In so many ways I loved being pregnant. Sure it had it's fair share of aches and pains and feeling enormous. And Dear Lord, SO HOT. But I loved him before I even knew he was a him. Before I even knew for sure that he was there, and every little movement delighted me to feel this little person growing. I knew him. I treasured him. He was gentle and shy, stopping his movement every time I drew attention to it.
All through the labor his heart beat stayed strong. I felt like he was such a patient, peaceful, sweet little guy. And he totally is all of that. He has been a mellow, pretty easy baby. I think so anyway - he's my only baby so I have no comparison apart from the stories.
The last three months have flown by, as I treasured the precious moments with him, nursing and cuddling. Now he is getting such a little personality. Smiling and cooing and playing and learning. He still is so thoughtful. Observant. And still a little shy - often stopping his play and babble when he realizes he's being watched. He eyes the camera with great suspicion.
He tends to "mad dog" everyone, but a little less than in the earlier months. Turning on a warm smile as people show him their love and affection.
I mostly kept him away from the CrossFit for his first two months, protective and wary of germs. We're there almost daily now as I'm returning to working out and coaching again. He loves to watch me lift and flirt with all the ladies. The dropping of the barbells and the music don't seem to bother him at all. I guess their all familiar sounds from his days in the womb.
It melts my heart to watch him and his daddy together. Chris had never held a baby until I was 7 or 8 months pregnant. He was scared of them and wasn't even sure he liked kids. It was like a switch was flipped in him from the moment he heard Magnus' first cries. He was the first of us to get to bond with Magnus; holding him skin to skin for nearly the first hour as I was stitched up.
The labor and birth were nothing I had planned, imagined, or prepared for. At about 34 or 35 weeks along I was diagnosed with cholestasis. I had a few friends who had had the same. The standard procedure is induction at 37 weeks due to the risk it poses to the baby. But somehow it didn't process to me that that would be our fate. I fully expected to go to full term and I never considered what induction could mean or what it would be like. One friend had an excruciating experience and another seemed to have had a smooth and uncomplicated one. Perhaps it's normal or at least my nature to think things would be different for me.
I had a rude awakening at my 37 week check up when the OB suggested I go in for induction... like asap. I didn't get it - my bile salt levels hadn't been in the dangerous range to my understanding, the non stress test showed no alarm. My little guy (I didn't know he was a guy yet) seemed totally fine and content, and he remained that way through the whole induction process.
I wasn't ready. My body wasn't ready. And no matter what they tried, my cervix just wouldn't dilate. Finally, we resigned to the c-section knowing that we were induced for a reason. Every day he stayed inside increased the chance that things would go very bad for him. I wanted a natural birth SO badly, and I wasn't able to have anything natural about it. But I wanted a live and healthy baby more.
I grieved that for a while. If I'm honest, I still do. Bitter that it went the way it did, and angry with the OB that delivered him. She treated us as some thing to be handled, a job to be done rather than working with my body and considering my desires, misleading us at a point when we were very vulnerable which in some ways I feel led to the section.
Recovery was rough. I was readmitted to the hospital a few weeks postpartum as an infection developed and my recovery declined. This was after great worry over Magnus and his readmission to the hospital for jaundice. It was a rough start that way and so wrenching on this new mama's heart.
My sincerest consolation in all of it was how well he nursed. I guarded that bond fiercely, fearful those complications threaten it.
Needless to say those first few months had their fair share of trials. I'm so grateful both Chris and my parents were able to be with us to help. Running our own CrossFit, Chris didn't have the luxury of taking any time off. As I was sleep deprived and consumed with learning to care for our son, he was working 16 hr days at the box. We both have been exhausted for months, but having Magnus makes all the rest bearable - we're adjusting to our new normal as a family. It really feels real now. We're a family.
I have admired so many moms I know. In awe of their super powers. I'm still waiting for mine to show up and it occurs to me that maybe those super powers don't come infused with the job. Rather they are grown and born of love. They come with the hours of work that are poured out.
This life has been a huge transition. The past year and a half has been a huge transition. My fitness is nothing that it used to be. I often miss that discipline, and I'm working to bring it back. I miss feeling strong and free. But again, sometimes you have to lay aside one good thing for another for a season.
To be a wife and a mom is truly all I ever wanted. It's what I've longed and waited for the past 15 yrs at least. I wanted to find my joy and purpose in pouring out my life in love for my husband and children. While that hope was unfulfilled for so long I turned to loving my single life and the freedom and possibility it afforded. I haven't found that same feeling in marriage, but I've found my vocation. I'm learning to put myself aside. But trying to find the balance every day in still caring for myself. Not losing myself in giving myself. There's quite a difference after all.
It's not easy, but it's so worth it.
I have never loved so much, and though it's not always easy, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Thank you, Magnus man, for making me a mom. Thank you for the joy you bring. You are our life, and it's never been more precious.