Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Important Update:

Here is exhibit A:

A photo of my husband and I on his birthday last year, the day we found out I was pregnant.

Here is exhibit B:

A photo from last night, our first trip with friends to a restaurant with the baby.

So after 40 weeks of gestation and almost a month of recovery, I think my normal nose is back!!! Down with swelling! Up with normalcy!

Now, if I could just get my wedding rings back on and my normal pants to zip, then we're really in business... but let's not rush things.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ode to a Father on Mother's Day...

Patience is a virtue, or so they say... and I am inclined to believe them. After all, I waited 33 years before I met this man who is now my husband and the father of my new sweet daughter. I knew he was special from the very beginning, but there was no way to know how very special he is.

One of the most surprising aspects of new parenthood has been the joy and admiration that I have in watching my husband become a father. From the first day - that day when I was nearly paralyzed with fear about the c-section, he countered that mood with unbridled excitement and enthusiasm. He suited up, took his seat beside me in the OR, and whispered our daughter's name to me (he chose it and kept the final decision from me until that moment). He joked with me, and when it came time for him to watch her emerge from my belly - he hopped up as if he was about to meet the most important person in the world - and he has treated her as such ever since.

It's not just that I love to hear him sing to her or to watch them sleep together - all of that is precious - but I am in awe that he has poured himself into helping us both so completely. He does EVERYTHING.

He is my everything.

So on this day when the attention will be on me, I want to take a moment and tell the world that I would not, could not do this without him. And I mean HIM. He has a way with me - he can disarm me with a glance. He can relax me with a small phrase or sometimes even a gesture. Good skills to have as a husband, but they have felt like lifelines to me in the last month.

I wonder sometimes if he will ever see me the same again - as the woman I was before the huge incision, the hemorrhoids and the leaking breasts - before I became a fiercely protective mama-bear. But then I remember that if he has enjoyed watching me become the mother that I am even a fraction as much as I have enjoyed watching him become the father that he is - it won't matter if I am ever that person again - because in just one month, I have become so much more.

So my dear husband, I have a month or so before the time comes to shower you with presents and attention on your special day, but in the meantime you must know how much I appreciate you.

Wait. Words are failing me here. I want to say how much I appreciate you, how much I love you, and how much I admire you, but the words do not carry the proper weight. They are overused. Trite. But I am limited to this language, so instead please know that the emotion behind these words are stronger than you can even imagine.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Week 3: Gas, Acne and Hemorrhoids

I have a 3 week old baby- it hardly seems real, even with the fact that she is currently sleeping on my chest while I type this.

She's growing and changing every day. And she is SO cute. She has these piercing eyes that are almost black and can make you melt when she's happy and make you feel like you might die of shame when she is upset. And there are so many versions of upset: the slight pout and the whimpers to the full-on, red-faced, full-body, rhythmic crying that wounds your very soul.

She is inches away from smiling. It's percolating just under the surface. She turns the corners of her mouth up when she's sleeping, and if you tickle her cheek while she's eating. And when she's calm and alert and you are talking to her, she looks at you like she's taking notes. And so we try to think about what we want to teach her... so I sing the alphabet song and her father sings his favorite Swahili hymns. And we both tell her stories and make jokes - both at her expense and at our own.

She is finally over her birth weight! So even though we have had to supplement her, I feel like we're finally getting the hang of breastfeeding. Sheesh! It's been so tense - latching issues, low milk supply, leaking, pumping issues. But I am staying positive and focusing on our successes - we are doing it... and she and I both are thriving.

Now, I didn't realize that I should have skipped one of the baby preparation classes to take a photoshop refresher course... because this girl needs a little retouching these days. Ah baby acne, why do you mar those big, sweet, edible cheeks? I've heard it will clear on it's own in the next few weeks - or months - and I am hoping beyond hopes that it will be weeks and not months. Modeling contracts await.

Now, me? I am also doing well. Walking is easier and I can go around the block easily. The three flights of stairs are almost back to feeling normal (notice I didn't say easy). But I am still struggling with doing too much, not resting enough and then having issues. I'll save you the details, but it's not fun nor easy to recover from a c-section. And there are a million things that I want to heal at a faster rate than is possible. I am quite pleased with the progress, but still have a long way to go. And while I am prepared to need spanx for some time, I hope that the donut pillow will not be necessary for much longer.

But let's keep our eyes on the prize: