The Changes Held Within a Year

It’s been a year and a week since mini Gwinn 100% changed my life. That may sound dramatic to those without children (not to exclude you, but it is just really hard to fathom until it happens to you), but to the others in the parenthood ranks, you get it. The day you meet your little biscuit face to face is the day your perspective on everything changes.

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Sitting in the hospital bed together

When I was playing landlord to this little guy, I imagined what his personality was like. He kicked when I laughed, squirmed and wiggled nonstop when I laid down, and kicked Captain Laser Pants in the face when he laid his cheek on my belly. Back then I thought, “Wow, he’s an angry little sucker, just like his mama!” but now I know how wrong I was. He is the happiest baby I’ve ever met. The slightest tickle or funny face results in an eruption of delicious, angelic laughter. He never stops moving; he is infinitely curious about his surroundings and the faces he sees. Months after he was born, CLP told me a fear he had while I was baking mini Gwinn. He had read studies that proved the mental and emotional state of a mother while pregnant affected the baby’s physical and emotional health. He was concerned that our little bear would be somehow “off” because of my horrible mental state. Miraculously, he’s an incredible child, well adjusted, secure, and very, very funny. He has off days, just like all of us, but I feel so, so blessed to be raising such a precious little man.

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Blue eyes, big hair and opinions! Oh my.

This time last year we were struggling in every sense of the word. The exhaustion of taking care of a newborn (for those with family near you, you are so lucky!), the realization of the financial strain of going from two salaries to one, and reconciling the major changes my body had undergone (and would continue to undergo over the next nine months) made life, erm, difficult. The parents that have been kind enough to be honest with me confided that the first three months were just about surviving, and they couldn’t have been more correct. Captain Laser Pants was finishing the hardest semester of his college career (Calculus 2 and Physics, yuck), working long hours and coming home to a madhouse, with his wife as the chief lunatic. I was investing the stress and anxiety I had into running. Mini Gwinn liked being outside, even then, and I (shockingly) felt good enough to start a four mile run four weeks after I delivered our baby boy.

It’s intense for me to look back on those hard days. The emotion is still fresh, the memories aren’t rose colored. The nurses in the hospital told me I would forget how hard the pregnancy and the first few months would be, and with an easy delivery, I’d want more children, and soon. I laugh, even now, at the thought. Perhaps with “eager moms” (those that planned pregnancy, those that enjoyed pregnancy, those that have a normal body image, etc) the idea of having more children is a positive one. For me, the idea of stretching out over a 36+ week course, feeling gross and grossly sick for the majority of the pregnancy, and the immensely strenuous first three months just doesn’t seem worth it.

Team Gwinn, Christmas 2011. Yowsers.

Team Gwinn, Christmas 2011. Yowsers.

The wild part in all of this? Despite my strong feelings of not wanting more children, I have had several pregnancy dreams (not pleasant ones, but still)  in the past month or so. It could be that many ladies I know are currently pregnant, or just that dumb biological clock ticking, but my subconscious mind is blowing my conscious mind. How a year has changed us. No more double chins, for one thing. But CLP and I seem so much stronger. I know that I am for sure, and not just emotionally. I feel more stable and more unstable all at once. I am strong for my son, and weakened by him. Rather, I am more vulnerable because of him. Give- a- thons for orphaned children make me cry. Scenes in Walking Dead make me cry. Once upon a time, I’d be critiquing the choices of the zombie apocalypse survivors, taking notes on survival tips. Now? I am emotionally involved, I’m putting CLP and I in the place of the main characters and fearing for our son if we had to live in a survival- type scenario.

Everything has changed.

At a wedding, November 2012. Yay for change!

At a wedding, November 2012. Yay for change!

This morning, while shopping with CLP and mini Gwinn, I jokingly asked my husband when I had gotten soft. We both laughed and he commented on the way parenthood has changed us both. I truly don’t mind 99% of the changes (belly skin pleats? I totally mind that). Being a mother has given me an entirely new strength in my life. While every woman has a different path in pregnancy, labor and raising her children, I will say that every good mother (not you, crack addicted mom. You should be shot in the face.) grows as a person in tremendous ways. The change you will experience over the first year will astound you. It certainly amazed me.

