It’s been a year.
One year ago today I was laying in the same bathtub listening to the same playlist, crying. Today I’m crying because the emotions of the realization that my baby has completed his first year earthside have finally hit me. Then I was crying from exhaustion, from the realization that contractions are a totally different sensation that can’t be explained, from the deep inner knowing that my labour was not going to happen the way I had romanticized it in my mind for the last 9 months.
I lay here soaking and reflecting on the challenges and triumphs of the first year of first time motherhood. These firsts have now all been had. Any future experiences will now be, inevitably, compared to these ones that have passed.
My son has taught me how physically and emotionally strong I truly am. He has taught me to let go of expectations, to just live in the moment because it is fleeting so fucking quickly. He has taught me to be patient, to go slow, and to celebrate in the little victories. He has taught me to love my body – a challenge that i have struggled with since I was 11 years old.
As I lay here soaking, I touch my belly. The part of my body I was always most self conscious of. I am in awe. This belly extended and changed shape and was my son’s first home. I can remember the senation of feeling his movements within me. I remember the pride I felt when my belly had finally started to show. I remember the love and appreciation I felt for my body then, and the worry that lingered in the back of my mind of what to expect postpartum. My body has changed since having him. My skin is looser – a memory of the size it stretched to. When I catch a glimps of it in the mirror I can’t help but smile and feel a deep sense of gratitude.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to have carried a child. I’m grateful for the experience of giving birth – even if it didn’t look the way I had expected. I’m grateful for the ability to continue to breastfeed. I’m grateful for the challenges and struggles that come with motherhood – they have helped me grow and have softened me on so many levels that may not seem apparent from the outside. I’m grateful for all of the wonderful people who have been a part of my son’s first year. I’m grateful that his soul chose me to be his mother, an honour I will never take for granted.
Happy birthday my beautiful, sweet, gentle boy. Mama loves you more than you’ll ever understand.