- Daddy: Oh Ingrid, you're just the best. I love you so much.
- Ingrid: No, no, no. Mommy loves me.
- Daddy: I love you too!
- Ingrid: No. Mommy does!
- Daddy: I can't love you?
- Ingrid: No. That's my Mommy!
Day 17: A picture of something that has made a huge impact on my life recently
Nothing has impacted my life like having my first child. I know that’s not unique, particularly when Nathan’s already written about Ingrid’s arrival for this same post. My sentiments echo his, so rather than rewrite a post nearly identical to his, I thought I’d share a post I’d written to Ingrid for her first birthday instead…
This time one year ago, I was holding you in the special care nursery, a bit in shock because your arrival came so fast, overwhelmed because your delivery was nothing as I imagined, and scared that I did something to make you come early when you weren’t ready yet.
I remember holding you for the first time, right after you were born, so happy that you were strong enough for us to see you before you had to go to the nursery. You were wrapped in blankets and a little hat; I didn’t realize just how tiny you were until I visited an hour later. Seeing you then was the first time I really saw you. So small and hooked up to so many wires, wearing only a doll-sized diaper and hitting yourself in the face over and over with your heavy IV-ridden right hand. You were so quiet. My heart leapt. I just wanted to hold you close to me and tell you everything was okay. I wasn’t able to do that though, and leaving you alone in the hospital bassinet made me feel so helpless. It wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
Those first two weeks were very trying. Constant fear when one of your alarms would go off. Anxiety over the updates we’d receive each time we went to feed you. Uncertainty whenever we’d change your diaper or give you a bath (we didn’t want to break you!). Nevertheless, those weeks were also exciting. Everyday you’d grow a little, become stronger, and require less intervention. And on Valentine’s Day, when I came out of the shower and opened the door to see you in the room with your daddy, I instantly burst into tears because the time had finally come when we got to take you home. Take you home and be a family.
My sweet Ingrid. You entered the world harder than you should, and I’ll forever be sorry for that. But as I looked at you today, your first birthday, those weeks in the hospital seemed so long ago. You’ve gone from a preemie that needed help eating and regulating your temperature to this strong, talking, and smiling toddler. While I miss holding you close, all swaddled in your blankets, singing softly to you while you drink your 2 oz. bottle, I look forward to exploring the world with you now that you’re so aware and excited.
I’ve tried my hardest to savor every moment with you along the way, as I knew your baby time would go by too quickly. I never wished it to go faster, because to me, each stage you were in was perfect. This new toddler stage is, admittedly, a little scary, as I have no idea what to expect, but I’m certain it will be amazing, too. In fact, we had our first tea party today and I loved watching you mimic me as I poured the “tea” and “drank” from the cup — you were adorable, as always. Such a big girl.
I love you, Turtle. I loved you from the moment I saw you at my first ultrasound and love you more everyday. You’ve changed my life in inexplicable ways and I’m honored to be your mommy. Happy first birthday, my darling baby.
Love you always,
Day 14: A picture of someone I could never imagine my life without
I never really thought about having kids. For a large portion of my life, I assumed I’d eventually have one or two, but it wasn’t something I felt I “must” do. My life with Nathan was happy and we were both content. Then I found out I was pregnant and everything changed.
Ingrid has blessed my life in so many ways. She’s brought joy, wonder, amusement, fear, and above all — love. She’s an amazing little girl and I feel so lucky to be her mommy. Now that she’s here, I can’t image my life without her.
I love you, Turtle.
Fun family Sunday! We started with a trip to the zoo and ended the day with a bike ride to the park. Love spending time with my girl!
This weekend has been one of the best in a long time. Three days of family, food, and fun. We celebrated Memorial Day with a gorgeous day on Saturday; we bought sunglasses, a new sun hat, and a fun new “Smart Trike”, which we promptly tested out with a trip to the park. Sunday was a visit with Grandma and Grandpa to Minnehaha Falls, our favorite park and home to a fabulous restaurant, Sea Salt. Love it. Today was more park, sprinkled with naps and playtime.
Nothing makes me happier than spending time with my little family. Well, that and three-day weekends!
I’m in Tampa, attending a training conference thing for my new job. The content’s actually great and the hotel’s quite comfortable, but it’s the first time I’ve traveled and been away from home since I got pregnant. And it sucks.
Thank goodness for FaceTime. The joy I felt when Ingrid’s face appeared, followed by Nathan’s, was overwhelming. Hundreds of miles away, I got to watch Ingrid enjoy her dinner on my iPad while Nathan’s computer enabled Ingrid to wave and talk to her Mama. It was fantastic…until it came time to hang up and I started bawling.
I’m still taken aback by how strongly I adore my daughter…that, I know, is thanks to nature. But I cried because I missed her, missed my husband, and just missed the feeling of my family all under one roof. Seeing her was both joyous and painful. But I’m glad she got to see me, and that I was able to ask about her day, blow her kisses, and tell her I love her like I do every night. Technology is amazing.
Day 25: A picture of my favorite day
My favorite day is January 31, 2010. That’s the day Nathan and I welcomed our little girl, Ingrid, to the world. Sure, she came five weeks early and her birth was nothing like the peaceful water birth we planned, but holding her for the first time was still perfect.
Day 19: A picture and letter
I don’t really get this assignment…am I supposed to take a picture of a letter? Or write a letter based on a picture? So, because my brain is fried and I don’t really care to think this much right now, I decided to showcase a “letter” by one of my heroes, Tina Fey, instead. Listen up, Ingrid…
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect herWhen crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.