I loved growing up in a big family and always wanted to have my own one day. At forty, I found myself celebrating my two-year wedding anniversary with a baby boy on the way. Besides the occasional “bad preggers day” I enjoyed the nine months of body changes, early bedtimes and baby kicks.
When our son was born my husband and I felt excited, terrified and complete. I adjusted to my new role as mommy and for the most part it seemed like I finally got what I wanted but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.
As my social life became less of a priority, it wasn’t long before I began to mourn my former life of brunch with girlfriends, art exhibition openings, spontaneous trips out of town, and date nights with my husband. In actuality my life was whole and complete before parenthood and now it felt like I had to choose between the two. But why?
I was never clinically diagnosed with postpartum but I absolutely had symptoms and found the transition more difficult than I ever expected.
The only time I felt some semblance of normalcy was when my girlfriends would visit. Always with good stories and a great bottle of Rosé, I’d tell them of my new mommy adventures, the milestones my son was making (and the ones he wasn’t). They would assure me not to worry – he would eventually get there and he did. Those visits brought me back to life; just the continuity in those visits helped tether me to my old self. Sadly, I only have a few photos of those special moments with "my girl crush crew" and regret not documenting more.
Somethings do have to change with motherhood but not everything. It’s important to remember not to lose yourself. If I could do it all over again and had a chance to rewrite that part of my life, I’d keep a book not only to document those memories for my child but also to continue to create memories for myself. That is where Cheers To You Baby!™ comes from. The Random Occurrences and Milestones serve as reminders to connect with the ones you love. My biggest hope is that if you are feeling some of that despair (or you know a new mommy you suspect is experiencing these feelings) that this book sparks the motivation to raise a glass and say CHEERS! to new beginnings knowing you have not lost yourself... or those closest to you.