1. Being a mom is weirdly wonderful. You're utterly exhausted (I'm talking can't-hold-your-eyes-open-during-work-hardly-bone-tired), but you have NEVER been happier in your entire life.
2. Despite the fact that I would probably slay a demon to take a real nap, I still smile and laugh when River decides that 4:00 am is a good time to giggle and wake up for the day.
3. I finally understand selfless love. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband with my whole heart and I know he feels that way about me too, but after birthing River I found another level of that love so intense and deep that I am just blown away by it daily.
4. I don't mind that my husband frequently kisses and cuddles with another girl every single day. Watching Zack bond with, and take care of, our daughter fills my heart with even more love for him. We've always been great together, but having a baby has brought us even closer. We also appreciate each other so much more than we did in the past, because we're a team and we know the only way to get through this is together.
5. For what is probably the first time ever in my life, I'm *proud* of my body. I'm proud of what I endured, and that my body helped to give life to this amazing human being. I feel so much stronger knowing that I went through giving birth.
6. My goals and dreams didn't go away, if anything they became more intense. I was terrified that being a mom meant that I was going to lose myself. I was thrilled to be pregnant, but I was scared of never being me again. But the truth is, I'm still the same person. I'm still a huge geek. I still want the same things that I wanted before, but even more so now because I want my daughter to know that her mother reached her goals and that she didn't settle.
7. "Mothering Instincts" are real. I thought it was just a myth, but I promise you, I know better than anyone else what River wants and what she needs. It's a scary thing because I know that on down the road I will have to let go of these instincts, or at least loosen up on them, so River can be her own person. But for now, she needs me and my instincts and I will absolutely cherish these early days for the rest of my life.