I remember thinking I could handle anything – even a baby… until labor. I had to be induced, since I was 3 weeks passed my due date and the baby was already over 8 pounds! I headed to the hospital, stopping for some McDonalds french-fries and a hot fudge sundae (because they go together), I checked in and was prepped for giving birth… I remember being so embarrassed in that little hospital gown, and having the nurses just poke and prod where they needed to. I was scared out of my mind. I ended up going through induction all day, to only have an emergency c-section by dinnertime. I was lucky to be my doctor’s very first horizontal incision… 15 staples across my abdomen… whoo hoo! Back then you did not go home after 24 or 48 hours. I was in for over a week. I also shared a room with 5 other new moms. Visiting hours were the law, and no one could spend the night with you – not even the baby.
My biggest concerns back then were not about how to raise my beautiful baby boy, but more about how much pain I was in, and how long was it going to last… I worried about the scar it would leave, and if the daddy would still love me. I had no thoughts about the future of this little boy, just thoughts of love… I loved him more than I could have even imagined. I just knew that Love was all I needed to be the best mama ever, and with my heart just bursting with it – I knew everything would be ok. That was over 28 years ago, and I remember it like yesterday…
Well, I wish I could say that just loving your child was that simple. I soon learned that love was more than a feeling. It was sacrifice. It was putting your own desires aside for the sake of another. It was about protecting and even discipline. Oh how I hated putting him in time-out!
As he grew, I grew. We experienced a lot back then. Some things I would like to forget altogether, but I know that the sum of my life now, is the addition of all the experiences I’ve had, both good, and bad, and I am kind of OK with how that turned out…
I am still considered pretty “young” most of the time. Especially in groups of women who have adult children. I know I still have much to learn… but I can tell you what the hardest part of parenting as been so far… It’s letting go. It’s having all of those mommy moments and then letting your kids go and just be who they will be.
I love being a mom, even when my heartbreaks, or I am frustrated beyond words. Nothing I have ever experienced has brought me closer to God, or more dependent on Him than parenting.
Oh, to parent an infant or a toddler once again…. Sigh.
Don’t rush it folks… it will be gone sooner than you think. Really.