Admit it, you sang the title. I saw something that inspired me to write about the many changes having a baby has brought about in our lives. Some are good and some are bad but I wouldn't have it any other way.
"Having a baby changes everything." No truer words have been said. Going back in time to May last year I find us happy and enjoying our lives. We had everything we could really want. We weren't wealthy but we could pay our bills an have a little fun too. We made spur of the moment trips to Disneyland, we had just bought our first car together, we had a house and everything was perfect. Looking back I miss it, I don't mind admitting it. I think I'd be crazy not to. Yet there we were discussing the possibility of adding a baby to this picture. A baby that would change everything.
It was something we had to consider seriously. There were a lot of things to think about. How we would cope financially, what to do about my schooling, health insurance, my work. There were so many different things to consider, there is no part of our lives that hasn't been touched in some way by Roxas's arrival.
A baby starts changing your life even before he or she is born. First we had to get health insurance that would cover maternity. This ended up biting us in the keister later but that's another story. The insurance didn't come cheap, so our finances were already affected. We made a tough choice to put our cats up for adoption, one of them we only had for four months. This was an extremely difficult decision to make but it was for the best.
After Roxas finally arrived things were turned upside down. The second I saw him our lives changed forever. We are no longer responsible for just ourselves. We were parents. I was now a mom. I was responsible for keeping a defenseless and helpless human alive. It's terrifying if you really think about it.
The changes continued that first night in the hospital. I had just labored for the past 24 hours and now I had a tiny newborn to keep happy and fed all night long. I think I got 3 hours of sleep, maybe 4. Unless you count the sleeping I did in between pushes, which I don't.
Time went on and we came home, got settled and started our lives as parents.
I've learned how to run on very little sleep, it's amazing how the body can adapt to this sleep deprivation. Sure it's gotten better but I'm still up once or twice a night compared to you know, not at all before.
We learned very quickly that spur of the moment trips are no longer possible. Leaving the house requires careful planning and preparation. No more just running out somewhere. I strategically plan my outings now. I even plan out where I park the car.
I can't go anywhere without what appears to be luggage. I tote around not only my purse but a diaper bag too. I typically look like I plan to stay the night no matter where I go. I have to make sure we have diapers,wipes,pacifiers, back up pacifiers (and back up back up pacifiers), toys, teethers, medicine, extra clothes...the list goes on.
Your freedom is gone. This is perhaps the hardest thing to get used to. We used to have the freedom to do what we wanted, when we wanted. Now we can do that only if Roxas cooperates with those plans which isn't often. We used to go to movies all the time and now it's a luxury.
Financially we are stretched thin. Our hospital bills total over $7000 alone. Throw in my income being significantly reduced and things are very, very tight. Sometimes I don't know how we make it or how we will make it in the future. I have to just trust things will work out. It's not easy to do though.
Physically I've been changed. I've been lucky enough to lose all of my baby weight and even managed to drop an extra fifteen pounds. That doesn't mean I've lost the stretch marks, or the stretched out skin look. Sure in time those things will calm down but for now I just embrace it and I love my stretch marks and flab for what it is: evidence that my body accomplished the miracle of creating a human and sustaining it for 41 weeks.
So far it seems like having a baby is all doom and gloom. Yes, there are some things that are difficult to adjust to and there are things I will miss dearly. There is one reason I do it all happily though. That reason is this perfect little boy that we made. For him I would do anything. That intense love a parent feels for their child makes it all worth it. Every sacrifice, every inconvenience is nothing when it's done for your child. Sure I get frustrated with him, yes I complain but when he gives me that adorable smile I forget about it all. I have no conscious awareness of having given up anything in that moment. All I know is that I love him and he is worth giving up everything for.
As he grows I only love him more. Being a parent changes you in so many ways. You start thinking about your child more than yourself. You start seeing the world with different eyes. Suddenly you have the greatest responsibility on Earth. You are the world to that little one and it's an amazing feeling when you and only you can fulfill their needs.
So, having a baby has turned our lives upside down but the reward is far greater than any gold or riches on Earth. The reward is love and it's worth every last second of uncomfortable change.