Monday, February 6, 2012


make believe.
When I was a teenager I used to imagine all the time what it would be like when I was a Mom. I would make up and play out these scenarios in my mind. I would talk to an empty room like I was talking to my child and I'd hug my pillow close and pretend I was snuggling with my toddler.

Driving home from work I'd make believe that I was married and with every song that played on the radio I'd create a music video of our love story in my mind. I'd imagine running into past boyfriends in a hotel or an airport somewhere and I'd give a spontaneous "look at me now" speech to the steering wheel. They'd always ask me to coffee and I'd politely decline. I'm married. I'm a mother. I've moved on.

I used to make believe a lot.

And though I haven't run into any past boyfriends lately I have finally cast two of the major rolls in my make believe world. And it's not pretend at all. Though sometimes it feels like a dream. Life is much too sweet--my new baby much too precious... sometimes I hold my breath because I know that if I let go of that breath at that exact moment I'll wake up and I'll be in my room, in my parents house, holding a pillow and talking to the wall. Because life is so much better than I ever imagined and sometimes it's just too good to be true.

To all the girls out there that talk to your steering wheels... reality is coming and it's so much better than anything you could have ever made up.

Eleven weeks ago I had a baby. I was in shock when they told me she was 5 lbs 1 oz--not because she was tiny but because an hour before I was all set for a natural labor. I did not expect to be in the O.R. for her birth-- I did not expect it when they told me that I was a Mom and I heard her for the first time --all squawky bird cry and fire.

I didn't expect her to be ripped away from us so quickly. About 8 minutes after she was born they laid her on my chest for two minutes. It was the first time I got to see her... smell her... talk to her. When I was in recovery they let me hold her for another two mintues before taking her to the NICU. We did skin to skin, I got to see her hair, I was able to feel her move.

Then after spending two hours in recovery they took us to the NICU. We were allowed to look at her but we weren't allowed to hold her. Another two minutes. It was only about 3pm then. I didn't see her again until 9:30am the next morning.

That night was one of the most horrible nights of my life. I didn't feel like we had a baby. I certainly did not feel like a mother. I had held her for a total of six minutes. I didn't feel like I had ever been pregnant. I didn't get to count her fingers or her toes. I didn't know if she had any birth marks. For all I knew she was just one big floating head because that is the only part of her I had seen. If I'm being honest I didn't even remember what she looked like. Brady's parents came and I cried as I told them the story. Brady's Mom was so nice to me. She was sympathetic. She'd seen tragedy and uncertainty too.

Those moments were some of the lowest moments of my life so far. I remember wishing that  Brady and I could just leave and never come back. I wanted to run far away because knowing that I had a child hours before that I could not see and could not touch was too much to bear. It was easier to pretend that it never happened.

It bonded Brady and I in an irrefutable way.

Joy comes with the morning. The next day we were able to visit her briefly and I began to bond. She was so small. She was so unexpected. She was better than anything I could have ever imagined. Running away was no longer an option.

Part of our morning routine is watching Baby Einstein. It captives Avey and frees me up to fold laundry, do dishes, etc.

I think our nicu stay is part of the reason why we spend most of our days in bed cuddling. I'm trying to make up for those first 8 days. Those terrible 8 days where she taken and kept away from me. I know she doesn't remember it but I do. These weeks have been part of much needing healing time. Broken expectations are hard to get over.

This is how we spend our evenings. The three of us wrapped up together on the couch. We watch movies and eat ice cream and soak in the awesomeness that is our life.

Avey's first superbowl was a success.

She tried so hard not to fall asleep... maybe she'll make it through the next one.

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