Tuesday, October 23, 2012

two years in.

my sweet roman, you're two years old.

i think of the transformation that has happened to me, these past two years, and i'm overwhelmed.
a shift from the old me, to the mom version of me, has begun, and is in full bloom.
my dear roman, i was 98% part excited for your birth, and only 2% nervous.  
those last few weeks before you were born, i was going on walks, doing squats, even playing ball-girl for your daddy's tennis games with friends.  but it wasn't that i was miserably pregnant and wanting to just get you out, no, it was that i just needed you to be in my arms.  i was ready to meet your face, and get to know this little guy who was always moving around inside of me.

and then you were born.  
my excitement continued...so much so that we even forgot to tell your grandma's (who were in the other room) that you were born for over an hour after the main event!  
we were just so in awe, we simply soaked in the moments without a care of the outside world pressing.
me. you. and your daddy.
and then, during that first week home, you weren't able to nurse, so with the help of the nurses we rigged up quite the macgyver contraption.  and eventually, my dear, you caught on.
and that would be the first defining motherhood moment of:
 "ahhh. i don't know what to do??.... and then figuring out how to do it"

as soon as nursing finally clicked, your jaundice spiked and into the glowworm cocoon you went.
i couldn't wrap my mind around how i was supposed to cuddle you and hold you and bond with you, if you were attached to the wall, by way some silly hard glowing wrap and cord.
and of course, we made it through that trial, too.  

i realized that motherhood was full of little mountains.  i could freak out with them, or breathe, and take on the climb, knowing it too would pass by.  some mountains of course, are bigger than others.

it seemed like in just one week of this new life, this new me, the momma me, i was tugged and pulled and stretched more than i had been in my entire life.
i remember thinking, there wasn't really time to freak out, or panic, or even cry much though.
there was just you.  
you needed me, so i figured out how to reach in deep, and find strength to just keep going, though multiple times i wanted to crumble into a heap on the floor and sneak back to my old life.
oh roman, you were just a wee little 7 pounder, and with your birth, i, too, was also born.
once you came into my life, i was no longer able to function during even the smallest of tasks without first thinking of your needs.  
you, my little love, showed me what it meant to love so much it hurts.
and it's a good hurt.

i moved through maternity leave like a little girl riding her unicorn in the clouds.  
though, there wasn't a day that went by where i didn't project myself to weeks ahead when i'd be leaving you to go back to work. 
those thoughts took my ride up in the clouds to a very low, lonely, crawl on the ground.  
so, i blocked it out.  and tried so hard not to think about you, a little 12 week old bundle, being dropped off with someone else. 
i tried very hard to embrace our 12 weeks together.
we spent our days going on walks around the neighborhood, browsing target, and making our "big outings" to the mall, where i knew the nordstroms restroom would welcome us with comfy sofas and dim lighting, so i could nurse you, and change you, and get back to browsing forever21.
as with any transformation, it's the hard parts that truly mold you the most.
motherhood is hard. 
the old me was confident, and passionate, and loved to have a good time.
the new me?  anxious and full of guilt.  wondering if i was doing anything right?  and not a lot of time to worry about 'having a good time'  
i was in such new territory, trying to figure out this new role as a momma, and the weight of responsibility it brought.  

but we just kept on going....and before i knew it, when you were 12 weeks old, i went from being just a momma to a working mom, and i was also going night class 2 nights a week, trying to finish grad school by may.  

it was a painful transition, leaving you, with someone else, but soon, those seemingly impossible days became my norm.  
somewhere during your first year, little romy, i started recognizing a common feeling.  
there was this little spark of capability, that would flicker during moments of craziness.

it seemed like the first year of my new life as momma was spent in a cocoon, 
but i began peaking my head out and realized that i wanted to fly, and emerge as a butterfly, as a capable mother.
the sparks of capability turned into, feelings of "i'm a rockstar"

i began taking on experiences that were scary to me, yes, but left me feeling capable.
things like flying with you for the first time alone, driving home to nebraska for the first time with you alone, figuring out how to nurse you in a parking lot, just so we could re-enter our day out, without needing to rush home so i could be in the comfort of easy, the comfort of home.... those things? 
they left me with a rush of adrenaline.   
your second year came little romes.  
and the Lord used some very hard, [like, me balling on the kitchen floor in despair] times.... 
and, for multiple reasons, me as a working mom, wasn't really working.
it was a disaster.  
circumstances were happening, one after another, and soon, the Lord placed on your daddy's heart a gift to me.  
he told me it was time for me to stay home.  to quit my job.  and just be here, with you.
and in 2 days, i did just that.

and now? as we reflect on this past year, and the scary, SCARY feeling it was for us to go from 2 incomes to just 1? we are in awe and amazement at how the Lord has continued to provide.
and not just in monetary ways, but a lifestyle of contentment and peace, as well.

to say my new job as stay at home momma is bliss would be silly.
i spent three months wondering who i was.
i didn't get hundreds of emails daily anymore.  
i wasn't working with a school full of children, or teachers; no one called me mrs leif.
and, instead of the adrenaline rush i would get with trying to get you to daycare on time, so i could fly into work on 2 wheels?  
i was just wondering i should even put a bra on.  
i mean.  i wasn't going to be doing anything important that day, so why even change out of my jammies?

the transition from working momma, to stay at home momma was hard, but beautiful. 
i held on to the dream i had of staying home, so that even the darkest days of feeling like i really didn't have a purpose other than to feed, change, and play with a one year old, would be OK.  
even those days i remembered that this is what i prayed for.  
what i cried prayers, for days after days, for.
i began joining moms, and groups and finding my place.
i stepped out of my cocoon, and my wings of motherhood began to flap.
our days are simple, now.  but so full.
we leave the house when we want, taking on the big city, as if it is our playground.  
and if we don't feel like it?  we just stay in our jammies til noon.  or 5pm.

i get my adrenaline rushes from picking up the house at 5:15 every day, so your daddy thinks i'm a good housekeeper :) 

and motherhood empowerment is emerging as i begin to learn the role of advocate.  
we're treading new waters of therapy for your legs and therapy to help with sensory processing.  
and though i know things like therapy can be a beautiful blessing, i'm beginning to realize i have the ability to choose which paths we embrace, and which ones we close the door to.  
my little love, romy, because of you, i became a different person, a transformation took place. 

and now, two years in, i feel like a rock star, ready to enter toddlerhood with you.

not because i know what to do, how to react to your throw-yourself-on-the-floor fits, or because i'm an awesome mom who doesn't happen to still let you drink milk from a bottle.

because i don't really know how to deal with your fits.

and you do still drink from a bottle.

but i feel a rockstar because i know was created for you.
God chose ME to raise YOU.  he picked me out, because he knew i could do it.


  1. Beautiful! I really like how you said you were born when he was. Makes me so excited to meet my little one.

  2. oh man. This was amazing. You captured so much of motherhood and what it does to us, so perfectly. you're a beautiful writer, and a beautiful mama. :)

    I can't believe little Roman is two already! It seriously feels like I was just reading his birth story on this blog not that long ago. :) happy birthday, darling boy! and I can't wait to read another birth story on this blog again someday in the not-too-distant future! :)

  3. ok weird that i started reading your blog right before you gave birth! can't believe that was over 2 years ago! happpy birthday to roman :)