Thursday, February 16, 2012

How's Mommy?

Early on I read in one of my books that the only body parts that don't change during pregnancy are your earlobes.  Life after baby is similarly transformative.  Saying "having a baby changes your life" isn't particularly original or profound.  But it's really true.  Really really true.

True, but hard to put into words, I'm finding.  There are lots of little examples.  I used to be a diehard believer in Monday pastor Sabbaths.  A little background: pastors take one day a week off, usually Monday or Friday.  Friday Sabbath people are go-getters.  They like to start their week off strong and get everything set and done as early as possible.  They work and plan ahead. Monday Sabbath people are either procrastinators, introverts or both.  Introverts like taking Monday off to recover from doing so much interacting with people on Sunday. Procrastinators know in their hearts that they can't possibly get their sermon done before Friday, so if it's really going to be a day off without any work at all, it's gotta be Monday.

I am both an introvert and a procrastinator.  Or, I was.  But I'm a Friday Sabbath person now. I still don't usually finish my sermon before Friday, but I've thought it through enough that writing on Friday only takes an hour or two.  I don't waste time very much any more.  There's just not a lot of time available to waste.  If I can be efficient with my work, I can spend more time making silly faces at my Walter. 

I'm happy.  Really happy.  This is also hard to put into words without just lapsing into cliches.  But between the endorphin explosion that is breastfeeding, the warm contentment of family life and the unmitigated joy of the first time my baby reached up and lovingly stroked my face (without poking me in the eye) I am pretty much swimming in happy.  It's hard to be this happy without being annoying.  Way back in the day I promised not to be obnoxious about my pregnancy on facebook.  But all I ever do these days is post lots of baby pictures and warm/fuzzy status updates.  It's not that I don't have bad days.  But winter is usually a really blue time for me, and I'm not feeling blue.  Being happy is making me happy (and a little insufferable, too.)

I'm also tired.  A few weeks ago I zoned out a bit while driving and stopped at a green light.  This being Wisconsin, the people behind me also slowed down and no one hit me.  Nary a horn was honked.  But it spooked me.  I want to be a safer driver now, not a sleepy driver.

Because I don't think I'm going to get more sleep any time soon, I've decided the answer is getting into good shape, getting healthy.  I joined the gym that's right next to Walt's day care and I have my first session with a personal trainer tomorrow.  I'm not sure what the personal trainer is going to do with me for an hour, since about 15 minutes of slow walking completely wore me out last week.  All those months of inactivity is not going to be easy or fast to remedy.

During my intake interview at the gym, the trainer asked me about goals and I found myself saying: "I want to get healthy before I have another baby." Another baby?  In that moment, it felt like a real goal.  In other moments, I remember the certainty I felt right after Walter was born: that it would be irresponsible to risk my life in this way again. Fortunately, exercise will be good for me regardless of my future reproductivity.  That decision is firmly on hold.

Walt inspects the Valentine chocolates
In the meantime, Mommy's doing well.  Busy, but good busy.  Stressed sometimes, but not drowning.  Tired, but hopeful and motivated and productive. Most of all: happy.  My work is challenging and a joy.  My baby makes noises like R2D2.  My husband brought home chocolates for Valentines Day.  My Audrey is coming to visit this weekend. My parents live close by.

Life is good! 

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