I want you here… I want you safe…

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I’ve been spending these past few days thinking about a lot of things. Trying to digest my feelings and imagine the future.

The first part of the pregnancy has been perfect from the emotional standpoint. I spent these 5 months taking care of myself, taking it easy, being calm and at peace. I’ve tuned into my inner self and paid all the attention to the baby growing inside of me. Thinking about her, feeding her, day dreaming, planning. Never in my life have I been so in tune with my inner self, so focused on myself. Though, it’s funny because it never felt like I was focusing on myself per se, but more on the baby inside of me. Everything I do, I do with her in mind. I hear that is normal once you become a parent, that all of a sudden the world revolves around this little person in your arms. Except, the world is spinning in a different direction already and I still have 4 months to go.

At the same time, with everything that I am paying attention to ( nutrition, her kicks, singing songs to her, resting and not overextending myself even when I want to), I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever feel like my normal self again. I know I will have this bundle to take care of with a new set of “sacrifices” and constant attention, but will I ever get to be selfish again. Will I get to do things I love doing, but with Alexis in tow? Will I still see friends often? Will we travel? Will we have constant house guests like before? Will we go to the beach all the time? Will we drive up to Disney every 2 weeks?

I feel that once Alexis comes, it’ll be all about her in a way I can’t even comprehend right now. But has anyone out there been able to integrate babies into their life, while never sacrificing the quality of their care? I hope so- I want to share so many things with her:

I can’t wait to take her for a stroll in the park.
I can’t wait to spread a checkered blanket on the beach and have her soak up the sun and the sea.
I can’t wait to go shopping with a stroller ( weird, huh?).
I can’t wait to take her out on a boat.
I can’t wait to show her off to all my friends.
I can’t wait to host a baby party after her birth.
I can’t wait to take her to Disney over and over and over again.
I can’t wait to breastfeed.
I want to see her first happy emotions.
I want to go out for sushi ( finally) and this time have my daughter (wow!) next to me.
I want to spend typical Floridian days like I used to before pregnancy and this time, I want her to enjoy and experience them with me.
I want to sit on a hammock with her sleeping in my arms, drinking lemonade and reading a book.

I also like the idea of not feeling like anything and everything I do and put in and on my body has the potential of hurting her in some way. I feel like her life right now is dependent on my body doing the right thing and on me making the right judgements about what I do. It hurts me so bad to read about premature deliveries and incompetent cervices and stillbirths, because right now if my body decides to do something wrong, she won’t have a chance of survival. At 24 weeks, the viability, that chance goes up to 50%. But that’s not good enough. I want her safe in my arms, so that I could protect her from “myself”. Does that make sense?

I also hope I can have time to do it all. I hope life doesn’t kick me in the ass and takes the wind out from under me. I have girlfriends who do it all, who have amazing daughters, and fulfilling careers, they have fun, spend time with their kids – somehow they manage. I’m grateful that I have these women to look up to. I am grateful I have my mom. She’s the most amazing example of a mother one could ever have. Most of these women didn’t have help, they did it all on their own.

I am grateful I have a devoted husband to help me. With his help, I know it will be possible to be the kind of parent I’ve always wanted to be. The attentive, loving, caring, selfless, fun parent.

And at the same time I can’t wait for the curve balls life with a newborn will throw me. I am ready, I welcome it! Is it strange to look forward to sleepless nights, to diaper changes, to labor and delivery?

Here’s to the rest of the pregnancy, here’s to learning, here’s to taking life as it comes.

{ As I got done writing this post, I realized that I had’t “tuned” into Alexis in a few hours, haven’t consciously talked to her or listened to her inside of me. So I lay back for a second and put my hands on my stomach and said: “Hey, little girl! I’m here and I miss you!” And as if she knew what I was feeling or heard me, she gave me a strong kick, and then another and then another… I gotta tell you, I’m getting to love this secret communication between us}

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  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    Oh Elena! Absolutely!!!! Becoming a mom is learning to mix the old with the new and watch with a WHOLE different perspective. Your baby is going to be sooooo cultured and every opportunity you get, seize it, because I promise they’ll soak it up! I love you!

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      September 25, 2011 at 9:56 AM

      I can’t wait for that Sonya! I want to show her so much! You’re my inspiration! Your daughter is adorably amazing!!!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 4:04 AM

    reading all this, your words, thoughts and wishes…
    I just need to say – you will be (and you are already) an amazing mother and Alexis is so happy to have you and your husband as parents!
    This parenting journey is going to be so much fun and will give you so much fulfillment!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 6:57 AM

    Awwwww, the last paragraph just brings tears to my eyes!
    You’re gonna be an amazing mom!

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      September 25, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      Hellooon, you’ll get to experience that soon too! I will be so excited for you, because this is fun. This time in pregnancy, the connection, the growing bond.

    • Reply
      September 25, 2011 at 10:54 AM

      Awwwww, same here…Last part make my eyes totally wet..!

      It is so intimate..what you ‘re writing on here.. Thank you for sharing. I’m far even from serious plannings yet but I have same thoughts.. I used to think about if I will change forever, would I will be able still be myself when I became mother?
      So somehow I can understand you..
      You already amazing mother, you know it. Everything will be perfect and you will do all what you planned with Alexis and even more.

      • Reply
        Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
        September 25, 2011 at 11:07 AM

        I think it’s natural to think about how things will change. I don’t want to become a MOM. I want to be me, who has a daughter who I love more than anything, if that makes sense. I might laugh at that statement when I finally have her and say “being a mom is the greatest thing in the world” I really hope I do.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Very sweet! My baby girl can tell when I’m starting to worry about her too, and she always moves around to make me feel better! Love it!

