After 12 hours of labor, Jackson made his entrance into the world shortly after 8 p.m. on December 28, 2007. Within 10 minutes, our whole family flooded into the room to meet him. There was lots of oohing and aahing and picture taking. Within 30 minutes, everyone had left the room to follow the baby.
I remember thinking. Hello? Family? Where did everyone go?
It was my first idea that things were going to be different. I had just GIVEN BIRTH. It was this amazing moment in my life, but the focus had shifted to the one that had been given birth to.
By the time midnight rolled around, we were in for our first night as parents. Ev, bless his heart, with no experience in any of this, unfolded the hospital chair and turned in for the night. We’re talking the whole night. I kept whispering…Ev? Everett? Babe?
There was this little baby that looked just like Everett in our room that wouldn’t go to sleep, and the grown-up version of him sleeping soundly in the chair beside me. It was all very confusing and I was semi-delirious with fatigue. I had no idea what I was doing.
It only took until the morning to realize…I’d never changed Jackson’s diaper. No wonder he couldn’t sleep.
Your life changes forever with the birth of a child. At 25, I had no idea that being a mom never stops. You don’t get to punch a time card; not in the middle of the night, not when you have a migraine and not when you have to pee while you’re breastfeeding. Like never.
This is very important for everyone to know: there is no such thing as “Supermom” and if there is, it’s certainly not me. I get called this term sometimes and it’s never set well. It’s just not true. Everett and I had no idea how to be parents when Jackson came, we just knew we wanted to be good ones. We’re still learning. I’m not sure what to do when Jackson gets mad and talks back, or how to get Abby to want to go pee pee on the potty. I yell sometimes and feed them too many sweets. My house is always a mess and there’s an entire family of dust bunnies living in the foyer.
I wish Jackson never had cancer, but he did, so we got him the best care we couldn’t afford. We had no idea that Abby would be born so early, but she was, so we did everything we could to help her grow with love. These acts don’t make us superparents. It just makes us parents who unconditionally love their children. And you know what? You would do the exact thing, you just didn’t have to.
I believe God handpicks our children for us and us for them. I know more now than I did the night I became a mother. My perspective’s evolved and my compassion for others has multiplied. I’m not super by any means. But I am thankful and my heart is full. Even with the difficult past we’ve overcome, we still don’t know what life holds. We continue to learn and pray for God’s hand to guide us. Our work as parents is never done.