There are many things in life that I thought I had planned out. For a while, I wanted to be a pediatrician because I loved kids. However, I quickly learned I was more interested in business. I watched my older brother and his (then) wife struggle to conceive a baby – lots of miscarriages, etc. Then it happened – my niece was born when I was in high school. I’ll never forget that first moment I laid my eyes on her and held her in my arms. She was pure perfection. Luckily, I’ve been able to watch her grow – more so when she was a baby. I remember driving around the block at night in the loud truck so that she would go to sleep (she was a cranky baby). I remember laying with her for what seemed like hours and rubbing circles on her tiny back to help her take a nap. I remember her sweet smile on her beautiful face as she ran to me when I picked her up from daycare. I guess you can say she prepared me for my own children. But she also didn’t….
Let’s just say that my husband and I didn’t have trouble getting pregnant. I was just 19, a sophomore in college – with lots of goals. I actually had thought I would move away and get some big time accounting job – after my master’s of course. Wrong-o! I knew exactly when I got pregnant and I was scared but there was not one single part of me that wasn’t happy. Sure we were young.. and unmarried.. and in college.. and without insurance.. and without a strong, steady income. But you know what we did have? Love and support (for the most part). Our families were surprised and scared too but most of them stuck by us. At a little over 20 weeks, I had some problems in the middle of the night. Being incredibly ignorant about real-life pregnancy, I blew it off until the next morning. I called my doctor when I got to my on-campus job and the nurse immediately said, “Go to the hospital now. You are in labor.” After a good couple minutes of shock, I burst into tears. I may have been naïve about some things but I knew at 20 weeks that labor was pretty bad. My boss drove me to the hospital where the nurses were waiting on me with a gown and began stripping me down as I walked in the door. Unfortunately, I was forced to leave my modesty at the door also. I had never been so scared in my life. Long story short- they were able to stop my labor. That plus strict bed rest allowed me to carry my sweet boy until 37 weeks where he was born via C-section at a whopping 8 lbs 1 oz.
For those of you that don’t know, daycare for a newborn can be expensive and hard to find. I kept up with my school work and only needed daycare for a couple hours a day. I remember those first few months of just washing clothes due to blowouts, cleaning up spit-up, washing more clothes, getting peed on, etc. I remember sitting on the floor crying in the middle of the night because he was inconsolable and I was so tired. Don’t think my poor husband wasn’t tired – our house was TINY so he heard everything I’m sure. I also remember the first time he took his own diaper off. He was supposed to be napping and I was getting ready for my class. I had to wake him up so we could leave. I walked into his room and he was completely naked and there was poop everywhere. Not kidding. He had thrown his diaper and some remnants in the middle of the floor. He was in his crib covered in poop. He had smeared it on his crib, on the wall, on himself, in his hair, his ears…. everywhere. I honestly just walked in, saw it, walked out and called my mom. I really wanted her to come over and take care of it for me because she could handle those things better than me. Do you know what she said, “HAHAHAHA. Welcome to motherhood.” Then she hung up. Yeah… that was it. I literally covered myself in rubber gloves, trash bags, whatever I could find. I looked like a hazmat worker going in there. There were lots of tears shed that day – by me – and I reluctantly skipped class. Uggg…. the memory still makes me shudder.
When my son was little, I thought he was a hellion. For a while, I was pretty sure he’d be the last kid at our house. However, my husband and I graduated, got good jobs, insurance, the works. We realized it was time for that second one. If you know my story, you’ll know that I had started to get sick right after I graduated with my MBA. When we decided to have another baby, I didn’t know the extent of my health issues – but I wouldn’t change it if I did. My pregnancy with little miss was a little easier – I knew what to expect. Neither pregnancy was exactly “easy” but I was a little older and a little smarter about it. I still went into labor a little early with her but I knew in plenty of time to get it under control. She was born at 39 weeks weighing 7lbs 2oz. I actually had a C-section scheduled with her but I went into labor literally 4 hours before I had to be at the hospital. I should have known at that moment that my girl had a mind of her own.
My son was not a hellion. In hindsight, he was a sweet little angel child. My daughter is the hellion. That girl is such a diva and is so independent. She has always wanted to be the center of attention and will do whatever she needs to do to make sure she is. She doesn’t want help, but she wants you to know that she doesn’t want it and you better recognize it. She loves camo, dirt, fishing with dad while at the same time wearing “purdy dwesses”, bows, necklaces and nail polish. She prefers a “dad pony” over a beautiful braid from me. She has to be held by me when she gets her – I have to kiss it and console her. She loves babies – and is even convinced that she has one in her belly. Don’t worry – its not a human, it’s a bunny. She is also convinced that lip gloss goes on your eyebrows. She is and will likely be banned from markers, paints and lip gloss (obviously) until she’s 12. She loves selfies. She is only two and has perfected the pouty lip, duck face and eye roll. I’m pretty sure I didn’t teach her any of those things. To clarify – I don’t think her father taught her the duck face either.
While both of my children have taught me that patience is something that is hard to find, sleep is a luxury and that all bathroom doors need locks; they have also taught me the most incredible love I could have never imagined. I once read a quote somewhere and it was something like this, “When you become a mother, your heart forever lives outside your body.” It is so true. They are my two best accomplishments, my two best friends and the reasons I get up everyday. They help me grow each day and help bring my husband and I closer each day.
There are a few things that I hoped they’d never deal with, especially this early. I never wanted them to hear “mommy’s sick” or “sorry, we can’t do that. I have to go to the doctor”. I never thought I’d hear the words, “Mom, does this have gluten in it?” while grocery shopping with them. However, those little sweethearts also know exactly when I need comforting. Just yesterday, little miss asked if she could sit on my lap because “that’d make you feel better, Mom.” My boy will help me bake and say “Mom, let’s make something you can eat this time.” I know that God has a plan for us all and that He put those two wonderful blessings in our lives at exactly the right time. And even though it’s Mother’s Day, I wouldn’t be one without my wonderful husband who is always by my side.
My favorite thing in the whole world is being a mom. I hope my babies always know how much I love them and that I would do ANYTHING for them. I also hope that MY mom knows how much I love her and how grateful I am for her showing me love, patience and perseverance. It takes a special person to be able to raise these four kids but she did a great job and we love her for it.
I hope everyone has a great Mother’s Day… whether you are a mother or not!