Colton and I have been loving our walks. Tomorrow is supposed to reach 100 degrees for the first time this summer. That's okay, I'm up at all hours, so we will just fit it in earlier. With his sun cover shading his stroller seat, there was a surprising silence followed by a loud sneeze. Then two more. Colton has been a three sneezer since day one. Fun fact about him. The last one sounded a little more wet than the other.
Naturally, I slowed my race-walker pace, and lifted the shade. There he was, all smiles and top lip covered in precious baby slime. Then I did the unthinkable. Wait a sec...
You see... I DO NOT DO NASTY KID JUICES. Moms for ages have
The other day I caught myself in my own words. Have you ever done this? When you just shock yourself for what just came out of your mouth. Sometimes it's humor, sometimes it's horror. This was straight up conviction.
Anyone who has had a baby knows, no matter how you carried your baby or how much weight you gained in the process, your body will never be the same. Things have shifted. It's the great sacrifice. Maybe part of The Fall with child-bearing. That such a beautiful process of bringing life into the world would cost the mother her body.
Naturally in my profession, I see women who are haunted by their physique on account of carrying, feeding and providing for their children. There is nothing wrong with remembering "what you used to look like." But our culture is obsessed. And here I was thinking, I was above all that. I ate healthy, yes. I love to exercise, (I know- not for everyone), yes. And I think I have a relatively wholesome body imagine. But there I was, nine months later, thinking about it. Knowing my child was worth it, but wondering about this scar, this belly weight, my lack of muscle tone. I just wanted out of it, and wasn't wanting to hear "it took your body nine months to get like this, it takes about nine months to completely recover." Stuck in the impatience and dissatisfaction I judged my own clients over.
I gave birth to my son, Colton Sterling, just a few short weeks ago. It was a bit traumatic, ending in an emergency C-section after laboring for what seemed like an eternity. But here I am, feeling so compelled to write that I’m typing this one-handed ’cause my little guy is congested and won’t sleep anywhere but in my arms today. For all the profanities, contractions and pain it has cost me thus far, I’m so proud to be this little boy’s mom. I. Noelle Ritter. Am a mother.
Motherhood has caught me by surprise. My sister was always the one to play with dolls and show the natural motherly instincts. I, on the other hand, baby-sat for the money and never really considered myself a “baby person”. I used to say I wish I could pop them out at age twelve so we could have conversation from the get-go. But when my son was put skin-to-skin with me fifteen minutes after my C-section in recovery, I became a “baby person”. Thus began my love affair with Colton, but with motherhood- I wasn’t so in love yet.
As I sit to write this birth account, I tear up a little,
looking down at my sweet son fast asleep on my chest secured by the his Moby
wrap. It was just a few short weeks ago
that he lay in that same closeness inside my womb in no hurry to ever leave that
wonderful place… but I’m so glad he changed his mind on Saturday April 13, 2013
Random contractions began on Monday- I was 4 days
overdue. I coincidently had a doctor’s
appointment that morning. I felt
fortunate to actually be experiencing something while at the office. A strong contraction had me pressed to the
wall in the elevator. Maybe after all
this waiting, today would be the day?
Ultrasound showed plenty of fluid and a happy baby. Dr. said she wanted a non-stress test done
but hopefully she would see me sooner, although I was still dilated to 1cm. Before I left she said “oh there was one
thing I wanted to review about your birth plan.” We discussed my wishes regarding an emergency
C-section. I laughed it off, as did she,
in a professional way- thinking aloud that I wasn’t a likely candidate but you
just never know. Little did I know, I
would be so grateful we had that conversation.
Colton’s non-stress test was strong. I had a friend drive me to the hospital and
back seeing that my contractions were very uncomfortable and irregular. Colton performed well during contraction and
passed all the requirements of the test within three minutes of the 30 min
test. Show off.
Contractions continued over the week- ranging from 1 hour
apart to 15 min apart. Some were mild,
some were intense. I was surprised by
how good I felt in-between them. When I
pictured early labor, I thought I’d be handicapped. This was a pleasant surprise. It was more my depressed spirit and my
increasing fatigue that began to eat away at me. How long would my body contract for?
The Ritters are starting a blog... together. "Together?" you ask. Yes, together! After deliberating for a while over what Chris' blog about fatherhood would be called - whether it should be "mysonisawesome.com" or "coltonisawesome.com" (kidding!) - we decided to start something both of us would contribute to on a regular basis and just sort of see what happens. After all, we both love to write, a unique couple attribute we have found.
Our main goal is just to enjoy writing about life - the experiences with Colton that make us laugh and the ones that make us pause to reflect; the mistakes we make and some lessons learned along the way; how God is helping us, teaching us, and making us more like Christ. We're trying not to lay too many expectations on ourselves.
But why the title? Why "This Is Why We Love?" It comes from the idea of 1 John 4:19 in the bible - "We love because he first loved us." Human love is