    Your focus on life definitely changes when you have children. A lot of things that were important before just aren’t anymore. Make sure you still make time to do some of the things you love though. Time for yourself, time with friends, and most importantly time with your husband.

    There is no way to really understand how your life changes until it happens. It’s so amazing! I keep trying to imagine how life will be when we have two babies, but I just can’t. I don’t think you can know until it’s here. It’s going to be a big adjustment (for you and me) but it’s going to be wonderful!

    I was like you when Garrett was about to be born. I was so excited to experience labor. And I’m so looking forward to experiencing it again. It’s such an amazing experience!!

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      September 25, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      I know, I keep thinking about it. About how our life will change that I can’t even imagine right now. Can do you imagine something you can’t imagine? hahaha

      I’ve never heard anyone say “I wish I didn’t have my kid”…even in not such optimal situations or for unwanted babies or for surprise babies.

      We planned the heck out of ours, which makes me think/hope that any change will be welcomed.

      But really I am super excited to see exactly HOW it changes.

      And I can’t wait to hear what you think of juggling two babies, cuz eventually I’ll have to do that too

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    I found myself shocked with the reality of ‘my new normal’ after my son was born. I knew there would be sleepless nights and that my life would change, but it was still abstract while I was pregnant. It took a year to get back to a place where I felt like I could go out to a movie with girlfriends once in a while or take time to talk on the phone without feeling guilty. After 2 years, I feel like I can do almost all the things I used to – but either with my son or in a modified way. It just took adjustment, and time and I wish I had realized that at first, when I felt so scared that my life would never feel the same again. It’s a magical time in the beginning – filled with love and adoration and connection to your little one, but it can be isolating and scary too – even with a wonderful partner. It sounds like you will have a wonderful support system, and I have a feeling you will be on the go and out and about with her. Good luck — I wish you a wonderful pregnancy and peaceful labor!

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      September 25, 2011 at 12:06 PM

      I can see that! I can see where while we can imagine what it WOULD be like, we can’t imagine what it would FEEL like: the exhaustion, the emotions, etc.
      I have a feeling I’ll be like you. Even now, if i go a few hours without thinking about or touching Alexis, I start to feel a mix or guilt and “wrong-ness” and she’s not even here yet.

      Now can you explain the “isolating and scary” part in more detail, please? Where does that come from?

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easily your little girl will fit into your life. There will be those curve balls and periods of adjustment, but everything will work out so perfectly, just you wait and see! Motherhood is so amazing, there is nothing else like the feeling of a mother’s love for her children. It’s an exciting, wonderful journey that you are on! I’m happy you’re sharing it with us 🙂

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    The change is extreme, that’s for sure. You won’t be able to take your baby out on a boat, to Disney right away and you probably won’t want people over all the time for a long time…in fact the first 2 months will just be you and the baby nursing around the clock. LOL

    but eventually, you will be able to do all those things. 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      September 26, 2011 at 7:55 PM

      Yes, I can imagine the first few months would be rough. But I’m hoping once I settle into the whole baby thing, it’d slowly return to semi-normal! And for some reason “nursing around the clock” gets me excited. lol

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    so so so so TOUCHING!!!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    beautiful and honest post! Great post! I love the last part about your connection with her! So sweet! It will be amazing for her to be able to read this one day!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    You will definitely keep doing all the things you love, maybe just not as often. And babies change every single day so what works at 1 month old will be tough at 6 months and then get easy again 1 year. You will definitely not get to be super selfish but you don’t have to give up everything. I’m smiling about the part about just wanting her here and safe. I felt the same way and guess what, you will just have a new terrifying worry when she comes… that she’s outside of you and you can’t control what happens to her anymore. It never gets less scary, just different. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 27, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    Oh, I wrote an entire comment and it vanished on me!

    Starting again – you will have personal time, if you make the effort to do it.

    We haven’t had any trouble having personal time and time with my son. He’s a super happy baby at 6 months old and his care doesn’t suffer because we each take time for ourselves. We both have hobby businesses, which we work on after he goes to bed at night (around 7pm). on the weekends we make time to spend all together but also swap around taking care of him while the other does things they need to do.

    Also, we do our stuff and have him with us at the same time. My son is perfectly content playing in his jumparoo while I craft beside him. I take him to the flea market with me on Sunday mornings – I get to enjoy the flea market and he loves being pushed in the stroller and watching the people.

    I also think that making sure you have personal time away from baby is healthier for your marriage, too. Babies are stressful. I’ve been lucky that my son just simply doesn’t fuss, nearly ever. He’s always happy. But it’s still exhausting caring for a baby all the time. If you each take time away to de-stress and do things you love doing outside of baby, you’ll be happier.

    You’ve got to remember that being a good mom doesn’t mean your entire life is all about your child. Yes, your child is important, the most important person in your life, but you need to take time for yourself, too. It’s hard – having that baby makes your life so much busier that you can’t even comprehend until that little one is here, but it’s something you just need to do. Make a plan to leave the baby in your husband’s care a night or two a week if you need to, even if it’s to go upstairs and watch a little tv or edit your photos. 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      September 27, 2011 at 6:17 PM

      Thanks, Melissa! This is very helpful and encouraging.
      I’m sure for the first several years I won’t want to be away from Alexis, but I really want to be able to do things I love, but with her now.

      It’s going to be helpful that since my husband and I both work from home and we both do the same job, we’ll be taking turns taking care of Alexis, which will mean he’ll have no problems taking her if I want to do something on my own. I am really happy about that part, because I think I’d go crazy being a SAHM. Plus I really hope my mom can spend a lot of time here with us, which will be helpful too.

      And I better have time to edit photos, they will a lot of them once she arrives 🙂 haha

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