My Heart Is Outside Of My Body
They say that your heart grows more with each baby you have. I didn’t see how that was possible. As an only child myself, I was both elated and slightly terrified when I became pregnant with my son. There were so many times I would look at my daughter and just cry because I knew our one on on time was going to be changing dramatically & soon. I’d cry because I was so nervous about how she would feel with a baby brother. And as awful as it sounds, I was genuinely worried I would love her more than her brother. I am so overjoyed and relieved to say with 100% honesty that I love them truly equally and with my entire heart.
I met my husband when I was twenty, & something just clicked from the get go, & I knew he was “it”. He was the one for me. I was so happy that I had found my person. And content in knowing that though we’d have our arguments and fights, that my heart was his and vice versa. No more heartache or heartbreak. Boy was I wrong. I was in NO way prepared for how having a child would crack open my heart, and all of my feelings and emotions would just spill out, leaving me raw and on entirely new footing. I feel that in life, we all have that one monumental moment of a “before (blank)” and an “after (blank). My monumental moment is “before children” and “after children”. I look back at myself before I had children and I hardly recognize that girl anymore. Besides her height, literally everything else has changed.
To start with the obvious, my body has changed. Significantly. My feet are bigger, my hips are bigger, my hair has thinned with the hormone changes, I have gained some grey hairs that I have quickly and swiftly either plucked or dyed. Even my belly button has changed. To be totally honest my entire stomach has changed. We found out that my daughter was frank breeched at 39 weeks and 3 days. I was told I had no choice but to have a C section. So now I have about a 4 inch scar right under my bikini line. Speaking of bikinis, I just saw that I have a few more faint pink stretch marks on my stomach and thighs. The idea of stretch marks used to horrify me, and now I just smile because they are poof that I developed and carried two beautiful babies. I was able to have a vaginal birth with my son, and though I didn’t gain another scar through his birth, I did gain a few more laugh and cry lines. This could be due to age, but I like to think of them as due to just loving more.
After children, I have found that I laugh and cry harder than I used to. What hurt my feelings before usually rolls off my back without a second thought. However, if something or someone hurts my children’s feelings, I have almost no control over the huge surge of emotions that come with being a Mama Bear. I heard a quote once that said something along the lines of “When you choose to have children, it is a choice to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body”. I believe this is by Elizabeth Stone. And this quote just resonates so much with me. Because though I personally am happy with my love life and my own heart; my heart is not just between me and my husband now. It is also for my daughter. And my son. When they are hurt, my heart feels like it is shattering into a million pieces. And when they are happy I feel like I could just sob with happiness and pure joy. And it really does feel like my heart is out walking around outside of my body.
Parenthood is an all encompassing, “all hands on deck”, “it takes a village and then some” type of hard. But I love it so very much. And at some point, I know I will look back fondly on these crazy sleepless nights where I wake up to my son making tiny grunt sounds for milk. Every hour. Or my daughter’s sweet little girl voice asking for Mommy after having a nightmare. Or staring into my son’s eyes in the moonlight as he smiles and coos at me while breastfeeding when we both should be sleeping. I will miss waking up and laughing that our bed has been taken over during the night with our two kiddos, even though they both went to sleep in their own beds. I will miss hearing my daughter say “Come plays toys with me Mommy!” Or my son making his silly faces as he stares at his mobile. I know that I will miss it all. And if someone had told me three years ago that I would feel sentimental about any of these moments I probably would have laughed. And now I’m just trying to soak up every memory and moment; because time truly does fly. So be strong, my heart. It has only just begun.