A word I never thought I would use to describe my lifestyle, at least not for a while. I’m nineteen years old and this is supposed to be the time where I’m partying and having fun with my friends, but honestly, I don’t want to be. Of course, I miss my friends and having that sort of freedom to do as I please, but, let’s face it, baby cuddles are so much better than icky hangovers. When I found out I was pregnant there were a mix of emotions flooding through my head. I was eighteen, living on my own in a pretty shady apartment building, my fiance had a hard time finding and keeping a job, I was an hour away from my family, and the both of us were still completing high school. All in all, our main thought was “We can make this work.” And we did.
I’m not going to lie, and say that it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done, because it wasn’t at all, but it wasn’t the hardest like a lot of people told me it would be. After we told our families and friends the news, we did have a lot of support, but with that support came some criticism and tons of warnings. “You’re in for it now.” “This is going to be so hard for you.” “Being a young parent is difficult.” I didn’t mind though. I knew we would be okay. It was a given that I was incredibly nervous, but it really is true when they say the mothering instinct just hits you.
The day my son was born was the best day of my life, he came into this world weighing 5lbs 3.2oz (he was premature, that is something I will get into a different time) and was the most amazing, beautiful thing that I had ever seen. That night, I barely slept. I just sat up in the hospital bed watching my little boy, in awe. I just couldn’t believe he was really there, and he was mine. Every time my baby cried, I was up on my feet in an instant. The pain I was in didn’t matter to me, all that mattered was him, and how he felt. The first few weeks were ridiculously hard, I was a wreck. At that time, I wasn’t breastfeeding, and on top of co-sleeping and having to wake up to bottle feed every 3 hours I was pretty much done for during the day. I think the hardest part about it is the lack of sleep you go through, to me it is, at least.
The first month, I had successfully started exclusively breastfeeding, meaning that I had started getting a bit more sleep, but we were still beyond stressed. We lived in a crappy apartment that was way too hot, always had the water pumps turned off, so many repairs needed to be done and it was just not a good environment for a baby. Enough was enough, we moved. We finally got a new apartment and although it isn’t a house, it’s home (for now.) The next few months had it’s bumps in the road, but we became naturals at parenting. We started knowing what to do instantly as apposed to calling family for help (I swear my mother and grandmothers phones must have been ringing off the hook for the first three months of my sons life!). I could tell the difference between his cries, most of the time I would know exactly what my baby would need, and even if I didn’t, I knew that just holding him was enough to make him less upset.
My son is now 9 months and 3 weeks old, and he is the smartest, most incredible human I have had ever seen. We are still breastfeeding and co-sleeping. He’s got a personality that attracts people from a mile away, and a face that makes you want to melt. And me? I would say that I am a pretty great mama. Every day I feel so blessed, and so proud that I am his mother. I couldn’t imagine not being his mama. I don’t always know exactly what I’m doing, but what parent does? If you ask me, this is 100% what I was meant to do.