Trying to bottle that feeling you get when you see that first smile in the morning...

When I saw the blog topic inviting people to write about how becoming a Mom has changed you, I knew I wanted to write something to try to capture the roller coaster ride I've been on since finding out I was pregnant. The hard part was deciding just what it was I was going to write to try to express all the various changes I've experienced. The more I thought about it, the more I just kept picturing that first smile my little 4 1/2 month old gives me in the morning.

This story begins on June 2, 2009. I remember the date because it was my birthday. Looking back now, I feel like such a moron for not recognizing what it meant that I had been feeling nauseous for a few weeks, that my breasts were sore, that smells were bothering me, and that I just hadn't been feeling like myself. But, the truth is, I never thought for a moment that I could even possibly be pregnant. A co-worker asked me jokingly whether I was pregnant right after I got back from excusing myself from a meeting to go dry-heave in the restroom, and I laughed in response. Then as I sat there listening to the presentation I had excused myself from, my mind wandered just enough to convince myself that it wasn't a bad idea to run by the store at lunch and rule-out the possibility that had been suggested.

That night, my husband had planned a wonderful evening of drinks at a special place we like to go that has a rooftop lounge overlooking the ocean followed by a fancy dinner and then out dancing. All of that, and so much more, changed when I presented him with a gift bag after opening the one from him. He refused to open the bag on my birthday, until I finally insisted about half way through dinner. The look on his face showed he didn't catch on to the fact that I had only ordered water at the rooftop lounge or that I passed up the seafood at dinner and ordered a salad in its place. When my husband saw that the gift I had got him was a book entitled, "She's Having a Baby, and He's Having a Break Down," the world as we both knew it quickly changed.

The next 10 months were a rapid cycle of pre-natal visits, parenting classes, reading every book we could get our hands on about babies/parenting, shopping for baby items to fill the house, getting uncontrollably excited about the prospect of becoming a mommy, worrying uncontrollably about the prospect of becoming a parent, and a million other baby-prep-mode crazy moments.

Then, on January 26, 2010, my world changed again.

From the moment I saw Austin James enter this world, I realized that my life would never be the same.

This post is already becoming longer than I expected, but to try to write about even half of the ways that my little man has changed my life would take another 20 pages. I used to think that the perfect evening was a night out with my husband at a fancy restaurant with a good bottle of wine followed by painting the town at the hottest new nightspot. Now, I bask in the glory I feel when I lay my son down in his crib that has clean sheets with him in a fresh diaper, spot-free pajamas, a bathed body and a full belly. Where the ideal weekend used to be skipping out of work early on Friday to head up to Napa, soak in the sun and visit as many vineyards as we could squeeze in, my husband taking over "the night shift" on Fridays and Saturdays just so I can actually get a decent night sleep has become the gold standard.

The truth is, I've gone through lots of changes throughout my pregnancy and especially over these past 4 1/2 months since giving birth to my son, Austin. I've gone from working 60 hours a week to being a stay at home mom. I went from shopping at the mall for the latest fashion accessories a few times a week while rushing home from work and before heading out for the evening, to using the mall as just another place in my repertoir of trusty spots I can take Austin for strolls that give him a change of scenery. I've watched that room in my house we used to use for watching movies and entertaining guests transform into the "Room O' Baby Toys." I've traded in that approving nod in the morning after checking out those high heels in the mirror to make sure they complete my ensemble for that sense of relief when I finally find where I left my most comfortable flats. But, the best change of all is a feeling I wish I could bottle and sell... It's that magic moment when instead of rushing out the door to sit in traffic for another day at the office, I instead walk into my son's nursery to welcome him to another day and I am greeted by that little stretch and heart-warming first smile of the day.

~Mission Viejo & Irvine~

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Comment by darlynn on June 21, 2010 at 8:06pm
So sweet; thanks for the details. I love that magic moment in the mornings.... oh, boy there is nothing like it!
Comment by Stephanie on June 19, 2010 at 8:25pm
This sounds like a movie=). It's times like those when I wish I could stop the clock
Comment by Dawn Lam on June 17, 2010 at 7:19am
Awe....reading this before I head to work and am almost ready to burst into tears....I love that smile in the morning!!!


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