The first time I got pregnant I didn’t mind throwing up everyday. I didn’t mind gaining 50 lbs. and looking like a beached whale. I didn’t mind any of the weird things that the body goes through to grow a baby, but I did mind one thing. And it took me years to admit it. I saw plenty of births in childbirth class, yet I don’t remember or forgot that many times they don’t clean the baby before giving him/her to the mommy. After I birthed my first baby, they promptly put her on my stomach and I literally didn’t know what to do. I was crying because I had just experienced the greatest joy of my life, yet I was perplexed. Was I supposed to pick up the slightly stinky, bloody baby, or just touch her? Worse yet, I didn’t know if there was something wrong with me for really just wanting to hold her once she was swaddled and cleaned? That was my first experience with the conflicting emotions that motherhood brings.
While I was pregnant, I fully committed to breastfeeding. I knew that it would be easy, economical and the best thing for my baby. A few days after the birth, my milk came in. I was a little shocked. By everything, even though I thought I knew all about it. I DID not know that it (human breast milk) didn’t come out in a single stream. How was it that no one had ever told me this? I had commited to breastfeeding, yet for me it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. It was stressful for me, and I didn’t feel like it provided an opportunity for extra bonding. I wasn’t expecting this.
The latest revelation that has shocked me is that even though I love to read, I don’t love reading with my children who are learning to read. This is supposed to be a magical time, but I find myself going crazy waiting for each word to be deciphered. I think it must make me a bad mom in a way, but perhaps it just shows how much I love my children in order to do these things that I don’t love.
In fact, that must be it. The thing about being a mommy is love. In all it’s unexpected forms. Has it changed me? Infinitely. It’s perplexed me, it’s humbled me, it’s allowed me adventures I never dreamed of. It’s made me far less self centered AND. It’s filled me with joy.