Monday, April 13, 2015

They Say You'll Forget

"They" tell you that you'll forget it all--the pain of childbirth, the exhausting nights with a newborn, the recovery, the nursing struggles, the hard days--once you pass the moment/time/phase  you forget.

I can definitely tell you that I, for one, have not forgotten any of it. I haven't forgotten how exhausted I was during labor. I haven't forgotten the pain. I haven't forgotten crying to my mom after JaiseAnn was born because recovery was worse than labor for me. I haven't forgotten my hospital stay that terrified me. I haven't forgotten how anxious and worried I was about her all of the time. I haven't forgotten how incredibly exhausted I was. I haven't forgotten the feelings of my world turning upside down. I haven't forgotten our long struggle with sleep (while we still struggle, it it nowhere near the same as it once was). I haven't forgotten those lonely first few months as I tried to navigate my new world as a stay at home mom with a husband working long hours and next to no social life.

On the flipside, I still haven't forgotten the way I felt when I saw her for the first time, or heard she was a girl, or how she stopped crying when she was placed on my chest. I haven't forgotten the thrill of staring and snuggling her for hours on end. I haven't forgotten how I just wanted everyone I knewto meet her and see her. "Please come by and visit, I have the best thing in the world to show you!" I haven't forgotten the tears I cried when she smiled at me for the first time or took her first real steps. I haven't forgotten the way this relationship has filled me in a way that I never imagined possible. 

I haven't forgotten how it's felt every morning to get to wake up and play with her--to see her smile and just feel so blessed that this (THIS! )is what I do now. I haven't forgotten how everything seems better and more complete now that she's here.

I haven't forgotten the blood, sweat, and tears that come with the territory of motherhood/parenting, but I haven't forgotten the reason behind those struggles and that pain. I am reminded every single moment of every day. I'm reminded in her big bright eyes. I'm reminded when I hear her laugh. I'm reminded when she's learning something new.

As JaiseAnn grows older, I find myself wishing I could just sear certain things into my memory. Will I always remember her happy babbling in the morning while she plays? Will I always remember that big grin when she is so pleased with herself? Will I always remember the feeling of her cheeks when I kiss them for the 82,947,281th time? Will I remember it all? 

One of the many things I was under-prepared for about motherhood was being the keeper of the memories. For the first few years, while I build a relationship with JaiseAnn, I do it knowing that I'm the only one who will remember. I am the only one who will remember what it feels like to nurse her at night, or to make her laugh, or to calm her when she cries. I will be the one to remember the little day-to-day things--she won't. Sometimes that is really hard for me to take--it makes me sad. I try to capture the memories with words and pictures, my feeble attempt to take my daughter with me. My hope that one day she'll read and see and know how much joy she's given us since the very beginning. 

I don't want to forget. I want to remember. 

What are your feelings on keeping memories? 

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