The idea of having children was important to me at a very early age. In high school I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, a condition that commonly can take away a woman’s ability to have conceive. With that always in the back of my mind, I often dreamed of having a blond haired, blue eyed child. I wrote poems about the fear that surrounded never holding a child of my own.
It was after completing a new treatment for my condition that I indeed was pregnant. I was thrilled, and overjoyed beyond belief. Feeling that little being inside my belly fluttering at first, then to all out kicking, and punching the bigger the baby grew. Every movement I felt was cherished, and enjoyed, even with the normal discomforts of pregnancy.
May 13, 1994 was the day I would first meet my son face to face. I knew I had the capacity to love, but until I laid eyes on him, I hadn’t ever realized how much I was capable of loving. He was a little angel in the hospital. The nurses enjoyed him as well, I got up out of my bed the following morning, and sorely wandered down to the nursery, only to find him gone. The instant panic was overwhelming. Frantically, I went to the nurses station where I was informed that the nurses took him into their meeting, because he was so calm, and they adored him. That was my first brush with motherly protective instinct.
We did our 3 day stay in the hospital, then bundled our new son up and brought him home, where for the next four months he did not stop screaming. We tried everything. After months of little sleep, a marriage that was hanging on by it’s last thread due to our pure exhaustion, we realized he only slept when it was noisy. We started off with the vacuum cleaner, and he was out, until you turned it off. Well, though it was a good idea, we didn’t want to have to purchase a new vacuum every time we wore one out trying to get him to sleep a normal schedule. It’s funny what you find yourself doing as a parent to make your child comfortable. We next tried a hair dryer with three speeds, high, medium, and low, so as he fell deeper to sleep, we would lower it until it was eventually off. We went through four hair dryers in his first 4 months.
He eventually grew out of the noise to sleep phase, and on to a phase not even the doctors could understand in the beginning. He had a condition that caused him to vomit regularly. Many hospital stays, and doctor visits later, they figured out that it was Ketotic Hypoglycemia. His body burned food too fast, in turn sending his body into starvation mode, which sent the key tones out of control, hence the vomiting. Finding the proper nutritional diet for him, we were able to better control it. There had been many more sleepless nights while we waited for the answers that finally came.
What I’m getting at by sharing all of those first month’s experiences with you, is that being a parent is difficult, and sometimes downright frustrating, but when you get those hugs, and hear, “Mommy, I love you!” Every sleepless night, every panic moment, every stress is gone in that glorious second, I loved it so much I had two more children.
Five ways my life has changed since I had my children are: it is more difficult to enjoy your own personal hobbies. Some I had to choose to put aside until they were older. We didn’t get together as often with friends. It was a joint decision we made together, we enjoyed our children, and we did end up losing friendships over it, as, we were no longer the party animals as before kids. We spent less money on our needs, there is always something the kids need more than we did. I learned to trust my gut instinct more. Always trying to think a step ahead of them. It’s not as easy as it used to be to pack up and go anywhere. Three kids, their luggage, and our luggage = a troop movement; but I would have it no other way!