Each day your little one is growing. Your body is changing and will someday be yours again, albeit a little different. You’re learning and grow just as much as that little one of yours.
Last Saturday I posted this photo sharing that Ruby was 40 weeks and 4 days old. I’m not sure what prompted me to do this, but I know I wanted to compare what nine months in the womb looks like compared to nine months out. And maybe just to see how far we’ve come.
Pregnancy is no joke. It’s hard work and takes a toll on you, your body, your energy, your mood. The early months of taking care of a baby and recovering are similar. Your body still feels a little alien and you’re now responsible for a tiny baby.
I can still remember our first night home from the hospital. Ruby was crying and after trying everything to get her to stop, all I could do was cry too. All I knew was that it was my job to provide every need for this little one. I felt this weighty responsibility that I wasn’t quite sure I could handle.
For the first couple months I was a little insecure of taking Ruby out in public. I wasn’t confident in my new identity as a mother. And was so afraid of looking like I didn’t have it together (because, I didn’t) We had to give Ruby bottles of breastmilk, and what if people thought I was giving her formula? Or what if I didn’t know what she needed if she cried?
It was too hard for me to imagine nine months later. The growth I’ve seen in Ruby is obvious, but I’ve grown too as a mama.
Here I am walking through contractions at the hospital.
Below is a photo at lunch right before we headed to the hospital.
Isn’t it crazy what can happen in 40 weeks and 4 days?
Pregnancy is also a time of crazy changes. I went from being someone who had never cried during a movie to crying at an episode of parenthood (who didn’t though, right?)
This isn’t the best photo of me, but I don’t mind sharing it with you. And, actually I am very proud of my chubby face and legs, questionable attire, and should we even mention that belly? It marked the end of a long, trying time of my life. I wasn’t a fan of pregnancy.
This day, was my favorite day of pregnancy. The LAST day. At this point I welcomed labor and giving birth. Even though I complained for nine months, I grew a human. And that is something to celebrate.
We thought about bringing champagne, and next time I definitely will.
I love this comparison. It shows the hard, enduring work of motherhood. Of slow days and little day by day changes. It still feels a little weird that I am a mama. But, then Ruby catches my attention and tries to wink at me with her big, proud smile. She reminds me, and I am so thankful for her sweet little reminders.
She knows that I am her mama. And she doesn’t know of any other mama.
Jordan calls her my little koala, because she clings onto me (like in the top photo) and I’m her tree.
I’ve never been so happy to be a tree.
We’re here, we made it. 80 weeks and 8 days. I feel like myself, but with little reminders of my time carrying Ruby. I’m glad that now I carry her on my hip.
I’m also glad that I have a little of my sanity back, but that I also own my identity as a mother.
The first few months of being a new mama were so weird. They’re exhausting and the hardest part of caring for a newborn isn’t feeding or changing diapers. It’s the mental, hormonal battle of learning your new role.
Nine months in, Ruby is taking naps consistently, has a bed time and sleeps 12 hours. She still wakes up at night and has times where she has blowouts twice or three times a day for a week (that’s what we’ve been dealing with over here) but, I can handle it. (ok, maybe i’m the one gagging and saying how gross it is, while Jordan and her grandma do the dirty work)
All that to say, It gets easier.
To the expecting mama, and new mama:
You are a mama. Because of that, I know you’re little one thinks the world of you. And I do too. It does get easier. I’m only nine months in this whole parenting thing, but I already feel so confident in my new identity as a mama. It’s one of my favorite titles
If you’re an expecting mama, you may like this post too.