The Little Engine That Could – We all know the story of the tiny train who wasn’t sure it could pull the other train up the mountain. But that feisty little train started up the mountain saying – I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. And as that train gained momentum and reached the top of the mountain, it realized it could do more than it ever thought before.
I own that children’s book and read it to my son regularly. And every time I do, I feel inspired by that little engine that could. The tiny train who did more than they ever knew they could. And as I look down at my son as he tries to eat the train right off the page, I’m reminded of my journey as a mother. I think of all the things I didn’t think I could do, all the things I never thought I would do.
When I was pregnant, my husband and I discussed our preferred birthing experience. We wrote out a birth plan, that of course, did not go as planned. I wanted a completely natural pregnancy. I didn’t want any pain medications. But then, as we drove to the hospital, my contractions were only a couple minutes apart, and I was screaming and writhing in pain. This was so much worse than I thought it would be. I looked at my husband and told him I couldn’t do this. As soon as we got to the hospital, I wanted all the drugs. I wanted that epidural. And yet, I didn’t end up needing one. I pushed my beautiful baby boy into this world au natural. And I had never been more proud of myself than in that moment.
Almost immediately after giving birth, my baby was placed on my bare chest and nuzzled himself into my breast. He latched on almost immediately. But it hurt. It hurt so much. People had warned me it would be painful, but you don’t really understand until you do it. I spent the next week feeling defeated. I couldn’t get him to latch right and I felt that I was failing my son. I couldn’t provide the basic nutritional needs that nature gave to me. But, I kept pushing through. Now, I’ve almost reached a year of breastfeeding. I never thought I would make it a month of breastfeeding. Once I passed that benchmark, I thought surely I’d be done at six months when I went back to work. But I kept going and now I’ve almost reached my dream goal of one year. One wonderful year of providing my son with the best possible source of nourishment.
I never thought I would be a good mom. When I was younger, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to be a mother. But becoming Mom has been the best thing to ever happen to me. I love spending time with my son. I love playing with him, making him laugh, and cuddling with him every day. I enjoy watching him grow, learn, and develop into a tiny little human being. Becoming a mom has taught me a lot about myself and I am constantly learning new things every day.
My journey as a mother has been full of self-doubt. I have questioned every decision I’ve made. I’ve hesitated at every obstacle along the way. But, I keep pushing forward.
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.