A few days ago my daughter turned five weeks old.
Wow, 'my daughter.' That is still such a strange thing to say...
I have a daughter and I am somebody's mother.
It's insane how quickly these five weeks have flown by and how much my little girl has already grown and changed. She's getting so big so quickly; she is establishing a routine and I am slowly learning it. Her cherub face seems to change every day as she becomes more alert and aware of the life going on all around her. Sometimes She looks exactly like a Loewen and other times she's a dead ringer for a Cook.
Looking at her is one of my favourite things to do.
It's funny how things change.
When I was pregnant I wasn't sure that I was capable of being a mom. While I did feel love for the little human growing inside of me I wasn't confidant in that love, nor was I confident in myself until the second I met her.
She changed everything.
I hated being pregnant. I didn't feel beautiful or empowered by this experience. No, pregnancy for me meant that I was this large, uncomfortable, miserable person who was insatiably hungry and who waddled. Near the end of my pregnancy I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which meant that I had to adhere to a strict diet, test my blood four times a day, and take insulin when my blood sugar spiked. I was also reminded by my millions of doctor's appointments how large my baby was going to be because of my diet and the diabetes. Two days before I gave birth an ultrasound tech told me that my baby was at least 9.5 pounds if not more. (She was 8 lbs 8 oz at birth.)
I nearly cried and I begged to be induced that day.
Beyond the physical changes, pregnancy turned me into this ticking time bomb, who's life was going to explode with changes that I wasn't sure I was ready for.
Truth be told, I was scared of those changes.
See, throughout my pregnancy other parents warned me about what I was getting myself into. These warnings, though mostly true, lighthearted and meant as a rite of passage, filled me with anxiety. People told me to "get your sleep now," because once baby comes I would never sleep again. Or, they said that I should enjoy my freedom now because when baby came it would all be gone for at least 18 years. When I complained about pregnancy, I was told that I hadn't even seen hard yet.
It almost felt like I was walking into a life sentence and I kept thinking about all the freedoms and liberties I would be giving up in exchange for becoming a mom. I'm selfish at the best of times so I couldn't imagine how I would be able to change my life and sacrifice those freedoms and liberties for this completely dependant little person.
I didn't want this little baby to change me or my life, I wanted him or her to fit into the life I already had.
Looking back now, I realize that all the things other parents told me were the truth, however all of these things have a totally different meaning when they have a little person who you love more than anything attached to them.
Everything changed when she was born, most of all me.
I am mesmerized by her; time is going by so quickly and I am so scared to miss out. I am trying so hard to enjoy every second of holding her, as she is curled up like a little bean on my chest and shoulder. Or when she has that hearty, heartbreaking cry when she is hungry. Or, the way she just stares at everything happening around her in this new life she has.
I want to memorize all of these things about her. All of these feelings, sounds, smells. All of it.
Meeting Riel was the most powerful experience I have ever had in my life. I felt things for this tiny human that I have never felt before. I wept as they placed her on me.
"This is love," I thought.
The second she was born, a part of me was born too.