregnant, we felt amazed at the life growing inside me and in awe of God’s beautiful creation. We were excited for this new chapter to say the least and the idealistic future we had dreamt of. I had dreamed of starting a family for years now, and finally, it was the right time for both of us.
The beautiful pregnancy was just the beginning, and all I had hoped for. Healthy baby, no morning sickness, healthy momma followed by a natural birth. Life as a momma had just begun and we were off to a great start! What I never imagined happened next.
Pure exhaustion, pain, heartache, and many tears. And no, this doesn’t go away in a week. It can last for months. I sometimes wonder if I’m still dealing with these feelings, more than the whatever’s “normal” amount. Maybe it’s the gray skies up here in the PNW where depression is never left out of the equation. I’m not just saying that I had postpartum depression, a topic I fully plan on writing about. It was deeper than that, it was disappointment of what I thought life would be like and the reality, though still beautiful in its own right, but was much different from what we expected.
Have you ever sat on the couch watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S (or whatever your favorite show might be) and your hand is on your belly, imagining your unborn child, what will his personality will be like? Who will he take after the most? And inevitably, in my case, my mind turned to the, “I’m sure he’ll be an intelligent engineer just like his father”. Or “She’ll enjoy playing dress up just like I did out of my mom’s closet”. And while these day dreams are normal and sometimes encouraged, they do not always come to fruition.
Yes, of course I love my little girl more than I love myself. I love watching her grow into a little person, making her own choices, her likes and dislikes and seeing her become who she will ultimately be. But our girl is nothing like what I had dreamt up, maybe for the better. She enjoys constantly moving, the more action in life the better. Now this makes her a great travel baby but everyday life can be exhausting. She’s not the girly girl I had hoped for. Though she can’t control the adorable, frilly outfits I put her in (oh the headbands!), she still has a leaning toward trucks verses dolls. And the sweet, calm, giggly personality… well sure it’s there at times but only to be followed by a strong-willed determination when she wants something her way, and now!
She is 13 months, the tantrums have started and I’m sitting here thinking “this is not what I bargained for”. Yes I know I should enjoy the cries along with the laughs for these days are precious and short. But this doesn’t mean that my feelings are not in real-time valid and true. Realistic.
So what now? Enough ranting on how life was and how it is now. I plan on writing about how to deal with the changes starting a family causes. The beautiful mess we call ours. We love the choice of having our baby girl and would make the same decision today to do it all over again. But I’d be going into it understanding the work involved and not with my head in the clouds. Stay tuned for articles on Postpartum Depression, Continuing to Travel after Baby, and Your Identity after becoming a Mom.