Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
One of my favorite memories of my Uncle was when I was about 5 years old. It was Christmas Eve at my Grandma Meyer's house. I had all of the fascination and adoration of Santa as any young child my age. After dinner, my Uncle Frank stood by the window and said, "Oh my goodness! Johanna! I just saw Santa and his sleigh!" I ran to the window, he pulled a chair over for me to climb, and we peered out the window at the northern star which I was convinced was Santa's sleigh. A few years later, when there were rumors that Santa didn't exist, I thought to myself, "But I saw him!"
I found out that I was pregnant with Marin two days after my Uncle Frank died. Last year, I knelt down beside my Uncle at his wake and whispered to him what Jason and I hadn't yet told any of our other family members. "I'm pregnant Uncle Frank. Please watch over this baby." I couldn't imagine how I was going to make it through this new and scary time in my life without being able to ask him his advice. There was one particular time in my pregnancy when we had a scare, and I thought about my Uncle. I remembered that he was going to keep us safe. And indeed he did.
Shortly after Marin was born, my Aunt referred to him as Marin's "pediatrician in the sky". I just loved that. This morning I told Marin about her Great Uncle Frank. I told her how much he would have loved meeting her. He would have scooped her right up and just loved every single inch of her. Every night before we go to bed I say the Guardian Angel Prayer to Marin. Perhaps he is listening as I do.
As much as I would have loved for my Uncle to have met Marin; for him to put his stethoscope up to her little chest and reassure me that everything is as it should be, it is an honor to have Marin's pediatrician in the sky watching over us. After all, how many kids can say they have an angel in their family? Marin can.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
You can check out more of Valerie's work at www.vwcphotography.com
Monday, May 11, 2009
** She loves to eat her hands. Sometimes I think it is a contest with herself to see how many fingers she can get in at once.
** She doesn't love being on her tummy unless she has fallen asleep for a nap and we put her down like that. She is holding her head up really well.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Marin's new thing is to stick out her tongue. And while I don't always like what this does to my pictures, I'll admit that it is funny. Perhaps she is channeling the basketball legend or maybe she is a Rolling Stones fan? What do you think?
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Well, I'm back at work. It's horrid. It feels like my first day on the job, except that I'm expected to perform like it is my 500th day on the job. Right away. All at once. It's like your first day but instead of a friendly HR welcome, you have meeting requests and phone calls and emails. My favorite email of the day so far came about an hour after I arrived today and it said, "I still haven't received your marketing report." Of course you haven't. I only learned that you needed a marketing report ten minutes ago. I am already behind. And all I can think about is Marin's little smile and if her diaper needs to be changed.
No one tells you how truly terrible this day feels. They tell you that it will be hard. You realize it won't be easy. But not until you are actually going through the motions, do you realize what that means. I have learned in this whole process that there are a lot of things that no one tells you about. Either that, or some advice just means more after it is put into your own perspective. Some things you have to experience yourself in order to understand.
My mom enjoyed motherhood and our baby years so much that she never told me any of the bad stuff. In fact, sometimes she acts like there wasn't a single bad day. Recently, I was telling her a story about a particularly fussy moment with Marin when she was crying and my mom literally said, "Isn't that funny; I'm sure you and Jake cried, but I just don't remember it." No one told me that sometimes even though you have done everything and checked everything you should, sometimes babies just cry.
There are other things. Like....
I didn't know that I'd be seeing snaps in my sleep. Seriously, everything Marin owns has snaps. A lot of snaps. Whoever invented the snap is really cleaning up in the baby department. I bet I snap 100 snaps a day. Every time you change a diaper it is 6 or 7 snaps to undo the outfit, 3 snaps to undo the onesie. Then 3 to redo the onesie and 6 or 7 to redo the outfit. That is a 20 snap transactions right there. All for one diaper change.
No one tells you that babies bowel movements are mustard colored. Or Grey Poupon as Jason says. Sure the doctor tells you that it is normal. But no one mentions this at the baby shower. I mean, why would they? You'd never be invited to another party again if you brought "potty talk" to the baby shower.
I didn't know that it was possible to love someone as deeply as I love Marin. You just can't explain to someone how much they will love their children. It is truly unconditional. And it doesn't matter how tired you are or how long they have been crying. You just love them more and more every second. No matter what.
I also didn't know how in love I would be with Jason with our baby in his arms. Or when I see Jason in Marin. It makes me love and appreciate Jason in a way I never had before. It also makes me make up silly songs to sing to Marin about her daddy. ("Your daddy's the best; he's better than the rest! Listen to me; 1, 2, 3; Your daddy's the best! Your daddy's the best; he loves to play with you! Your daddy's the best, his favorite colors' blue!) This is not a joke. :)
No one tells you that after you give birth a nurse watches you go to the bathroom the first time. I don't need to expand on this point. But it's true. My nurse sat on the tub. She was a lovely woman, but I wasn't prepared for her to hand me the toilet paper.
And since I have already gone there... Everyone tells you that you lose all of your inhibitions after you deliver a baby. But no one told me that in recovery a nurse checks you for hemorrhoids.
I wish I had realized that a size 8 is thin. I spent so much time pre-pregancy wishing that I was smaller and thinner. If I am ever a size 8 again, I promise to appreciate it and be happy with it.
No one ever told me that in the beginning, nursing is really hard. This one stumps me because once you talk to moms who have been through it, they all admit how hard it was for them. But no one comes out and tells you before you are sitting in the dark with your 2 day old baby at 1am for an hour and a half trying to get her to latch.
No one tells you that the joy of meeting your baby WAY out weighs the pain of labor. Granted, I had the epidural. And it still wasn't a day in the park. But the minute Marin was born I completely forgot any pain or morning sickness. The joy is instant and overwhelming in the best possible way. So much so that I wanted to relive the day over and over- contractions included.
I never knew tired until Marin was born. When she was getting up in the night I thought I'd never feel totally rested again. But no one told me that I'd get used to being so tired. And then just when I got used to sustaining on 4 hours of sleep, she slept through the night. Now she sleeps for 12 hours, and we have to wake her up for daycare.
No one told me that the "baby blues" are real and they are normal. In the first few weeks your hormones are all over the map. I cried because I was happy, I cried because I was scared, I cried because I was frustrated, I cried because I felt frustrated and didn't think I should have been, I cried because we were out of turkey. It is okay. And more importantly, it goes away.
I have learned that with motherhood, comes the mommy guilt. Am I spending enough time with Marin? Am I spending enough time with work? Has she been in the swing too long? Is it okay that I am glad that she is asleep? I'm not totally convinced that even when Marin is happy, healthy and adjusted to life on her own, will I be sure that I did everything the way that I should have.
No one told me that I'd instinctively jump every time I heard a baby cry. Even when it wasn't my baby.
I had no idea how much one smile could warm my heart. And that I'd become addicted to seeing it. That one smile could be the best part of my day.
No one told me that it would be so hard to go back to a job I enjoy.
And yet, here I am. One thing I am told, is that it gets easier from here.