July 3, 2009

Dear Czarina,
Hi me. I thought I’d write you a little note. Everyone says hindsight is 20/20. I never understood that, truly got it, until I became a Mother. Now that our little girl is over 7 months old…well…wow. Just wow…

I know you find yourself in tears a lot. You don’t understand why you are crying so much and you don’t understand why Iz is crying. You feel like you are doing everything by the book -but at times – it just doesn’t seem like anything is working.

Me – I want you to know – it’s absolutely normal to feel like you’re doing everything wrong. By just wanting to be the best mom to Isabelle – you ARE the best mom for her.

I know you keep wishing for her to do more. I know you grow tired of her just laying there and sleeping. I know you can’t wait to get out of the house with her and have a normal life again. I know you are begging for a routine. You get tired of holding her because you have so many things to do – clean the house, check your email, make meals.

But, Me, please stop for a second. You probably won’t believe it – but Iz doesn’t even want to be held now. She would rather play and crawl and stand. She’ll smile in a few weeks for you and then she’ll start laughing. And before you know it – she’ll be sitting up, rolling over, then crawling. Don’t rush it, Me. Please don’t.

I know You keep asking friends and family for advice on how to get through the first few weeks. The absolute best advice I can give you, Me, is to just stop. Stop wishing the time away and hold our sweet girl. Look and memorize her features. Engrain the sweet baby smell and the absolute soft touch of her skin. Tuck away those sweet sighs Iz makes when she nurses and the sound of her little newborn cries. Don’t every forget those moments – because it passes by so quickly.

But, Me, I want you to know that it does get better. Our girl is SO fun. She is the most amazing little creation (I know – I’m bias). But, I look at her sweet face – and see God’s grace, see my joy, and see a creation made out of pure love from Craig and me. Iz is smart. She loves to listen to music, loves to tap her little foot to beats, loves to crawl, loves to stand. She is a trooper and will give up her swaddle blanket and paci. I know – you don’t believe me, Me. But she does. She will eventually sleep through the night – but Me – know you never will. You will still wake and rush to her, put your hand on her chest, and feel the rhythmic motion of her breathing.

I know nursing is a PITA. But, what if I tell you, Me, that 7 months later, you’ll feel sad knowing that your milk supply is dropping and you’ll have to start formula soon. I know – you don’t believe it. You’ll get through this – just like you’ll get through the next 6 months.

Me – hold her. Hold her and cherish every second. Don’t waste time stressing over a sink full of dishes, baskets full of laundry, those last few pounds of baby weight. All those things – they’ll take care of themselves. What if I tell you that 7 months later – you’ll wake up after 3 hours of sleep, pass by a mountain of toys left on the ground, see a little baby sock that somehow end up in the dog’s dish, glance over at a sink full of dirty dishes – most baby bottles and little baby bowls, walk by the utility room that is exploding with dirty clothes (mainly little footie PJs and onesies), and into Iz’s room – see her standing in her crib – and see your little girl’s face light up with the biggest grin – just because you walked into the room. Would you believe me – that that simple moment – makes all the other stuff – just well – stuff…and it’s not as significant as you thought.

Me – you’ll get through it. But I hope you know that the getting through it – the sleepless nights, the teething, the fevers, the tantrums – all these things are just as great as the laughs, the smiles, and way Iz rests her hand on our face and gives us a grin.

Hindsight and all…don’t let it pass you by.

Me (February 9, 2010)