For those who know me, the dream of becoming a mom has been something I’d expressed constantly in the past. It was a dream that took a while to arrive, especially after having experienced two miscarriages last year. When I was told I was pregnant again, I was really cautious in expression my excitement, even though I was already in treatment to prevent a third miscarriage.
Once we made it past the seventh week check-up (which was usually around the time I miscarried the last two times), and we were able to listen to our little one’s heartbeat, the rest of the pregnancy flowed without any complications. I mean, I did go through the normal discomfort every pregnant woman goes through but overall, everything was manageable and I felt proud I hadn’t become one of those whiny women who complain every chance the get.
Then, after almost nine months of planning, getting ready, our lithe baby boy decided that waiting past week 36 was just not for him, so on September 18, at 11:30pm, Matias was born. And since second one of he being born, I knew things would never be the same, and that coping with all of the coming changes would be the hardest thing for me and for my husband. Needless to say, the fact that our baby had to stay in the hospital for two more weeks didn’t help this emotional roller coaster that I had somehow gotten on the moment I gave birth to Matias.
And just two weeks ago, Matias was finally able to come home. I would not have to feel miserable knowing our little one was staying behind in the NICU, and he would finally be home where he belonged. Of course, I had heard all the warnings (I call them that because that’s what they felt like when other parents would say: sleep all you can, go out all you can, enjoy life as you know it) and I knew my life would change forever, yet I seem to be having a somehow hard time coping with all the changes in my life, and to the fact that I have no idea how to take care of a baby, despite all the parenting books I tried to squeeze into my relatively scarce free time from work. Though the information in these books seemed pretty logical, simple, and easy to follow, I still have yet to find a book that says “what to expect when Matias comes home.”
It may sound crazy but it’s like he and I are still at the early stages of starting a lifelong relationship. And if you add that under normal people meeting circumstances, I tend to keep my space before fully trusting and building a new relationship, well, this whole new stage in my life has felt pretty daunting at times.
And there are all these feelings of guilt for not being like those movie moms that seem to have everything figured out, that I am this ungrateful person that can’t just enjoy that she finally got what she wanted, to start a family, and that I am not embracing every waking second of this new mommy phase.
Experts might call it postpartum depression, I call it being me. When something new comes my way, I tend to struggle with it for a while, no matter how much I sought and fought for it. That’s just how I am. So, it may sound weird but I feel like I am still trying to figure my son out and he is doing the same with me. Maybe someone else might find it extremely weird, but I find it normal, yet it does make it a bit stressful because I also have to learn how to be a mom. And no, even though we are naturally wired for having babies, I have found out that it’s not the same as knowing how to be a mom.
Yet, even though I have talked with my husband about all of this and he tried to be understanding, being the weird person you have read so far, I tend to find solace in writing down my feelings. Maybe I won’t get any feedback but it’s like I can pour all of my anxiety, excitement, confusion out rather than let it build up inside me.
So I wanted to start these series of posts on my take of what being a mom is, expressing how I feel right now. However, I also feel other things that let me know I will get the hang of this and learn to enjoy even those clueless moments which never end when being a parent: I am in awe of my son. That I, as flawed and weird as I am, I was able to create such a perfect being reassures me that I will be able to give my son everything he needs, even when I have no idea what that could be.
So here’s to the start of a new life journey. As when something new comes along, there will always be confusion, anxiety but as I’ve experienced with other life changing decisions, it will all be worth it.