When I had Addison 3 1/2 years ago, I was 25. Not terribly young to be starting a family, but by far the first of any of my friends or family to have a baby. Addison was born in the dead of winter, days before Christmas, and to be honest, my entry into motherhood was a painfully traumatic transition in my life. Like many mothers, I was overwhelmed by my new responsibilities. The night wakings were difficult for me, and I literally did not sleep for more than 3 hours at a time for the first 7 months of Addison's life. I spent my maternity leave feeling isolated due to the wintry weather, my inability to drive (I won't get into it here, but I did not obtain my driver's license until I was 26), and, primarily, the reality that most of my friends were busy starting their careers, working 40 hour work-weeks, and staying out late at bars on the weekends. I spent most of my days on leave at home, alone, counting the hours until my husband would be home from work. I really tried to keep a positive attitude during this time, but the loneliness and responsibilities were frequently more than I could handle emotionally.
I'm happy to say that this darker period in my life has passed. With one month to go until my baby girl arrives, I am excited to do things differently this time. Much has changed. I drive. I know the fun places to go with babies and small children in tow. Most importantly, we now have a large community of supportive friends who also have children. And, I'm excited to have a summer baby and enjoy much of my maternity leave enjoying the outdoors during the best months Oregon has to offer.
I still have little anxious moments that it will be too hard. That I won't be able to handle all the change and newness and responsibility. But those moments are fleeting, and I do my best to let them pass me by.
I truly want to enjoy every little moment of having this new baby girl. I'm really ready for all that life will bring me over the next few months. Ready and armed with a smile and open arms.