This post is inspired by Dooce. She is very good about writing monthly newsletters to her daughter, Leta. I like that idea and think I would like to regularly write to Norah about the things she does. Granted, regular may very well mean, randomly or sporadically, but I think being able to let Norah know what life was like when she was a baby will be a great gift later on.
4 weeks ago today your dad and I woke very early and made our way to the hospital. 16 hours later we finally got to meet you, and boy were we ready. I was especially ready as the last month of being pregnant with you was not fun. I was puffy and weighed about 45 pounds more than my normal weight. I had a double chin, none of my clothes fit, and you had a habit of sticking your feet in my ribs.
The day you were born there was a thunderstorm. There was a thunderstorm the day after you were born too, and another one the day we took you home. Since then there have been at least two more thunderstorms and one tornado. Clearly you do not share my fear of thunderstorms and tornadoes because you have slept through every single one of them. In fact, the night of the tornado you slept better while we were huddled in the bathroom than you did while you were in bed. Go figure.
Speaking of figures...Our favorite show is What Not to Wear. We regularly sit down to watch it together and laugh at all the funny things Clinton and Stacy say. Ok, mostly I talk to you and you grunt. Watching large amounts of fashion television has brought to my attention the sad fact that I have approximately 8 pieces of clothing that fit my new body. I would be a prime candidate for What Not to Wear. You have become my shopping buddy, and today you talked me out of a pair of jeans that made my butt look saggy and my legs look schlumpy.
I'll tell you the truth Norah, I'm not really sure what to do with my new shape. Clothes just don't fit me anymore, at least not the kinds of clothes that used to fit. I have to buy bigger sizes, different shapes, more grown-up clothes. When I was still pregnant with you, I imagined that I would hate my post-baby body. I dreaded the thought of stretch marks and having to wear a tankini. But now that you are here and your birth brought on stretch marks and the need to wear a tankini, I wouldn't have it any other way. You are worth the frustrations of trying to find clothes that fit.
Buying clothes for you is much easier. Apparently fat bellies and thighs are all the rage when you wear size 0-3months. You know, it's funny, I didn't think I would be a mama that went all crazy over bows and pink socks and teeny dresses. But put me in a room with bows and pink socks and teeny dresses and my voice turns all squeaky and I go into a frenzy and then my head explodes. Girl, you have more clothes than I know what to do with.
Being your mama is quite different than what I expected it to be, in more than just the clothing arena. I'm not the mama I thought I would be. I don't take you on enough walks, and I don't read you enough books. We watch too much TV and don't listen to enough music. I'll try to do better, don't worry Frog Legs. Sometimes I think I'm not a very good mama, like when you cry and I don't know what to do. You get really mad sometimes and your bottom lip shakes and you scream and scratch your face, and when you do that I get scared. I get scared that you don't trust me, and you don't trust me because I don't know what to do with you. I get scared that you have some kind of baby radar that can sense that I don't know what I'm doing. I'm afraid you know that as much as I pretend and act like I have it all together, I'm really just fumbling around blind. But then, when I pick you up and hold you on my chest, you nestle up next to me and you stop crying and sigh a little bit, and then I know. I know you do trust me, and I know you can sense that even though I am a little blind, I really do love you. I love you like crazy and I'm pretty sure that love covers lots of mistakes.
Norah, I have to let you know some sad news too. When you were ten days old your Aunt Wendi died. So as much as this has been a fun month, it has also been a sad month. We all miss your Aunt Wendi, and it makes me sad to think that you won't remember her. She was lots of fun and she threw the best parties. She threw your baby shower and made a cake made out of rolled up diapers. I cried about your Aunt Wendi today for the first time since her memorial service, I think because I was finally ready to write about her, and being able to write about her is my way of recognizing that she is really gone. I wish she was here to see you and see how big you've gotten.
I know you've noticed in your own way that your family has been very sad this month, but I hope that one day you are able to understand what a gift you have been for everyone. I know for your daddy, you have made this a lot easier, just because he is so in love with you. I'm pretty sure that other people feel that way too, that even though they are sad about your Aunt Wendi, they are happy that they get to love on you. It's crazy to think that even though you are only 4 weeks old you have so much power, power to make people happy when they are sad.
We have to remember that Aunt Wendi isn't sad or hurting or sick anymore. She's where she was made to be, with her Daddy in Heaven, and we'll get to see her again.
Norah, you are so much more than I expected you to be. You are beautiful and funny in your baby way and you have crazy hair. This month I have been puked on, pooped on and peed on more times than I can count. This month you have gotten thousands of kisses, and I have not gotten enough sleep. This month has been hard, I've cried and felt defeated. But I love you more than I expected to also. I can't wait to see what happens next month.