How is it that 6 weeks ago I had never met this tiny human, but today, can't imagine a world without her? Our sweet, precious E, who has changed every aspect of my life for the better, is already a month old.
The time goes too quickly.
Photo Courtesy of Cherished: Portraits by Michelle
Ten months ago, I became a mother. We conceived a tiny life. I grew her in my belly. Nourished her, protected her, prayed for her. Loved her.
Five weeks ago, I became a mommy.
I came face to face with this little person who I had grown to love and know over nine months. I fell in love with her in a new way.
While absolutely terrified about being capable of caring for her, there was nothing in the world that mattered as much as our daughter in that moment. K and I were (and are) so in love with E. We were parents, we were responsible for her entire being.
The car ride home from the hospital was one of the scariest of my life.
Little E in her carseat for our ride home from the hospital. I still can't get over how teeny tiny she was.But in five weeks time, I have come to understand what it means to be a mother and, even more important, what it means to be a mommy.
Being a mother has allowed me to meet my daughter's needs. I am able to care for her, change her, clothe her, feed her. I am able to tell when her cries are cries of hunger or hold me. I have learned her routine and do my best to keep consistency in our household.
Being a mommy has allowed me to joyfully wake with my daughter late at night when she decides that 3:30am is a wonderful time for a party. It lets me find no greater joy than simply staring at my daughter's face for hours on end. It has caused me to go through multiple SD camera cards filled with pictures of my princess.
It has shown me a whole new kind of love that I never could have fathomed.
A very wise person once told me, "Kim, you will never be a perfect mom, but God has made you the perfect mom for E".
I hold to that truth every day. I pray that God equips me to be the mother that E needs. Not the mother of the year, not the June Cleaver mother, not the crunchy mother, not the working mother, not the helicopter mother, not the permissive mother.
Just E's mother.
People are right when they say that you just know what to do when you have a child. I was so afraid I wouldn't be able to care for her, to know what she needs and to meet those needs. Yet something just clicked the moment I met her.
I'm not perfect. There are still days I have no clue what she wants or needs. I still get flustered and frustrated. There are still moments when the only thing I know to do is cry.
But in all of that is a love I can't explain. This sweet, precious life...this gift....is ours. How blessed we are!
So...what has happened in the last 5 weeks?
E was 8 pounds 4 ounces when she was born. I weighed her yesterday and we are up to 11 pounds. As her Auntie Kylie has said, she will be a marshmallow baby! We're quite thrilled.
She is officially out of newborn sizes. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry a little when I packed those away. Time goes so quickly. I feel like it was yesterday she was still in my belly.
We are cloth diapering and loving it. I can't get over how easy it is and how much money we are saving. Right now we use mostly prefolds, but once she's a bit bigger, we're going to move to pocket diapers. I might have a slight problem as our stash is growing larger than what we probably need. My excuse is that I need to try different kinds of diapers to know exactly what I want to use (or that's what I tell my husband).
I have discovered the joys of babywearing. E loves being snuggled up close and I love having my hands free. I'm partial to my Maya ring sling, but have found several carriers that I like. This might turn into a similar problem like the cloth diapers...
My wonderful sister has spent lots of time with us in the last 5 weeks. I am so blessed to have her so close right now and enjoy every moment she is able to spare us. There really isn't anything that compares to a sister. She has been such a big help and it's great spending the whole day with your best friend!
E is a champion sleeper (you realize that now I've said this, she is going to stop, right?). She usually only wakes up once per night and sleeps great in her cradle. I look forward to the mornings though when we get our breakfast in bed snuggles.
Some big news in our family appeared shortly after we arrived home from the hospital. We will be moving to Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas at the end of this year. These orders were a bit unexpected, but we are so looking forward to the new adventure. Because of the knowledge that I won't get a white Christmas this year, I'm not even complaining about the snow we've gotten this week! I'm nervous, excited and all sorts of in between about the move, but know that God is having us go there for a reason! What a fun thing to look forward to!
In the last 5 weeks I have also fallen in love with my husband all over again. I've seen a whole new side to him that I never even imagined existed and, let me tell you, there is nothing more attractive than a man who loves being a daddy. I have realized how blessed I am to have him in my life and appreciate him so much more. I really hit the husband jackpot with him!
Sorry ladies, he's taken.
Photo courtesy of Cherished: Portraits by Michelle
Even with everything going on with our sweet little E, we've started yet another chapter in our family's book. K deployed one week ago, just a few days shy of E's one month birthday. We miss him terribly but know he will be home in time. I'm looking at it as an excuse to lose this baby weight and as a free pass to decorate and organize the house as I please (as well as paint our little one's toes without anyone laughing at me)..
Our last family photo for a few monthsTo be frank, I'm doing much better this deployment than I did for the last one. I feel like this one snuck up on us with the flurry of having a baby and being pregnant and all. In all honesty, I tried not to think about it because it would just make me sad. I'm doing my best not to focus on what K is going to miss during his time away, but instead focusing on all of the exciting things he will get to come home to. E will be crawling, sitting up, be cutting her teeth, have a little personality, be able to play....what wonderful things for us to look forward to sharing together!
I miss my husband though. I'd be lying if I said this is easy. Thankfully, I am blessed to have wonderful friends and family around to help out when things become too much, but no one replaces my husband. I don't like going to bed alone. I don't like how quiet the house is. I miss him teasing me. I miss his kisses. I want to share in E's cuteness with him. She smiled for the first time 3 days after he left. I cried.
But, truthfully, it's not all bad. I have spent a lot of time praying about this deployment, asking God to give me the strength to handle it with grace, peace and sanity. He, as always, has been gracious and given me far beyond that. I've had several sweet people ask me how I'm doing and seem surprised when I honestly reply that I'm doing just fine. Yes, I miss him. Yes, sometimes I'm sad. But life is too short to dwell on it. Instead, I give my energy to our daughter, to preserving each moment for my husband in pictures and videos and phone calls. Cherishing each special second for the both of us.
My role has changed so much in five weeks. My role as a wife, as an employee, as a friend, as a daughter, as a sister...they have all evolved and will continue to do so as time goes on.
In five weeks, I have learned to love in a whole new way. I have learned to appreciate my husband on a whole new level. I have learned to cherish each moment of every day. I have realized how blessed I am in friendships. I have gained a new confidence in myself. I have a deeper trust in the Lord.
and, above all, I have started to learn what it means to be E's mommy
and there is nothing else I'd rather do. There's no other place I'd rather be.