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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

To the Man Who Made Me a Momma

You're doing a great job, Daddy.

The past week and a half of our son's life have been both slow and fast. Slow in the sense that maternity leave is an adjustment for this task-oriented extrovert. Fast in the sense that no matter how much time there is in the stretch of a summer day, there never seems to be enough of it.

Through the past few days I've fielded a lot of questions from momma friends. [1]"How are your hormones?" [2]"Are you healing okay from your c-section?" [3]"How's breastfeeding going?"

And I'm happy to report: [1]they're there, [2]feeling great, [3]and very well.

But then I look at you. The man who made me a Momma. The man who is quick to grab me a water bottle, blanket, take the baby, burp the baby, change the diaper, and be a strong shoulder to rest my head on when those feedings seem to grow suspiciously closer and closer together.

You were there the moment we knew we were pregnant. You were there through the 40-week stretch. The changes, the growth, the wonder, the fear.

You were there in the hospital through two rounds of inductions. Helping me unhook myself from monitor after monitor to walk around the room, to wash my face or brush my teeth.

You kissed me when it appeared to us all that a C-section was inevitable. You waited patiently outside of the operating room in your white zip-up suit while they prodded me four times with the epidural needle.

And then you were there. By my side. Holding my hand. Listening to my jokes (which I'm sure were hilarious). You didn't even laugh a me when I asked, "Is that my baby?" when I finally heard a cry coming from the other end of the room.

Then promptly fell asleep. 

Friends from far and wide have welcomed me into the motherhood clan, and I'm thankful. Especially for the ones who read my fly by night texts that are peppered with heightened emotion and, yes, that ever-promised lack of sleep (albeit, still more than I got when I was pregnant), and don't blink an eye.

Our community has rallied, too. These wonderful people didn't want us to go one night having to make dinner for ourselves the first month into parenthood. I'm thankful and honored. It's been so nice not to have to think about feeding ourselves in the midst of learning how to keep another human being alive.

A lot of people see me: 

They throw showers and send bouquets and cards. A lot of people see the baby: they send onesies and knit caps.

But I'm not sure that you get the kudos you deserve through this season. And I want you to know that I see you. I see you with more clarity than I ever have. I see the tired in your cloudy blue eyes. I see the smile in the midst of a diaper change.

I see you putting forth so much more effort than what a new dad ought to do. 

No, you didn't carry a human in your tummy. But you carried me, my emotions, my fears. You prayed when I couldn't.

No, strangers don't stop you and ask you deeply personal questions about your body, or ask to touch your belly. But you entered this arena full to the brim with excitement. All enthusiasm. Fully committed, fully in love.

I became a momma week-by-week, inch-by-inch. Doctors appointments and meetings with my company's human resources department. I woke up every day thinking about motherhood. What it could mean, what it would make our lives look like.

You became a father in a flash. Within minutes in that operating room. What a change. What a topsy turvy season to cannon ball into.

You're doing it. You're doing fatherhood well and without a complaint.

And our lives: mine and our new little rascal's, are all the better for it.

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