10:06am. March 9th 2012. My life changed forever.
It was not a moment of intense joy. It wasn’t one of excitement. There were so many emotions coursing through my body, but I would say that the most prevailing were ones of nervousness. A nurse folded my freshly squeezed (haha) baby into a blanket and plopped him into my arms. I remember staring at him, and wondering if I was supposed to feel an overwhelming love for him. I was intrigued by his little nose and lips. The nurse handed me the tiniest bottle you ever did see, and I was afraid to even put it into his mouth. Was I supposed to be afraid of this itty bitty life in my arms? All I had to do was to make him not die, right?
People are not bullshitting you when they tell you will be more exhausted than you have ever been in your entire life. They are not joking when they say you will feel more emotions than you ever knew you had. They weren’t lying when they promised you would be grateful for help from family and friends, even if all that meant was rocking the babe to sleep while you washed sweat and tears out of your hair and brushed your teeth.
I remember mixing formula with warm water from the upstairs bathroom sink at 3am because I was too tired to even put glasses on my face to go downstairs to warm up water. I remember waking up crying in the middle of the night because I was sure he was not comfortable or warm enough in his little cocoon. I remember being afraid to be left alone with him when Jer went back to work after 10 days that felt like it had only been 10 minutes. They certainly weren’t kidding when they said your whole life would change.
And then it gets easier, just like they all promised.
I remember the first time he slept for 6 hours straight. I felt like I could literally take on the world. I remember how much he enjoyed spending time outside with me when it warmed up, and how taking him for walks in his stroller calmed me. I remember when he was finally able to support his own head- what a relief!! I remember looking back one day and wondering when the hell I became a natural at all this.
I know that 3 years is not a very long time. But I absolutely cannot imagine my life without Mason in it. I don’t even remember what I did with all that free time I had… drink, travel, sleep all day, party all night, spend money mindlessly, do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, you know. I had the world in the palm of my hands, but I would not wish it all back if I could not have Mason. I wouldn’t change a thing. Not when he is peeing on the floor, or splashing through mud, or coloring on the wall, or pulling Lola’s tail, or throwing the monster of all temper tantrums. And not when he plays with my hair, or asks to make puzzles, or play with play-doh, or brushes my cheek with his hand, or snuggles up for nightly storytime, or sings “You are my Sunshine”.
So even though “that moment” was not one of a profound joy, even though I was scared and nervous and unsure of what I was actually doing, it was the best moment of my life, because it was the beginning of one of my most important roles in this lifetime: the role of Mommy.
I love you Mason Thomas. How very blessed I am to be your Mommy.