Today my baby turned six months old. That’s half a year of Henry being here and half a year of me being a mom. Which basically means everything has completely changed since six months ago, heck everything has completely changed since the day I found out I was pregnant.
Let me tell you, the first three months are slow. They are slow and weird and foggy and emotional and you feel like this weird shell of yourself. It’s strange, because you can remember your life Before Baby, you can even say things like, “A few weeks ago we went on a date to that little Italian place,” and you will remember that it was just you and your significant other. You will remember what it felt like to just be two. And then WHAM.
And you’re tired, and so sweaty (I can’t be the only post-pregnant woman who gets super sweaty?!) and you’re so in love with this tiny person who screams and cries and snuggles and life has just changed. And life Before Baby seems far away and close at the same time. It’s a hard place to be. You are never really prepared.
I didn’t start to feel like myself until about three months in. And even then it was a different version of myself. It was a mom version of myself and a bigger-hearted version of myself. It was someone who constantly checked to make sure their baby was breathing when he was napping, but also someone who made sure to take a shower- even if the baby was upset.
Those first three months were all about being comfortable and confident in my new role as mom. And in my relationship with Henry, his relationship with me, and about me and Gillis and us together as parents, and us together as us. Those are a lot of changes.
And I think sometimes people forget that and they try to make it how it used to be. But really, it’s not at all how it used to be. It’s harder. It’s better.
Once I became more confident in my version of motherhood, I think I was finally able to relax and marvel at this little human who is by far the most amazing thing I’ve ever known. And that’s the thing: I get to know him. It’s a privilege, really.
If those first three months were so slow, these past three have sped by. Too fast. I love this stage of Henry. All gummy, gooey smile. Crinkly eyes that are filled with such wonder and happiness and complete adoration. Doughy fat folds and a squishy belly. He rolls himself up into a ball and hugs his arms around me when I carry him. He smiles at his reflection in the mirror, he smiles at me, at Gillis, and at strangers. He just started laughing.
And oh my, it’s a really dorky laugh.
He grabs at everything and it all goes into his mouth. He can sit. Kinda. And roll over and he swims across our floor, because he has no idea his legs are made to move him. He loves his toes. And hands. And my hands too.
The joy in this child is incredible. It’s addictive. And watching it develop and grow, watching him, is simply the best.
I get it. I get why parents are so obsessed with their children. Because kids (most likely your own) fill your heart up to a point you never knew was possible. You dream big for them.
Today Gillis asked me, “do you think that Henry will ever be the best of something? Like the best in the whole world?” To be honest, I had never thought of that, but I love that Gillis did.
All of it. The hard and the bad and the good and the love, all of it- is more than I imagined it to be. Which, I think, is the best gift someone could ever give me. A life more than I ever imagined it to be.