Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mama Life

It's not that I haven't had time to write a blog post.  KC sleeps a good bit, being not quite a month old (and how she's almost a month old, I have no idea.), but when she's asleep, I spend my time either asleep myself, doing some basic housework, reading, or--to be honest--just rocking in the chair with her asleep in my lap.  This is the first time that I've really opened my laptop, though--I've been checking Facebook and email via my phone more than anything else.

I don't feel the last bit guilty about the just rocking with her in my lap either.  I don't remember exactly how my great-grandmother put it to my mother, but I remember the general gist of what she said, as I've heard my mother repeat it many times--don't wish for them to grow up.  They will anyway, and you need to enjoy the time they're little.

So that's what I've been doing--enjoying this time that won't ever come again.  I understand why my mother also says that this is so special with your first child.  Any siblings that come along will have to share my attention with KC (and vice versa), so I won't get to spend all this quiet time just looking at them.

Yes, I said sibling, because even though I swore to Dear Husband that I was Not Doing This Again the day that KC was born, it didn't take me long to decide that I could, in fact, do it again, because I've experienced a joy I've not known before--even when KC is crying in the middle of the night.

And it's not just joy--it's fun, too.  Case in point--KC's first bath in a tub.  She was so mad!  And DH and I were laughing so hard, we could barely wash her.  I ought to feel awful about that, but I don't.  (Bathtime tonight was much less traumatic.)

I've learned a lot of things about babies in general, and KC specifically over the last few weeks as we keeping getting to know one another.   In general: babies get acne (!), their skin peels a few weeks after they're born (they've been floating about in water for nine months), and projectile pooping is totally a thing that no one warned me about.  Also, little boys are not the only ones who sometimes pee the moment their diaper is off.  (The changing pads Gran bought us have saved both couch and bed from unfortunate incidents.)

KC specific: She makes a certain sound when she's hungry, and if I don't get her bottle fast enough, she starts banging her head against my boob, even though she's not getting anything to eat out of there.  She hates baths and being undressed in any capacity.  There is no keeping socks on her feet at all, and her feet are so large that they're, honestly, too big for her sleepers.  She has certain facial expressions that she repeats--like this one to the right, which we call her 'ooh' face.  She also sticks her pouty lip out and while I realize her smiles right now are really just gas, she does have a definite frown sometimes!  If I'm not moving fast enough, she shakes her head and gets frantic, which makes you get frantic.  She likes her rocking chair that Gran bought for her, and can sleep in it for a long time.  She also eats like a horse, but mostly at night time.  During the day, it's almost like she grazes, but at night, she eats a lot and then sleeps pretty well.  Generally, we sleep between 3 and 4 hours at a time, and that's not too bad.

Some people have asked me how the cats have adjusted to having a new member of the household, and the answer is pretty well, actually!  Cat, pictured left, doesn't seem to mind, so long as she can still share me.  As you can see, she was sharing my lap with KC in this picture.  Ding could really care less.  Sometimes she'll come give KC a sniff, but then she wanders off.  Mostly, she sighs a lot, especially when she hears KC cry--she sighs and goes off to sit on her pizza box.

What's been most surprising--and what I was hoping most for--has been Bergie's reaction.  Bergie has not hidden from her.  In fact, the cowardly lion seems to have found his courage.  When DH and my in-laws were moving furniture, he put himself between KC and the noise.  He walks over to the playpen when she's asleep and sits up on his haunches so he can see her, then walks off when he's checked on her. 

That's not to say that we haven't had non-KC adventures in the last few weeks.  Someone tried to steal the wheels off the Jeep--I figure they saw the light go on when I got up to feed KC in the middle of the night, and they scurried off, but because we didn't know that someone had tried to steal the wheels, we pulled out of the driveway, and all the lug nuts fell out, and the wheel was essentially destroyed.  Cue a two and a half week mess trying to get it fixed, which has once again convinced me that I am never, ever dealing with the Jeep dealership down here again.  It is fixed--well, mostly--the tire pressure sensor was apparently damaged and since the insurance didn't know that, the dealership won't fix it without charging us--again, not dealing with them anymore, we'll get it fixed when we go home for Christmas--it's not a big deal.  Of course, on our way to pick up the Jeep, a rock hit the windshield of the Focus and put a chip in it, but that's going to be fixed on Monday.

