Where do I begin? This entire year felt like a whirlwind that fly by way too fast. My journey began when we decided we should start 'trying' to grow our little family. What I didn't expect was that it was happening much sooner than later. I was pretty lucky and fortunate to conceive easily and not get morning sickness or have any food aversions. I felt pretty normal and sometimes even forgot that I had this precious life growing inside of me (call it preggo brain? jkjk). I even helped build our kitchen cabinets during our reno, minus all the heavy lifting 💪🏻. I enjoyed being pregnant; watching my belly grow knowing that baby boy was growing strong and healthy and that my body was capable of keeping him safe. I didn't really know what to expect when "it was time" - he's coming! I wasn't even sure if I was having contractions and sure enough, he arrived about 12 hours later and a week before his due date. I was so nervous to meet him. I knew I loved him sooo much and the time was finally here where I can hold him in my arms, snuggle and kiss him, and knowing that this is REAL.
Life with a newborn was definitely a learning process and parenting still is. Who knew they pooped right after every feeding. I have never changed so many diapers in my life in those first few weeks. As I was getting the hang of the routine of nursing, eating, napping, diaper changes ect, the sleep deprivation was setting in and I can say it was definitely a life adjustment. Showers became the golden hour (or minutes lol) as I had time to myself and only myself. Some days were definitely more difficult than others. The routine became normal but when baby cries and fusses for no reason or cluster feeds every hour, it's so demanding on your body and it definitely took a toll on me. On those days, it made me question 'How am I supposed to be able to do this every day? How long does this last? Will it get better? Do I have a difficult baby?' Those emotions running through my head didn't last very long because this is what I signed up for after all, right? jk. In all honesty, just knowing that we created this life, he is a part of me and my husband, he came from our love, and that his cute little face staring back at you and coo-ing makes it all worth it and all of those worries of doubt and questions on whether you will be a good mom or not, just disappear. No mom is perfect. I realized that I don't need to look flawless and make mommy-life look easy and glamorous, but to be able to give the best of myself and providing my unconditional love would be enough.
As the months flew by, Liam started hitting his milestones with rolling over, sitting up, crawling, to now standing on his own and even taking a few steps. It was slightly creepy when you wake up from a nap to him sitting up on his own and looking at you like a stalker. The infamous sleep training was hard. It definitely pulls at your heart strings when he started to stand up in his crib crying out for you to pick him up. We initially did sleep training around 6 months and because he got sick from a cold and starting teething around 7-8 months, we held him and rocked him to sleep to comfort him. That disturbed his sleep cycle for a little bit so we started sleeping training all over again not too long ago. I hated listening to him cry for so long but I knew in the long run it would benefit both of us if we could sleep through the night. We did a combination of crying it out and revisiting with pats and comforting. I sometimes wondered though, if by leaving him there to cry, 'Will it give him anxiety? Will it make him feel as if we don't care about him? or Will he fall asleep and forget any of that even happened?' I definitely felt like he had slight separation anxiety at first. For a while, he would work himself up so much that he would throw up. Sometimes sooner than later and he knew we would rush in to clean him and hold him. He was fine when we were in the room with him but as soon as he heard a sound when we were sneaking away, he would shoot up in bed and scream out bloody murder. A few weeks in, he knows his bedtime routine now and is falling asleep easier and sleeping through the night again.
There was a point in time where work was consuming me, mentally and physically - and it still does a little. Little work life balance and working long hours left me even more exhausted than normal. Liam definitely preferred my husband over me for a while as he is home nights to give him a bath and get him ready for bed when I'm stuck at work well after the pharmacy has closed. He just wouldn't let me comfort him when he woke up in the middle of the night either. I just felt like, WTF. How did I let work take over my life? How did I let work prioritize over my baby, my family? He doesn't even recognize me or want me?! I question how is a mother supposed to succeed in their career when the mentality now is, 'do more with less' and still be able to keep up with the demands, hit all the metrics, rise above all challenges, be more clinical, ect when we just don't have the man power that is needed to run a pharmacy efficiently and effectively. In order to "succeed", I had to sacrifice time away from my family to get things done that otherwise can't be finished during open hours. I've come to the realization that, my family is more important and if that means some aspects of corporate metrics don't meet goal, I've tried my best. I refuse let my family suffer as a result. As long as I'm still providing quality care and consultations to my patients, that's all that matters to me.
Life definitely isn't the same as before; it doesn't even come close. It REALLY is sooooo much more. My life is full of love and laughter. Full of little hands holding mine, drool all over my shoulder, and burps & poops for mommy. Life gives you the unexpected but as long as we have each other, I'm ready to take on the world.