Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dear Will - One Month Old


A few nights ago I was sitting in bed feeding you. It was very late at night, or very early in the morning, depending on how you you feel about 3am, and I was tired. I was so tired that as you ate I kept nodding off and even though we were perfectly safe in the middle of my big bed, I was terrified that if I fell asleep I would drop you and you would somehow end up on the floor. So I grabbed my phone and with my free hand I scrolled through my beloved Entertainment Weekly blogs to keep myself awake until you were done and I could put you safely back into your bassinet.

Motherhood, I'm learning, comes with a lot of unknown and a healthy dose of fear. Some of it rational and a lot of it far less so, but all of it of a kind that keeps me wide awake in the late night or early morning hours when I should be asleep, and falling asleep when I should be awake. My nights and days are flipped around now, as your are, and I can't shake the feeling that as you are learning how to do this whole life thing, I am learning it too, all over again.

I can barely summon the words to describe the past four weeks. As a writer, it is disconcerting to not be quite able to explain what has been the most transformative time period of my life, but as a human, this makes perfect sense to me.

A month ago you barreled into my life. One second you were an unknown, and the next, it was 4:17 am on a Tuesday and you were in my arms and very much real. There were some dicey moments that night, and it got scary and you had to be born really, really fast. But we did it and everything was fine and you were tiny and gorgeous and perfectly healthy, and suddenly everything was different.

I would be lying, though, if I said that this month has been all sunshine and rainbows. It hasn't. It has been hard and exhausting and overwhelming and I have spent a lot of it in tears. I think I have cried more than you have at this point, over everything and nothing at all. This is the part that no one talks about; the part that they don't show in the movies.

This is all wildly normal of course, and I sometimes can't even believe that they just let parents leave the hospital with a baby and without an instruction manual or something that tells us what to know and what to do and how to raise you up. Despite that, I think, one month in, that we are doing ok. You just went to the doctor and you have gained a lot of weight and are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing, and your daddy and I have started to feel the ground firm beneath our feet. Forgive us for all of the things that we get wrong as we learn our way. We are still learning, and we are trying our very, very best.

Know this, my sweet Will. We are so happy that you are here and that we are a family. It was just your daddy and me for a long while and now, with gratitude, we are three, and it is our joy to watch as you grow. We have been waiting for you.

With love as big as the sky,


Friday, July 24, 2015

Three Weeks In

For three weeks, we've been a family of three. In a way it seems like forever, and also two minutes that this tiny creature has been in our lives. The past three weeks have been a blur of feedings, diaper changes, snatches of sleep, tears (mine more than the baby's), and complex emotions. 

The day I got home from the hospital I was a soggy mess of hormones, anxiety, and utter terror that I had no idea how to be a parent to this brand new baby. I walked into my house to a kitchen table covered in baby clothes, cases of diapers and wipes in the middle of my living room, and a baby bath tub on the counter next to the kitchen sink. As my wild and exhausted eyes took in the chaos that had replaced my formerly organized house, it occurred to me that barely anyone talks about this part of becoming a mother.

They talk about the euphoria and the happiness and the oh my god you've never felt a love like this. And maybe some new mothers feel like that. But not everyone. So it hit me hard that first day home from the hospital that no one talks about the other side of becoming a mother. The fear and the confusion, the tears for every reason and no reason at all, the feeling that a torpedo just exploded in the center of your life, and the guilt that you are not positively over the moon about this baby that you wished for for such a long time and that sometimes, in your lowest moments, you wish just a tiny bit that you could reverse course and go back to the way things were. No one talks about these things. We should.

Honestly, I'm still sort of sorting through it all.

Thankfully, for me, all of this complexity has been interspersed with moments where I am in awe of what we have created, and grateful that this baby is here and that he is mine. And as we settle in and form some semblance of a routine and figure out how to be parents, every day I feel a little more like myself. A little happier. A little more normal even if that normal isn't the same as it used to be.

Since this blog is a time capsule of sorts, I feel strongly about documenting both sides of the story, especially now, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, here is a little snapshot of our first three weeks as parents, a terribly cute baby, and our brand new life that we are slowly learning to navigate.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

And Then There Were Three


With joy and immeasurably deep gratitude we welcome our son,

William Charles Merel ("Will").

June 30, 2015

6 lb, 3 oz.

19 1/2 inches.

And just like that, two became three.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion, activity, and, more than anything else, wild and stunning change. We are all starting to settle into this new life of ours, and I am so happy to be back here to write it all. There are sundry stories in this change, and I want to tell them. 

But for now, for today, there is this. A tiny person starting to stir on his favorite perch - a blanket spread on the couch. He needs me. And I am here.