I’ve always been a pretty emotional person. I can remember my dance coach in high school telling me I wore my heart on my sleeve and I had no idea what she was talking about. But once she explained it to me, it made perfect sense. I’ve never been one to hide emotions or mask what I’m feeling. If I’m sad, you’ll know it. If I’m happy, you’ll see it. Call it a curse or call it a blessing, but that’s me.
When I first found out I was pregnant with Nolan, I didn’t know what to think. I was shocked, confused, and scared. It felt surreal and I had a hard time believing it was true. And if we’re being honest, I was a little upset. I remember thinking that life as I knew it was about to change. I would no longer just be in charge of keeping myself alive on a daily basis, but I would actually be in charge of another human life. A tiny human life who would depend on me for everything. Was I ready? Could I handle it?
Nothing would ever be about me again. I had been living selfishly all my life and doing things for me. Of course I enjoyed helping others and doing things for family and friends, but at the end of the day, I only had to care for myself. I would be trading long nights out for long nights in. Peep toe heels for peek-a-boo. Shopping sprees at Express to shopping sprees at Carter’s. A full night’s rest for a restless night. I didn’t know if I was ready. But at that point, it was too late wasn’t it?
I can remember calling my friend and expressing all of this to her. And she told me to listen to “There Goes My Life” by Kenny Chesney because it made her think of me. Those pregnancy hormones? They’re no joke. I can remember sitting there and just crying because it was so relatable. Because at the time, I thought my life was over. I was afraid of resenting the baby because I wasn’t completely ready to be a mom. Or growing apart from Zach. Or failing as a mom.
But the first time I heard his heartbeat and saw the little bean on the screen, my worries faded away. I was still scared to tell people because Z and I had only been married a month. We had only dated 6 months before getting married, three months before getting engaged, and only known each other one month before dating. He had just enlisted and we had just found out he was deploying. Everything was happening so fast and I knew the world had only doubts about us and our choices.
When I woke up from a nap one day, I saw that Z had announced our news on Facebook, from halfway across the world in Afghanistan. I knew the gossip mills were churning but I didn’t care. I rubbed my belly and reveled in the fact that my husband was so excited to be a dad. That it would give him something positive to think about on his lonely days there, and a reason to come home to me. A bigger reason than coming home for me or himself… but for the baby we were waiting to meet.
I heard the same song today, and it still brings this waive of emotion over me. Because I look at my three year old boy and I can’t imagine my life without him. I’m sitting her writing this with tears streaming down my face because I can’t believe how fast time has gone and how fast it’s going to continue to go. And that I would give anything to be back in that moment and see the positive pregnancy test. So I could do a dance of excitement instead of worry about giving up my life or what people would think. Because since having him, I’ve done nothing but gain and learn the true meaning of life and love.
Becoming a parent is scary, and yes your life changes. But I truly believe it only changes for the better. Things may get rough here and there but I try to remember that these moments are going to pass by so quickly. And I’ll so badly want to be back here. Where he wants to play with my hair as he falls asleep or he tells me he doesn’t want to sleep in his own bed because he’ll miss me. The moments where he wants to play with me or gets excited to see me after school.
I don’t know if I’m doing this or that right, but I do know that I love my kids more than anything. And that when I found out I was pregnant 4 years ago, it was going to be the biggest and greatest blessing of my life. I may have not planned for my life to go the way it has, but I know this is where I’m supposed to be. In this moment, with my beautiful babies and loving husband. I’m meant to love them, teach them, and enjoy every second with them.
Life has a funny way of giving us what we need and putting us exactly where we need to be. And at that moment in my life, I needed that unborn baby boy more than he needed me. I needed his kicks, squirms, and hiccups to keep me busy and happy with Z half way across the world, and in a war zone none the less. I needed something to look forward to, my appointments, non-stress tests, baby showers. I needed something positive in the most negative situation.
And I will be forever grateful for him. He loves me unconditionally and is already growing into the sweetest little man. And although I wish I could slow time down, I know I can’t. But I can soak up every minute I have with both of my kids and remember how lucky I am to have it.
I never realized how fast time was going until I had kids. I look back at where I was 4 years ago and where I am now, and can’t believe it’s been as long as it has. It’s felt like a blink of an eye; from holding my precious newborn baby boy to dropping him off at preschool. How did that happen? And how will I handle the first time he pushes me away when I go to kiss him or tells me I’m embarrassing him in front of his friends? And I don’t think there’s an answer to that, just like there wasn’t an answer of whether or not I was ready to be a mom.
It just is. It just happens. And you have to learn to adjust and take it as it comes. And all I know is that I’m going to make a conscious effort to disconnect a little more and be in the moment. Because I won’t get these back, and these are the moments I live for. The moments that I so badly want to freeze and hold on to forever. The snuggles, the kisses, the attitude, the sass, the tantrums. All of it. I’ll take it all, because it’s coming from the two little people who mean the world to me, and have showed me the true meaning of life. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.