It hasn't been the easiest year: a pregnancy that became complicated, a fussy baby for many weeks and then unemployment. All of this, of course, layered with sleep deprivation and hormones. Yet, when I look at the picture below, I can't see a single sign of any of it. All I see is a happy baby and a woman filled with joy.
It's taken nearly six months, but I have finally started to embrace motherhood. For some women it is quite easy to give birth and take on the role. I don't know if it was my personality or my age--or maybe both that prevented me from having that initial "this is the best thing ever moment". Because of the infertility, we spent a lot of time and money to get the little guy. Yet, in those first few weeks, all I could think was "what had I done". I had turned a perfectly good life upside down for a screaming baby and being trapped 24 x7.
It's possible that I had some postpartum issues, but I didn't want to turn to medication. I am very thankful for a friend, who had suffered from it, who called me regularly to make sure that I had an outlet to vent and feel safe talking about what I was thinking. She came to visit for a weekend, and I know she gave the husband some advice on making sure that I had plenty of time to get away when he wasn't working.
He's also the husband that made sure I went last week to the BlogHer Writer's Conference in New York City. It was nice to get away, but what I felt good about was that I wasn't escaping from my life. Instead, I was simply trying to enhance it--and every time I saw a baby I couldn't wait to get home to mine. Then, tonight as I was telling F's favorite bedtime story, I was simply overcome with emotion and gratitude. Looking at that picture I finally saw what my heart had been telling me. I'm am F's mom and nothing is ever going to change that--this is the life I have dreamed of.
I had some clarity about where I wanted to take this blog at the writer's conference. I spoke to some fabulous women who encouraged me to keep writing about motherhood after infertility. It has its own special challenges ranging from guilt to disclosure issues. I promise to still occasionally post about Mr. F, but if you want to keep up to date on the little guy, feel free to friend me on Facebook where the family updates will be more regular.
I also want to give credit to the photographer at Santana Row, Deborah Nagai. She did a great job in a high volume time getting the right moment--a moment I will cherish for a long time.