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Posts Tagged ‘father’

After the birth of my daughter I was pretty sure I didn’t want to have anymore children of my own. Pregnancy didn’t come easily to me, and the whole 39.5 weeks I spent knocked up were pretty damn uncomfortable, and then there was the whole labor/birth thing which still makes me cringe just to think about.

So I was really surprised when two days ago I caught myself daydreaming about having another baby. So surprised in fact I stopped mid thought and just stared into space wondering what could have possible possessed my subconscious to bring these thoughts forward, and then it hit me…. “Baby fever”, but where did I catch it? All the babies I’d been hanging out with lately were about the same age as mine if not older, and then it dawned on me; it wasn’t the presence of a new baby that had induced these subconscious considerations but the presence of a baby yet to come.

My very dear friend had just shared some photos of her beautiful but overdue pregnant belly, and as she waited in anticipation to meet this completely new little person I realized that I too felt the pull to meet a new little person of my own. Against all my traumatic memories of birth and personal thoughts on keeping SweetPea as an only child here I was fantasizing about holding her little brother or sister, and wondering to myself  not “if” but “when” that day would come.

“But I don’t want another child!” my mind screams at my soul. All the logic in my being compiling against a new spark that has started in my heart, but it’s too late. The flame has already been ignited and all that lovely logic about easier travel, and more free time winds its way slowly down the drain as thoughts of siblings laughing and playing fill my mind, and memories of my own sister, and my own brother push my hearts battle right up over my heads, and as tears stream down my face I can’t help but smile thinking of the my new people yet to come.

– This post is dedicated to my dear friend Emily, who helped inspire me to want children of my own, and has always been the most wonderful example of how reproduction of intelligent, thoughtful people is the best gift you can give the world.  
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My little SweetPea loves the outdoors. Now I must say “loves” doesn’t quite do justice to my daughters feeling about the outdoors, so let’s see if I can help you understand….

Imagine the biggest meltdown your child ever had pre six months of age, tears running down their face, skin bright red and blotchy as screams turn silent with intensity. Your pulse quickens as your heart hastily prompts your head to find a soothing answer, singing, rocking, hushing, a toy distraction… nothing works and the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness as you watch your baby’s sadness consume them begins to rip at your heart…

… so I walk outside.

And this little person in my arms instantly morphs from an unrecognizable bundle of unhappiness to a glowing ray of sunshine, head held high, mouth agape as goos and awes of delight float freely from her big gummy smile. There’s no other way to describe it than the miracle of the earth.

Once her love of nature had been discovered naturally we took her camping, and perched high on a hill lain on a blanket in the shade she played and laughed as goats walked by and the earth enveloped her ever sense as my doting gaze was held in rapture witnessing her embody happiness itself… and I couldn’t help but soak up some of those extra rays of sunshine and bask in her overflowing delight.

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The first time my daughter smiled it brought tears to my eyes. It was early morning and we were lying in bed, just learning each others faces enjoying those magic moments of complete consumption that can only occur between a mother and her child. “Mommy loves you!” I told her with great enthusiasm, and just as the words slipped from my lips she smiled, and that fire in my heart that ignited the first time I touched her grew and as tears ran down my face I felt the flames rise as her happiness stoked the love I held deep in my core.

A few months later we sat on the front porch, my SweetPea resting on my knees as she looked out at the world. A rampant wave of energy coursed through the air as our overgrown puppies began to wrestle their way through the parking lot. The stir of yellow and black fur caught her attention and she focused her gaze on the two thrashing dogs rolling across the dirt closely followed by our curmudgeonly old man of a dog indiscriminately barking his protest at the fun these youngins were continuing to have. And then it happened… She laughed, just a few short rich chuckles followed by a giant unabashed smile. Like someone took all the Love and Confidence in the word swirled it around and topped it with a healthy drizzle of Pure Joy and just a hint of magic. It was amazing, heart wrenchingly beautiful, and the most wonderful sound I have ever heard in my entire life.

Laughing came on slow. A little chuckle here and then nothing for weeks, and then during a diaper change or a play session with daddy we’d hear that little giggle again. At this point I was hooked. I was hooked on the joyous cadence that I knew could erupt from her tiny lips at any moment. I tried everything, but she never laughed at the same thing twice; it was always something new and exciting that would spark her next burst of joy…

… Until yesterday

We’d just arrived home from a long and grueling day in town, shuffling her in and out of her car seat as we went from store to store, SweetPea trying to nap the whole time only to be woken up at the next stop just as she nodded off, but as is almost always the case she was a good sport about it, and arrived home ready to be out of her car seat but happy. After the car was unloaded she sat in her dads arms on the front porch once again; the dogs running about playing and barking, and then it happened. She laughed, and it was as if her little heart overflowing with bliss unleashed its happiness upon the world and gushed exquisite pleasure as beat after beat continued to flow into the vibrant air surrounding her, and as she laughed the seconds strung into minutes and my heart was filled with love for this little person whom I’d made from my own flesh, and the happiness she was so freely sharing with all of us.

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I started a baby journal when I first learned I was pregnant. It was short lived and only has a few entries, but I found it today and wanted to share some of the words I wrote to her with all of you.

August 11th, 2010 – 12weeks 5days

Dear Baby,

The things I find myself wanting from life are so very different than they used to be. I no longer feel the need for a large house and a new car, but I instead long for experiences with you and your Father; a small cabin in the woods with a dog and a goat, watching bugs crawl across the floor in the living room with you and I giggling together as our puppy tries to eat them up, playing outside and teaching you about nature, mud pies and flower cakes, fresh veggies and the smell of ripe blackberries in the sun, cold rainy days spend by the fire reading books and playing games with you and your Daddy, being happy just to be alive and near the ones I love. What sweet happiness one could have with so very little.

