It dawned on me just before the sun came up one morning that my life will never be what it was before I got pregnant. Once you’re pregnant, you’re given a life sentence to caring, nurturing, and being completely responsible for keeping another human being alive. It doesn’t matter what trips you had planned or what your dream job was going to be…you start to realize those dreams may very well never come true. This new life will enter the world when it’s ripe and ready and will change your thinking on everything.
Because you’re officially a mom…when you first see that your pee stick has two lines instead of one.
You’re officially a mom…when the ultra sound shows a small heartbeat.
You’re officially a mom…when you feel that first kick in your belly.
You’re officially a mom…when you’re woke up in the middle of the night to kicks that are no longer small.
You’re officially a mom…when you crave macaroni and cheese more than you sex.
You’re officially a mom…when the baby shower, big or small, makes you laugh until your belly aches and you need three vehicles to bring home all of the gifts from those who love you.
You’re officially a mom…when pedicures become a once a week must-have to survive.
You’re officially a mom…when these “period cramps” start happening every 15 minutes and woah…no sleep for me.
You’re officially a mom…when you tell your husband you hate him before, between, during, and after your contractions.
You’re officially a mom…when the nurse tells you that they will order a C-section if your baby isn’t out soon…and you realize you thought you were pushing hard…but you find it deep within yourself to push harder, longer, stronger, and focus more than all of your energy into this one push…
And then you’re officially a mom…when they tell you “it’s a Boy!”
Those moments only begin to define when you think your a mom for real! Because, if those weren’t enough for you…it becomes completely real when you hold your child for the first time and he latches onto your breast after patiently waiting for you to figure out how to position yourself so he can take his first drink.
And after that…
You’re officially a mom…when you bring him home, set the car seat on the counter, and have to give yourself a minute to think about what next steps you have to take.
You’re officially a mom…when your breasts begin to ache for the first time and your baby is still sound asleep and you have to figure out how to work your breast pump.
You’re officially a mom…when you are mesmerized by the drips coming from your breasts with every heartbeat from the pump. Holy moley…I’m making milk.
You’re officially a mom…when you hear your baby wake up while you’re in the shower, look down at your nipples, and both are dripping…
You’re officially a mom…when you realize you thought you were tired after that night out and had to work in the morning, but nothing compares to night #3 after bringing home your baby and you realize you will not get a full night of sleep for probably the next year…or longer, and that simple thought makes you cry.
You’re officially a mom…when you take pictures of your child more than anything else. Ever.
You’re officially a mom…when a trip to Wal-mart must be planned and strategized.
You’re officially a mom…when you dread looking at the time on the clock when you hear your baby cry because the sun still isn’t up, which obviously means no one else should be either, but yet here you are, sitting cross-legged on the bed, rocking your baby in your arms and hoping this feeding session will only last 15 minutes because you feel you cannot afford to lose any more sleep…and you can feel your head bobbing and your eye lids have never felt heavier.
You’re officially a mom…when the smell of poop is not nasty, or nauseating, or gross.
You’re officially a mom…when you drink more than the required 8 glasses of water a day, for real this time.
You’re officially a mom…during a movie and a baby cries and you let down.
You’re officially a mom…when your husband’s alarm clock goes off and you’ve already been up for an hour, feeding, changing the dirty diaper, and then rocking your baby, only to gently set him down in the cradle and then spend the next 15 minutes watching him and listening to him coo at you before falling back to sleep.
You’re officially a mom…when at the restaurant, random people come up to you to sneak a closer look at your baby and you can tell they want to touch him, but are afraid you will physically bite their hand off because your child hasn’t slept in what feels like forever and he just got to sleep and if they touch him, you will have to be paying for their funeral, so it takes all self-control to not yank your child away as they choose to just barely touch their hand…ooooh, they got away lucky this time.
You’re officially a mom…when your child gets hungry and you’re in public and it takes a new level of coordination to get yourself in a good position to breast feed without exposing yourself entirely.
You’re officially a mom…when you finally get that first night out at the bar (tell the babysitter you’ll be home by 10pm) and yet you leave the bar at 9pm for a run to McDonald’s and still manage to make it home by 9:45pm.
You’re officially a mom…when you thought money was tight before and now you’re seriously considering couponing and eating PB&J for the next 5 years to make up for all of the new costs that come with having a baby.
You’re officially a mom…when the mirror becomes your worst enemy. You see all of the shiny stripes that ripple your body, in places you didn’t think anyone else in this world has them. You remember when you were younger and swore that you would never be that mom with the stretch marks, but you now realize how naïve that thinking was, not knowing that it never mattered how much lotion or vitamins you put into your body because those pink and purple marks were going to plague your body whether you wanted them to or not.
You’re officially a mom…when you begin to learn and accept those stretch marks. Not every time that you look in the mirror do you love them, because that day will probably never come, but right now and in this moment, you do love them and can see the beauty of them. These stretch marks helped me to create life. These stretch marks show where my body grew when I grew my little human. These stretch marks are a chapter in my life that ended my chapter of only being responsible for myself. These stretch marks are something to be proud of after going through labor and successfully pushing out a miracle.
And as amazing or annoying as all of those things are, you still get to hold your baby at the end of the day, rocking them back and forth, and have them look up at you with their big eyes, chubby cheeks, perfectly formed ears, little fingers and toes, and smooth skin and wonder how you were able to create such a perfect and amazing miracle.
You can finally see why it was all worth it, why you get the privilege of waking up in the middle of the night to feed, but it’s amazing because even in those couple of hours, it still feels like your little person has grown some more and you wouldn’t want to miss any more time than that.
You’re officially a mom…when nothing else matters to you in so many moments, except how you and your baby are always and forever going to be connected. You realize no matter how big he gets, how strong he gets, how independent he will think he is in 20 years, he will always need his mom. And you will be there for him, through thick and thin, loving him as unconditionally as you did when you held him in your arms or when you cried because he wouldn’t stop crying or when you see his dad play with him and it makes your heart so warm…all of those moments make you a mother, now and forever.
Because you’re officially a mom…when your world becomes his.