Eight months. That is the length of time between my first desire to start writing a blog, and when I finally began one. It is also the perfect example of what life as a new mom is like — letting personal aspirations get pushed further down the line of priorities because there is always something more important that needs to get done like a shower, a meal, a diaper change, a load of laundry, a mountain of bottles to wash…and the list could go on forever.
Ideally, this blog would have started as soon as my son Reese was born. I would have written about all of our experiences throughout his newborn stage, and shared each significant memory and lesson learned in order, as they occurred. While there has never seemed to be enough time in the day, as described above, an equal reason for this eight-month delay is because I have finally (somewhat) settled down from this postpartum roller coaster of emotions to be capable of thinking straight and relaying my feelings without uncertainty, or breaking down in tears. Because, let’s face it: New moms are bigger babies than their actual babies are.
In fact, us new moms and our newborn babies have more in common than we think. Right from the start, we are tossed into a world of unfamiliarity, body aches, hunger, exhaustion, overwhelming emotion, the need for attention, and the need to be left alone. In those first several weeks of motherhood, I usually felt all of these things at once. Sure, there was always my husband to lean on, or help lift me up (literally, because moving around was a challenge), but, often times, it seemed that nobody could truly relate to me in those very moments. All it took was looking down at that sweet newborn in my arms to understand that I was so very wrong. I was not alone at all. We may have just met, but we both cried for all the same reasons and needed so many of the same things.
In those final days of pregnancy, when I couldn’t see my feet and even sitting still was uncomfortable, I felt as if I was in a limbo of two different worlds. A time of in-between. My old self, which was coming to an end, and my new self, whom I was anxiously awaiting to become. It was a surreal and unforgettable feeling of not really knowing who I was at that moment, or who I would be after Reese was here.
It wasn’t until six months following the birth that I had an epiphany. After putting our son to bed one evening, my husband and I were watching an episode of “This is Us,” and heard a quote that made us both pause and look at each other. As a new mom and dad, with so many unanswered questions and uncertainties about this new role we had taken on, we found that our recent-formed philosophy of parenting the last several months was finally put into the perfect combination of words:
“What they don’t tell you is that babies come with the answers. They come out, they look up at you, and you at them, and they tell you who you are.”
So here I am: a new, not-so-figured-out mom of eight months. I am excited to share with you about my intense labor, unanticipated life after birth, and all of the noteworthy experiences (good, bad and everything in between) of raising Reese. It has been both blissful and chaotic, to say the least, but something I would never trade for the world.
Thank you so much for following along!
— By Carly Waldron
Carly lives with her husband and son in the Martha Lake area of South Snohomish County.