My goal for 2015 is to do a weekly portrait of someone in my life, be it family member, friend, acquaintance, or someone I haven’t officially met yet. Of course, the easiest place to start is with the tiny person I spend most of my time with.
Adelaide is over five months old now, and showing us more and more of her personality every day. John and I are in awe of how sweet-natured she seems to be. I often wonder how her cheeks don’t ache from smiling so much (I know mine do).
She’s recently discovered that she can put her feet in her mouth, and she’s absolutely delighted by it. Her feet have become her favorite thing. When they are zipped away in her sleepsack for the night, she looks at me with a perplexed expression…as if to ask me where they have gone. When I unzip her in the morning, and she rediscovers her two, pudgy-toed companions…the look on her face is like someone who has been reunited with a friend she’s been separated from (for much longer than she intended to be).
Adelaide loves to study things…I can see such determination in her bright, blue eyes.
These five months with my sweet girl have been challenging, in a sleep deprived, life altering kind of way. Becoming a mother changes pretty much every aspect of your life in some regards…and no matter how prepared you are for it, it’s hard. But, for every hour I’ve lost in sleep, every shirt that’s been spit up on, or every dinner out that has now become a dinner in, I’ve gain so SO much more…
This baby of ours is worth every hard thing. Every. Single. One.
Do you remember being a child and constantly being asked what you wanted to “be” when you grew up? In elementary school kids usually say a teacher, doctor, firefighter, policeman. Then, as you grew and learned about various other occupations, people would branch out with their choices. My brother, for example, stated in middle school that he wanted to be an astrophysicist.
Yet it still seemed as if that question was a constant thread of my adolescent years. I had a hard time answering it.
Sure, I went with the typical “girl” answers of “teacher” or something along those lines….but deep down I knew that I didn’t want a career to be the focus. I’ve always dreamed of being a wife and mom.
Let me make it clear that I know there are many other things I could have set my mind on. In stating that motherhood has always been the path I’ve wanted to walk, I in no way believe it to be the only one possible. If I had made the decision to do so, I would have been an excellent teacher…lawyer…medical professional…accountant…any of the careers that seem admirable.
There’s a great scene in one of my favorite movies, “Mona Lisa Smile”…a college professor (Julia Roberts) is desperately trying to make her students see that there is more to life than getting married fresh out of college and being a stay-at-home wife and mother. The film is set in the 1950s, and most of the students seem baffled that she would even suggest any other option. I loved that Julia Roberts’ character opened their eyes to new possibilities and changed the course of some of their lives for the better. But…BUT…my favorite scene involves one of her students (Julia Stiles) explaining to her that being a wife and mother WAS her choice. It’s such a beautiful moment.
Now that I’m almost two months in to finally seeing my dream realized, I must say that it doesn’t disappoint. Sure, like any job there are difficult or mundane aspects…on any given day I change countless diapers, get spit up on, do mountains of tiny laundry, juggle keeping a house clean and meals on the table.
But there are also moments of a happiness so complete that it still feels surreal…and, I know that before I know it I can add to my list of responsibilities: hand holder, storyteller, art teacher, nature guide and so many other things. These days are just the beginning of something incredible.
So, if you were to ask me today what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer you (most fervently): This.
When I look at the picture above, I get teary eyed. Our baby girl has changed so much since that was taken (shortly after we brought her home from the hospital). As of yesterday, Adelaide is SEVEN WEEKS old! It baffles me that so many weeks have passed, and yet it also feels like it’s been much longer.
I keep reminding myself to soak in every moment during this fleeting first few weeks and months. I’m so grateful that John’s sister, Mindy, came over when Adelaide was a week old and took these pictures for us. Such a sweet memory of our first days at home as a family of three.
I’d like to write all my thoughts down about what motherhood has been like for me…and about all the little things that I’ve learned about Ada thus far…
But, for now this will have to suffice…because there’s a certain little lady who is making it known that she needs her mommy.
