My Little Love,
Someone asked me yesterday if I wished I had waited to have you. I will never wish that. Why would I wish to have waited for this sense of distinction in my life? You have given my life more meaning, you make my life more fulfilling, and you give me more happiness than anything else ever can or will. Your father and I love you more than you could possibly know, and you won’t know or understand just how much until you have a child of your own, it’s a love that can only be understood by a parent.
I spent nine months counting down the days until you came, and I was both ready and totally unprepared at the same time. I don’t think anyone is ever really prepared for how much they can love; I never knew I had the capacity to love anything so intensely or so achingly. It’s the most profound kind of love, the kind that instantly makes you a better person. How can I afford the luxury of selfishness when this tiny, adorable little person is depending on me? You have made me a real live grown up, and you have given me whole arsenal of insight and common sense that can only come from being a responsible parent.
I think always have a portion of my brain dedicated to the thought of where you are and what you’re doing, and the constant hope that you are happy and doing well will be embedded within me forever. You are my motivation, inspiration, my therapy, and my own personal narcotic; anytime I have a thought laced with Evelyn I feel a surge of happiness. I can’t thank you enough for the dimension that being your mother has added to my life.
Always remember, I love you. I love every bit of you from the ends of your wild hair to the tips of your dainty little feet. I love you even when I’m changing a particularly messy diaper, even when you’re giving me that warning that you’re about to cry, that warning in the form of protruding lower lip, and especially when you wake up from your nap and smile at me making me giggle, because it’s just so great that you can giggle back at me.
I have been a parent for eighty days and during those eighty days I have spent about eighty minutes away from Evelyn. I exaggerate of course, but not too much. Since I’ve been a parent I’ve been to one movie and have gone out to dinner one time, that’s two nights out in two and a half months. Before Evelyn was born, Jay and I either had people over or went out just about every Friday and Saturday night, and even sometimes on Thursdays or Sundays too.
When I was pregnant, Jay and I would talk about how hard it was going to be to stay in so much; neither of us are homebodies, we’re both quite the opposite. We talked about how we were going to miss going to the movies once a week and how it was going to be hard to not be able to hang out with our friends every weekend. We knew we weren’t going to be able to do these things so often anymore, not only because we had to physically care for the baby, but because we would have to start saving more money as well.
Luckily, we’ve always been smart about our finances, so we knew that change wouldn’t be too difficult. What we didn’t expect was that it would be so easy to stay home so much. Why spend ten dollars or more on a movie ticket when you can entertain your very own baby so she smiles at you? Why go to a bar or club and small that hairy guy’s body odor all night when you can smell the sweet smell of your baby’s neck? Why go out and end up having to take care of your drunk friend when you can take care of the Most Adorable Baby in the World? Why clean up that drunk person’s throw up when you can instead clean your baby’s spit up?
I think some of our friends have this misconception about being a parent because we’re so young. I think some of them feel bad for us because we don’t have certain freedoms anymore, and it bothers me a lot. I hate that some of them think of my daughter as a cute little burden. My daughter is the greatest thing in my life, no amount of missed nights out could change that. I’m sure as she gets older it will be a lot easier for me to leave her, but right now I’m perfectly content with going another eighty days with two nights out.
I weigh three pounds less than I did at my first doctor’s visit. At that point I had morning sickness, so I probably hadn’t gained any weight yet. Evelyn will be eleven weeks old tomorrow, and eleven weeks ago I weighed thirty-two more pounds than I do now. So, basically I’ve lost thirty-two pounds in eleven weeks. This wouldn’t be as miraculous to me if it hadn’t been for the fact that I have never eaten more food IN MY LIFE than I have eaten in the last eleven weeks.
Back when I was a human incubator, I was told that I wasn’t eating for two, that I only really needed to eat three hundred more calories per day than I usually did. I remember being scolded at one of my doctors appointments for gaining an extra pound than I should have since my last visit. If you’re smarter than a second grader, you probably figured out that I gained twenty-nine pounds during my pregnancy. I was pretty good at following the doctor’s orders, I gained one pound less than what she recommended, and that was on a pretty good diet, but that was probably because I didn’t really have a ton of cravings during my pregnancy, I mostly craved foods that cooled me down because of the obscene heat. I would not recommend getting pregnant at this time of year unless you’re willing to eat tons of popsicles, I mean enough popsicles to recreate your 3,000 square foot home with popsicle sticks. Having said that, I do think the weather made my belly a better habitat for a growing fetus because it produced The Most Adorable Baby in the World.
Anyway, I credit this weight loss to the sustaining of a human life with the contents of my boobs. I eat about as much as Tolkien’s hobbits, yet I’ve lost all of my pregnancy weight because now I AM eating for two. So, if you want to lose weight while eating anything you want, get pregnant, gain thirty pounds, give birth then feed that baby with your boobs. I swear it works. Side effects include sleep deprivation, poopy diapers, and responsibility for the life of a child for the next eighteen plus years.
Ever since I found out my little bundle would be female at my ultrasound, I’ve been looking forward to dressing her. She’s still a bundle, so I’m limited in my selections for her wardrobe, but let me tell you, she has the most stylish onesies and socks on the block. I simply can’t wait until I can dress her like this stylish little one…
When we brought Evelyn home from the hospital, my sister came over as soon as possible so that Elijah could meet the new addition. As soon as her saw her he smiled and yelled “Baby!!!,” then ran over to her and immediately wanted to hold her. It took some effort, but we finally got him to settle with sitting on his mom’s lap while she held him. He immediately started giving her kisses, and when she whimpered he blew on her and kind of rocked to sooth her. It’s adorable to see them together.
I’ll spare many of the details, but Saturday evening I began to get strong contractions, and by just after midnight we were on our way to the hospital. Twenty-four hours later, at 12:58am, Evelyn Aubrey M. was born. She’s beautiful: 7 pounds, 8 ounces, 20 inches long, and a full head of hair. So much hair, it shocked the nurses-really. She looks just like her dad, even down to her hair style.
It took that long because we had to keep slowing down the process because she was getting “stressed”. I would be stressed too if there was a noose in the form of an umbilical cord wrapped around my neck three times. It made for a lot of pain, but once she was here, I barely remembered any of it. I’ll try not to hold the long labor over her head the rest of her life.
She share’s the birthday of her Godfather, Jay’s cousin Brian, as well as my cousin’s baby (who she named Evan). He was born 22 hours after her, which I’m sure she’ll hang over his head all of their lives.
We spent the first 36 hours of her life in the hospital. We had so many people waiting to see her, I’m sure it kind of annoyed the nurses. They came in two at a time for the next hours or so, before the nurses cut us off so she could feed off of her mother’s ever-expanding endowments. As I spent that first night at the hospital with her, (we weren’t able to get a private room so Jay couldn’t stay with us) I couldn’t stop looking at her, even though I hadn’t slept more than two hours in almost 48 hours, I couldn’t bring myself to sleep with her there. She looks just like her dad, it’s strange. Jay got there as early as they would allow the next morning, and a more visitors arrived soon after. We brought her home the next day, we couldn’t wait to get out of there, especially Jay who hated leaving us those first two nights.
Now, it’s almost surreal. You spend nine months counting down the days, and you’re both ready and totally unprepared at the same time. Then she arrives and you know that no matter what, you’re going to do the best you can, because that tiny human is depending on you. It’s the scariest, most wonderful feeling. I already feel like a completely different person.