Every day I say to myself that I need to blog because I'm afraid that I will forget things that I never want to forget. And every day I can't tear myself away from Baby Jaguar or when he's napping there are chores to be done or papers to write or I'm too uncomfortable to sit in the office chair (yeah, that bites) or I just can't stand the thought of putting him down. And so I think I'm starting to forget some stuff.
I came into mommyhood scared of a million different things but really scared of one thing: connecting with the baby. I'll be completely candid. My mom has some great qualities but mostly she's just nuts. Like please-God-just-go-on-medication-nuts. So I don't have much of a relationship with her. I never have. And it scared me that I wouldn't be able to build some kind of connection with Baby Jaguar.
Don't get me wrong. I loved to feel him move inside me. I talked to him. I sang to him. But I was unsure the whole time if I felt as much as I was "supposed" to feel. My best friend wrote her unborn child letters and I remember thinking to myself, "Am I supposed to write letters?" I thought it was amazing that she felt that intensely connected to her child while I simultaneously worried that I didn't feel that.
Throughout the latter part of my pregnancy, people kept asking me if I was excited and I mostly said yes (y'know, because you're supposed to say that), but I wasn't that excited. I was scared. And I wanted him out. Those were my two predominant feelings. God, please don't let me mess up this whole parenting gig and also, please get him out immediately. I was so uncomfortable.
When labor actually rolled around, I still wasn't truly excited. "Are you excited to meet him?" everyone would ask. (Yes, because that's what I'm supposed to say.) In my head, I couldn't get to the moment where I actually got to meet him. I could only think about how I needed to get him out of my womb. Are you sensing a theme that I was outrageously uncomfortable by the time he made his appearance?
In the final weeks of my pregnancy, Mr. Jaguar would tell me how he couldn't wait to meet the baby and I, yet again, was wondering what the heck was wrong with me. Still, my only thoughts were get him out, get him out, get him out and please God don't let me suck at being a mommy.
And then Ben was born. They placed him on my chest. I looked at him. He looked at me. I didn't have to check for all of his fingers and toes. I didn't panic waiting for his first cry.
I knew he was just right.
And that he and I were a perfect match.