|"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." -- James 1:17|
A little over a week ago, I met my little girl and earned the right to be called “mom.” I never really thought of myself as wanting or needing to be a mom, but now I can absolutely say it is the label of which I am most proud. I have learned and felt in the past 8 days things I could not have imagined. Listed below are just a few highlights:
- Labor and Delivery. Labor and delivery, besides being slightly long, was much better than I imagined. Actually, the stress of the unknown was the absolute worst part. I never realized what people meant when they tell you about the importance of your own personal birth experience. We went in without a written “birth plan” (which I hear changes a lot anyways), but armed with a doctor I completely trust, a great hospital staff, a loving and protective husband, and hundreds of prayers, the “birth experience” couldn’t have been any better. Not that I am saying I am going to take it up as a hobby.
- Meeting Lillian. I was sure I was going to cry the first time I met my daughter. But, I didn’t (As an aside, I only cried once while I was in the hospital, and that was right before I was about to deliver, which is a different story all in itself). Instead, the first thing I did was check that my daughter was, well, actually a daughter. I’d been having strange dreams the weeks leading up to her birth that she was actually a he. So much so that I stopped doing baby laundry in case there was a mass baby-clothes-exchange needed. Then I saw her hair!! My kid has an impressive head of hair! I then spent the next few minutes holding her tight, absolutely amazed by her perfect 10 fingers, 10 toes and nose. It’s like I couldn’t take it all in fast enough, and I was immediately in love!!
- A Softened Heart. I will be the first to admit, I am not the world’s most emotional person. In fact, I’ve been described before (much to my chagrin) as stand-offish and hard to get to know. I’ve never really understood grand romantic gestures, and have always preferred the practical, reasonable, and logical over the emotional. However, in the past week (and honestly, probably in the first day), I feel like I have been given a new set of eyes. While I will never be the gushiest, most sentimental one in the room, I have certainly come a long way in a short amount of time. I catch myself tearing up looking at my daughter because she is so absolutely beautiful and precious. She is certainly the best gift I have ever been given.
- Riding Home. The ride home from the hospital was quite possibly one of the scariest car rides in my life. Instead of seeing other cars on the road, I saw speeding bullets headed straight toward my precious cargo. I’m sure I held my breath at least half of the ride home. But, more than just being scared about the dangers presented by the “open road,” it finally sank in that we had a baby girl all our own. And, that we were entrusted with her care for at least the next 18 years. No pressure, though!
- Baby Time. I don’t know how anyone with a newborn gets anything done before at least noon. Between the eating and diaper changing are the sweetest cuddles known to man. I wish there were words to describe the bond/feeling created by this cuddle time.
- Diaper Rash Cream. After a week, I am obviously no expert at this “mom” thing, but my goal is certainly to try and become one. And, maybe it will inspire me to write a baby book (but probably not). But, I have learned that you don’t actually have to apply diaper rash cream every time you change a baby’s diaper (thanks, Mom!).
After spending a week with her, I feel like there is so much that I want to tell my daughter. But, here is my first post-partum letter to Lillian—the first hopefully of many.
In this past week you have drastically changed my life. You are so precious and have already blessed Mommy and Daddy so much. You won’t understand this until you have a baby of your own, but one cuddle from you has the ability to make our hearts in an instant.
I want to write everything down that makes you so special to us, so that, later, when you are inevitably having a bad day, you can see how absolutely cherished you were since the day you were born. But, I fear that there aren’t enough words in the English language (or, quite possibly any other language) to describe how absolutely wonderful and perfect you are.
It actually brings tears to Mommy’s eyes looking at how beautiful and perfect you are. When I am not busy being absolutely amazed by your tiny features and facial expressions, I am constantly praying for three things: 1) that you will know how fearfully and wonderfully made you are; 2) protection over you; and 3) that I will be the best mother possible to you.
I love you so much and cannot wait to see you grow physically, mentally and spiritually. I know that I will cherish every single second I get to spend with you (even when I’m cleaning your diaper while you practice using your very healthy lung capacity).
*Randal and I appreciate all of the love and support that we have received since the birth of Miss Lillian. So, to all of you that have made us feel cherished and loved, thank you for being such a blessing :)