Thursday, February 19, 2015

the things i never expected

One year ago today, this happened:

In the last year, a lot has happened. It's been a crazy year full of so many things I never expected.

I never expected to get pregnant so fast. I never expected to be able to pull off not telling Husband the second I saw the line so that I could surprise him properly. I never expected the overwhelming rush of joy, terror, excitement, nervousness... FEELINGS when that little second line showed up.

I also never expected that I wouldn't get morning sickness, that my personal first trimester demon was the debilitating fatigue that knocked me off my feet and put me to sleep if I even blinked for a second too long. I never expected my belly to get as big as it did. I never expected the stretch marks to show up in such an abundance and in so many diverse places on my body. I never expected my deep innie belly button to pop out.

I could never have anticipated what it felt like to see my baby on the ultrasound for the first time. My baby. Mine.

I could never have imagined what those first little fluttery kicks would feel like, or how happy I'd feel when my sweet husband got to feel those kicks from the outside of my belly.

I never even knew pregnancy could cause a rash so evil I felt like I was losing my mind.

I couldn't have dreamed of what a rolling, happy baby would feel like, full size at 40 weeks squirming in my lopsided alien belly.

I never expected to go two weeks past my due date, still have to be induced, and end up with an emergency c-section. Never in a million years.

Seeing that baby for the first time outside of me was staggeringly, unpredictably beautiful.

I never expected breastfeeding to be as hard as it was in the beginning. Never expected to spend SO. MUCH. TIME. breastfeeding. So much time trying to get him to latch. So much time crying because I just couldn't do it. Crying with my baby, who was hungry while I was helpless to figure out how to feed him.

During those first two and a half months of my baby's life, I never expected breastfeeding to get easier. I thought about quitting every day. And here I am now on the other side. It got better... so much better. Instead of a crying, hungry baby, I have a happy, chunky, cooing-at-me-with-milk-all-over-his-face baby. And that feels a hundred kinds of wonderful.

I never expected my postpartum belly to look the way it does. Never even dreamed my belly button could look so foreign to me or that it could TOTALLY CHANGE ITS PLACEMENT ON MY ABDOMEN (what?!). I never knew what a c-section scar looked like, and now I have one all my own. I never imagined that I could love that scar because of what it means and who it brought to me... but I do.

I did expect to love my baby. I did expect my body to be different. I did expect my life to change. I did expect to be tired. I expected so many things.

But I never could have anticipated how it actually feels to be doing and living and thriving in a world where all of those things I expected and all of the many more things I didn't expect are real.

Perhaps the thing that I expected least of all was how utterly and completely incredible my little (okay, big) baby is. We love him more than we could ever have dreamed.