Eleven weeks ago I gave birth to my little baby girl. Rowyn was born after 17 hours of labor and was planted on my chest red, screaming and so incredibly perfect. My doula called me a warrior. I couldn’t see straight and my body felt completely beat up but yeah, I was a warrior. Holy shit, birth is an amazing thing. It’s so hard, so intense, so messy, but it is just so. Damn. Amazing. My family visited within a few hours after her birth and my brother’s observation was impeccable. He texted after leaving the hospital saying it looked like I had been through some epic shit. Yeah, that was about right.
Since that epic journey from pregnancy to motherhood the little one and I have spent day in and day out getting to know each other. It’s strange to look at her little face and think that just three months ago I had no idea who she was or what she was going to look like. Now I gaze into her slate grey eyes and get the feeling that I’ve known her all my life.
Motherhood, at least the few short months I’ve been a mom, is simultaneously everything and nothing like I expected. My labor and delivery was just about the same. To wrap either up into a few words or a perfectly phrased paragraph isn’t possible because it’s the sum of every small moment that makes becoming a parent so incredible.
As I sit in the dark next to my sleeping babe, I can only begin to comprehend the moments and memories we a have ahead of us. We’ll have successes and failures, tears and laughter, scrapes, bruises, and broken hearts. There will be yelling and singing and big messes and great adventures. I am grateful for my life before Rowyn and even more thankful for what is yet to come as she grows.
For now, I have the memory of her smell, both tart and sweet. I have the loud coo she makes after a string of sneezes. Her open-mouth smiles first thing in the morning and the way she stretches when I unwrap the swaddle. I’ll remember forever how she loves being naked; pumping her legs up and down the second the diaper comes off. And I’ll remember the moment she first recognized my face; the wide-eyed stare and grin of knowing who I was.
So there it is. A sappy and love-struck ode to the joys of parenthood from a newbie. All the feels I can muster before turning into a giant pile of mush.