i have no idea how i lived before this little lady came into our lives. i have been soaking up every minute with her these past few days and even though i know it has to happen, i don't want her to change.
i remember friends who have said to me, "i love the newborn stage" and i never agreed with them...mainly due to my experience with caleb. the constant crying, the pumping for 6 weeks, the weekly--sometimes daily--doctor's visits to check his weight, the unending need for sleep though when i would lay down, it would never come. i was traumatized.
my reply to them was always, "i would love to skip the first 6 months." and knew how that must have sounded. bitterness.
i have to admit that i felt cheated & robbed of my chance to enjoy being a new mother. i felt like i was in constant turmoil and was in a large sea barely treading enough to keep my head above water. but there were many times i felt i was drowning. honestly the only thing that saved me from going under was the support of ben & from loved ones around me. that and getting on my knees any chance i could to pray for more strength to keep going.
when i found out i was pregnant this time, i prayed to God that this time it would be different. before caleb was born i had wanted a large family, my goal was 5 kids. then it all changed as i had to take a step back to really look into my emotional well-being and be realistic about whether or not i could handle 5 of caleb's.
please don't get me wrong, there were so many wonderful things that came from that small boy. this was where i first learned the true meaning of unconditional love. i also learned that i had a strength inside of me that i had never known existed. i learned to rely on others and mainly, my heavenly father, my testimony and faith grew so much during that time. most importantly i learned how to be extremely grateful for those moments that were good. each moment was magnified and so much sweeter than it would have been if caleb had been a healthy, happy, easy baby. i clung to those moments.
i also learned my limits and accepted myself for them. there are some women who can handle stressful situations without flinching. i am not one of these women. even when i was away from caleb...a rare moment...my mind and heart never left him. i would stress myself out, call ben a million times, want to know every detail. i drove myself crazy. i knew i needed to let go but didn't know how to. i still struggle with this.
it is so difficult to have a child with health problems. and to have it be your first child can really throw you for a loop.
getting to the point here...
i have had the opportunity to just hold this little bundle for 5 days now. to watch all of her hilarious expressions and enormous yawns.
to hear her tiny hiccups and sneezes. to feel her little fingers wrap around mine in a vice grip. to stroke her soft fuzzy head and smile every time her dimples appeared.
and i am now a mother who can say,
"i love the newborn stage."
"i love the newborn stage."
thank you, leah.
thank you, God.