Tag Archives: pregnancy

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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One Week

Today is one week from my due date. Wow. It definitely feels like I’ve been pregnant for a year, and I guess I almost have been. Not that I’m complaining. It’s been enlightening, surprising, and overwhelming to witness the miracle of life unfold. And I already love this little person inside me more than I can articulate.

But I’m so ready.

Ready to meet her. Ready to not have a protruding belly. Ready to slip into jeans instead of stretchy pants with the oh-so-sexy elastic band across the top. Ready to crack a cold beer for the first time since NOVEMBER. Can’t lie, I have been dreaming about pale ale all summer. Peak Organic. In a frosted mug.

I don’t think that she will come early, but you never know. I am actually likely to be induced this coming Thursday, so the end date is not far away. But in the meantime, this whole business of labor signs is pretty tricky in my opinion. I used to think false labor was something that happened maybe once before the real deal. For me, it’s been a daily ordeal since at least week 37. Jab of pain in the abdomen – whoa, is this it? Shooting pain down my leg – wait, what about that? Back starts aching – hold on, this must be back labor. I’ll spare you some of the more bodily symptoms that occur. Let’s just say my Google search history needs to be permanently deleted.

It hasn’t progressed much more than that, so I haven’t really been duped yet. But it is annoying.  And the answers are always the same: yes, this could mean you’re in labor, or it could mean labor is a few weeks away. Thank you, that’s really helpful. Especially when at this point, I’m pretty immobile and have all day to feel every movement, and wonder if this one means the “Start Labor!” signal has been sent.

As one way to distract myself, I’ve been trying to spend more playtime with Henry. I’m a little worried about the trauma our sweet little boy will experience when we bring home baby. I know, I know, he’s just a DOG.  But he’s a dog who has been the center of his parents’ world and thinks that being lavished with attention, treats, and praise is standard canine existence.  So his little world that begins and ends with “Henry, you are the cutest and best thing that ever happened to us” is about to get a little rocked.

Here are some pictures from a recent afternoon at the dog park, where Henry was more interested in making friends with humans rather than other dogs. Perhaps this bodes well for welcoming his new sibling next week!

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Powerlessness

We (along with millions of our East Coast neighbors) were without power for approximately 65 hours this weekend.  A huge storm came barreling through our neighborhood at 10:30 on Friday night with winds that took down branches, trees, power lines, and as a result, electricity.

Storm aftermath

After a muggy, restless night, on Saturday morning we were a couple of caffeine-less grumps, journeying through the streets of Falls Church in search of coffee and food. We finally found a shop open for business (the line winding down the street tipped us off). Bruegers Bagels turned out to be the lone owner of a generator in an otherwise desolate strip mall. We spent over an hour in line. I must have looked very pregnant and uncomfortable, since five different kind patrons offered me their seats. The iced coffee was mostly milk and our egg sandwiches mostly bland, but we devoured and enjoyed them nonetheless.

The worst part about not having power (besides the obvious misery of 100 degree weather sans air conditioning) is the not knowing when the power will come back. If it’s just going to be a few hours, you can suck it up and wait. If it’s going to be days, you have to get your pregnant butt to a cooler locale. After several sweltering hours, the sight of our panting pup and my Iphone battery fading got us moving.

The depressive heat sinks in

Remnants of our emptied refrigerator – of COURSE I had just stocked up on groceries

We were lucky enough to have family with electricity that took us in. I hadn’t seen Megan and Ryan or my sweet nieces for a whole month while they were at Young Life camp, so it was extra fun to get to catch up and hang out.  We spent about two days at the Clegg compound, and fortunately the girls made sure that we were entertained.

Newly discovered dragon game becomes a great distraction

Mary Grace shows Henry she can be dog-like too

Also, having a really cute baby around is the most entertaining of all

By Monday afternoon, the power was back and our house would be cool again by Tuesday morning. It could have been much, much worse and it really does make you realize the extent of all that we take for granted on a daily. Lord bless the women who endure summer pregnancies without air conditioning. If motherhood points are a thing, they should get extras.

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A Nursery for Hadley

Signs that the third trimester has arrived:

  • I currently have an ice pack pressed to my lower back
  • By the time I finish typing this sentence, my belly will be bigger than when I started
  • Routinely, I ask the baby if she would kindly get out of my ribs
  • The pup has been tossing me angry glances all week, the resentment growing daily as his walks continue to be shortened
  • Pantlessness has become necessary (not exactly a bad thing, considering I’m seeing 97 degrees in the forecast this week)
  • Yesterday during yoga, a standard squat turned into an embarrassing tumble as I attempted to lower back down

Okay, enough complaining. I don’t know why I’m surprised that I’m uncomfortable. Not like we haven’t all heard the “get this baby out of me” plea from a pregnant lady nearing her due date. I’m not there yet, just feeling early symptoms in the form of back pain and limited lung capacity.

Now for the good news… the nursery is finished!

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At first, I was fairly convinced I wanted to go gender neutral. Then I laid my eyes on a pink and white striped glider that I had to have, and the rest spiraled from there. But I love it, even if it is girlier than my Pinterest decorating board originally intended. Every time I walk by our baby girl’s nursery, I get a tingle of excitement for the day that Hadley will come home, in my arms, and see her very first room.

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