I’m Gonna Be a What: Accepting Motherhood

One of the absolute best moments of my entire life was the moment I saw my son for the first time. Of course it was! My entire life would never be the same.

But months before the birth of our son, an unexpected moment made me realize how my life was about to change.

I was 5 months pregnant before two tests confirmed our family would be growing. It wasn’t a dramatic I-Didn’t-Know-I-Was-Pregnant (on TLC) moment, just a surprise that I had a difficult time accepting. Babies happened to other people, not me! It was my cool-headed husband who broke the news to my family. I couldn’t get a word out between my sobs.

Over the past five years I have had multiple surgeries ranging from removing ribs to a disc replacement. I was enjoying the summer of 2010, feeling better than I had for years and living virtually pain free. When a co-worker in my office announced she was pregnant, she experienced every symptom in the book. I, on the other hand, was eating better, losing weight, exercising sporadically, and feeling awesome. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered not only was I pregnant, but I was almost 3 months further along than my co-worker.

My first OB-GYN appointment, we got our first look at the baby and discovered the sex. Things were happening very quickly. I grabbed a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting and made a major to-do list. I only had 4 months to mentally, emotionally, and physically prepare for a baby.

I had a difficult time imagining myself as a mom. Even weeks later, I couldn’t believe it had happened. A great network of moms offered advice and helped me prepare. They all told me about how quickly babies outgrow clothes and that I should try to get some secondhand. My cousin, who had a boy, offered me an entire wardrobe which I gratefully accepted. After all, apart from diapers, I had no idea what babies wore.

My mother and I were sorting through the clothes when I finally realized and embraced what was happening. The moment I saw the smallest clothes, I imagined them on my little boy. Suddenly, motherhood was real. It was really abstract understanding what was in my belly, but the clothes made it all seem real. Very suddenly, I was excited and looking forward to being a mom.

I wouldn’t call myself Super-Mom, but having a happy and healthy son makes me believe I’m doing something right. I credit that strange moment of sorting through clothes as the moment motherhood slapped me in the face.

I certainly needed that.

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