Happy belated Pentecost! I can’t believe how time has flown. Fifty days of Easter gone, and 10 with this precious little person. At only a week past my original due date, I still can’t believe she is earth-side; it’s so unlike my babies to be born early. Daddy is on leave for an incredible six weeks–a new gift from his company this year–and we have been beyond blessed with the time so far. Somehow, I feel like it’s easier for both of us to take it easy and simply fall in love with our babies now that we’ve been parents for a bit. With our first two children, we were so anxious to do it “right” when really, we were trying to learn how to do any and everything.
Recovery has been a dream, which was a truly pleasant surprise, as some of my earlier ones have really not been. Of course, there were the expected afterpains and sore nipples of the first couple days, but they passed. I simply stayed put and embraced a time of healing, and my husband and our friends stepped up in a huge way to provide the space to make it happen. At this point, I know what serves me best as a newly postpartum mother, and my husband feels confident handling the household for me, and it is just bliss.
Since Honey was born at home (planned), I spent about the first 48 hours completely in bed. My midwife even performed all the day-old newborn tests in my bedroom when she came to visit. My husband brought me meals on a white wooden tray; I felt like a princess. After that, I started venturing upstairs from time to time, but mostly, I stayed in bed. I munched on chocolate friends brought and binge-watched BBC costume dramas to my heart’s content and gazed lovingly at my baby girl and gave continual thanks for this life–this gift more beautiful than anything I could have dreamed to ask for.
At five days old, I was feeling a bit of cabin fever, but I knew I shouldn’t go far, so we decided to soak up a little sun and strolled down to the nature preserve at the end of our block (yes, I’m spoiled). There was a bench for me to rest on while the children played and my husband supervised. On Friday, when Honey turned one week old, we ventured out for a newborn photo session with our favorite photographer, Brea Bursch. I can’t wait to show you the gorgeous shots she took! They will truly be something to treasure for all our lives.
Other than that, our only outing has been to Sunday Mass. We had a wonderful time celebrating the coming of the Spirit and the birthday of the Church. It was so lovely to see church family and to introduce Honey to those who had’t yet met her. I am so grateful for (and to) our church family. They have watched our older children so we could nap, brought us meals, shown up at 6am on the day of Honey’s birth to drag the big kids to McDonald’s so I could labor undistracted, visited to share in our joy, called, texted, and emailed their love to us. Parenting was never meant to happen in isolation. And when all biological family is out of town, this is the kind of community new parents need wrapped right tight around their growing family. It makes things so much sweeter and softens all the blows.
I’ll close by saying what a blessing it has been to watch each of our children fall in love with their new sister. Even our little Pumpkin adores her. Every time we carry her to a room he’s in, his face lights up! “Baby!” he’ll cry, and run over to lay his hand on her arm or her head. He brings her little gifts (toys, a sippy cup) and lays them beside me while I nurse her. He is–they are all–so gentle, so patient. They know she is a gift, not just to Mama and Daddy but to our whole family. I’m so grateful for their beautiful hearts, so in awe of their huge capacity to love.