Somehow we've made it through nine months of pregnancy and nine months of infancy before I've even been able to bat my eyes. Ian has taught me what true, unconditional love can look like. He's taught me the unbelievable passion and profound depth of a parents' love. I've felt this within myself and observed it in my husband. We are so utterly infatuated with his every giggle, whimper, and development.
There was a time when we could only dream of his hair color, his resemblance to us, and his personality. A time when we could sleep without waking fretfully to check if he is okay; a time when we didn't keep track of poopy diapers. But that time was not as full and certainly not as rich as it is now. Sleep can wait, though it truly pains me to say it sometimes. As Jim says, "We'll sleep when he's eighteen." Even then, we'll be constantly aware of his presence and his well-being. Our heart is forever moving outside of our bodies.
Here I am at four weeks, soon after we learned we were pregnant...
And I believe I was around 39-40 weeks during this picture. Our bodies are incredible, incredible vessels. Ian came right on time at 40 weeks, so this was one of the last pictures we have of our pregnancy.
Before we moved, we decided that it was FINALLY time to DO something with the belly cast. It has sat on the shelf in the nursery for the last nine months. I always wanted a comparison picture and the time was NOW.
While people had said I didn't look like I'd had a baby earlier, which was very kind, I didn't feel like I was getting back to my pre-pregnancy body until right about the time he was nine months out or 40 weeks. It's often said that this is true, but I didn't want to believe it. This past week at the beach I didn't wear a bikini, but I might have considered it had I not purchased a one-piece breastfeeding suit about a month before.
I have to admit that I have had a bit of a struggle with the process of my body changing back to "normal." I loved being pregnant and the changing of my body then. I really did. Afterward was much harder. I hope and pray that I won't be as hard on myself the next go-around, if there is another go-around.
After all, a woman's body basically climbs a mountain daily during pregnancy. A woman's body basically runs a marathon during labor. And then a woman's body has the ability to provide sustenance to an infant for the first year of their life or more. WOW. Just wow.
And I go and knock my body for how it looks. Hmmm. Something's wrong with that.
Jim's sister recently sent me this link to women who got pictures taken after labor, celebrating their bodies. It's beautiful. And they're glowing.
So, today I am celebrating nine months in and nine months out. I'm celebrating motherhood. I'm celebrating my body. I'm amazed by how much can happen and change in 80 weeks. I'm wishing I had more pictures of my changing body during those early months and of breastfeeding, if only for myself. And I'm tearily looking through old pictures of Ian and then sitting back and savoring my baby as he crawls all of the way under the bed, giggles, then finds his next tunnel to crawl under. I'm savoring that my body is still his favorite jungle gym, even when he's not nestled in my womb.
What a journey it is to be a parent.
Thanks for walking this road with me so far. For those struggling with this right now, you're not alone.