A year ago I thought that I had things figured out. Not the Big Picture kind of figured out. Not that I had mastered the meaning of life, the universe, and my purpose. But I enjoyed a solid sense of where I planned to put my day to day energy and resources for the foreseeable future.
I had struggled internally with some identity issues for a few months and finally pointed in what seemed like a meaningful and purposeful direction. Time to straighten myself out and become more aggressive professionally. Time to earn more money for my family. Time to make a more meaningful contribution to the world as a creative woman. Time to enhance my ego via better and bigger work.
But God/The Universe/My Higher Power/Whatever-You-Like-To-Call-Her had another idea.
A surprise pregnancy.
And so 40 weeks passed with the usual symptoms: Dry heaving over the toilet while on a family vacation to Disneyland, before I told my daughters I was expecting their little brother. (I said that mommy had motion sickness from the Dumbo ride and amusement park food.) Disgusting worm-like varicose veins that made me threaten to never expose my legs to the light of day again. Weight gain that undid four years of yoga worship and gym penance. Circulation problems that nearly made me faint at a Macy’s counter in front of my six year old. Plus cukoo crazy bonkers emotional issues that go along with any woman who is with child.
Then came the birth. Twenty hours (if you’re counting) and I met my new BFF, the epidural.
My (very, very) big boy came out sunny side up. Meaning face up. Meaning ouch. But I like to think that his sweet disposition matches his birth. Because he already brings big sunshine into our lives, even as his arrival changes everything forever.
My once complicated days have suddenly streamlined into simple tasks with small goals. I remember this from the first two kids. When taking a walk feels almost as good as publishing an article. I also remember that this time zips by like lightening, and as soon as I start working again the complications will resume. So I try to embrace the simplicity, and spend my days holding my babe and staring into his wide trusting eyes.
Another big change: the closest thing to alone time is hanging out with only one child. I miss going to the gym any time I feel like it. I miss cozy nights on the sofa with my husband, drinking bourbon and watching True Blood after the kids are in bed. I remember that these things, too, will return. So I try to embrace sleep wherever I can get it.
I know my new guy is pretty normal as far as babies go. He’s small with a cute round face. He’s healthy, thank God. But I want to constantly text his picture to every person I know, to share his miracle sunshiney deliciousness. I want to Tweet embarrassing precious words like “sunshiney.” I want to Instagram every adorable freaking onesie I put on his chubby little torso. Like all moms, I think my baby is the prettiest one ever. Except for the first two, of course.