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Transitions.

Dear baby girl,

It’s a gorgeous spring day today, and I sit here watching you sleep, looking forward to you waking up so we can go for a walk this afternoon.

I may catch a nap later, as this momma is pretty tired. It’s been a rough few days as we have started transitioning you out of the swaddle. I can’t believe my little girl is rolling over from back to belly already! You’ll be five months old next weekend, and it hardly seems time has gone that quickly.

You started rolling over from belly to back first – you did that for the first time right when you turned three months old. You took a couple weeks off before you started doing it again. Then, just a couple weeks after hitting the four month mark you finally made it from back to belly after weeks of trying. I couldn’t be more proud of you!

It’s a mix of emotions as you discover yourself and reach new milestones. There is so much excitement and joy as you finally accomplish what you’ve set out to do, while at the same time knowing we need to break you of the swaddle for your safety. Needless to say, it’s been a rough few nights. We are swaddling you with one arm out so that if you do roll you can hold yourself up. The hard part is that you startle yourself with your hand and want to suck on it, getting upset and keeping yourself awake.

Daddy and I have been taking turns taking care of you and calming you to sleep. It’s been a hard process, but I know we’ll make it through. Seeing your joy, watching you succeed, your life lighting up the world, makes it all worth it. I’m pretty sure God made you the cutest baby in the world so that the sleep deprivation seems to matter so much less.

I’ll admit, there’s a part of me that wants to complain and be frustrated. I may have my moments, but I have to remind myself that parenting is not about me. Being a momma requires sacrifice, a dying of the self, each and every day. Putting your needs first. Recognizing that even in my weakness I am still a good parent, my love for you giving you the encouragement and strength you need each day.

It’s a lot like God’s love for us, but His is even greater than my love for you. He knows what’s best for us and was willing to sacrifice it all for our safety and protection. And in my heart, I know what’s best for you, and all I want is for you to feel safe in this world and for you to trust me as your momma.

Parenthood is a continual learning process: about myself, your daddy and you. And then there’s the baby gear market – so much to learn and research. I’ve discovered some things to possibly try though this swaddle transitioning process. For now, we’re using the Halo swaddle sleep sack with one of your arms out, and your Auntie Katie is sending us a Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit to try. Then there’s the Zipadee Zip and the convertible Woombie. Seriously, where do people come up with the names of this stuff?

We’ll find the right thing and figure it out, making this swaddle transition work for us and for you. We may be a little sleep deprived, but we’ve got a pretty beautiful, strong and wonderful baby girl to show for it.

With love,

Momma

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Moments.

Dear baby girl,

Being a momma is both the hardest and most wonderful thing I have experienced in my life. No parenting book or blog could have prepared me for this – words cannot describe the emotions and moments you experience as a momma.

Moments like when I see pure delight on your face, lighting up the room with your smile and laugh.

Moments like when I hold you and comfort you, wondering if you understand just how much my heart aches for you as you cry. Sometimes I cry along with you.

Moments like when I nurse you, your tiny presence finding peace in my arms. In the stillness of the moment, it feels like we are the only two people in the world.

Moments like when I watch your determination as you try a new milestone, your little grunts and sighs as you will yourself to do it.

Moments like when I see you reach that milestone, like rolling over, smiling, talking, laughing. My heart is filled to the brim with so much pride and joy as you discover yourself and the world around you.

It’s hard to put into words to describe what happens when you become a parent. It’s like you see the world through a new lens, with a focus on the moments of the present. Just like a photographer captures a still photo, I capture still moments with you in my heart each day, taking them in and etching them in my memory.

When you were first born, my heart instantly grew and was filled with a love for you that I never dreamed possible. That love continues to grow and change each day, as I watch you discover and explore the world and become a strong little girl.

Nothing prepared me for all the emotions I experience as a parent. There is no manual for this, and I’ll be honest and tell you that you kind of make things up as you go. You wonder if you’re making the right decisions, and you’ll avoid making them. From experiencing fear to guilt to self doubt, the decision-making process as a parent is a tough one, but I am learning that there is no “wrong” decision. I have to trust my instincts and take care of you.

As my daughter, you trust me fully, and it is up to me and your daddy to make sure you are cared for, making decisions that may not always be easy. Together we are taking in these moments with you, from the joy-filled moments that make our hearts leap to the teary moments that make our hearts ache. All of these moments are worth it as we experience them with you.

There are many more moments and a lot more decisions to make, and I know it won’t get any easier. I have a feeling that this fear and doubt will always be there, and I will always worry about you being protected, healthy and safe. I am thankful that I have your daddy to share this journey of parenthood with, and that we get to experience all of this together. We make a good team, and I hope you know just how much we love you and are looking out for you with every decision we make.

Through every moment, through every milestone, through everything, I want you to know just how much we love you.

With love,

Momma

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My gift.

Dear baby girl,

One year ago today, my life changed forever. I’ll never forget that Saturday morning, sun streaming through the windows on an early spring morning. I lay in bed anxiously waiting, debating whether to find out the truth. Could I handle it if it wasn’t what I wanted? Could I go through another round of hopefulness to only be crushed yet again? I was hopeful that I would receive the only birthday gift I truly wanted and prayed for.

I waited for what seemed like hours until I finally decided to get up. It was time to try again. I went through the motions that had become all too familiar the past several months. This time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. There was a part of me that knew the truth, that was hopeful in the answer, but I didn’t want to believe it to be real only to be disappointed again.

The minute went by, and I peered over the counter. There it was, faint but clear. I never knew I could be so excited to see a blue line. I blinked, squinted and stared in disbelief. It was still there. I held the truth in my hand.

I was pregnant!

I screamed with joy and your daddy and I just hugged, laughed and held each other for several moments in shock and awe. We couldn’t believe it. Our hearts were so full at the thought of you, and we knew our lives were about to forever change.

You were the gift that I had hoped and waited for, and this year I got to celebrate my birthday with you. We waited until the weekend to celebrate, and yesterday I enjoyed brunch and shopping with you and Daddy and a relaxing day together. It was perfect.

4 months old this week!

4 months old this week!

This journey of becoming and being a parent has been more challenging than I imagined, but it also has been more rewarding than I ever dreamed possible. I am so incredibly thankful for you, my gift, my precious daughter.

With love,

Momma