Can’t believe how fast the time has gone. I am so emotional about this milestone. Half a year has passed since I first held my beloved Afton Rose. On Mother’s day ( the day before she was born) I sat in the tub at 7am and cried because I had already waited nearly a week past my due date- let alone the 9 months that got me there- and I wanted to be a mommy so badly. John gave me a necklace that says “Afton” in honor of Mother’s day in hopes of making me feel better. We knew that she was there and that I was a mommy but I so wanted to show her off by that time. Of course God’s timing is perfect as always and Afton Rose begin to make her debut around 5pm the next day. As I lay in the hospital bed after a frustrating 15 hours of labor (the last 4 of which I had an epidural from HEAVEN) I they were telling me to rest. John gladly obliged, knowing that I was “comfortable” but since that term is far from what I actually was and since I had just been told that they could see her head and I was ready to push- just to rest so I’d have the energy, I couldn’t rest. All I could think about was the reality of what was about to happen. I was going to meet my daughter TODAY.
And a few hours later, I did. Beautiful Afton with a full head of dark hair and already chubby cheeks and beautiful perfect skin and darling little eyes that looked at me like they knew exactly who I was, although it was truly the first time she’d laid eyes on me. What a moment. What a perfect, lovely, moment when all around goes completely blurry but the two most important people in my world- my husband and my new baby girl. Such love is unexplainable. My parents always told me that and now I understand. This experience of loving a little human that did nothing to deserve my love, when I really stop and think about it, brings me one tiny bit closer to the understanding of who God is and how much he loves us- underserving, small, helpless beings- but He loves us. We belong to him. Oh how he loves us- now I can sing that with a tiny realization of how great that love is. All I have to do is imagine how much I LOVE Afton, and tears come to my eyes. Several times as I adored my newborn I would burst into tears overwhelmed with the new sensation of love for my child. Six months ago and again today.
She looks at me and draws my face close with her tiny sweet hands. She presses her forehead against my forehead and keeps her hands on my cheeks and then she raises her eye brows and stars at me. This face makes me giggle so much. So she does it over and over again. Then she laughs- because I’m laughing and we just have our own little giggle fest. I lay her on her back and lean over her and her eyes grow wide in anticipation of what I might do. I know that whatever I do she will love because she is just giddy about the fact that I’m in her world and I see her.
These are the precious, precious moments I treasure. These are precious moments I can’t have back. Time is going so fast. I never imagined 6 months ago what life would look like. People kept saying “It gets better” and I couldn’t imagine how through my exhaustion, pain from a long healing process and postpartum depression. But if I could have told myself then what I know now, six months later, I would have said, “They are right. But it will be different then and you will miss now. Hold her now. Stay up late, who cares. You have the rest of your life to sleep at night. Treasure. this. now.”
And I knew that. I did. I just have to say it again because now I really know it.
Part of my emotion probably stems from the fact that she is no longer an exclusively breast fed babe and I wish that she was. That is a long story that I feel I need to share to defend myself but I don’t. I can’t help what my body won’t do and I provide as much as I can for her but another part of being a good mom is making sure she is well fed, and she was not as an exclusively breast fed baby. This makes perfect sense but you still would not believe the number of insensitive comments and judgmental stares I’ve received since I’ve been supplementing. Ouch. I was once on the other side of those stares myself. I’m sorry for whomever I offended. Clearly this is a more touchy area than I realized at the time.
Nevertheless, she is growing big and strong, just like we’ve prayed ever since she was a little bean at 5 weeks gestation. (John says “big” and strong, though I have requested several times he say “healthy.” But it seems that God is certainly answering the prayers of the righteous man he is 🙂