As my little guy approaches his first birthday next month, I'm feeling rather reflective. His birth brought about a whole world of change in different life arenas- emotional/mental, physical and spiritual. I anticipated some adaptations, though, as usual, life didn't go as expected!
Emotionally & Mentally
My emotions still seem a bit more scattered than usual since my son’s birth, but I will continue to chalk it up to frenetic post-breastfeeding hormones and general sleep deprivation. Emotionally, I feel less centered on myself and more focused on Rayden: worries for him, concerns about him, hopes for him, happiness with him, etc.
Though my world revolves around an infant these days, he also encourages me to dedicate myself more fully to my own goals. I know that the effort I put into my teaching and writing will make a positive difference in our family life over the years to come- both by providing us with more financial stability and by giving me more confidence and success to be a strong role model for the little dude.
Of course, things change physically; it’s inevitable after the epic events of labor and childbirth. I feel fortunate that healthy eating, breastfeeding and constantly running after and scooping up a needy baby all brought me back to my pre-pregnancy weight relatively quickly. I'm about 99% certain I won't be as lucky after future kiddos. Still, I both feel and look different than before, and my lower abdomen will likely never be the same. (Eh, it’s not like I ever wore bikinis anyway.)
Other issues have arisen since Rayden’s birth. Lactose is no longer a close friend of mine, for instance, and I have a lot of muscular problems that developed as a result of thirty+ hours of labor (and I know the OB nurses will tell you that most of that wasn’t active labor, but that doesn’t mean it wasn't intense!). I’ve learned from this whole situation about a topic in woman’s health that needs to be talked about: Pelvic Organ Prolapse. It is virtually unmentioned until you’re diagnosed- and then it is still relatively ignored. Seeing as how people talk about way more intimate things on everyday television, I think the docs could give ladies a head’s up about prevention, etc. at their yearly check-ups. Just sayin’.
Since my son’s birth, I feel a deeper connection to my faith. Throughout my life, I’ve typically gone to church every Sunday and prayed daily, but now it just seems more important than ever to keep grounded. I want my son to know that, as Catholics, we aren’t the bigoted, racist people that the media portrays us to be. We are some of the most loving people you could ever find, with a focus on truth, hope and Christ-like love. When you have a religion to base your morals upon, you are grounded in the reality of what is right and wrong, and I want Rayden to have that- instead of the flippant nature of reality that popular culture so often presents. I’m excited to raise this awesome kid in an uplifting family dynamic and positive community. I’m about 99.999% sure he’ll go far. ;)