The past week has been an absolute whirlwind. I’ve gone from being impatiently pregnant and trying to do things to induce labor naturally, to being medically induced and requiring a c-section, to being at home on maternity leave with the cutest little human I’ve ever laid eyes on.
I’ll save Heidi’s birth story for another post but I wanted to get out some feelings about the first few days home with her.
We were discharged from the hospital the afternoon of the 26th. We stopped at the store and Chris ran in to grab my prescriptions and some snacks while I sat in the back seat staring at our soundly sleeping new daughter. We were on our own from that point forward.
Our house was so clean and tidy before her arrival. Now our kitchen looks like a convenience store with all the breastfeeding snacks. Her bedroom isn’t perfect and tidy anymore from Christmas gifts and laundry laying on the floor. Our bathroom looks like a hospital. And there is stuff just laying around the house because I don’t have the energy or motivation to do much more than feed and stare at Heidi. And nap of course. Honestly, the “mess” is not ideal but it’s just not priority either.
I don’t want Heidi to be a week old, it went too quickly. I want her to stay this tiny forever. I think about her getting bigger and me not remembering every little detail about this stage and it makes me so sad. I think about how perfect and amazing God is. He specifically created our bodies to recreate. This gorgeous little babe with intent eyes, her daddy’s nose, a picture-perfect mouth, 10 tiny shaped fingers and toes and the softest skin was formed inside me from nothing even remotely human looking. It’s hard for me to believe she was like this in my belly. He is a miracle worker! She is a miracle and she was made just for us.
I want to remember her squeaks as she settles down, the way she lays her little hand on my chest and looks at me while I feed her, the little smirk she makes as she’s falling asleep with a full tummy, the way she follows her dad’s voice from across the room, how she sleeps with her hands up around her face, the way she snoozes in her car seat without a peep, her little legs stretching as far as they’ll go with dimples around her knees as she poops, the smell of her soft skin and how she fits so snuggly in my arms.
Everyone always said you’ll never know a love like a mother until you are one. Ain’t that the truth. I’ve never loved anything more than I love my little girl. (Even my dog. And if you know me, you know how much I love Nessie.) Her hint of a smile melts my heart, her milk-drunk face makes me chuckle and the sound of her squealing cry makes me well up with tears.
I’ve also never loved my husband more. For giving me the greatest gift. For giving me the utmost care while I’ve needed it. For meeting our daughter’s needs without being asked. For continuing to be my equal partner and best friend.
I knew maternity leave would be a nice break from my typical come and go but I never imagined how special it would truly be. Spending time with my little family of three, there’s just nothing that beats it.
This last week of 2016 I am full. My heart is overflowing with the joy of being a new mommy and entering a new year that will undoubtedly be the start of the greatest adventure I’ll ever experience in my life.
Heidi Lynn Anderson, you are my sunshine.