When I found out I was pregnant with you, there was a rush of emotions. 
 
Soon after, there was a rush to the bathroom as I battled morning sickness for almost half my pregnancy. It didn’t matter if it was morning, noon, or night—for months, I could barely keep anything down. I dreaded getting into a car because I knew the inevitable would happen. I dreaded going anywhere actually, and it seemed that I would be sick the entire pregnancy. 
 
But you were worth it. 

A few months before my due date your dad and I were taking a tour of the hospital where I would eventually meet you when we passed a woman in a wheelchair who had just given birth. She looked happy, but dazed. Behind her walked her equally dazed husband, who also looked terrified as he was charged with pushing their newborn down the hallway. Moments later we passed what I can only guess was the delivery room. Nurses were whipping out soiled sheets and all I could think was, “What am I in for?” 

Two months later, I became that dazed woman being wheeled down the hallway by a friendly nurse. Your dad carefully pushed you behind me making sure to go slowly over any bumps. Thankfully, we didn’t pass any tour groups, but instead, many nurses who offered their congrats. 
 
I smiled and thanked them, still quite frankly, shell-shocked by what just happened. The pain, the exhaustion, it was all there. There were moments where I literally didn’t think I could go on any longer. Sometime during it I told your dad you would be our only child. 
 
But we got through it. And when they placed you in my arms the pain stopped and you were so worth it.
 
But then just a few days later the hospital sent us home and I felt completely ill-equipped to be your mom. I didn’t know how to nurse you properly. What did I do if you cried? Do I wake you when you need to eat? What is the proper way to hold you? 
 
Then there were the sleepless nights. For many days and weeks we would just finish feeding you when it seemed like we were supposed to start the whole process again. Exhaustion set in like I’ve never felt before. 
 
But every time I got to look at you, hold your little hand, or see you smile, I knew you were so worth it. 
 
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry often during this period—one half from hormones and the other from pure exhaustion.
 
Slowly but surely, I began to hit my stride though. I don’t know if you got easier or I just learned a thing or two, but each day started to feel a little more normal. When I looked at you I thought my heart would actually burst with how much I loved you. 
 
Each smile, each coo and each little milestone you bring me joy in a way I didn’t know existed. 
 
It’s then that, probably like many mothers, I began to think, “Yes, I could do this again. Yes, it was difficult, but she was so, so worth it.”

Sarah Althouse

Sarah is a Buffalo transplant living in Washington, D.C. with her husband Josh and cat Squeakers. By day she work as a Communications Director for a Member of Congress; by night she dreams of being Martha Stewart. She also loves pigs, peonies, politics and peanut butter. Follow her at http://prettysimpleideas.com/