Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stock in Thank You Cards

Dear Audrey-

It has been two weeks since your arrival and you wouldn't believe how many people love you to pieces already. Considering the number of thank you cards I have written in the last several months, it probably would have been prudent for me to go ahead to buy stock in both Hallmark and Papyrus. And believe me when I say that I am not complaining! It is jaw-dropping to think about how generous friends, family members (immediate and distantly related), co-workers, and even neighbors have been, both before and after you were born. You've gotten clothes from people I barely know. Friends of mine who don't live in Winston-Salem have delivered casseroles and bagels. And another wonderful friend came to our house amid her busy schedule to take newborn photos of you. You even have a rhodolite garnet - your birth stone - beautifully cut by a long-time family friend. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. They say it takes a village to raise a child and Audrey, I'd say your parents are lucky enough to have an entire city!

Before we had you, I wouldn't have believed it was possible to see you change every day (especially when the days sometimes run together because you keep your mother up much of the night). Your dad and I talked about how ridiculous we would have found any other parents' of a newborn if they'd said that to us, but you literally change every single day! I mean, the day you were born, you had these narrow fingers with no fat paired with long, skinny nails. And then one day I looked down while you were nursing and your fingers had fattened up and your nails had widened! I'd been with you every moment - when did this happen!?!

Audrey, I wish it were possible to capture all of the faces you make because I want to remember them forever. Sometimes you look at me out of the corner of your eye when you're nursing and I can see the sassy teenager you will one day become, daring me to take away what you're working on. Or you'll furrow your brow - at what, I'm not sure - giving me the cutest grumpy face I think I've ever seen (this is especially amazing when you're wearing your green monster onesie!). And then there are the times you smile, eyes closed and body utterly relaxed. I know that your smiles are involuntary at this point, but that doesn't matter to me one bit. One day soon enough you will discover that you can control your mouth, your arms, your legs.

My favorite times are those when I actually can't see your face at all. It's when you are curled up in fetal position, passed out on my chest. You still haven't regulated the consistency of your breaths, so sometimes they are deep, soft, and regular while other times they are shallow and quick. These are the times, dear Audrey, that new motherhood is at its best. When sleep deprivation stops mattering, at least for that one moment. When it is easy to forget the banshee-like screams that belted out of your little mouth just minutes before. When I can close my eyes and just be with you.

You made your way into this world on a Saturday night after twenty-two hours of labor. Your dad cut the cord and the nurses placed you right on my chest. I cried. You cried. Your dad cried. It was a messy, beautiful, amazing moment that I will never forget. A lifetime of motherhood awaits and I cannot wait to share many more messy and beautiful and amazing moments with you.


First stop: Winston-Salem, NC
You are an excellent napper - especially during the day...

Putting forth a great grumpy face.
And then a hint of a smile.

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