I have given birth to five babies in less than five years, and yet each one is a unique, life-changing experience for me.
The first baby was chapter one of an unread book. Every day of pregnancy was a mystery; the birth was traumatic and when we arrived home from the hospital my goal was to resume life as normal as soon as possible.
Jump ahead to chapter five: the plot is now familiar with unexpected twists and turns here and there but I’ve since learned that the objective is to linger, not rush ahead. I study the tiny newborn features longingly, hoping that staring will slow down the change.
Each baby is a rebirth for me and our family. We can relive all of the firsts, all of the wonder, and the acquaintance of an undiscovered personality. And with the newness is a familiarity that allows us to savor a bit more.
I’m not agonizing over sleep schedules or frantic about crying spells. Those will resolve in time. I’m snuggling more and savoring the these early days of rest and recovery. And when my strength had returned am I going to rush life back to normal?
It’s going to be a new normal of longer conversations, more reading, slower walks, spontaneous play times and intentional family time. My recovery period has allowed me to step back, observe and internalize my purpose; watching my children with their grandparents and discovering how much I miss the daily care of home and family has opened my heart to the purpose I crave.
I didn’t realize how much I have still been seeking my way in life but these newborn days have helped me find it.