Tag Archives: new baby

Girls

I know you’re not supposed to admit to having a real preference about the gender of your child. It’s one of those things that people seem to have no problem asking you about, but I always feel like my response is restricted to “as long as we have a happy and healthy baby we don’t care.” And really, what does your preference even matter. To quote my six-year-old niece “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”

Well, when I was pregnant with Hadley, I did kind of care. The idea of having a boy really terrified me. No doubt this came from growing up with four sisters. And I ‘m just a girl’s girl… I don’t get the stereotypical guy stuff like sports or catching frogs or getting dirty. Of course the whole concept of becoming a mom was really overwhelming the first time around, but thinking about changing a boy’s diaper for the first time in my life absolutely terrified me. So I have to admit that when I heard “girl” during my twenty-week ultrasound, I was a little relieved. And so excited to meet my girl.

This time around, I can honestly say I was 50/50 about it. I felt excited about another precious girl and a sister for Hadley, but also the idea of a boy was no longer so scary (maybe because I’ve since changed a boy’s diaper and survived). But someone else had a strong preference. Hadley made her thoughts on the matter clear from the moment she learned her sibling was on the way. It would be a girl, or it would be a girl.

Her determination for a girl I know is pretty typical, since I myself went through something similar when I was about to become a big sister. I spent five and a half (glorious) years being the youngest in our family. You could say the news of a sibling coming to steal my spotlight was a little rough for me. I released some of this angst during preschool art time, by drawing a picture of a baby cradle with a knife over it. My explanation to my parents was simply that the baby better not be a boy. So that’s about as disturbing as it gets. Fortunately, the baby was a girl and never did I intentionally harm her (that I’m aware of). In fact, I adored her and still do. I’m fully aware that kids act out, say crazy things, and it’s our tendency as parents to freak out and worry that we are doing the wrong thing and ruining them. But with this comparison in mind, I think Hadley will be okay.

Still, we tried our best to prepare her. We told that she might get the sister she dreamed of (thanks a lot, Frozen) but if she got a brother that would be pretty great too. A brother would still be fun to play with and wouldn’t steal your clothes (no small issue in a house full of girls, I’ll just tell you). She has plenty of friends that are boys and two boy cousins that she loves.

The night before the gender reveal, we talked her through it again. “Hadley, tomorrow we will find out if you’ll have a baby brother or baby sister!”

She looked at us seriously. “Find out sister.” It honestly felt like an order. The knife over the cradle image briefly flashed through my mind.

Really, we should have known that she would get her way. Her sister will be here in another four months, and we are all so excited. For me, learning the gender makes it all feel more real.

I do recognize how it will undoubtedly be a season of adjustment for all of us. I’ll be going from one baby to two (three, if you count Henry which some days is totally valid). Hadley will get her sister, but will also have her world completely rocked when it doesn’t revolve around her anymore. And Josh is going to be seriously outnumbered, poor guy.

But we are getting ready as best we can. Earlier this week, while going through baby girl clothes, Hadley was having a blast checking to see if the newborn clothes would fit the baby. How can she tell, you ask? Well, simply by pulling up Mom’s shirt, placing the item of clothing on my belly and declaring “It fit her.”

And my heart just about melted on the spot when she brought a sweater over and told me “I keep my baby sister warm.”

Oh, baby sister I wish you knew how much you are loved already.

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Filed under Hadley, Mom, Motherhood, Parent, Parenthood, Pregnancy, toddler

What I Love Most

If we’re friends on Facebook, you undoubtedly know that these days I post a steady stream of baby pictures.  It’s really hard not to. I have to refrain from making posts daily because I get it… it’s obnoxious. I really don’t want to disappear into my child, or turn my profile into Hadley’s. That’s when the sweetness of being a new mom turns into creepy. The other day I caught myself on the verge of changing both profile picture and cover photo into babies latest photo shoot and I stopped myself just in time. But it is hard not to. She’s constantly being adorable and well, the truth is we hang out a LOT.

With all of this quality time comes so much – laughter, play time on the floor, nursing, diaper changing, dressing, walks around the neighborhood, reading (meaning I read the words while Hadley gnaws on the book), playing with toys and okay, the occasional TV show. I love hanging out with her. I make a conscious effort to soak up every moment because it truly is already flying by.

The thing is, while I am treasuring these moments, occasionally I’ll have the panicked realization that she isn’t going to remember any of them. Which is sad. And I find myself overwhelmed, wanting to share with Hadley all that we are experiencing together right now. I want to be able to tell her, years from now, how precious she has been to me from the moment I met her and all of the things I am learning about being her mom along the way.

When I told my dad that Josh and I were expecting, he said to me in his half-kidding but at the same time serious tone, “I’m so excited. Now you are going to know how much I love you.” And of course he was right. When I can happily sing a made-up song about poop in the middle of changing a dirty diaper, I know exactly what he meant. When I was a baby, I had parents who dragged their tired selves out of bed whenever I decided I needed them. They calmed me when I was upset, kissing away my tears. They changed my (cloth!!!) diapers. They delighted in my baby squeals and every new skill I developed. They protected me, worried about me, and loved me so.  I never really thought about this before, and it’s an overwhelming epiphany.

When I look at Hadley, I want her to know the little things that I adore about her, all the things that are unique and lovely to her. So I’ve started writing them down for her. One day she will read them and even though she won’t remember these moments, hopefully she will realize that she is so very loved. And always has been.

Here are the beginnings of this list, which grows longer each day.

You’ve been smiling at us since the day you were born. You are a CHAMPION sleeper and for that I thank you right now. You’ve been sleeping through the night since you were seven weeks old and now at seven months, you are out for twelve hours straight every night. Way to be. Every morning, you wake up slowly in your crib. I let you babble for a little while before going in and saying “Good morning!” You always light up when you see me and instantly start my day off with pure joy. When you get excited, you start to pant. We think you might have picked it up from Henry (the dog, not your cousin). It’s just the cutest thing. You love bath time, and splashing in particular. You sit in your bath and kick as hard as you can, with the most determined expression on your face. Now that you are big enough to join us for dinner, we love sharing bits of our meal with you. You are a big fan of the greens – avocados, pears, and broccoli. Also meat and beans. When I pick you up out of the crib, you immediately wrap your arms around me tightly. It melts my heart every time. You look so much like your dad (but a much prettier version). The older you get, the more of myself I see in you – mostly your blue eyes.

So inadequate, I know. But for all that I can’t put into words, I have faithfully documented with the camera.

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Filed under Hadley, Mom, Motherhood, Parent, Parenthood, Uncategorized