Dear sweet Norah,
It has been just over 8 weeks since your arrival and yet I am still struggling to find the proper words to describe how wonderful it feels to have you in my arms.
We just made it through a pretty rough week. You came down with viral infection and have shared it with me, so we’re both sniffling and coughing our way into your 3rd month of life. This was your first ever illness and let’s be honest here – I did not handle it very well. I am certain that over the last 7 days, I’ve shed more tears than you (even though you’re the sicker one, and had to get a bunch of needles poked into you at Children’s Emergency) and have experienced anxiety like never before. Seeing you suffer has brought me to my lowest point and yet, you, the 8 week old, stayed strong and content the entire time. Looks like I have some learning to do from you, my dear.
The question that I get asked the most these days is “how is motherhood?” How can I explain the most incredible, yet most challenging thing that I have ever experienced in a few simple words? Perhaps the right answer will come with time but the truth is, right now, motherhood feels different every day. Somedays, I feel like I have it (you) under control, and others, I crumble to the sound of your cries. The one thing I learned quickly about myself through the last 8 weeks is that I am terrible at dealing with failure, or even a slight glimpse of it. I guess what I had before your arrival were unrealistic expectations of how things were going to go, how I could protect you from everything, and how the instincts and skills of a mother would just come naturally to me. Oh boy, was I wrong.
Don’t worry though, sweet girl. I am learning and you’re a great teacher. I’m realizing that motherhood is a bit of a mess, but it is a beautiful one. It is filled with ups, downs, and yes, plenty of failures. I am learning to embrace its unpredictability and basically, chill the F— out. Through this little illness of ours, I’m coming to terms with the fact that even though I will try my hardest, I cannot and will not be able to fend off all of the hurt and pain that you will experience in your lifetime. There will be heartbreaks, disappointments, and stupid viruses that I cannot prevent. In fact, I sometimes may even be the cause of these pains despite my best intentions (I predict this will happen the most during your teenage years). But Norah, my girl, my hope is that I will be able to show you how to live courageously though it all, and still see all of the goodness in these complex yet beautiful lives we lead.
Norah, your arrival into this world made me a mother, and us a family. In case I forget to say this to you when you are older – thank you, a million times over.
Let’s hope for a sick-free 3rd month and a messy, but wonderful 2017.