As you may recall, J and I were expecting our little girl in August. Well, she made her entrance into the world three days before her due date, on August 26th, 2016. We lovingly referred to her as Tater during the pregnancy, even using hashtags for it and all. But, once she got here, the nickname fell to the wayside.
As with the pregnancy, the labor and delivery went pretty seamlessly. My water broke on Thursday afternoon, at work – the one place I’d hoped it wouldn’t, and we checked into the hospital a couple of hours later. Contractions started about 30 minutes after that, and everything progressed pretty slow and steady. Until I got my epidural. Then things slowed down a good bit, to the point where they wanted to give me pitocin to try and speed it up a bit. So, we did that. Only, then with every contraction, baby’s heart rate would drop. Which meant the nurses had to keep coming in and moving me into different positions, because they thought the umbilical cord may have been wrapped around an arm or a leg and they wanted to relieve the pressure. This also meant that I didn’t get any sleep. Yay.
It was 5 o’clock Friday morning before I got any shut-eye. And at 6, my doctor came in to check me, and said, “10 centimeters…you ready to push?”
What?? Rightthissecond? I don’t even get a couple of minutes to text my parents, who are out sleeping in their truck because they refused to drive 10 minutes to our house to sleep??
So, it was time. And at 6:41, our sweet Natalie Grace made her way into the world.
7 lbs 7 oz, 21 1/2 inches long. Cone head and all. But no matter how newborn she may have looked (let’s be honest here…most newborn babies aren’t pretty right away) she was the most precious thing we had ever seen.Oh, and she had hair! So much hair! I was a bald baby, until I was almost 2, so I didn’t expect her to have any hair!
The next few hours were a whirlwind, getting her and me all cleaned up and moved over to our post-partum room, having a few visitors, and just soaking up all the baby snuggles, it was probably 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning before this mama actually got to sleep. But let me tell you folks…that sweet girl liked to sleep. There was no waking up every 2-3 hours to eat. At least not overnight. She was sleeping 5 hour stretches from the get-go. And trying to wake her up…yeah, right. She slept like a log. And we enjoyed every moment with her, no matter how tired we were. And J fell in love with her the instant she arrived. And I fell in love with him even more, just watching him with her.
At 3 1/2 months old, she continues to be a good sleeper. She just now started sleeping through the night more (pretty sure we have daycare and her being worn out to thank for that), but even before that she was only waking once a night, sometimes twice. I know how lucky that makes us, believe me. I can count on one hand the number of rough nights we’ve had thus far in her precious little life. I thought I’d die, but mostly because I was spoiled to her good sleep habits and being awake from 12-5 am made me feel like I would quite literally die of exhaustion.
Obviously I did not.
And I will also add that I was so, so very fortunate that I was able to stay home for 3 months with her. It wasn’t always easy – mad props to all you stay at home mamas out there – but I am so grateful for that time with her. I just returned to work the Monday after Thanksgiving, and let me just tell you how hard that was to do. The days leading up to it were filled with tears, because I had never been away from her in her whole life, and I couldn’t imagine not being with her. I was devastated. J was devastated. But, it’s just the way life is for many families. And honestly, I have never had any desire to be a stay at home mom. I know my limitations. Or at least I did. I’m still not sure I could hack it, but boy do I miss my baby girl. I keep busy at work though, and that helps. That, and knowing that she is happy where she is, and that her teachers love her and take good care of her. They aren’t mama, but they’re the best we could hope for otherwise.
She smiles, laughs a little, and squirms like nobody’s business. And she is growing like a weed! I look at her sometimes and wonder, where did my tiny baby go?? Oh, but when she looks around with those big, inquisitive, beautiful blue eyes…melts my heart. I just can’t wait to watch her grow.
She hasn’t rolled over yet, but she does roll to her side when she’s laying down, from time-to-time, and looks like she’s trying to roll over sometimes during tummy time. She loves music, singing, and Bubble Guppies. Good thing mama and daddy do, too!
So, while things are going as wonderfully as we could have ever asked for, we are still learning as we go, as all first-time parents do. But we love our precious little girl more than we could have ever imagined, our lives have been forever changed for the better, and we look forward to all the new experiences and firsts that are yet to come.