Today, I turned 36. It is my first birthday as a mother, and although I hoped to become a mother earlier than this age, I would not have anything different if I had to do it over again. Being 35 and pregnant was a great experience for me. People often times say that as you get older, life events like pregnancy and childbirth become harder. A friend of mine gave birth at 34 and said that she lamented having her first child that late because she spoke with women who had given birth in their late 20s and early 30s who bounced back far quicker than she did. Well, I had a very smooth, complication-free pregnancy despite having to go through IVF from age 34 into 35, and I had a quick recovery from birth all things being equal. Well, my pelvic floor is still not 100%, but then again, it’s only been just over four weeks, so I still have more time that I need to heal.
Every time I look at my baby, I am beyond grateful that she is here and healthy. She is just over one month old, and when I look back at photos of her from this time last month, I cannot believe how quickly she has grown and how much her little face has changed in such a short span of time. Every day, she changes just a little bit. And every day, I cannot believe that I am this lucky to have her here. I love her more than anything else on earth.
There were many times in the last year or two when I wondered if I would ever even become a mother. Perhaps it wasn’t in the cards for me, I thought. Maybe I didn’t deserve to be a mother. There was a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear, and a lot of tears, but we are finally here and our baby is with us.
And so, even though today is full of a lot of the same routine, with feeding, burping, pumping, and dealing with spit ups, I have never been happier or more fulfilled. Every day since her safe and healthy arrival, I have given thanks for her existence in my life. This is, indeed, a very happy 36th birthday for me.