When I found out I was pregnant at the end of January I reluctantly went to Barnes & Noble to buy some pregnancy literature. At only 6 or so weeks pregnant I still didn't FEEL like I was carrying a miniature little seedling inside of me so when the cashier asked me if the book was for me I told him quickly that, no, it was for my sister who was expecting. "Oh, well, kids are great", he said with a smile. I walked out of the store feeling uncomfortable (and really, what business did he have asking me such a personal question anyway?) and unsure of this new title in my life. Pregnant. What did this mean for my life as I knew it? So I began reading my book. What to Expect...I'm sure you've heard of it and, chances are, if you've been pregnant before you've read it too. Week after week month after month I read. By month 9 I was an expert, or so I thought.
Whatever mention there had been of the post-pregnancy experience I must have skipped over because I literally had NO idea what I would be getting. It's been nearly two weeks. Two weeks of beautiful frustration. Two weeks of naps and milk stains. Two weeks of tears. Two weeks of kissing soft cheeks. Two weeks of tiny hands reaching for my fingers. Two weeks of loving this absolutely perfect child that I created with The Bear and carried for 41 weeks. These are the moments I didn't know I had been waiting for.
Our little Baby Bear is delightful, there is no other way to describe it. Her sweet stares while she is awake, cooing, and wiggly arms are worth all the heartache I've experienced trying to feed her. Feeding time can be hell at the Bear home. Baby decided early on to make it as difficult for herself, and her mama, by refusing to actually work for her food. I suppose it shouldn't be too much to ask that the milk just pour gloriously from my chest into her open, expecting mouth. I would if I could but instead I patiently work, day after day after day, to help her understand that one must make a very small effort for each meal. She's coming around, slowly but surely, and in the end the work is all quite selfish; I love nursing this stubborn, willful, child.
No one really told me how much I would love loving her. "You'll love being a mom!", I heard them all say. But I doubted myself. I doubted my ability to be maternal. And perhaps I'm not perfect....but I love it all the same.