It’s hard to believe that 2 years ago, right this minute, I was only a few short hours from meeting my little guy for the first time. How quickly the time goes by.
I remember how scared I felt when I found out I was pregnant with him. M and I had been together over a year, but we mostly saw each other on weekends only, which I knew was completely different from living together and having children together. I knew that having a child together would change us. I liked us the way we were, happy and in love, with the two kids I already had. I wanted this baby, very much, but it didn’t change the fear that came along too.
M moved from his hometown in Illinois to live with us, wanting to be present for every moment of his child’s life (and, I like to think, wanting to see me more often). Learning to live with each other is a quite the task when life changing events are NOT happening, let alone when they are. We adapted, but not without a few squabbles!
During the pregnancy, I thought about my past co-parenting (and I use that term loosely) experiences and how I could improve on them…aside from the obvious, parenting with someone else. We discussed parenting a lot, how we felt about issues that were important to us, what we were willing to compromise on, etc. I realized that parenting with someone who wants to be a parent is completely different from parenting with someone who really just doesn’t care. In many ways, the workload is lessened by having two people who are involved and care, but in some ways, the work is more because the other person’s opinions/thoughts/feelings come into play. I also realized that one of the ways I failed my older children was by not allowing their father to ever find his own way or have any control (not that I didn’t have good reason, but still). When they were born, they were mine and I was in control all the time. No one, including their father, could take care of them like I could. I think that hurt their relationship with him.
I worked diligently at changing this attitude before our baby was born. It felt important that M knew this was his child too, not to mention he was adamant about playing an equal role. I like to think that I’ve done a good job appreciating how much he loves our children as well as his different style. What I finally decided was that while he may not do everything exactly the way I would, that’s OKAY. He’s different from me and he really shouldn’t be my carbon copy. The kids have me, they need their father to be their father, not their mother dressed like their father.
Anyway, back to memories. I remember the first time we heard the heartbeat. It was right around 9ish weeks. Heartbeats are always cool to me, but the look on M’s face (and the tears in his eyes) was awesome. I had never seen that look before. It really struck a chord with me and I thought, “This is going to work.”
I remember the first time I felt him move, 10ish weeks for the flutters and a few weeks later for the bigger movements. I LOVE that feeling. There’s nothing else in the world like it. I remember the first time M felt him move…both awed and disgusted. His view on womb movements is tainted by the viewing of Aliens as a youngster. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the woman character becomes impregnated with aliens and watching a baby move in utero is very similar (who knew?) to watching an alien move in utero, right before it jumps out of your skin! I have learned to be entertained by his mixed feelings and faces, instead of dismayed that he doesn’t see it quite like I do.
On to the memories everyone always wants to hear about, the birth and first moments. If you want to read the full birth story, click here.
There were many stops and starts with C. I can’t recall how many days I spent thinking, “this is it!” only to have things fizzle out. M found it frustrating (the “should I come home from work?” syndrome) but I figured it was just my body’s way of getting things all lined up. Intimate relations sucked. For those of you who haven’t tried 9months pregnant sex, it *can* be fairly difficult! Mamas full of baby don’t move so well and we’re way bigger than the guys are used to. Also, the climate tends to be either Sahara Desert or Niagra Falls, neither of which is super pleasant. I know some women who rave about the final days of intimacy, but we found it frustrating and more chore-like. 😉
I remember laying in bed at night looking at the empty co-sleeper beside us and wondering when baby would be here to fill it up. The baby clothes were washed, folded, set out. Birth supplies were in “the” box and the birth pool had been tried out.
Finally, the day came. It’s been long enough now that I don’t remember much of the pain, just the words used to express the pain! The first thing I remember after he was born is actually a snapshot in my head of M holding him and looking at him with the love I always felt for my children, but was sure no one else did. Unconditional, immediate, unwavering. Yes! I was so relieved to see that.
He’s a boy! He’s huge! Lots of crying. Lots of relief.
This boy has changed everything. Every day, he challenges us to dig deeper within ourselves. He has a ton of personality, as anyone who spends a few minutes with him can tell you. I love this little guy and I love watching him grow.
Happy Birthday Big Boy!