A few thoughts, reflections, and memories of motherhood so far, along with some of our beautiful newborn photos by Callie of Nancy Ray Photography…
I’ll never forget the first time I saw him. He was just a silhouette against the doctor’s bright light, and I don’t remember if he made a sound or what anyone in the room said. All I remember is hearing myself say “oh my gosh” and feeling his tiny body against mine. I thought I was going to bawl when I finally held my baby, but that moment felt so deeply surreal, I could barely breathe, let alone cry. It was perfect.
About half an hour before I started pushing. Dave and I were alone. He had been by my side, encouraging me and supporting me, for 18 hours, we were both emotionally and physically drained, and I was so scared of the next part of the process. We held hands and listened to “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” and prayed together and cried. I have never felt closer to the Lord or my husband than I did in that moment. Pregnant mamas, find a song that will give you that last bit of strength when you need it most.
On our hospital tour, a good five minutes was dedicated to how the procedure of coming in or leaving changed depending on the UNC sports schedule–we delivered at UNC’s hospital. Sure enough, our due date was the day of a football home game, and I was horrified by the idea that we’d have to fight game day traffic trying to get to the hospital (after a half hour drive from our house). Charlie considerately arrived two days before his due date, and we were discharged a few hours before the game. All Dave and I could do was laugh as we drove past the tailgates and crowded frat house lawns on our way home. UNC beat Pitt by one point that day, much to my Pitt alum sister’s dismay.
I’ve never felt so profoundly like a beginner at anything before. My mom can attest to the fact that since I was little myself, if I try something and I’m not good at it, my first instinct is to quit and do something else (it’s not a quality I’m proud of). But this is different. Even though I feel, sometimes daily, that I have NO idea what I’m doing, that feeling of wanting to quit just isn’t there. Instead, I simply feel like I’m a beginner. And I’m learning. We all are–together.
I kind of scoffed at people who packed their freezer with meals before having a baby. Our go-to recipes were easy enough, so it would be no big deal, right? Big mistake. God bless the sweet friends who signed up for our meal train, my mom and mother-in-law who cooked EVERY night of their visits, and Salvio’s Pizza takeout.
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard phrases like “babies don’t keep” and “soak up those newborn snuggles!” And I am doing my very, very best to take that to heart. I love Charlie’s little fingers and toes, his soft hair, and his big blue eyes. I love his littleness, his sweet expressions, his tiny noises that remind me of a baby bird. I love his newfound smile more than anything in the world. I know he won’t be like this forever, and I never want to look back and wish I had appreciated him more. I hope that I can find ways to be totally present through every single one of his stages.
Sweet Charlie, we adore you. I’m so excited for every single month ahead.
P.S. Just like on my wedding morning, I knew I wanted to wear a Plum Pretty Sugar robe for some of these photos. Something about wearing their beautiful prints feels like such a rite of passage to me. They sweetly sent me this one in the “Alodie Rhymed in Prose” print, and even after a week of getting little sleep and learning the ropes with a newborn, it made me feel so pretty and put together for our photos!