We're creeping up on 19 entire weeks of baby. I was 19 weeks into pregnancy on June 2 when we found out our surprise baby was an Owen. A perfect, healthy Owen. It's wild to look back on that day and imagine a time before I knew our baby. Before Owen was Owen. Before I was a mama.
Did that time exist?
Like, rationally, I know it did. But wow, it feels like 32,000,000 years ago. Which is funny because I am now 32 million years old. Or 36. But today it feels like 32 million.
I celebrated my 36th birthday last Sunday by throwing up. One might assume birthday barfing is the result of too much alcohol, but nah, I'm not that fun. Others like to think OMG HA HA ARE YOU PREGNANT AGAIN? To which I say, eat my butt. Also, it's not scientifically possible because I'm fairly certain I know how babies are made and I didn't make one. And also BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST YOU GUYS I JUST HAD ONE.
That I made on my birthday last year...
Anyway, I had some unfortunate sort of stomach bug that left me vomiting in the middle of the night while Todd and I were away for our first ever getaway sans baby. So yes, that was dumb. Owen and I both had slight fevers Sunday night, my mom ended up getting it, our daycare provider was sick, and basically can we just be done with cold and flu season? It's stressing me out.
I mean, to be fair, vomiting and living 24 hours without food brought me optimistically closer to my pre-pregnancy weight, but uh, you know, not the most sustainable way to go about goals.
So, either way, we're all fine now.
Well, no one is sick.
But fine is relative.
Before coming down with the sickness, my running was excellent. I'd been nailing a goal of three to four runs per week, and feeling great. Owen was sleeping through the night. I was closer to 30 years old than 40. Things were solid.
Now, I haven't run in 11 days. Owen hasn't slept through the night in three days. We started an early bedtime with him, and I miss him at night. My struggle with leaving him in daycare for 10 hours a day ebbs and flows, and it's currently... flowing? I cry, I get mad. I worry I'm missing him. Like, actually missing him. The moments I'll never have or see. His growth and development.
I cry because someone else is forming his habits and learning his day. I get mad because there's nothing I can do. What if he walks? Or talks? Or learns her name before his says "mama"?
We have to, officially, start transitioning him to his crib in his room, and I need to mourn this phase, too. This phase of my sweet baby sleeping soundly within arms reach. I'll never forget those first weeks when he was so fresh and it was so new, and I could hear his tiny breaths in the dark.
Now he fights the rock and play. He squirms and is uncomfortable. Instead of weighing in at less than 7 pounds, he's nearing 15. He's not swaddled anymore, and is no longer oblivious to background noise. He doesn't sleep as sound. He needs his crib and, well, his crib isn't conveniently positioned directly next to my side of the bed.
You guys, this time is going fast. It's going so fast and I'm missing so much of it, and I still have a hard time with that.
We left him overnight for the very first time over the weekend. I'd been preparing myself since before he was born, and as the day approached, I became more and more panicked. I know moms who took years to leave their babies the first time. Certainly more time than a few months. I felt guilty. I felt scared. I felt sad.
It was fine, obviously. I left him with my mom and dad and he was fine and it didn't ruin any moments for me. But it was hard, and someone said to me I was an overprotective mom.
You know what? I am. And until my baby has more life skills beyond lifting his own head and pulling milk out of a boob with his mouth, I'll keep him as close as I comfortably can. He is why I'm a mom. He's my one shot at motherhood. And as his mom, I'll decide what makes me comfortable. And I'll tell you, as someone struggling with intensified anxiety in this postpartum phase, not a whole fuck of a lot makes me comfortable.
I used to roll my eyes each time my mom would say, "Mom knows best," or a person would carry on about a mother's intuition or that a mother is always right.
But guess what? MY MOM WAS RIGHT. Because a mother knows best.
If you're wondering who on this planet knows what's best for Owen, stop wondering. It's me. And don't question it because the other thing my mom always taught me is that mom always wins.
None of this is to say I'm not aware I need to learn to let go a little bit. It's a big world and I have to trust him in it. But I've only been a mom for 132 days (you're damn right I counted). It's a job I have for the rest of my life, and the rest of my life is a real long time. Four months is nothing.
And so I struggle. With daycare, with leaving him for a day or a night or every weekday, with trusting him in the care of anyone that isn't me, with putting him in a bedroom down the hall to sleep at night.
I AM HAVING AN EMOTIONAL REGRESSION.
I'm anxious. I'm a lot of feelings, actually. Loud feelings. I'm human. I'm a mom. This stuff is hard as shit. Go give all the moms a medal, man.
I just hope I'm doing this right. I hope he grows up to know he's so very loved, by everyone. I hope he knows I want to give him the best life, and that I'd be with him each moment of every day, if I could. I wouldn't miss his milestones.
I hope he also thanks me for not making him sleep in a rock-and-play next to our bed until he's a teenager. That'd have gotten weird.
You're welcome, buster. Mama loves you.