Saturday, May 16, 2015

Meeting Benjamin

When my niece was born, I had the distinct honor to be there for her entire birth. I stood by my sister as she labored and took photos like a madwoman as My Prize entered this world. Having been on the birthing side of things three times, it was pretty sweet to get to witness everything and see how amazing birth is from the eyes of a spectator. Turns out, it's not nearly as exhausting that way. 

My new nephew was born a couple weeks ago and I was straight up chomping at the bit to meet him, so I pulled into my sister's driveway on Mother's Day, armed with a pile of presents for My Prize (niece), My Bonus (nephew), and my sister (sister). When I walked in he was sleeping, but I honestly didn't even care. I scooped that baby up, he opened his eyes and fixed them right on me.

Then I started to cry.

Not just little leaky tears, but full-on, river down my face tears. He was just so perfect. So beautiful and fresh and sweet. He reminded me of my boys when they were brand new and there was no helping it.

He had me. Forever.

For a split second, I swear I felt my uterus twitch.

Then I felt the thunder down under as he demolished his diaper and his entire outfit and suddenly it all came rushing back on me. The projectile poop, the constant feedings, the sleep-induced delirium that once caused me to try to fill a ketchup container with milk. Waking up soaking wet, covered in sour milk and sweat. The constant rocking, walking, burping, changing, soothing, and pacing.

How is it possible I had forgotten that much? I remember being deep in the trenches, awake and crying at 2 am with a furious newborn in my arms, wondering if it was ever going to end. Would I ever sleep again? Would I ever feel human again? Would this baby ever get on some sort of a schedule? Would I be able to have any semblance of a life outside the house ever again? Would I ever wear real pants again or should I just buy stock in yoga pants?

The answer was yes. Yes to all of it.

Sleep returned. A schedule happened - kind of. I do still love yoga pants (who doesn't?) but those jeans did eventually button. I found friends who had been going through the same grueling boot camp I was and we drank buckets of coffee while we talked about it, cried about it, laughed about it.

It was so very hard.

And so very wonderful.

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