When the doctor placed her innocent, helpless body in my arms I didn’t realize how blue she was. Everything was happening so fast. It felt like that feature of snap chat where you can fast forward and everything sounds like Calvin & The Chipmunks (what am I saying, I don’t even have snap chat).
It wasn’t until I watched footage of her birth (thanks mom!) where I was able to piece together what was really going on. She was so blue. I mean, shockingly blue! But no one seemed to be worried. I guess I would be pretty blue, too, had I jut squeezed through the tiniest hole of my life.
After a quick rub down by a nurse, there I was taking the baby–my baby–with my trembling hands like I knew what I was doing. Actually, I hear myself saying “What do I do? I don’t know what to do.”
And thus we have the last nine months.
We have survived on pure instinct.
This is the part where I should say “we haven’t just survived…we’ve thrived” and be all cheesy and positive and talk about the joys of motherhood. If that’s what you thought this would be I will just spare you now (oh! the horror!) You can go elsewhere for that, but this post is not that.
A few months ago, my feeds were blowing up with friends who have daughters around Hadley’s age.
Videos and pictures galore telling of their baby girls’ recent developments: saying mama.
Every single mom longs to hear this. Even if it’s only but a babble. Those two syllables mean so much to our ovaries and rollercoaster-ing hormones.
It’s been four months since those videos and pictures. I’ve been waiting. Yearning. Hoping in expectation.
What I do not want is for people to tell me “her time will come, be patient.”
First of all, you don’t know that. Something could happen. Maybe she’ll never say mama. Second of all, am I allowed to have feelings? Am I allowed to voice my concerns?
Society has been telling us for hundreds of years how to parent. Do this, don’t do that. Of course there are basic things that we really should and should not do.
When it comes to breast vs. bottle, co-sleeping vs. crib, venting vs. not be heard, it’s absolutely ridiculous.
As mamas, we’re shamed for breastfeeding in public, then we’re shamed when we can’t produce anymore and it’s time for formula.
We’re shamed for letting our baby cry it out so we can get some sleep, and we’re shamed for co-sleeping because our babe will grow up needy and spoiled.
We’re shamed from posting too many pictures of our kid on Facebook, then looked down upon for not being social enough and never getting out of the house.
This is my life. Hadley is literally my every-single-day-life. Look down on it all you want, but she is my heart beat. Maybe I’m being dramatic. Maybe it’s a good thing.
I had a dream and plan and goals the summer of 2014 before I got pregnant. I have had to make some huge adjustments and changes to make room for her. Because being a parent is a sacrifice. Do you have to give up on your dreams? No no no! But it may take a little longer to get there.
And it’s ok because she is worth it. I never knew how it would feel to love a child. It’s heartbreaking.
It really does feel like living in constant heartache.
My own flesh and blood–my heart–is living and breathing outside of my body. And eighteen months after conceiving this miracle I couldn’t imagine life being any other way.
So yes, when she hasn’t yet said mama, it hurts.
Yes, when she started army crawling towards the sparkly confetti on the floor while I was changing her at my parents last week, it hurts–my heart aches.
My eyes well up with tears when she gets hurt. They well up when she does anything new.
So sometimes at night when she’s sleeping perfectly fine I sneak into her room, scoop her up from her crib and bring her into bed with me and snuggle all night long.
No, I don’t sleep well, but I do not care. No, she doesn’t need to breastfeed at night anymore, but I’ll let her anyway.
Because we aren’t promised tomorrow.
Because I don’t know if she’ll ever say mama.
But I do know this: that is who I am–her mama–and as long as I am living, my baby she’ll be.