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About mombieconfessions

I am a sarcastic mom, tried and true INTJ, my DISC profile has a high D and C with low I and S, and I'm a quirky geek (love me some Star Wars, BSG, Firefly, Dr, Who and comic books!). When I grow up I want to be an Amazon warrior with super powers and an awesome costume. Music and literature are passions, cooking and baking are hobbies, and writing a blog (such as this one) is both a cathartic release and documentation of the growth of my family and myself. View all posts by mombieconfessions

9 responses to “The Changes Held Within a Year

  • gmama

    I am so grateful that God picked you to join my son and this normal dysfunctional family. I love the humaness (is that an adjative) and truth in your blogs. It make me proud when I see the growth through your struggles. It also saddens me (as I’m sure other parents feel the same) that we can’t ease some burdens for you- even though it’s how all of us learn and get stronger. I hope you guys build the success to fulfill all of your dreams…….. we couldn’t love you any more and thank you for sharing your lives in such a positive and truthful way.

  • Mary Sue

    I am right there with you…sort of… I’m only four months in to actual parenthood, but this time last year, I was sleeping and eating…and that was pretty much it. I had no clue how much my life would change, or the baptism by fire (and drugs) that was coming.

    One year later, I love my daughter and wouldn’t trade her for anything…but the idea of doing this again is NOT filling me with joy and anticipation. In fact, right now I feel like anyone who would do this more than once ON PURPOSE is either an alien or fundamentally insane. Why would you subject yourself to this once you know what is coming?

    When everything was over and I had my little bundle of joy, the nurse who was wheeling me (us?) from the delivery room to the recovery room said that she’d likely see me back here in about two years. I laughed shortly, which hurt my stitches, and commented that it wasn’t likely. Keep in mind, this is about 15 minutes after succumbing to the ‘epidural shakes,’ which nobody warned me about. She tried to soothe me, saying that I’ll ‘forget’ everything and just remember the good parts. Yea, lady…sure.

    All I’m sure of at this point is that my daughter is great, and it’s a very, very good thing I didn’t know what to expect. I have oodles more respect for my parents (hell, ALL parents), and have told them so repeatedly.

    As to your blog, thank you for your honesty. It keeps me a little more sane to know that someone else out there might know where I’m coming as I struggle through parenthood.

    • mombieconfessions

      It makes me so happy to see that, even though your precious baby is precious, that you are honest enough to say “it’s not always a Pampers commercial” If we can’t be honest with other mothers (and ourselves), then we’re just ruining the potential for the network new moms, in particular, need.
      I’ve never heard of “epidural shakes”- what on Earth? Is it when you’re coming off the drugs?
      Know that even though we don’t have the chance to see one another often, you can always vent/ ask/ text/ call, any time.

      • Mary Sue

        “For me, the idea of stretching out over a 36+ week course, feeling gross and grossly sick for the majority of the pregnancy, and the immensely strenuous first three months just doesn’t seem worth it.”

        –Thank you also for putting into words what I’ve been thinking. My mom said the same thing about how ‘you forget the hard parts.” Um…no.

      • mombieconfessions

        As much as we love our children, I don’t believe that means all of us are required to love our pregnancy.

  • Sam

    This post touched my heart to the point that I almost started to tear up, stupid hormones! As one of your lady friends that’s going through pregnancy, I’m very much looking forward to meeting my little baby bear. After many many wonderful years with Park, we are so excited to be expanding our family. We are both in awe of the changes my body is going through and finally Park being able to feel her movements and kicks. It’s a dance party in the baby’s house every day!

    Thank you for sharing you thought.

    • mombieconfessions

      There aren’t words to adequately describe how thrilled Team Gwinn is for you two (almost three!). I am so happy that your pregnancy has been so wonderful thus far and so happy for you that you’ll meet your baby girl in just a few short months. You have been blessed in many ways, and as someone who loves you, nothing makes me happier than seeing you and your husband happy. 😀

  • st sahm

    CHIEF LUNATIC — That’s the best title on wordpress. Don’t shut down your baby maker yet. You make really cute babies!!

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