Thursday, December 3, 2009

Distracted thoughts on new parenthood

I realize that I haven't written much of anything about the arrival of our Miss Charlotte and it's obviously not because I have nothing to say, but more because I felt like it was more important to be experiencing our life change rather than documenting it. Plus, there's the overwhelming issue of time and the utter lack of it. Writing thoughtful entries requires calm and extended periods of quiet and with a new baby in the house and a husband who is tackling both a job and a masters program, that's not something that happens in spades around here. Periods of quiet have been used primarily for showering and cleaning.

But next week our little lady turns 4 months old and we'll officially (according to me, anyway) be out of the newborn stage. I understand now why they call the first 3 months the "fourth trimester." Her levels of alertness, neediness, playfulness, and everything else have been quite different these last few weeks and it's allowed a balance to slowly return to my life. And if there is ANY word that describes me, it's balance. I need it, I live it, I embody it, I require it. (Typical Libra)

I'm good at creating balance because it's inherently what I need, but it's also just a part of me. Ask anyone who knows me well and they'll tell you that I never stray too far in dramatic directions. I can be passionate and bold, but it's usually in a pretty level-headed kind of way. Anyway, I'm feeling very happy that the pendulum has swung back to the middle.

And it's not that I was in any way unhappy with these last few months, but the tricky part about being a new parent is that you've never done this before. You have no idea what to expect until you go through it and move past it. So it's nice to now have the wisdom that the first 3-4 months will be a little out of whack, but that things get really fun after that.

I felt the same way about labor - I had no idea how wonderful having our sweet baby in our arms would be, so it was not-at-all a motivating thought to help endure the labor and delivery process. Next time, it will be. Incidentally, my gift to all you mothers-to-be is to NEVER tell you about my experience with that little "process." Trust me, that's a WAY better gift than some stupid shower present I'd normally send. My card will say "Congratulations! Your gift is my silence. No thank you card required."

However, despite the sleep deprivation and the new parent learning curve, I will say that from the very beginning, having Charlotte here felt so natural. And not in that way where we had always wanted to be parents (though we had), but her presence (ironically) made life feel so complete and settled and therefore, calm. There hasn't been one part of our last six years together where I haven't felt like we were a little behind or a little transient or still had something else to do and I don't feel that way anymore. I feel like our life has really started. And, again, as counter-intuitive as it would seem, now that she's here and we're a family of three and not two, I feel like there's more room to expand our life, our ideas, our goals, etc.

The other really wonderful experience happened a few days after we got home from the hospital. I held her in my arms and I truly felt like our souls had gone back hundreds of years together. I felt like I was being reconnected with someone, not like I was meeting someone for the first time. I still feel that way and it's so reassuring.

As the past four months have gone on and Charlotte's personality has come out more and more, and we have gotten to know each other, I really feel as though she is such a perfect fit to our specific family. Not long after I told my dad I was pregnant he told me to focus on exactly what type of little soul we wanted for our family. So every night I would lay in bed and talk to the souls... I'd say that the main components to our family were joy and serenity. That laughter and lightness and joy were driving factors in both B and I, as well as our relationship. I said that we were allergic to drama and didn't need any of it. We had goals to have a big and complicated life (businesses, travel, more kids, etc) and that we needed someone who could really go with the flow of life and fit right in. I feel like that's just who Charlotte is and I'm so thankful. I hope that B & I can return the favor and be just the type of parents that she needs throughout the years.

Lastly I will tell you that if you've been lucky enough to never really experience anxiety (I had been so lucky, B had not), that parenthood will really dip you in that emotion. I remember having many humorous conversations over the years with people saying "Seriously, when do you get OLD? When do you go from us (i.e. hip, relaxed, etc), to them (not hip and really not relaxed)?" Apparently the answer is parenthood. I think B and I were parents for about 4 days before we looked at each other and laughed and said "So THAT'S why they're all so fucking crazy!"

Asleep on the hospital bed, 1 day old.

Playing in her exersaucer - 3 1/2 months old.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...