I was 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant with my first daughter and my contractions were picking up. After a few hours of increasing intensity and decreasing intervals Chad and I had the “Oh shit, it’s time!” moment. I went from giant, uncomfortable misery of “get this baby out of me now!!” to “Oh my gosh, not yet! I’m not ready!”.
As long as I can remember I wanted to be a SAHM (stay at home mom). It was my dream and I had been blessed with a husband who supported that plan. I wasn’t the beautiful, glowing pregnant woman bouncing with energy and excitement, but I was looking so forward to meeting our perfect baby and finally starting my “dream job”. I couldn’t wait to be done being pregnant and dive into this motherhood thing. Little did I know it would be less a beautiful swan dive, and more a painful, ugly belly flop.
Our first night home was the Fourth of July. Picture fireworks going off all around our house like the whole world was celebrating our new family.. beautiful, right? Maybe if you don’t have two dogs who are terrified of loud noises and respond by running around frantically barking at volumes unimaginable to most. Add to that a screaming newborn who can’t get a good latch and an exhausted, stressed new mom whose milk still had not come in. Disaster. I suddenly realized this “dream job” I had so wanted was one for which I had zero qualifications.
Until McKinley was born I had never changed a diaper. Ever. I had no idea what a swaddle was and nipple confusion seemed more like a strange porn situation than something I needed to concern myself with. It took very little time for me to realize I was in over my head and completely overwhelmed. I loved this tiny human more than I knew I was capable of, but the thought of being 100% responsible for keeping her alive terrified me.
Slowly, but surely I gained my mommy confidence. My biggest mistake was expecting to be a natural at something I knew nothing about. When I calmed down and allowed myself some grace to not be perfect I found happiness in imperfection. I realized McKinley just needed a mommy that was always trying and loved her, not a perfect Pinterest mom. By the time she was around 9 months old Chad and I were really feeling like we had this parenting thing in the bag… so it seemed like the perfect time to have another, of course!
Wanna talk about shit getting real? 2 under 2…. but that’s a whole other conversation.