Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Lately I've found myself all a-twitter with the joys of being a mother.
And in a way, I keep waiting for the anticipated "realities" to set in. Always one to research what it is I think I'm getting into, I read countless books on pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, as well as some on transitions into motherhood. And I definitely expected to be challenged, emotionally, physically, spiritually and to have to revise my sense of self and my identity.
Now I know that it hasn't been all roses. Perhaps my earlier posts emphasized a lot of the positives, but there was also a lot of pain, worry, fear and anxiety when in the throes of dealing with all Cora's health issues. And now I think I may be in that euphoric state that's often described after childbirth, when you almost forget the pain. You don't really forget, people say, but perhaps the pain just doesn't seem to matter much when you have your beautiful baby in your arms.
That's how I feel right now. It's comical, in a way. Especially since I know that I didn't have a particularly easy delivery. And I also know that Cora's first three months were much harder than my labor.
But I feel now like all that is fuzzy. And even more than that, I recognize that the first few months have certainly influenced how I feel now. It's like I'm in the honeymoon stage of mothering. That after all that stress and all that worry, the day to day experiences feel like bliss. I can't seem to get enough of my little girl. I can't get over the strength of my emotions. I can't really imagine wanting to do anything else.
And even so, I admit to having had a few moments recently when I've had hints of discomfort with Cora's Down syndrome. I've had some instances of wondering if and when strangers will be able to "tell" and I've worried about starting to get pitying looks and comments. I've watched adults with Ds and have worried about my girl's future.
But when I look at Cora, all I can see is Cora. And she is doing so well right now. Developmentally, she is largely on track. Socially, she is a joy. And her previous issues with feeding that were all-consuming are no longer plaguing us (at least not right now.)
As much as I know that we will experience speed bumps along the way, things feel so good right now.
When I sit down and think about it, questioning whether I'm steeped in denial, all I know for sure is that parenting happens day by day. We don't know what the future will bring, but we do know how much we love our little girl. When I feel worried, I just look at her and my concerns largely slip away. Because we can't foresee the difficulties we or she may face. But we can continue to love and support her now and take it step by step. If that's naive, then so be it, for now.