Moving on

dear ‘ole son,

you’re already going to be five months soon, and yet I still feel like we are in the newborn stage. I mean, we aren’t, but I haven’t wrapped my head around it yet. To the extent where I’m actually about to order some books on Amazon about postpartum recovery, books that I wish I had had during my actual postpartum recovery.

I think it’s safe to say we are past the postpartum recovery phase, although they say it takes a year for the body to physically recover from birth.

I wonder if this is what people mean when they say children grow up too fast. That you are constantly one phase behind them, not fully accepting that they have moved on to the next phase.

Anyway, you aren’t a newborn anymore. People no longer talk about how tiny and “tout neuf” you are, more often than not you are “costaud”. And actually, all that said, I do feel like we have past over to some new stage. What I mean is this: I sometimes see young mothers walking around the neighborhood with their babies in a front  kangaroo position in a sling, or in a carriage, and I now can tell right away that their babies are only a few weeks old. It isn’t even necessarily because I can see the babies, although sometimes that is the case, like the time last week at your pediatrician appointment where I bravely struck up a conversation with two new French mothers and accurately guessed their babies’ ages as two weeks and three weeks old. But no, I recognize something in the mothers themselves, a place where I was not too long ago, but have now moved out of. It’s in the way they protectively place a hand over their baby’s bum to hold them close in the sling, and walk very slowly. When I carry you in a carrier, you are facing out and engaged in looking out at the world, you wouldn’t have any of that of me trying to hold you close. And in the case of pushing the baby carriage, I can see the way the mother also walks very slowly, and looks in the carriage apprehensively every few minutes. Heck, it’s in the fact that they are using the carriage at all, because although you still sleep in the bassinet part of the stroller (because your bad mummy hasn’t bought you a crib yet), I don’t use it to push you around anymore, because you like to be propped up and looking out.

So, I recognize these mothers, and when I do, it makes me smile. It really makes me smile.

I think that maybe, once you move beyond The First Three Months, you move into a separate mother zone altogether. Where you don’t really have much in common anymore with mothers who are in that time you passed. I mean, when I was pregnant, and just after you were born, I looked at mothers of six month olds as being  experienced mothers. And I guess that’s true, in a way. The First Three Months are so particular, and the mother of a one month old will feel she is in the same space as the mother of a three month old, but not the mother of a five month old. Strange how that works.

And I might add, that continues as the ages progress. I feel I have few things to talk about with the mother of a nine month old, or eighteen month old. Or a mother of two.

But that first phase, those first weeks, gosh, they are so lovely. I hope that I wrote enough about them.

You know what else makes me smile? Walking past the maternity sections at Galeries Lafayettes and H&M. It literally makes me smile out loud. I just remember with such fondness how much time I spent in those sections, deliberating over what I would need for what type of weather in how many more weeks, trying to guess just exactly how much bigger I was going to get. I know exactly what they have in those sections (because frankly, maternity styles don’t turn over that often).

Son, you know that of course I’m happy to have you in my arms, but I just have such a fondness for that special, wonderful time.

I’m sure I’ve told you this a hundred times, but I really enjoyed being pregnant. I was so lucky to not have a lick of morning sickness, and with the exception of the dramatic end, to have been active and to have felt really good. It really was such a magical year.

I feel like, I hope I get the chance to do it again someday, knowing what I know now, maybe feeling more prepared, knowing what to expect. Getting the chance to read more books about it. But then again, there’s only ever one first pregnancy is there. And part of the magic is the not knowing what to expect, the wonder of it all, the amazement of, wow, there’s a baby in there and uh, it’s going to have to come out one way or the other. And why didn’t anyone ever tell me that nose bleeds were a common occurrence? Etc.

It was yesterday, a year ago, that I took a pregnancy test and saw the faintest of faint lines, so faint that I actually took it to the pharmacy and whipped it out to the ladies there for their opinion (which was to take another test in three days, in the morning). And then I went with your grandpa on a trip to Dublin, and if I get inspired, I will write about that this week…

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