Jul 21, 2011

Safe, Happy Place

*Dear Readers, Please take a moment and enjoy this wonderful story from my friend, Kathryn, about her journey into motherhood and what motherhood is like from her perspective.  Kathryn and I met online during our pregnancies, and our children were born less than a week a part.  We have enjoyed this crazy journey together, and I look forward to watching Noah grow.  Happy Reading!*

Even before he was born, my son, Noah, kept me grounded through the best and worst events. I could not have anticipated the events that happened during my pregnancy and shortly thereafter. And while I have an amazingly supportive and loving husband, there is something all together different about your child - born or unborn - and your child's love.

After what seemed like an eternity, it happened. My husband and I were staring at a little stick that simply said "pregnant". I think shock, disbelief and the utter joy went coursing through our veins. It was finally happening, we were going to have a baby.

At the time we found out, we were in the midst of planning our celebratory wedding and reception. I would be four months pregnant on the date of the event. So now, on top of planning, I had another little being to think about and factor in to things - the dress, the food, the honeymoon . . . I think my stress level started going through the roof. But, there was Noah, tiny as could be in my belly, to remind me of what was important. He needed a safe, happy haven.

For the next few months, it was quite easy to adapt myself to being pregnant and doing what I needed to do in order to ensure a healthy baby. I made sure to eat as well as I could, get enough rest and keep the stress level as low as possible. That was incredibly difficult at times. As the wedding approached, I felt like there was a conspiracy to try and upend everything - vendors whose costs seemed to mysteriously increase, budget constraints, falling out with my maid of honor, and worst of all, a father who was trying to be happy about losing his little girl to another man in addition to becoming a mother. There were more than a few occasions where I just wanted to melt down. But I could not . . . My son needed a safe, happy place. I had to stay focused and grounded.

The week my husband and I returned from our honeymoon, I received some incredibly jarring, life altering news. My emotions took over and I sobbed. I sobbed uncontrollably, I could barely speak, I could barely process what I had just learned. At that moment, there was no safe, happy place. Up to this point, for five months, I was able to let everything roll off my back and not bother me because I knew that is what I needed to do. But at that moment, I felt as though my life was crumbling before me and I couldn't let it roll off my back. For a few days, I walked around in a haze, I didn't talk much to anyone and I just went through the motions of existing. I knew my son needed more . . . He needed me. I had no choice but to put my feelings aside and give him what he deserved . . . A safe, happy place.

When Noah was barely three months old, my father suffered a massive heart attack and was admitted to the hospital. In California. He remained there until he passed away at the end of February. I can't even put into words what that did to my life. All I remember from that day is that I left work, came home and held my son so tight and so close I didn't ever want to let him go. I cried into his sweet smelling baby hair and told him all about his grandfather as he nursed and dozed off in my arms. His presence gave me my safe, happy place.

They, whoever they are, say that your child(ren) change everything. It couldn't be more true. From the moment we knew he existed, Noah has been the driving force in reminding me of what is important, of what I need to do. Just like that. No questions, no arguments, nothing. Just, "Here I am!". Noah is my anchor, my heart. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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