Sometimes it’s nice to look back and be reminded of the things that were most important. I’d forgotten how deeply I felt about just having the simple things in life, and enjoying the moments made with my family over the things I can(or can’t) buy at the store. Today I am grateful for the things I have, and that’s a wonderful way to start the day!

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I spend a lot of time thinking about parenting, thinking about the best possible way to be the best possible mother I can be. I’ve chosen a much more natural version of parenting than is commonly seen in America, but I feel confident in it all the same. Parenting is something that should be done from the heart, and the decisions you make for your child should be the kind of decisions you can stand behind.

I am a strong believer in parenting from the heart. As a human female I already posses all the tools I need to take care of my new baby strictly based on instincts alone, but we live in a modern society where we’ve out thought our basic human instincts, and for the sake of living in a modern world some adjustments must be made, but those adjustments don’t have to compromise my values, and whether it’s to my benefit or detriment  as a mother the abundance of commerce in today’s world has made so many choices available when it comes to the quality of products I can choose to put on and near my child.

We’ve chosen to cloth diapers our baby for comfort and to minimize our contribution to the already overflowing landfills on this planet, but my main motivation for them is because it’s what I’d rather wear, and if put into my little Sweet Pea’s shoes (well… booties?) it’s no questions that I’d rather have some nice soft fabric against my new to the world heiny than some chemically conspicuous plastic disposable against my fresh young skin, and that’s just what seems most “natural” to us, so it’s what we do.

Together my Husband and I have made the choice to raise our daughter as naturally as possible, and by naturally I don’t mean keeping EVERYTHING 100% organic and chemical free (Though a lot of things we use are) I mean naturally in terms of our Nature.  Following our instincts as human beings, and doing what comes most simply to us as her parents.

I apply the same general theory to all of my parenting concepts; I simply ask myself “If I were a brand new baby-person in this world, what would make me the most comfortable and secure?” and then I do it. Now it may not always work, or it may not be the correct answer for the situation, but in order to find good solutions and create good practices as a parent you have to start somewhere, and where better to start than to look inside yourself and do for your baby what you would want done for you.

I will make so many mistakes because parents… no… people make mistakes, lots and lots of mistakes, but mistakes made out of love and an attempt to do the best things possible are the kind of mistakes you should (and can) be proud of. So as I embark on my journey into the unknown world of parenting I am grateful to know that I do not stand alone, but that the knowledge of those who came before me rests somewhere in my DNA, and the knowledge of those who come with me rests right here… on the internet.

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So many things to do, so many little clothes to wash, tiny socks to find, cloth diapers to fold, toys to clean and put away. The crib is set, the beds been made all waiting for her special day. I’ve read all the books, and picked through the best advice. We’ve made the choices as well as we can, but what do we really know?

Now I write this as a person who has never had a child before. Never been a mother past knowing and loving the person still being created inside of me, but I do have a theory, an idea of the best way to prepare for having a baby.

Stretch… Stretch a lot… Stretch your body, and most certainly stretch your mind because nothing is going to be as helpful as flexibility, as being able to let go of those preconceived notions of how everything is going to be, and how your life is going to look as a new parent. When I think about having my child I imagine her curled up next to me and her father in bed fast asleep. I imagine waking up to her softly rooting about as she expresses her desire to be fed, of pulling her close to me and dozing as she satisfies her hunger and then the both of us drifting back to sleep. This is my dream, my perfect utopia of motherhood at night. I would love for this to be my reality and in that desire I do hold on to the possibility that that is how it may be, but I’m also prepared to throw that picture out the window for the reality that will most likely ensue.

When I ponder those first months of being the mother of a Little Girl Person on the outside, I always try to add a little bit of reality to my fantasies, to remind myself that some things (okay most things) will not go as I envision, and to remember that the very best thing I can do for my sanity and the sanity of those around me is to be willing to change, accept, and appreciate my practices as a new mother.

I do hold on to one piece of sentiment that under no circumstance shall I let go, and that is the notion that in all of my daydreaming and fantasizing about the future I have only skimmed the surface of how amazing and wonderful motherhood will be, of what sort of experiences it will bring and how it will round and shape me as a person, and the bonds of our family.

I love my husband and I love myself, and I can’t even begin to grasp the love that I will have when I look into the eyes of a person made entirely out of us.

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There is a small person living inside of me, changing and growing every day. I’ve never seen more than a fuzzy colorless image of her on an ultrasound screen, her little nose and her little hands; her little heart beating so fast. Such a tiny glimpse into who will soon most certainly become the center of my world.

Yet some how I know her, as if I’ve known her my whole life and just been waiting for our time. My little Sweet Pea, My Daughter, this little girl person made entirely out of Love. I knew she was a girl before she was conceived. My first born was always going to be a girl, and the ultrasounds technicians confirmation was just the recognition of a premonition I’d had years ago.

I wish there was a way to explain her personality, the way she thinks and reacts. How with only a nudge I know what she feels, what she needs. She’s already capable of so much, of so many emotions and it makes me wonder if we will still be so closely linked when she is no longer kept alive by the beating of my heart. Will I still know her then? Will I still understand her wants and desires? I like to think the connection will only deepen, and that being able to share her completely with her father will tighten the already unbreakable bonds of our family.

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