Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I wrote this a month or so ago and decided to save it for Mother's Day. Thankfully, I'm not up in the wee hours much anymore, but I tried to cherish that time of just me and Kate with all the world asleep.

Kathryn Fae on her blessing day/Mother's Day/today

Kate is five weeks old today.  Her birth marked a baptism by immersion, a complete consecration of all I have and am.  No one told me it would be like this.  Nothing prepared me for the hugeness that is motherhood: that, for now, I am only one percent Lindsay, one percent Jay’s wife, and 98 percent Kate’s mom.  That even though the cord binding us together was cut at birth, we are still very much connected.  My body continues to sustain her in an intimate way, but our bond is much more than just that.  I sleep when she sleeps and wake when she wakes.  W hen I rock her, I am soothed.  When she yawns, I yawn.  When she is hungry, my breasts are full for her.  More often than I care to admit, when I pat her tiny back to try and coax out a bubble of air, I’m the one that burps.  When she smiles in her sleep, I smile back.  And sometimes, when she cries, I cry, too.  I am completely attuned to her and utterly transfixed by her.

When I look into her eyes, wide, deep, and wise, I see my own.  And I have realized sometime during the nighttime feedings, the endless diaper changes, the mountains of laundry, the moments I am consumed by insecurities and by love, that motherhood is quickly becoming my favorite layer of myself.  Because of my daughter, this part of me that had lain sleepy and dormant now completely engulfs me. She is the best of me.

I am typing this with one hand as I slowly rock my baby in the wee hours of morning.  Kate is nursing with abandon, her arm flung over her face, her sweet body clothed in the smallest floral-print long johns, her breathing deep and even.  She sighs and closes her eyes, and even though my body begs for sleep, I take a moment to stare at her, to stroke her wispy hair, to try and memorize the feeling of her tiny form pressed into me.  She grips my finger with a strong hand and opens a sleepy eye when I move her.  

These past five weeks have been more difficult, more draining, more all-encompassing than I ever could have imagined.  But the seeming chaos has been tempered by an ever-increasing capacity to love and a quiet peace that passes all my understanding. I have realized, in moments of chaos and in moments of peace, that Jay and I cannot raise this child on our own.  But I am learning, with reverence and gratitude, that motherhood is a partnership with God, and so I place my sweet Kate and my trust in His hands.  With a certainty only faith can bring, I know I need not fear.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Easter Dress

I remember getting an "Easter dress" each year when I was younger.  They always incorporated floral prints and pastels, and I invariably wore them with white fold-down ruffle socks.  Kate's little socks were dirty, so her feet are bare in these pictures, but I love her in this dress!

Kate had her two-month checkup a week ago.  She grew two pounds and two inches.  Here are her stats:
Height: 22 inches, 25-50th percentile
Weight: 9 lbs 10 oz, 10-25th percentile
Head (FOC): 39 cm, 50-75th percentile

She is a petite little thing and has long, skinny arms.  Her thighs have finally started to beef up a little, which is good because a) I was already starting to call her "chicken legs" in my head and b) beefier legs mean better-fitting diapers.  

We learned that last one the hard way this last week when we took Kate on her first road trip to meet her Grandma Ruby in Gilmer, TX. 

She was a trooper for most of the drive, but about three hours into it, we pulled the car over for a diaper change, and HOLY MOLY: worst blowout.  Ever.  

At first, I thought it wasn't too bad...but when Jay was gingerly trying to take off Kate's clothes, her weighted diaper just slid right down her little legs, coating them in poop.  (I promised myself I'd never talk about poop on my blog--because who wants to read about that?--but then I became a mom, and my life is now overrun with poop and diapers, diapers and poop.  Poop poop poop.)

So picture, if you will, Jay standing next to the car in a Burger King parking lot in who knows where, TX, holding a very naked, very poopy Kate in one hand with me standing close and giving her a wet wipe bath.  This took a significant amount of time (have you ever tried cleaning between a baby's toes with wet wipes?--not easy).  We were tempted to take her into Burger King and give her a sink bath, but since I'm more afraid of fast food restaurant bathroom germs than baby poop germs, we held off.  Jay squirted some hand sanitizer on her legs, and after dressing her in a "back up" outfit, we were good to go.

(After two more consecutive blowouts in Gilmer, I realized we had gone up a diaper size a little too early--Kate's legs were too skinny for the new diapers.  We've since switched brands, and so far, so good.)

We had a lovely time in Gilmer.  Kate smiled at all of her newly-met aunts, uncles, and cousins and loved spending time with great-grandma Ruby and Jay's parents and brothers.  She slept the last 3-4 hours of our trip home--it was great.  Hopefully we'll make it back for another visit soon!