Reflections on Pregnancy & Early Thoughts on Motherhood
We have now been home with Hunter for a little over a week & I have had time to reflect on my first experiences & moments of motherhood as well as the last several months of pregnancy.
We were released from the hospital two days after Hunter was born. Thanksgiving fell on one of our hospital stay days so last weekend, cozy back home with our newborn, my husband set out to prepare a small Thanksgiving feast. I cannot remember food ever being so incredibly delicious & the comforts of home feeling so amazing. I assume it was a mix of post childbirth euphoria of some sort & just a very soft & deep elation & gratitude for the experience & this new little human in our lives.
I am sure more things will come to me, but in these fresh stages, these are some of the reflections, surprises, thoughts that have come up for me now after having given birth & eagerly embarking on the path of motherhood…
*Pregnancy is a very universal experience. And also very personal.
I understand why people call it a miracle, but of course it is also an extremely commonplace experience. I learned very quickly early on in my pregnancy that while I viewed it as a very universal experience, I also viewed it as an intensely personal experience. Universal, very personal.
*Managing Information & Communication
In line with the above, I also found out, very quickly, that people- from close friends to acquaintances to total strangers- will often have something to share with you about the pregnancy experience, be it their story, or tips or general ruminations. I enjoyed (and still enjoy) talking with women about the experience ~ our experiences~ but I found myself leaning towards the side of caution in so many situations. This is, I feel, one time during a woman’s life where she will be receiving “lines of information & suggestions” from multiple directions, often conflicting.
At this, particularly sensitive time of my life, I learned to really treasure & protect the lines of communication in which I felt safe…encouraged…mutually respectful. While I did experience what I feel was a natural & healthy dose of some fear during childbirth, my pregnancy itself was generally not very anxious. I felt that it easily could become so though if I was not careful about managing information input.
*You just may change…..in small, important ways
Around my 3rd trimester something pretty amazing happened. I started cleaning ferociously! That nesting instinct definitely kicked in! But more importantly, it has pretty much stayed! I will admit that I was not exactly the cleanest person before. I was not a filthy slob, but dishes in the sink for a day or two? No big deal. Laundry not folded immediately & put away? No big deal. That has all changed now. There is no doubt that I will not be able to quite keep up with the immediacy of cleaning that I want now, but the fact that my housekeeping style has changed so much, beginning during pregnancy, is awesome to me. As long as I am not veering towards being OCD about it, being a lot more alert & on task about cleaning has been a great change in my life.
* “It’s just emotions taking me over….”
I was sensitive before pregnancy, during pregnancy & most certainly now after pregnancy. The amount of vulnerability & love I felt after giving birth to Hunter was mind boggling & humbling to me. I am slowly adjusting but the levels of that vulnerability & love are certainly not changing.
*Trust in self, family, instincts!
I felt confident that between my husband & I we “had this.” Not as in there would be no blips, but as in we had the wherewithal, interest & ability to handle what would come our way with the pregnancy, labor & parenthood. While part of me takes this fact for granted, I also realized how tremendously grateful I was that I could take this aspect for granted & that within my little family unit we had a sense of inherent preparedness that would help me through the tougher moments.
And as much as I might have emphasized a sense of self reliance in some of these points, I cannot overemphasize the amount of gratitude we felt for the gifts that began coming in for baby & us! We did not set up a registry so each & every one was a surprise & we love them all so much. Thank you family & friends!
To life & love ….and experiences that change your heart & world forever.