Motherhood: Introducing August / by Vivian Chen

As you may have noticed, things have been quiet over here. But I have a good reason! For the past month, our family (and my world) has been changed by the addition of a sweet little boy. Introducing our son, August Zhen-Yu Emma. Gus was born on March 29, 2018 (he was one week and five days early!) I kept the whole pregnancy and birth off of social media (save for a few posts on my Instagram feed) but now that he's here, I'd love to share my story with you all.

 Mornings with Gus + Dad

Mornings with Gus + Dad

When I was 29 weeks...

I always come back to this redwood grove, my favorite enchanted spot in forest. When I need inspiration, when I need solace, when I need peace. I've brought many friends to visit as well, to experience a part of my heart. But this particular morning was special. Not because the rain stopped at the perfect time or because the thick soupy fog lingered in the air. But because I brought him. He's been a little secret I've kept tucked away from the virtual world for the past couple of months. But as he grows, I change, physically and mentally. He's given me strength in ways I never thought possible. He's grounded me and reassured me. He’s made me comfortable in my own skin. He's helped me surrender to the wild unknown. I am forever grateful for this journey we've begun together and open myself to the journey that lies ahead. We’re ready to share the world with you, little one. ↟↟↟

To my dearest, most talented Diana Rothery: A million thank you's for capturing this extraordinary time in our life and for making me feel like a magical forest mama.

Becoming a mother...

It’s as if my heart has unlocked another chamber and my capacity to love has increased exponentially. The love I feel for my son is the deepest, fiercest love I’ve ever felt. In those first few days, it hurt, brought me to tears to feel so much. I wasn’t used to the overwhelming weight of it all. This love is immeasurable through time and space. A chemical reaction that began nine months ago at conception. Whose undying fate was sealed the moment his head passed through to the outside world. We are forever bound together by an invisible thread. I know it’s something magical because even in my darkest moments, when I’m frustrated, when I’m exhausted, when he’s frustrated, when he’s exhausted—this love protects us both. A force field, a never-ending spring where gentle, kindness flows. “Love is patient.” I’ve heard that phrase utter during countless wedding ceremonies but only now do I understand its meaning. Thank you, August, for opening my heart and showing me how beautiful the world can be.

 One month with Gus

One month with Gus

Savor these moments they say. It all goes by so fast. I’ve heard it called “the longest shortest time.” And it’s true. Time bends and stretches with a newborn. Reminiscing about the past and dreaming about the future are luxuries from another lifetime. Days melt together into countless sunrises as the sky shifts from black to blue to white observed from my sleep deprived cocoon. Another morning, another chance to reset and start over. I have good days and bad days. Days where I feel not so much triumphant but almost normal (which doesn’t make sense as I have a new normal, a new identity to become acquainted with), and days where I feel like a complete failure, tears running down my face, dripping onto my milk stained shirt. Weeks feel like months yet this first month has come and gone. Now I measure time between feedings, counting dirty diapers, loads of laundry and watching his little face change day by day. Fuller, rounder, his eyes increasingly open and alert. Being present is all that matters now because nothing has taught me how to live in the moment more than becoming a mother. ♥️