May 6, 2016

Mother's Day

"Is she your first?" 

It's one of those questions, similar to "do you have children?" that I found hard to answer sometimes. When people would ask me if I had children before, I would usually say not yet. I then felt a surge of guilt because of course I had children, I just didn't have them in my arms. It was usually to spare the person asking from any awkward feelings that came from asking an otherwise innocent question. I lived in this in between, gray area for nearly five years. A mom, yes. Definitely. A child in my arms, no.

Mother's Day has been a tear-filled reminder of that fact for years. My aching heart and arms desperately missed my babies and wanted to have them here more than anything. The desire to grow our family but not being able to just yet. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way, and my heart is tender for all the moms who are still waiting for and missing their babies today.

Then came Emmerson.

Though she wasn't in our arms this time last year, she was on the way. Our hearts were hopeful that we would meet our miracle baby and bring her home. And, we did. Life since she arrived in September has been a dream. A sleepy, wonderful, beautiful dream.

I was a mother before I held Emmerson, but yet, she is my first.

She's the first baby I rocked to sleep.
She's the first time I cried tears of joy in the middle of the day because I thought my heart my burst out of my chest with love.
She's the first one I can comfort with my voice and touch.
She's the first baby I've kissed from head to toe millions of times.
She's the first one I've nursed for the past seven months.
She's the first reason I wake up with a smile every morning, no matter what little amount of sleep came the night before.
She's the first to make me feel such pride in every milestone she accomplishes.
She's the first to light up everyday with her smile and laugh.
She's the first one to make me cherish and savor every day, and to appreciate ordinary moments as the extraordinary ones they are.
She's the first one to show me how to truly love another unselfishly.
She's the first one to make me love my husband more than I thought possible because I see him live out his dream of being a dad.
She's the first one to make me want to fiercely protect her from all the scary things in the world.
She's the first one to provide a healing for my heart in a way that only she can.
She's the first one to teach me how to grow as a mommy and try to be the best for her, because that's what she deserves.

Thank you, my darling baby, for all of these firsts. Thank you for believing in me and I promise I'll always believe in you. Thank you, God, for making me a mom and for so beautifully choosing us for Emmerson, and Emmerson for us. My grateful heart is so very full.

So, this Mother's Day, I will probably still cry, though the tears will surely be joy-filled. And there are always tears reserved for the babies who are not here, and who are missed everyday. Eli and Michael, our precious twins, baby Kate, and our three angels in Heaven are always with us. In my daily prayers I thank give thanks for them, and ask that they watch over, guard and protect our family always. I know they're watching over us and their sister and are smiling down on us everyday.

Happy Mother's Day, to all those who are moms or who are waiting to become moms. You are celebrated, and I am keeping you in my prayers. And Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mama! I'm so thankful for you and the opportunity to experience motherhood with your guidance and love.

I'll be holding my baby tight and counting my blessings for another day spent with her in my arms.

May 4, 2016

Dear Emmerson--Seven Months

Dear Emmerson,

My baby, you are seven months! You are growing so much everyday. Here's what you've been up to, months 6-7!
 You are wearing mostly 3-6 month clothes, and are almost out of size 1 diapers. You are weighing in about 14 pounds and your thigh rolls and belly are deliciously plump.

 You've mastered sitting this month! We're so proud of you and you seem to love the new perspective. You are rolling all over the place and are SO close to crawling! You can push yourself backwards, but haven't moved forwards yet. You like to get on your hands and knees and rock back and forth, but we can tell you really want to move forward! I know you're close, and that will surely change things when you're crawling all around. You do LOVE to stand and pull up any chance you get when we put out our hands. You even held on to the crib rail the other day while standing. You're such a big girl!

 You are so curious and such an intelligent baby. You love your Oball exersaucer, Sophie the giraffe, your kick n' play piano, chew beads, soft stacking blocks and your Manhattan Toy Company toys.

You love reading books, and your favorites right now are Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You, Pout Pout Fish, I'd Know You Anywhere, My Love, Guess How Much I Love You, Dragons Love Tacos.
 I've loved making your baby food, and you've tried lots of new ones this month! You've had green beans, avocado, peas, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Your favorites so far are sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Our pediatrician recommended trying veggies (green-->yellow) first, then fruits, so you actually haven't tried any fruits yet! That's coming up soon and I'm sure you'll be excited. You're a good little eater! You are still nursing every 3 hours or so. You also love your nightly oatmeal and trying to drink water from your sippy cup.

 You are such a funny little muffin, and you love to laugh and smile. You like when we sing to you and dance around. Playing peek-a-boo, swinging, being held, giving kisses, taking baths, watching other babies, smiling at people in line, on the street or elevator, going for walks, being in your Lillebaby carrier, pulling Bailey's fur, squealing, singing and talking are some of your favorite hobbies.

You dislike when we leave the room, and taking long naps. ;)

This month you've started saying mamamamamamama, bababababa, and wawawawawa. :) We have gone to mommy and me yoga, a stroller workout, and a baby wearing barre class. I think you love them, and it's fun for mommy to get some exercise with you!
 You are sleeping in our room still in your bassinet, but this month we plan to transition you to your crib. We'll see how that goes!
 Your seven month birthday was the same day as my birthday! I loved celebrating with you and it was truly the most special day because I was able to share it with you.

 First time on a swing! You love it.

 I love this picture of you!
 mealtime fun :) 

Your first Easter!

 Little bunny with your Easter basket and goodies

 We loved having MiMi come for a visit!

 birthday celebrations with our sweet friends in the park!

My sweet baby, we're having so much fun watching you grow. Everyday I love seeing your personality shine through more and more. I want to simultaneously freeze time while at the same time I am so excited for what's in store for you. I'm so proud of you and love spending everyday together. You are my world, and you make it such a bright, beautiful one. Keep growing big and strong! You're our precious miracle and I thank God for you every single day. We love you, we love you, we love you, so dear baby!

Love you,

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