10 months ago, I stepped in to a new role for which I was (at the “geriatric pregnancy” age of 36) totally unprepared. I gave birth to my son, Bean.
I suppose my morning sickness (thank god for diclegis) or perhaps my 31 hours of labor at 41w3d (unmedicated until I cried mercy at 22 hours) should have been a great clue that I was no longer in full control of my body, schedule or life in general. If previously I was the sun around which everything orbited, that rotation was now fully dictated by the actual Son. All sweet 6lbs, 8oz of him. This little thing (he is called Bean, after all) made his presence known quickly and in full-force. And while he was the one wearing the “I’m new here” onesie, I was the one who realized I didn’t have a clue.
It’s an interesting thing becoming a first time mom in your mid-thirties (side note: my grandmother had my mom when she was 47, so genes are on my side for these geriatric pregnancies): it happens when you actually feel like you’ve got life all figured out. Or at least, I did. Great career. Awesome city condo. Rock solid husband. Fun friends.
As someone who’d wanted to be a mom for years, this was just going to make life even better. And it did, more than I could have imagined. But, it also made it harder. It edged out space for all of those other things I’d always been, and made me feel like my identity now was solely “Bean’s Mom.” I had no idea how to gracefully accept this transition — I felt about as exposed as my newborn. I’ve always suspected I wasn’t great at transitions, but this proved that I actually flat out suck at them.
So, the last year has been a wild ride of learning to give and receive grace in totally new ways, discover things I was clueless about (baby gear, allllllll the baby gear) and problem solve more than this lawyer ever thought possible (FYI, you totally can throw up in the Diaper Genie when your whole family is struck by the stomach flu).
I’ve been documenting some of this in my own journal along the way, and plan to share some of those thoughts, especially the hard and lonely ones, along the way. I know that I was the one googling things like “will I ever sleep again?” and “is XX normal?” at 3am, and I found so much comfort in shared experiences. So, let’s share, shall we?
We can all be newbies together.