At 1:55pm on July 29, after six hours of labor, we welcomed our baby girl into the world.
She was a chunky 10 lbs 2 oz, 22.5 inches long with brown hair and the cutest little face I’ve ever seen.
We named her Adelaide Lorraine Pruitt…her daddy calls her Ada.
The last two weeks have been a flurry of getting to know this new little addition to our family…and realizing our ability to love her more fiercely than either of us ever knew was possible.
Welcome to the world, Adelaide. You are our long-awaited, much prayed for and anticipated joy of a daughter…I look at you and can hardly take in the wonder of it all.
I keep pinching myself when I think about how we’ll be holding our baby girl in just a matter of weeks! I honestly wish I had taken the time to blog more during this pregnancy…but, instead I’ve been holding most of it close to my heart…treasuring all these tiny kicks and moments of acute awareness of this little life.
But, in case I forget in the months and years to come, here are a few insights into pregnancy this week:
- How far along: 37 weeks!
- Total weight gain: 24 lbs
- Sleep: Hard to come by! I usually am tired all day, but unable to sleep at night…between trips to the bathroom, horrible heartburn and constant repositioning.
- Best moment of this week: Gave myself my last shot on Monday night!! After having to inject myself twice a day since November, this was a much celebrated event!
- Worst moment of this week: The one night I woke up at 2am and all I wanted was watermelon…and we were out.
- Movement: This little lady is constantly shifting, kicking and moving around! Mostly I feel her legs up near my ribs…but, she is also a fan of sticking her bottom out as far as possible.
- Missing: Being able to bend over. Related: being able to wear shoes that require anything more than slipping them on.
- Food craving: Watermelon! Also, grapefruit, pineapple and chocolate.
- Labor signs: Frequent Braxton Hicks, which I sometimes think are the real thing. I also think she’s dropped down a bit.
- Belly button: Still an innie, although it is definitely shallower than before. John keeps waiting for it to pop out.
- Looking forward to: Seeing John hold our daughter. I don’t know how my heart will take it….
My next appointment with my ob is this Tuesday. We are supposed to get an ultrasound to see how little Bean is doing. She’s been measuring at least a week ahead since the beginning, so I’ve been wondering if they got our due date wrong. I guess we’ll see!
Daughter of mine, you are more than welcome to stay in there as long as you need to….but, your arrival into this world is much anticipated…so, anytime my dear!
It suddenly hit me yesterday that we are going to have a baby.
That seems silly to say, since I am over 29 weeks pregnant. But, with three previous pregnancies that all ended in loss, my mind has been conditioned to not automatically associate being pregnant with bringing a baby home.
But now! Now we have made it far enough to know that the odds are good for survival, even if the baby was born today. Everything is still looking great, so I have no reason to believe that this baby will come any earlier than expected. And, when she does arrive, there is every indication that she will be healthy.
Even my OB is giddy when she sees me at each appointment…exclaiming that she’s so excited that I’m “so boring” this time around. In the world of high-risk pregnancy, being “normal” and/or “boring” is just about the best feeling in the world.
If there is one thing these past few years have taught me, it’s to appreciate what I would have otherwise taken for granted.
So, thank you, infertility. Thank you, miscarriages and loss. Thank you, grief.
I did not wish you then, and I would not wish you back again….but…
thank you for teaching me to profoundly appreciate and cherish the fact that I am about to be a mother.
My brother and his family came to visit us for the weekend.
I got out some of my old barbies, and they had such a great time playing with them. John got in the floor and played along for a little bit.
Then, after Helen was sad to learn that I didn’t have a car for the barbies, Uncle John came to the rescue and made one out of a cardboard box. (complete with seatbelts made out of kitchen twine!)
I snapped this sweet shot of John holding our new nephew, Maxwell, for the first time.
I think Max is already a fan.
He got several naps on John’s chest over the course of the weekend.
It’s safe to say that these kids have their uncle wrapped tightly around their little fingers.