Today’s guest post comes from a family member – my sister Natalie.  I was going to type an intro, but I think I’ll let her explain: 

 

“Having a Baby Changes Everything.”

Humans are naturally creatures of habit. We don’t like change; we don’t want things to change even if we won’t admit it. That makes life more difficult and complex. With many of the changes in our life we don’t have the luxury to feel in control. We don’t have a choice in the matter. Things happen, and we must adapt to get over the change. But then, there are those moments when we get to choose how our life changes. The first major change in my life was selecting and going to a college. What seemed like a difficult choice at the time, quite frankly wasn’t all that difficult at all. I knew I wanted to be close to my parents and my friends. Naturally, this meant I would select a school in my home state. I knew I wanted to be a teacher, this meant I needed to go to a school with a good reputation for producing quality teachers. The final component was applying and getting accepted. Done. Okay let’s try this again. Choose a graduate school. This should be a difficult decision and big change in a person’s life, right? Never mind, my undergraduate school offered me a full ride scholarship. Done.  Choose the man I would spend the rest of my life with, again done. He always felt like my soul mate and planning the wedding with him was a joy and almost never a stress. I’m seeing a trend here, all the changes in my life that I thought were going to be hard were really not so hard after all.  Alright, last attempt, choosing a career path. And this, my friends, is where the challenging changes began.

Choosing a career path wasn’t going to be so easy for me. I knew I really didn’t want to work in my home state but it’s where my parents, my husband’s family, and our friends lived. How could I leave them behind? How could I ask my husband to leave everything he has ever known? How could I leave everything I had ever known? Then a miracle happened, a work of God. My sister’s fertility battle was over, she had won. Not only did she win but she did a victory lap and was pregnant with twins. I thought the saying “having a baby changes everything” was only really geared towards the new parents but almost a year later, I realized that saying goes to everyone. I bet at this point you’re asking yourself, what in the heck does this have to do with choosing a career path? It has everything to do with it.

I knew my sister would need help those first few weeks with the newborns. So, I volunteered to spend the first month of my summer with my sister.  This meant being over 10 hours away from home, while trying to finish planning my soon to be wedding.  Still, this did not worry me and then plans were made. Not long after, I got a phone call. A school close to my sister’s home wanted to interview me. I accepted the interview offer and set the date during my long visit. The interview was a major success. In fact, I ended up having four interviews that day.  I was quickly offered a position. I declined to sign on the big black line until I could think it over. This decision would change everything.

Two days later, my sisters C-Section date arrived. I was going to be an Aunt. Instead of focusing on the miracle, I was dwelling over my decision. What was I going to do with my life? I had hours of conversations with my soon to be husband at the time.  Still, I (we) were undecided.  I sat in the waiting room, excited for my sister and nervous about the big decision. Then the babies arrived. I still remember the first moment I saw them. I couldn’t believe I was an Aunt. I couldn’t believe my sister was a mom! I had no control over this change but I loved it. Then, I held those little boogers for the first time. How could I ever leave those babies? How could I pass up what could be the only chance I get to watch my niece and nephew grow?  How much would I regret turning the job down and never give it a fighting chance? It wasn’t long before the decision was made for a handful of reasons. My soon to be husband and I would pack our entire lives and take the biggest change WE have ever taken in our lives. Having a baby changes everything. That first month with screaming babies all night wasn’t easy. I was feeling out of control as I had to make life changes and fast. New apartment, new state, new job, new new new new new! Nothing would ever be the same. It has been the most difficult change in my life. But we made the big move, the big change.

The job has been an amazing challenge, an amazing change. I have stretched myself further than I ever had in my life. If you know me, I am always stretching myself to the breaking point. Sometimes I would sit in my apartment with my husband on a Friday night with a heavy heart, thinking about how I could be with my friends or with our families. I’d think about how this home didn’t feel like a home, my childhood home wasn’t a home anymore, my college town wasn’t a home. I have NO HOME! Saturday, I would work all day; clean the house, lesson plans, run errands, and the typical routine. But then Sunday would roll around. Naked Baby Sunday! Yes ladies and gentlemen, I said it, Naked Baby Sunday! My husband and I would load up in the car and drive a short distance to my sisters. This first thing you would see walking in her door is two babies, in nothing but a diaper rolling around on the floor.  My nephew would giggle as we walked in the door and my niece would get a big smile. Then, finally the moment I wait for all week: holding them and never wanting to let go, except when they scream! (Here you go mom!) Having a baby changes everything.  Those babies changed my life.

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not all the babies fault. Mom and Dad were planning to move to my sister’s hometown soon. I didn’t want to stay in my home state. My husband was willing to take a chance because it would be now or never. But when I hold those babies I am home. When my husband holds those babies, it all their fault. It’s all their fault that I love my job. It’s all their fault my husband found the first job he has ever loved. It’s all their fault mom and dad are moving here sooner. It’s all their fault that I had to make new friends and miss my old but still important friends. It’s all their fault that I have never felt closer to my sister in my entire life. It’s all their fault and I don’t think we (my husband and I) would change a thing.  Yes, the times will be tough. Yes, I will still think about what our life could be like back in our home state.  But having a baby changed everything, and I would never take that back. Happy almost Birthday Abby and Miles! You have been the best change I would ever ask for. It wasn’t easy but you’re both so worth it. (Happy Tears) :’)

 

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