Looking back over the past year, it is obvious to me that the focus has been William. From his conception last December, my pregnancy with him, all of the way to getting to know him, he has presided over my life for this past year. Of course, the major event of that theme is his birth. And how can I think of his birth without thinking about Sofi, Walter and Elliott’s births?
The thing is, these births didn’t just create babies; they created a mother and a father. Each of these births has shaped us into a different person than we were before the birth occurred. Before Sofi, I was less sure-footed. I didn’t stand up for myself much. I’d rather walk away and be myself somewhere else than dig in and be myself under opposition. But when my Sofi came, she needed me to stand my ground and do what was best for her where we were. And so I immediately did. I let go my make up, my styled hair, and my ironed shirts in favor of bare lips for baby kisses, ponytails to lessen pulled tresses, and softer shirts to be raised and lowered during multiple daily nursings and crushed under another body that I constantly carried.
When Walter arrived, I fiercely loved someone in the face of extreme hardship. I became a tireless protectress, a researcher and an advocate. I forgave myself for not being everything to 2 babies, and for my shortcomings when stress was too high. I found the dark side of anxiety and how to rise, shining, above it.
When Elliott was born, I luxuriated in a relaxed baby, and trusted myself as a mother. I let go of my expectations of personal perfection. I lived life more in the moment.
And now, since William’s arrival, I am yet more patient. After 7 years, I trust that most problems will pass, given time. I have accepted that I have relatively little control over anything but myself, and that simply navigating the waters is much more enjoyable than trying to command them.
Each of my four births has been a rebirth for me. Each has taught me new things and each has brought me to a more complete version of myself. Looking back over the past year, I am grateful to have become the version of me that I currently am.