My aunt used to tell me that you need to see someone (something) in all it’s seasons. I think at the time this was her dating advice that I needed to be with someone more than two months before declaring it was true love. But I was in high school and time felt long. However, there is something to be said about Round 2 and how the second time going through something is less scary. Even something intense, like labor, or completely transforming, like pregnancy, the element of the unknown is drastically decreased and it just makes it less scary. It also helps that I was trying to get pregnant 🙂
When I gave birth to my daughter in the summer 2012 after a long labor and another unplanned cesarean surgery, she came into the world gorgeous, big eyes, loud voice, healthy and a sweet smile. Breastfeeding felt familiar and comforting to us both. Even the pain in the incision of all seven (or so) layers having been cut through and stapled back together was familiar.
It’s amazing how by taken out the fear of the unknown: will labor hurt? will I have a c-section? will I know how to hold the baby? Feed the baby? Will I know how to help him/her latch on? Change a diaper? Give a bath? Fasten a carseat buckle? Install a car seat? Put on a onsie? The list goes on….
By taking all of those questions out of the mix, I was able to be really present for my new girl. I was able to take her in as she is, without the expectations or assumptions that came with the first time around based on what I had read or thought or been told. My mama gut instinct was with me to guide me in my interactions with doctors, nurses, family and friends. This time I knew that I knew how to be a mom, I knew what kind of mom I want to be, and that now I just needed to get to know my daughter.
It’s huge, I think, to realize how hard it is to be becoming a new mom and learning who that person is at the same time as getting a baby in your arms and learning who that person is. It took me less time to fall in love with my new baby, not because she was better, but because I already knew who I was. I am Mama.