20 Dec My baby is a big girl…
My First Baby is a Big Girl
Happy 5th Birthday Harper
I honestly can not even believe I have a five year old. I think when you envision having children you maybe see them as babies and young adults but I personally don’t think I thought about what it would be like when they were 5. What a crazy, wild, tiring, and eventful 5 years it has been.
I wanted to take the time to share some mom moments of my own. Share things I have learned along the way and what better time to do it but now. On my oldest, 5th birthday.
For some brief history, in 2011 I was diagnosed and fought Hodgkins Lymphoma which is a blood cancer. I was only engaged at the time and we made the decision to not freeze my eggs but protect them best we could through the chemo process. The fertility DR thought this choice was fine but we had to know there could be risk of not being able to have children. Josh and I made that choice, feeling at the time that if all we had was each other that was enough. (And I always thought I would be a mom, but when I was faced with such a devastating diagnosis, I put some things into perspective). Of course there could be other options but we really needed to sit with the fact, we maybe wouldn’t be able to have biological children of our own. Heavy for any 26 year old…
Fast forward to a few years later and we are pregnant with our first child. I still do believe that if we didn’t have children, we would of been happy. But what I couldn’t of predicted was how much being a mama brought me such a feeling of purpose. How proud and accomplished I felt in my relationship, in our family, and as husband and wife. Things did not always feel this way and believe me, I have days I yearn for the freedom of life before kids. Every baby is a miracle. Every journey to get a child is a miracle. Harper is our miracle. Harper made me believe in my body again, in my health, and in my ability to live. I will never be able to explain that to her because it is hard for me to put into words. She is my first, my miracle baby, my child who has taught me so much…
- Patience. Harper was 10 days late. She was comfortable in my belly and honestly I was comfortable with her there. But they don’t really let you go that long over your due date anymore and so there we were… day 3 in the hospital, hours of labor, and off to a c-section I go. Patience. The nurses were amazed at how her heart rate never dropped, never increased, just stayed steady all three days. This is so Harp. She is very calm, thoughtful, and consistent. I adore this about her. I needed a consistent first child. I am so Type-A and she was able to give me that consistency I needed. She has helped me to be more thoughtful, take my time, and listen.
- Time. The first few weeks of Harper’s life I was to put it mildly stressed and a little bummed. We were one of the first of our good friends to have a baby and in that created some sadness because our lives were changing and sometimes I felt alone. I called a friend of mine who is like the big sister I never had. I was tearful and told her I was having a rough time. She so honestly told me “hunnie, you love Harper but you don’t like her yet, it takes time”. It was literally all I needed. I felt so validated, understood. I was like, yesssssss I don’t really know her and she freaks me out!! time. That was what we needed. As the days moved past, I grew to not only like her but adore her. She is so opposite of me and I am smitten with her. She is thoughtful and kind. She always thinks before she speaks or acts and I admire that. She can drive me insane with how slow she does things. JUMP IN ALREADY!! But she has taught me the beauty of waiting. She has taught me how much sweeter life can be if you just wait, breathe, take it all in and then act.
- Differences. When we found out we were having a girl, I was stoked! I mini me!! I couldn’t wait. Well turns out, Harp is a spitting image of her dad and him through and through. It is really fun seeing your partner in your kids but this can also be a challenge. The things that bug me about Josh, bug me about Harp. The things I adore about Josh, I adore about Harp. Harper and I are bonded in a very special way. We fight sometimes and it makes Josh giggle because it sounds like him and I. We laugh together a lot. Which reminds me of her dad because he makes me laugh the hardest out of anyone I know (besides my sister who gives me giggles constantly.) We are different. We struggle with this at times but I also think we push each other in ways we need to. I have learned to appreciate how wonderful it is that we are different. She may not be the loud one in the room (guilty) but she has a quiet confidence about her that I admire. She is beyond sweet and I wish I could have half her amount of empathy.
- Imperfection. I am a perfectionist. I am really hard on myself, hard on my kids at times, and have very high expectations for myself and others in my life. (I sound super fun to live with but this is just the truth). When you become a parent, nothing is ever perfect. Harp had to be the one to teach me this. She is the first born. We have made the most mistakes with her I am sure. We were learning with her. Learning is so hard and so humbling. I mean I was strapping her in the car seat wrong the first months of her life. NO JOKE!!! Motherhood is humbling. I am so grateful to have a sweet first born. I really believe she will not hold too much against us 😉 She also as born to help people. She told me the other day that helping kids sleep sounds fun and easy— so there you go!
- Love. WOW! You really do not know until you have kids but the love of your children is insane. It almost hurts. I dropped her off at school today and silently sobbed on the way home. Sobbed for how far we have come, sobbed for how proud I am of her, sobbed for how she can make me so angry one second and so happy the next, and sobbed because my baby, my first baby, is a little girl.
Happy 5th Birthday to my happy Harper, man, are we so lucky to have you!!