I waited and wanted to be a mom for several years before my husband and I decided to move 4,000 miles across an ocean to turn our dream of having a family into a reality. To say there were things I couldn't wait to experience as a new mom would be an enormous understatement. We chose to pursue growing our family by adoption, so it was hard to know how prepared to get for our baby's arrival. We didn't have a nine month wait, we had a mystery wait.
Once we started the adoption process, the wait was quite a bit shorter than we thought it would be. After just five weeks of paperwork, we got the call that our daughter had arrived and was waiting for us in the hospital. Six long hours later, after much dreaming and wishing and wondering about her, we were finally a family of three. All at once, the very specific things that I didn't even realize I was looking forward to experiencing as a mom, were right in front of me.
I can't say I was really dying to experience the icky parts, like changing poop-filled diapers or cleaning up spit up, but all of those were eclipsed by the parts that I equated with finally being a mom. And even as my daughter is turning into a toddler, those icky bits still pale in comparison to the sheer fact that I am finally a mom and I get to experience all of these incredible mom things on a daily basis.
I was excited about experiencing everything about being a mom before I actually had the chance. Before our daughter joined our family, everything about being a mom was a little abstract. I had nieces and nephews, so I knew vaguely what I was in for, but most of all, I was excited for all of it in total. I wanted to be a mom so badly I could feel it, it just didn't have specifics attached to it until I knew it was really happening.
I have always been the tiny baby type. I love holding newborns and cuddling them. I was so excited for all those newborn baby snuggles when I became a mom. I was excited to stare at her face as she slept and to dream about her life to come. It was just as amazing when it happened as I had imagined.
One of the first baby showers I ever went to, when I was in my early 20s I bought a baby carrier for my friend. Somehow babywearing equated to motherhood, at least for me. With my niece, my favorite thing to do was put her in the Ergo and take her for walks around the neighborhood. When I had my own daughter, I was excited to have her so close to me as we began our new lives together.
The only baby gear I cared anything about when I had my daughter was her stroller. I wanted a stroller that we could put some serious miles on, because I was so excited about strolling everywhere with her and showing her off.
And we did. And it was so much fun. In fact, it still is.
Having A Child
I was excited about the feeling of having a child who was my own. I had loved my niece and nephew so much that I couldn't imagine what it would even be like to have my own child. I was simply, and shamelessly, excited for the day when it would finally become a reality.
Being Able To Call Her My Daughter
It sounds trivial, but I was excited to just be able to call her my daughter. I was excited to shout it from the rooftops that she was my daughter and that I was her mom. I wanted to be able to say those words, "my daughter." It's still surreal and incredible when I do.
I couldn't wait to have that tiny baby time, where we could swaddle her up into her little burrito and cosy her for hours. I had never even swaddled a baby, and yet I was so excited for my new motherhood origami.
I have such fond and early memories of bath time when I was little. It was just so much fun, so I was so eager to share that fun with my daughter. In fact, I was so eager we totally gave her a bath way too early. I think her umbilical cord was definitely still there and we had no idea what we were doing, but she survived and now she loves tub time.
Telling Her How Much We Love Her
Before I became a mom, I was excited to tell my child how much we loved them and show him or her our love for our entire lives. I have to say that the moments when I was dreamfeeding her late at night in those early months, I loved telling her how much I love her, how we will love her forever, and how brave we know she is.
Watching My Husband With Her
Part of the excitement of becoming a mom was in looking forward to seeing my husband as a dad. He has always loved babies and kids, but to see him with his own was going to be the fulfillment of a dream we had both struggled to achieve for years. It was every bit as fulfilling as I had hoped, especially watching him comfort her when she wouldn't settle for me or watching him wear her tiny little self around the neighborhood.