I have never been more excited, felt more love for my husband and our families, or been more absolutely terrified than the moment I saw this. I remember it so vividly, April Fools Day, 2010, the day my world changed.
My husband and mommy (yes, I still call her that!) were thrilled, because they knew the 6 months of disappointment and the negative test just a week earlier had me near my breaking point. My father-in-law thought maybe I was playing a trick on Ben, but I think he believes now 😉
For me, that moment, that point of no return, made me examine my whole world-view. How can you know exactly what is best for the tiny person you’re suddenly responsible for? I make so many choices, large and small and in between, on a daily basis that affect her, beginning even before I got that very faintly positive assurance that she exists. I eventually talked myself down off the tall building I’d climbed and, over time, finally convinced myself that my best would have to be good enough, because that’s what she’s stuck with!
I’d already chosen the best daddy for her- I’ve never had even a fleeting thought to the contrary, and she has great male role models in both her grandfathers and now Uncle Adam as well. She may never know how lucky she is in this respect, and how few little girls are blessed to see in their day-to-day life men who care for their wives and families with the integrity and strength of the men in her life.
Strong female role models? Are you kidding?! She’s got those coming out the ears. When I was having a particularly hormonal moment, doubting my capabilities as a parent, Ben said to me, “Do you think our mothers were perfect? Do you think they made all the right choices??” which made me cry harder, because I’m convinced they did! Those two women will always be superheroes in my eyes, and I hope Nora gets so many of their qualities, as her aunts clearly have.
On top of that, 5 wonderful great-grandmothers, great-aunts & uncles, cousins…. This baby is swimming in love.
I’ve wanted to be a mother since I realized my body was capable, but I never really understood the implications. Below I’ll list just a few of the choices Ben and I have made, right or wrong, for our tiny bear baby:
1. I breastfeed. The benefits to mom and baby are like nothing else. I love the bonding and it’s a good excuse to steal her back when I get sick of other people holding her. I pump at work and, so far, she’s managed to be solely on breastmilk thus far.
2. She’s getting vaccines.
3. She takes a pacifier. I hope she’s not one that has to be weaned when she’s much older, but the reduced possibility of SIDS and teaching herself to self-soothe trump.
4. I work full time. It’s not necessarily the choice I would prefer, though I do love my job, but I don’t want Nora to ever go without. Maybe a bit selfish, but she loves her daycare and doesn’t have a shy bone in her body, courtesy of her father!
5. We’re going to try baby led weaning as much as possible after 6 months. We’ll see how that goes, but I don’t really see a down side.
There are a million other things… Choices I make for my body, such as water intake, caffeine, alcohol, vitamins, random little things such as how long she’s held, how often we put her on her tummy versus her back, how often we check her diaper, when and how often she’s bathed, the list goes on forever…
Every day I hope and pray that she knows just how much she means to us, just how much her precious smile makes every up and down in life worthwhile.