The other day my husband and I were sitting around our campfire having just finished the rodeo that is getting a 22 month old boy who’s hopped up on s’mores to bed and we were reminiscing about the past two years of our lives. Our son’s second birthday is approaching much faster than I would like and we were laughing about all the things we have experienced and learned in our adventure as first time parents.
Honestly my husband and I didn’t think we would ever be able to have a child. We struggled for years with infertility and after completing numerous rounds of medication and treatments we were no closer to having a child. I would like to mention that most of the time I am an absolute delight to be around, I’m sure if you ask my husband he will tell you the same thing, absolutely delightful. But there is a very fine line when taking hormones, you are either balanced or your not, a hormonally balanced wife is a delight but a wife whose hormones are unbalanced can be an unpleasant experience. After years of treatments we decided adoption would be a better route for us. We stopped trying to conceive and focused on the adoption route. Fast forward six years, a roller coaster of emotions and one trip to the doctor later we were surprised to discover we were expecting.
Since then our lives have changed in so many ways. We took classes through social services and had many discussions with friends and family about being a parent, we had the book smarts but were not equipped with the street smarts raising a child requires. I wanted to share some of the things I have discovered over the past two-ish years.
Every woman will have a different pregnancy experience. When someone tells me they loved being pregnant I can’t help but think they are crazy. I carried my son for 42 weeks (for those who don’t know this is a agonizing two weeks longer than normal), and I was sick from the day I conceived until two weeks after he was born. As the last two weeks slowly progressed I assumed I would be more comfortable after he was born… this was an incorrect assumption.
Sleep is a luxury not a need. I can function on 30 minutes of sleep and in the beginning I believed I would never sleep a full night again. Then just when I thought I would never sleep again my son started sleeping through the night and has for over a year but I am still grateful for a full night of sleep each night.
There will be good times and not so good times. I cherish the good times and while I may not cherish the not so good times quite as much I have learned it is just a passing phase and soon it will be a distance memory I can look back on and laugh.
My son will learn something delightful and funny one day and then all of a sudden a less desirable quirk is discovered and the delightful quirk will be forgotten. My son learned how to make various animal sounds and it was adorable, he did it for about a month and I laughed every time. Then as fast as it started he stopped doing it and learned how to say no. I dislike this new skill.
The instant unconditional love I felt when my son was born is indescribable. He can make even the worst day better with three little words. My son will climb on my lap and say, “Love you, Mommy”, and all the stress I feel just melts away.
Before I was a mother and while I was pregnant there were things I said I would never do as a parent. Never say never, I have learned to pick my battles and sometimes I just want a hot cup of coffee so I’m willing to let things slide.
One of the major things I have realized is when people I know who have adult children tell me that the nights are long but the years are so short and I should embrace it. There are nights that feel like they will never end and while I am cuddling a teething, colicky, screaming baby at 3 a.m. it feels like an eternity. But then the sun comes up and everything seems brighter and before I know it my son is turning two. I’m cherishing every moment of motherhood and hoping I can slow down time and make it last a little longer.
Christina Komives is sales manager for The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.