One week old. What was our life like before Cece? I can’t really remember. She is so much a part of us now that it is inconceivable to think about how it was. Everything is so surreal — the past week has flown by, a blink-and-I-missed-it moment full of family visits, late-night nursing, new-baby smells and so, so much love. Today I finally brought out my DSLR and took some photos, because I don’t want to miss a moment. Her squinty-eyed stare, her flailing hands, her hiccups. How did we make something so wonderful?
Today we ventured out into the big wide world as a family for the first time. We went to Target, where I bought nursing shields and a car window shade and anti-bacterial hand wipes for the diaper bag. Mom stuff. I am buying mom stuff at Target. And then to Half Price Books, because it is a quiet, safe space for us and I had a 30% off coupon. My fears of germ-ridden strangers sticking their hands in her face never materialized (though one woman mistook her for a boy because of the camo onesie and I didn’t correct her, too busy admiring her baby-dream-faces to get into a gender lecture). She slept the whole time in her carrier and on Daddy’s shoulder, and we are tentatively hopeful we might have a calm and chill baby? Knock on wood, please don’t jinx it.
She rolled over on the exam table at her newborn check-up to the shock and delight of me, my mother and the doctor. She holds her head up for a length of time that is supposed to be impossible for a newborn. I know every mother thinks their child is exceptional, but it is sort of scary how strong she is. I want her to always be strong, and curious, and daring. Right now she is curled up against my chest in her wrap, and her little quick breathes are a song. How can you love someone so much you just met?
Cordelia Claire entered this world by the light of the full moon and on her daddy’s birthday. The waiting is over and we are so in love.
Life is so different, and I am still processing it. I want to share our birth story with y’all, but it is taking me some time to get it all down. It’s still so new and raw. Soon!
In the meantime, I will continue to post way too many baby photos on Instagram (@ladymoonshine) and stare in shell-shocked awe at this tiny bit of perfection we created. Life is damn crazy, y’all.
Today is the first day of my 38th week. I am currently camped out at my parent’s lake house, enjoying being fed & entertained while playing this awful & exhilarating waiting game. When will she come? How will it happen? At my midwife appointment this morning they asked me if I feel comfortable about knowing when labor has begun – and while my head says, sure I do, my heart screams no! Because it’s all such a mystery the first time, isn’t it? There is no touchstone, nothing to compare it to, no way of saying yes, this feels right. Because it is brand new, a mystery. My body may know this pattern by some primordial instinct, but my head and heart are so, so blind. It’s terrifying.
She hiccups and stretches and those little twinges below my rib cage are what I live for. I am hyper aware of my body, of the changes and how she moves inside it. Is this the beginning of worrying, of over-protectiveness? Of being so in love but also so incredibly terrified because this little extension of yourself is breathing, in & out, and it is out of your control?
Life has been reduced to waiting. Everything has telescoped in to this one thing, this one little moment. I forget other things so easily, my train of thought wonders and drifts away, nothing is as interesting as her moving under my skin. It is a strange otherworldly feeling, being so disconnected from everything that would usually capture my interest & attention. I can’t read, I can’t watch a movie, I can’t do anything that requires more than a moment of my focus, because it is all turned inwards towards her.
I finished the crib quilt that i began at Christmas. I hung it on the wall to take these photos and it is still there, in front of our bed, where I can see it as I lay waiting. I wonder if she will love it, if she will drag it around behind her like I did my own baby quilt. Will it comfort her, keep her warm, protect her? I will have to wait and see. All I do these days is wait.