Reflections on motherhood...one year in!

Being a mom has been a unique experience.  Although at times I am amazed that we managed to keep Sofia Carolina alive for a year, most of the time what I feel for her is an immense feeling of pride.  I look at her and I am grateful she is so smart, curious, beautiful, healthy…I wonder how we can be so blessed.  I worry about her all the time. Michael says it is my job to worry, but like every mom I guess I feel I worry too much. 

That first night in the hospital when we were all so tired and my mom and Michael were both finally napping, I held a tiny Sofia in the darkness of my hospital room and wondered, hoped, even prayed that I could do this.  I had waited so long to be a parent.  I felt so blessed that we had been able to conceive in our late thirties so quickly, and felt lucky to have a perfect baby in my arms.  Ten toes and ten fingers. She was the picture of good health.  I had waited for the right partner with whom to raise my kid with, I waited for the right time, to feel "ready".  Now none of that mattered and I wanted to be good at it.  I used to say I had the best mom anyone could have, and that I would not be a mom until I was ready to be that kind of a mom.  A mom that is willing to give her baby every advantage that she is able to. I still feel that way, and I marvel at my mom and how she did it with three kids and a husband – at a time when husbands helped so little.  I marvel at my mother in law, raising two kids and trying to build a business with her husband in this same town.  I am grateful to them for all they taught me and Michael, as well as our dads, who have ensured that Sofia will be more than OK, she will excel.  How can she not?  Look at what she comes from.

Motherhood is fun.  It is hard work, but it is fun.  I know those of you who do not have children won’t believe me, because I would not have believed it myself until I became a mom, but you really do forget the bad stuff.  Most of it anyway.  My mom pushed out an eleven pound baby and when I ask her about it she says “I don’t really remember it”.  Shocking! Turns out it’s all hormones.  Evolution making sure that we will continue to do this as a race.  I seem to remember painful contractions.  I could not really describe the pain though.  It was like nothing I have ever felt before, but it was not so terrible that I won’t try again.  I have, in fact, forgotten the worse of it.  Of curse I took the epidural, and that helps.  My pain subsided in about an hour.  However, I can state the bas stuff as a fact, but it is not terrible.  None of it is.  It is all worth it.

When Sofia was first born, she was loosing weight too quickly.  Hard to believe now! It was nerve wracking for me.  She was my incredibly shrinking baby.  We actually had to set an alarm and try to feed her ever two hours, for a whole weekend, in the middle of the night, over and over again.  I remember it all, but it doesn’t bother me one bit.  She would not sleep through the night until she was 6 months old, and even then it was hit or miss.  Some nights she would sleep through, others she would not.  It was around 7 months before it became the norm.  That’s a long time to be a zombie, but I did it, and I worked, and life went on.  Mothers know what I’m talking about.  It is as if when you become a mother, the selfish gene falls dormant, and that baby is what matters.  It is the most amazing thing in the world, and until you go through it, you cannot fully understand it.

Michael and I still say the hardest period for us was the colic.  It lasted until she was about 3 months old.  She was so small and fragile, we were so new and inexperienced, she was (and still is) so loud.  It was hard.  Up late with a crying baby that won't stop.  Luckily, everything else seems to pale in comparison. She is so strong now.  She has only been sick once in a year, and even then I think she got it from the doctor's office. She has all eight of her front teeth out, and she is working on a molar.  Even with the general unwellness that comes from the teething: the diarrhea, the whining, the slightly elevated temperature...she is till a fun kid and not as hard to handle as when she had colic.   

She is a joy to be around.  I have never seen a happier baby or a friendlier one. She is charming and funny! It is amazing to see her personality already developing.  People are simply drawn to her.  I know every parent thinks their child is beautiful, and I am no exception.  She is the most gorgeous baby there ever was and I don't care what others think.  She just is!  But that is not what I am talking about.  People meet Sofia and they seem smitten with her right away.  Not everyone, of course, but 90% of those who share time with her adore her.  Strangers stop us in Walmart to look at her.  It gets a little creepy.  An older man in Hartwell said something to Michael like "What a beautiful little girl! Will your daddy sell you to me?" He seemed harmless, but creeped Michael out all the same.  Michael held on tight and was thinking "Get away from my baby!" as he smiled and walked away, thinking of drop kicking the old man to the floor. In the car he said "Your mom was right!" My mother can be a bit...shall we say paranoid?  Sorry ma! It's true.  I think it comes from 20 years in the South Bronx. But as the mother of three gorgeous kids, and grand mother to 4 beautiful grand daughters, she says we have to watch our kids in public like a hawk, because someone might try to kidnap them.  You know, because they are so friendly and pretty?! So while we all sort of laugh at the paranoid advice, I am sure my brothers Lucho and Kano, and their girls' mothers, Mayra and Sonia, at some point heard my mom's voice in their heads in some crowded festival, mall or department store.  Just because you are paranoid does not mean that they are not out to get you.  LOL!

Sofia is the best of Michael and I.  She is.  Unfortunately, she might be the worse too.  She is stubborn and irrational when hungry.  Yeah.  We always joked when we were pregnant that it would be messed up if she were deaf like Michael and blind like me...bad math and bath communication skills...Well she can see and hear fine...for the rest we will have to wait.

She is so great... we might actually try to make another one just like her...


Comments

  1. If your Mother is paranoid, then I am as well! That's how my Mother raised me, don't let your kids out of your sight or far from you. The snatching happens all around us, you "cannot" be too careful!

    Yes, I think you two should definitely start working on a little brother or sister for Sofia!!It's good for them to be close in age. I was pregnant with Russ when we celebrated Elizabeth's 1st birthday, I just didn't know it at the time....nor was it planned - but a pleasant surpise it turned out to be!!

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