twelve weeks. nine months ago, that sounded like the biggest span of time ever. i mean, i won't have to go to work for twelve weeks? absolutely. sign me up. i can stay in my little cocoon, just me and my to-be-named son, staring at what was sure to be his gorgeous face and tending to his every need. yes, sign me up.
well, as of tomorrow, twelve weeks have come and gone. tomorrow, i go back to work. and as i reflect back on the gift that has been maternity leave, i can't help but get a little misty eyed (okay, i have total gushing tears coming down my face) at what the last twelve weeks have given me. here's some of what has meant the most to me:
1. obviously, twelve weeks ago tomorrow. at 7:45am, it all started. our son was going to make his way into the world. i got to look at noah and in the most serious voice i could muster, i asked him to please put his shoes on, that it was time to go to jenny's. when he didn't move in a swift manner, i got to have that moment with him that we had prepared him for - i got to kneel down on his level, look noah in the eyes and say, "hey bud, do you remember how mommy and daddy have told you that when it's time for your brother to come that we're going to go to the hospital? well, it's time for mommy and daddy to go to the hospital. so i really need you to go put your shoes on." the look in his eyes was priceless. and, another of the many moments i'll never forget from this day was when i drove him to jenny's. she came out to the car to get him (since my water had broken and i was waiting for mike to get home from work and i was trying to move as little as possible), and before he jumped out of the car, i grabbed his hand, and looked intently at him and said, "i love you so much, buddy." that was going to be the last time i saw him as an only child and i wanted to remember it forever.
2. feeling like kind of a bada*s during labor. i was intent on making it further with this labor before the epidural than i did with noah. and i did. call it competitiveness (or as mike puts it, "you can't tell her she can't do something because that just makes her all the more intent on doing whatever it is you're telling her she probably shouldn't do") but dang it, i was going to write a different birth story this time. and i did.
|a first picture of mama + alex...minutes before the turkey|
3. all of the moments with alex in the hospital. seeing noah meet alex. seeing my mom and stepdad meet alex. successfully nursing alex (another thing that i was hellbent on making happen this time around). getting to eat that first turkey sandwich (for anyone who has ever been pregnant and who likes turkey sandwiches - or any deli meat for that matter - you know what i'm talking about).
4. the amazingly awesome revolving door of family. thank you to each and every one of you. you all know who you are. and if i didn't get to express my thanks enough in those first weeks, where the fog of exhaustion and recovery clouded my brain, we love you all.
5. figuring out how to road trip by myself with two boys. yeah, that was fun. and i was seriously glad we bought the honda pilot three years ago. and not being ashamed that there were moments where i did a roll call in the car to make sure i had two children and one dog.
6. having sweet mornings in bed with alex. we didn't co-sleep but in some of those first weeks, it kind of felt like it. alex would wake up early, and in order to get some more sleep, i'd bring him into bed with me. he had this special spot he liked to lay in and he'd like to kind of roll towards me. okay, we were totally nose-to-nose (which someone somewhere will probably take issue with), but those mornings were so precious. he would calm as soon as he was close to me. and as a mama, that is the best feeling.
7. getting to spend a whole bunch of time on re-nest studio. i have loved this. i have forfeited sleeping when alex has slept so i could blog, do facebook, tweet, search pinterest, build my designs up, whatever. because this is my passion. i love making things that i think people will like and find unique.
|the greatest big brother we could have |
8. seeing noah become a big brother. i had promised noah before my maternity leave that there would be some days that he would stay home with mama and alex. a lot of days, i wanted to keep some normalcy for him, so he went to day care. but some days, we stayed together. and he got to become a big brother. when alex cries, he goes to him and gives him his paci. or the best moment was when i overheard the following: "it's okay alex, noah's here. it's okay buddy." which noah got from me saying, "it's okay alex, mommy's here." melt. my. heart.
so, as the mommy guilt feels like a ton of bricks on my chest as i look to tomorrow, i want my boys to know just how very much they make my (our) life complete. they are my sunshine. i would walk to the ends of the earth and back for them. they keep me up at night with worry and they make me exhausted, but i wouldn't trade a second of sleep for a second with them.
i am going to guess that i will be an emotional basketcase tomorrow (it's a good thing i am going back on a thursday. just two days, then the weekend!). but i remind myself that for our family, my working is what we need. and i'll explain that more to them someday when they can understand it.
and, i'd be a totally bummer of a wife if i didn't acknowledge the guy who got on this roller coaster ride with me. i knew seventeen years ago that he'd be the kick butt father and partner he is today. he never lets me down. he loves our boys with his whole heart. and i know that tomorrow, i'll get text messages and calls from him throughout the day, checking in on me, to make sure i'm keeping it together. and for than, i'm more than eternally grateful.
so, here's to jumping in with both feet (once again). to becoming a working mama of two boys. for taking it one day, one hour, and sometimes, one minute at a time.