It was then that Bailey said, "You don't feel this way because you were in an accident, you feel this way because you are a parent. It will pass, mostly. Some of it never will."
I remember that feeling after our first ultrasound. I remember feeling that way as we pulled out of the parking lot of the hospital. I felt tears coming down my face as we drove home. I was relieved. I was excited but I was also scared. I was nervous. My child had just had been monitored 24/7 for almost the entire week of his life and they were letting ME take him home?
Then, we brought him home and I think we both looked at each other like, 'Ok, now what?'
We settled in and I watched him while he slept. I checked on him to make sure his little chest rose with each breath. We moved him to his crib when he was about four months old and I lost track of how many times I would check up on him. When I went back to work, I checked in with whoever was watching him that day. I hold his hand as he walks down the stairs and I kiss him when he gets a boo-boo.
Dr. Bailey was right, while some of it did pass, most of it has not.
Eighteen months later, I still peek on him before I go to sleep. I worry about him just as much as I did that rainy day in October. The only difference between that gloomy day is that my love for him has grown with each day that has passed.
It was then I found myself in Brady's room. I sat there and just watched his chest rise and fall with each breath he took. I looked at how he filled up a bed he once looked so tiny in.
I then flashed back to a time when I went to bed when I wanted to, not when I could barely stay awake or knowing I'd be woken up earlier than I would like by the sounds of a jumping toddler. I used to wake up when I wanted on the weekends. With motherhood, that changed.
Motherhood might mean a little less sleep. It might bring along a sense of worry.
Motherhood is about rushing around the house getting ready for work with a baby on your hip. Rushing out the door only to realize you have poop on your shirt.
It might give you a new sense of confidence you didn't think you had.
Motherhood might make you better at your job because you work with parents and children and now know what it feels like to want the best for you child.
Motherhood is about extra cuddles when they are sick.
It is about hearing them say, "momma' for the first time or watching them take their first steps.
It's about tantrums, rule and praise.
It is about celebrating each day and capturing each milestone.
It is about joy, laughter and love that is so innocently pure. A love that is not bound by conditions or time. Love that is unconditionally conditional.
As my second Mother's Day as a mom nears, I have only experienced a tiny bit of motherhood but it has changed me. You can't experience all that parenthood entails and not feel it. I have known love before Brady but the love you have for your own child is a feeling of its own. Before Brady, my worries were silly and now they are tied to that new love that we are blessed to know.
I guess Meredith was right. I am still me but I think I of myself as a 'whole new person...with a whole new life' and I would not trade any of the sleepless nights, poopy diapers or tantrums for the life I used to have!
What does Motherhood mean to you?