I knew before we embarked on this incredible journey together that you would be a good father. Like I know a new recipe will turn out right based on the ingredients, even though I haven’t made it yet. What I didn’t expect is the full magnitude in which you embraced not only fatherhood but also me as a mother. One of my biggest fears about becoming a mom was losing myself. Selfish? Maybe, but I’m a realist. So much so, that if it hadn’t been for your gentle nudge into pursuing parenthood, I probably never would have. Like many instances in our relationship, you were right. I don’t like to admit that often but I’ll give you this one.
From the beginning of trying to reach our goal of bringing a baby into this world you were my champion and my coach. When I felt like I failed or thought about giving up you exhibited patience and a quiet strength. You never pushed and ultimately I felt like every decision we made brought us closer together. You took your job as a father very seriously long before “Baby P” even stuck. Making me decaf coffee and reminding me to take prenatal vitamins. When I started to actually appear pregnant you didn’t waste any time telling me how beautiful I looked. You were the first to feel our baby move when I wasn’t even sure what that flutter was and you attended every doctor’s appointment. There were a few slips here and there and I won’t let you live down the “Mom boobs” comment but I’m sure your intentions were good.
In your infinite wisdom you didn’t argue with me when I insisted on natural childbirth and using cloth diapers. You did step in somewhere around day 2 of unmedicated labor to reassure me that I would not be a terrible mother if things didn’t go exactly like I planned. When I ended up with a c-section I was devastated. You didn’t begrudge me my feelings with sentences like, “at least we have a healthy baby”. You listened, you held me, you told me how tough I was and what an amazing job I did. That first night at home, when Aria wouldn’t stop crying and I thought I was starving our baby you reassured me that we would all live through it and things would be better in the morning. You changed every diaper and sang to our daughter through all hours of the night. You still told me I was beautiful even though I was puffy from IV fluids and lack of sleep. Even though I had an ugly incision and stringy hair. You didn’t see any of that and I may not have believed you but you sure were convincing. You encouraged me to take naps and you cooked amazing meals. You even brushed my hair when I was too tired to do it.
I look back on those first few weeks of motherhood (even though it technically started long before then) and I know the reason I love being a mom. It’s because of you. You make it fun yet you take your responsibility seriously. Even though caring for our daughter is the most important thing, you still manage to make me feel special. I know it’s pretty one-sided most of the time. I applaud you for taking it all in stride. I relish these days together while our daughter is changing before our eyes. When people tell me to enjoy it because it goes by so fast I can honestly say I am doing exactly that. Oh and those cloth diapers? You have yet to utter an “I told you so”.