That's been the main adventure.  I'm going to go back to work October 19th.  Won't lie--not looking forward to it.  I never wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I can certainly understand the appeal now. At the same time, I don't think I could do it long term, so going back to work is probably a good thing. 

And next weekend, my parents should be here to meet Katie for the first time!  They are flying down Friday to see the girl, and I'm so excited.  I hope they have a good trip down and it doesn't wear Mom out too much.  I'm looking forward to it.  :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Best Day Ever

I meant to write an entry last Sunday.  It was going to be about the first week of school--chatty notes about how classes were going, the 'we survived the first week' faculty party, and an incident in which I put the smackdown on some students talking about me in the hallway.

The last had actually really ticked me off.  Today, I couldn't care less, because in less than a week, my life has completely changed, all because of last Sunday.

I'm sitting here writing this while my daughter sleeps in her bassinet.  That sentence alone doesn't cover the enormity of our lives right now. 

I have a daughter.

I'd been having some contractions Saturday night--nothing too bad, and fairly far apart, so I went to bed as usual.  Contractions woke me up about four the next morning, again, nothing too bad, so I dozed until about 5:30--when my water broke.  Contractions started coming faster, so we got up and headed to the hospital.   The contractions had stopped by the time we got there, but my water had definitely broken (unlike the week before where I wasn't entirely sure--now I know exactly what it feels like), so they admitted me about seven.  Over the course of the day, I discovered that there are lots of things they don't tell you about labor that they probably should ahead of time--and then discovered that none of that mattered.

At 11:59 pm, Katherine Carroll made her appearance in this world, at 7 lbs and 19 1/4 inches.

They laid her on my stomach for a brief moment, long enough for me to see her before whisking her away to the warmer for her Apgar scores, etc., but the thing I remember most about that very moment was the look on her daddy's face--wonder and awe, like he couldn't believe this had just happened.  He was completely breathless.  He went over and trimmed the cord--the doctor had already cut it, as we had a brief fright because the cord was wrapped twice around her neck, though everything was just fine.  They finished tending to me, and he brought her back over to me, and I got my first good look at her.

She was--and is--without a doubt, the most perfect, beautiful thing I've ever seen. Dear Husband and I just looked at one another, and he whispered, "Look, Emmy.  We made this."

I don't have words to express the enormity of that emotion--looking down at her, I felt what must be the most pure, all-encompassing, terrifying love that exists.

I also understand my own mother a little bit better.

Monday, her first visitors were our priest and his wife.  I'd asked them to come, and Father Phillip leaned over her and gave KC her first blessing, brushing the shape of the cross on her forehead.

Suddenly, I understand Mary, the mother of Jesus, a little better as well.  I've prayed more in the last week than I have in a very long time--thanking God for this precious little soul that's been entrusted into our care, asking for strength and guidance to raise her, and asking for every blessing He can bestow on her. 

My mother and father-in-law arrived Monday night.  They'd packed up the moment DH called to tell them I was in labor and spent the next two days driving down to see her.  Having Papaw and Gramma here has been such a blessing to us, especially as we get used to having a newborn.

I am doing well and recovering fairly quickly, though I'm still in some pain, particularly if I move around the wrong way or try to do too much, but I can do a little more each day.  Mostly, though, I just want to sit and hold her and look at her little face and watch her little eyes look at everything around her.  Those dark blue eyes have a special wisdom in them.  My mother always referred to Youngest Brother as having an old soul, and I can see that in KC's eyes. 

Little one, your mommy has so many hopes and dreams for you--not about what you will do when you grow up, and not just for you to be healthy and happy.  I want you to love deeply and be loved deeply.  I want you to choose happiness always.  Be merciful, even if you feel like mercy is undeserved.  Be kind, even when it's difficult.  Look for the stories all around you--in books, movies, and in people.  Be a godly woman who follows Christ's laws of love and accepts all, just as He did.  Remember that your mommy and daddy are always here for you, no matter what.  You can always come to us for anything, and we will listen, and we will always, always love you.  You should know, always, that for your mommy and daddy, the day you were born was the best day ever.