During my last semester of college I learned that I was pregnant. It didn’t come as a total surprise, nonetheless, I was still taken by surprise. I shed many tears on the toilet that morning as my shaky hand held the little white stick soaked in urine. We had spent the evening prior at the pub with a friend, sharing a pitcher of beer and pretzel bites with cheese. We were enjoying our college years to the fullest, embracing all the freedom that we could muster.
Fast forward to my first ultrasound with Noah: I felt my first connection to my little babe. Before then, I questioned on daily basis if I was still pregnant. As summer turned to fall and fall became winter I could also sense myself changing with the seasons. I was on the cusp of undertaking the biggest and vaguest transition of my life. I was as uncomfortable in my new role as I was my body. I lost sight of myself during this period, while I was technically still a college student, I was no longer experiencing the freedom I once had so passionately relished in.
The day Noah was born, I knew my life’s purpose, or so I thought. For the first few years of his life (specifically the first) I was him, and he was me… An extension so to speak, like a limb, my very beating heart. I forgot that life had existed before this new job and identity. I had forgotten that I existed outside of my new role. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a beautiful thing to fall completely in love with your child. It is, without question one of the most remarkable experiences I’ve been given the privilege to know. It has made me a more compassionate and patient person, more accepting of differences, and helped me tune out more opinions and people than I probably should. It has allowed me to find my inner strength as my own creation and stand firm in my beliefs about parenting and being a mother. I have gained an insurmountable bit of confidence in the incredibly weak areas of my life and helped me come to deeply love and value the gift that is my husband and the promises we made to one another a decade ago.
I’m a few months out from welcoming my second child into the world. I am both grounded in and terrified of my role as a mother to two children. Noah took my heart and soul, he has challenged me in ways that I never would have welcomed or allowed in my college days. I allowed him to steal my identity, my energy, my very breath each and every day. This time around however, you won’t find only books on breastfeeding, natural birth, and potty training sitting on my nightstand.
Being a mother is only a fragment of who I am. Being a mother is one of the most important roles in my life. I am also a wife, a child of God, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a writer, a creator of bad art, an amateur chef, and someone who loves to vacuum new carpet.
Noah has indirectly taught me to not define myself so simply. He has fragmented me.
While it has taken me over three years to come to terms with the reality that I do indeed exist outside of mothering, it has been a freeing experience… one that I hope I still make easily accessible to myself, starting the moment I first hold Maeby in my arms.
Photo bomber. Welcoming the third trimester!
bedtime snacks with my buddy
First day of school
Look at the backpack I picked out
Seconds after arriving home from his first day of school… Back to business!
Noah started school this week and did great his first day. I hope that he will come to love his new teachers like those in Rochester. His potty training has blown me away! He is incredibly consistent and knows exactly what to do once we get to the bathroom. There are a few key words that we won’t use or he will stand and pee right where he is instead of waiting…. Learned that the hard way… while eating breakfast. it was actually quite humorous. We met with his new pediatrician this week as well for a general check-up and refill for sleep meds… Divine intervention to say the least. We were even offered his personal cell for questions or concerns! God does indeed provide.
Matt is falling comfortable into place at Saint Mary’s. We love the flexibility that working in academia offers to our family. We love that Noah and I can go up for coffee and walks around campus during a morning break. I guess that *almost* a decade in college has indeed paid off!
Lastly, I previously mentioned that I had an article accepted to a blog about raising kids with special needs… Well, it was officially posted yesterday AND I’ve already been asked to write a follow up to my original post. It’s incredibly encouraging for others to find value in my work. I hope this is the start of something consistent for me. I have enjoyed using this blog as an outlet for all things Noah, mothering, and special needs. Thanks to all of you faithful readers and commenters. You can find the article here: http://motheringkidswithspecialneeds.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/opting-out/
If you’re a frequent reader on this site, you will recognize the content of the article… Just a bit pared down to meet the requirements for submission.