Maybe you're pregnant with your first child.
children. You might be a weary mom who
has fallen pregnant unexpectedly. You may
be a burnt out mom of many children. Well,
here's some news for all of you. You're doing
something right! Being a mom is hard. It's
incredible, yes. It's amazing and miraculous and can make you feel wonderful things that you never thought possible. You will love another person SO much more than you ever thought you could. Motherhood is also brutal. It will break your heart a million times over with the reality of it all. It is hard. It is exhausting. You will find yourself pulled and challenged and dragged in all ways you never thought possible either. Most people don't talk about any of the negatives(aside from lack of sleep or maybe the lack of intimacy after baby arrives), because they fear that admitting certain things may make them a 'bad' mom. Nope. It makes you human, which works out, since you gave birth to humans and so they need a decent human mom. Sometimes, being a good mom will force you to give up certain things you never thought about, like the idea of what you thought your relationship with your children would look like. When I was 22, I fell pregnant with Little Valkyrie. I had NO idea what the heck to think or expect or feel. I figured that life would pretty much continue as usual, with a kid in tow. Throughout the pregnancy, I heard about maternal instinct and how much women bonded with their unborn babies. I never felt that way. There was no wonderful kicking when I would poke my tummy. She would stop moving every time I touched my bump. I worried that something was wrong, but also worried that having a baby was a HUGE mistake. Little Valkyrie would happily kick and roll anytime Cranky Pirate touched my bump. Once she was born, She would scream when I tried to hold her or nurse her. If her dad was in the house, she would scream until he held her, then she would happily eat and sleep for amazingly long stretches. I thought that at some point, things would kick in and I would feel this overwhelming adoration and love for her. However, she constantly made it clear that, even though I was her mother, that I carried and gave birth to her, that something in our personalities, made that gushy, overwhelming type of love something that was never going to be. I do love Little Valkyrie. Very much. However, she shut herself off to me, preferring her father, grandmothers and aunt for comfort and bonding. When I was pregnant with Little Viking, I was worried about the same thing happening. Fast forward through a stressful pregnancy, and I thought it was happening all over again. Then I eventually realized that it wasn't me. He simply didn't like to be rocked or cuddled. Of course, now I know that he's autistic, so it explains so much of the odd things that happened when he was a baby. Add in to that the fact that he spend much of his first 6 months quite 6. I shortly absolutely fell head over smooshy heels in love with my baby boy. All of the maternal things I'd heard about were finally starting to kick in, even with my postpartum depression. By the time he was 3 months old, I'd returned to work, and everything settled into a routine. Little Valkyrie preferred to spend all her free time with grandparents and while things were hectic, it worked. The house was no longer perfectly clean and plans got disrupted all the time. It wasn't perfect but it was wonderful. Then, when Little Viking was 2 1/2, I fell pregnant with Little Birdie. I freaked out. I remember standing by Little Viking's crib one night early in my pregnancy thinking "what the hell have I done?! I can't have another baby! I just can't do this"! I really felt that way. I wasn't happy to be pregnant. I was distraught. At that point I didn't know Little Viking was autistic. We didn't find that out until Baby Birdie was 15 months old! Here I was, newly homeschooling Little Valkyrie, trying to send Little Viking to mother's day out 2 days a week to get a break, and now I was pregnant with a NEW kid when I couldn't even handle the two I had! How in the hell was THAT going to work out. Add in to that the traumatic labor and delivery with Little Valkyrie, and the horrible pregnancy I had with Little Viking and I was terrified of how crappy this time around would be, if I even managed to carry the pregnancy(I don't count losses in my pregnancy #s...it's too depressing). I had a hard time finding a care provider and didn't actually a permanent care provider until 20 weeks. In fact, my first appointment with my midwives was a 20 week ultrasound...where I was referred out for a level two ultrasound to recheck Baby Birdie's heart and get more measurements. I was already feeling bummed and uncertain and detached. That news sent me into a massive panic! What if my baby had a heart defect? How could I handle a sick baby? or a special needs baby? I really just kind of shut down at that point. I didn't enjoy being pregnant. It's VERY hard on me physically. I can't walk by the end, nor can I drive due to episodes I have while heavily pregnant. So there I was. At the level two ultrasound, and the follow up with my midwives, they assured me that everything looked good and the baby looked very healthy. They were wonderful and very hands off. At nearly 41 weeks I had my Baby Birdie. The very second I laid her on my chest, I just looked at her and thought "oh.my.God! this is is. THIS is what moms talk about."! I was absolutely smitten with her, when I was worried that it just wouldn't be possible. Which wasn't just healing for me, but for everyone. Little Valkyrie and Little Viking love her. Little Viking calls her "his baby". He helps her get dressed, and she goes to all of his therapy appointments with him. I love all of my children more than anything. Liking them? That's another story. Do I enjoy them? absolutely! Do I regret having them? absolutely not! Are there some I'm looking forward to going off to college more than others? Oh yeah. And, I always feel like a huge hypocrite when pregnant...all of the sudden, the kids are living on mac n cheese and cereal while I lay very still and try not to throw up everywhere. After I give birth, we move on to stouffer's casseroles while I try to feed people and not sacrifice any extra sleep that may afford me. Right now, as I type this, I have the flu. I've been sick since last Friday. Everyone decided to spread the love around and Mama Viking caught it last. We're eating off of paper plates, and I have styrofoam coffee cups. I also have a sink full of dishes, piles of laundry, and JUST got the Christmas tree up! I have no wrapping up finished and my kids have been living off of mac n cheese, cereal, peanut butter toast and takeout. And I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love them. I love the chaos. I'd like a clean kitchen, but I know that's not the most important thing. Sometimes it's just about putting out the fires as they pop up, and then going from there. Because, no matter what it looks like, or how odd it may seem from the outside, I do love my children more than anything. More than I thought I ever could, more that ever thought possible, and enough to let go of what I want, to embrace a relationship that works for all of us. The perfect house, with the perfect decor, that is perfectly clean, with perfect pictures to put on facebook doesn't equal love. Love is about getting your tired butt out of bed and doing things for your children that you know they will appreciate, or trying to make sure you have their favorite peanut butter, or going to activities with them(even though it does your head it). It's about your intentions and actions. Not some fake perfect only on facebook existence. So, dear mama's, cut yourselves some slack. We ALL deserve that!