*I wrote this about 8 months ago, shortly after Julian was born. I’ve edited it a bit but still wanted to share.
Exactly 1 month ago I gave birth to our third child, Julian Rivers Morgan. We had taken a six year break after our second son so baby boy was much anticipated and celebrated. The first twenty weeks of the pregnancy were tougher than expected with knock-me-off my feet nausea and fatigue; but once that passed, I was full of energy and excitement.
When labor hit eight days past my due date, I thought that surely I would have this baby out in an hour flat. Three and a half hours later, he arrived in a huge gush of my waters. And though it wasn’t a long labor, it was stupid hard. And I wondered during every contraction (which arrived promptly every two minutes or so) why in the heck I had chosen to go for a third natural birth in a Birth Center where there were no drugs anywhere to be found.
Yet when it was done and my troublesome placenta decided to vacate my body, the pain and horror dissipated into a sweet time of rest and connection between Jason, myself and Julian. Which brings me to my second observation; I absolutely adore my third born son. He is everything. When we decided to go for #3, I had planned that it would be a girl (more on that later) and so did everyone else. Then we found out a few days before New Years that I was to be the mother of three sons, and I realized that perhaps planning on something that was completely out of my control was nominally ridiculous. But within a few moments of getting to know my sweet boy, I was absolutely in love and would never trade him for all the tutu wearing girls in the world.
Third observation, post-partum recovery is important and should be given time. This is pretty tough to actually do though in the midst of our million miles a second world. I committed to stay home for two weeks which I did. And it made a huge difference. But its hard to sit still inside for much more than that.
Fourth, post-partum hormones may induce crying at any moment. Usually when your husband least expects it. I can ambush him so unexpectedly with tears and the need to be talked off the ledge of abysmal irrationality that I feel I should earn some sort of ninja belt for this.
More observations…they just keep coming:
My friends are amazing. I mean, they are so great. Some of my dearest friends (Amanda, Gaitha, Cristina, Tasha, Alice) threw me the most amazing baby shower that I could’ve ever dreamed of. Where so many wonderful old and new friends showed up with love and gifts for sweet baby boy. I felt so prepared for him to come and it has been the hugest blessing. Also, we have had almost three weeks of dinners after Julian was born and family had gone home…total bliss is having dinner for your family hand-delivered by a loved friend.
Lack of sleep leads to preventable disasters. Lost keys. Dented car. I hate the feeling of having to be so aware of my mental deprivation and to compensate on all fronts. The second you let your guard down…CRUNCH…you’ve dented the back of your brand new-to-us minivan on someone’s side mirror. Shhh, don’t tell my husband. He hasn’t noticed yet. (Um, yes he has…I confessed right away.)
Oh hey, we have a minivan now! And yeah, they are as great as everyone says they are. Yes they are a vagina on wheels (Parenthood reference)…but hey, who doesn’t love vaginas?
Other observations in bullet point form:
-Oxytocin is a bonus for my big boys. Attachment hormones lead to lots of amazing bonding moments with more than just baby.
-Babies are much easier when you are in a stable place in life. Turns out not moving three times while pregnant, owning a home, and not being in graduate school makes having a baby way easier. Who knew?
-My boys are the best big brothers ever. I mean they are so good with baby Julian and they adore him. And he’s starting to adore them now too. Bouncing up and down whenever they come in the room. It makes me feel like no matter what else I do in life, I’ve accomplished something good just by seeing the way these three boys love each other.
Last observation for now, I still feel sad about not having a girl. Nine months of being absolutely in love with Julian doesn’t diminish the fact that I still grieve over the reality that I may never know what its like to raise a daughter, to see her get married, watch her have her babies. My boys are fabulous in every way and I pray often for their wives (while also telling them on a somewhat repetitive basis that I must really like whoever they choose as their life partner; otherwise, she’s probably not a good fit. That’s not manipulative, right?)–but I still feel sad. And I possibly always will.
Overall, being a mom of three boys has brought me into the most gratifying season of life I’ve ever known. Yes, labor was super duper hard. Will I ever do it again? No. No, I’m about 99.9% I will not. But the satisfaction of looking into the bright and joy-filled faces of my boys is undeniably worth every second of pain. Every stretch mark and fat cell. Every lost minute of sleep. I love being their mom and that is all.