So often recently, I think about what we were doing exactly one year ago. I was off of bed rest and nesting like crazy... although without a nursery to prepare (since we kept our second bedroom a guest bedroom for the first 10 months), I was mostly tying up loose ends and shopping (mostly the latter- I'm not sure not having a nursery saved us any money).
One year ago today, I was 39 weeks pregnant and wrote about it in my blog post that day. I remember, although it isn't included in that post, that 39 weeks was the point in which I decided we could start doing things that actively promote labor, like long walks and foot massages. Tyler was so impatient (remember, it had been 5 weeks since I'd been put on bed rest and 16 since my first trip to the hospital with contractions- a long wait!) that he took me to Whole Foods to buy every home remedy for inducing labor we had ever read about. Let me tell you, vegan eggplant parmesan and pineapple are not the greatest pairing, especially when you have occasional reflux...
Those of you who have been reading Mama Em from its beginning know that it it took me a while to find the true heart of Mama Em and what it should contain. Initially, I envisioned only my mom, mother in law, and maybe grandma reading it, so I wrote to them about my day and included little details I thought they might find interesting. I soon found, though, that there were many other topics that fascinated me, from the Shedd Aquarium's beluga whale pregnancy to Project Runway episodes covering maternity fashion. As I learned more about healthy living and pregnancy, I shared those topics, too. My blog began to document not only my pregnancy but also my increasing awareness of holistic parenting.
What makes Mama Em priceless to me is how it has become a journal. Through blogging, I've learned the value of documenting my life not just in pictures, as I have for years, but in writing about my current emotions, train of thought, and opinions. Without that, I wouldn't likely remember how much security I found in Tyler's impatient waiting for the birth and how that showed me he was emotionally ready to become a father. I would have forgotten just how hard that waiting was for me, too, had I not posted about it almost every day for several months (you poor readers!). I would have forgotten the details of the day before Tye was born, like the way the zipper on my fleece swayed side to side with each step as we walked to the dog park. And I'm forever grateful to have recorded certain memories, like Tyler's brilliant takes on pregnancy.
Through blogging, I've also been reminded of the value of journaling for self-reflection. In college, our Education professor required short daily journal entries about our day student teaching in the classroom. This exercise taught me to reflect on my day and how my experiences wove themselves into my training. In the same way, blogging has, for me, become an opportunity for me to gather my thoughts in one place and reflect upon motherhood. I believe writing about my pregnancy, from the joys to the fears, helped prepare me for the birth. Now, writing about parenting provides me time to contemplate parenting philosophies, how they affect children, and how they might affect Tye. I also draw (sometimes strange) parallels that reinforce my attempts to truly appreciate each moment of every day and parent with love, joy, patience, and faith. Blogging has become therapeutic for me.
Looking a pictures of me one year ago, I can hardly remember what it felt like to have such a huge belly, to feel Baby Girl moving around inside of me, to feel the almost-constant contractions squeezing around my tummy, to be anxiously waiting for such a life-changing event. Thankfully, I have all those memories and emotions in words, and I can go back and read about each day. Someday, perhaps Tye will want to read about our journey into life together.
As I've said before, I'm amazed anyone besides my mom reads Mama Em. I love knowing that there are others out there, though, actually interested in what I write and even engaging in two-way conversation with your comments (which I love). You provide motivation to write and to continue to document my journey into motherhood. Thank you for listening to me for the past 19 months.