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Love in 75 Days

It’s Friday.
Twelve weeks ago today I sat awake for hours with anticipation wondering when my darling baby would be born. I was only 3 days past my due date, but I was emotionally exhausted. I had finally admitted it to myself. And, I decided I needed whatever time I had left before baby girl arrived to rest, so I began my maternity leave. She gave me exactly one week before she arrived – I mopped, scrubbed, danced, vacuumed and slept…oh, did I sleep to my heart’s desire. I was so afraid to admit it, but I was ready for her.

Even as a child running through fields of grass catching bumblebees in mayonnaise jars, skinning knees, making sand pies, and splashing in my Noah’s Ark pool has twelve weeks never flown by so fast. That first morning with Eleanor was a haze of euphoria and love between this family Nathan and I had created. In between three hour intervals of sleep we stared at this tiny little person, counted all of her fingers and toes, and breathed in every last drop of her freshness. We were in love. Exhausted, and in love.

We stayed awake for hours trying to figure out how to breast feed. We gobbled down food from the cafeteria. We held our baby as she slept because we didn’t want to be even an inch away from her. I remember the first time they took her away to give her a hearing test. When they brought her back to us they had to read off the little numbers on our wristbands, but I just stared at her face. That was my baby. I could tell in her tiny cat eyes, her round, soft head, and her adorable pug nose.

Since then I haven’t been away more than two hours from our Eleanor James. Every morning she greets me with a snuggle and a gummy smile. I’m her mother, and she knows. She stares at me as she nurses, and I swear I see love in her eyes. As soon as she was born I knew I loved her, but this maternal-instinctual-would-give-up-anything-for-you love has slowly grown over the past 75 days. It’s consuming and beautiful, and I know that Nathan and I are so blessed to be able to watch this little baby grow into a girl and a woman some day.

On Monday my leave is up. I will return to work, but more than that I will be away from my baby the longest yet. I’m trying to stay calm, and remember that she is in loving hands. That she will grow to be a social, caring person because of the time she gets to spend with her grandmother and father. But I know my heart will ache for her presence. I will probably walk around all day patting my pockets, checking my bag thinking I’ve forgotten something. I’ll remember that she may not be in my arms, but where it counts we are both full of love.

8 Responses to “Love in 75 Days”

  • I’m not gonna lie, I sobbed like a baby the day I dropped off Mckayla. I drove up to the daycare door thinking, “I’ll be fine I’ve done this before”. Dear god it took everything it could not to cry until I made into the car and shut the door.

    It is hard somedays but it makes her and Kevy’s hugs so much better when I pick them up and they greet me with the biggest smiles you have ever seen.

    You and her will be fine! Good luck love!

  • Hot damn I love you.
    I cry. Because it’s all so true.

  • Hugs, mama.

    My maternity leave was up two weeks ago. It’s been tough. I’d say it gets better, but it hasn’t for me yet. I think it’s harder on us mamas than it is on the baby, though. I was so worried that she would “forget” me, but that’s not the case. She always greets me with a huge smile and open arms.

    Know you’re not alone!

  • Sometimes I think I’m the only mom out there who didn’t find going back to work hard. I know that has something to do with the fact that I had 8 months maternity leave, but even more to do with being able to leave Kale with his dad and my mother in law. I know you’ve got a similar set up (with Nate and your mom), so I’m hoping the shift will be easier for you too. That being said, I don’t think it’s ever “easy,” but knowing she’s with people that love her just as much you do will undoubtedly bring you comfort. Have a lovely weekend with your little lady.

  • you just brought tears to my eyes. i wish you the best of luck! you are so lucky that she can stay with her grandmother and father. that’s wonderful!

  • Thanks for the insight into being a new parent. Me and my wife are planning to have our first next year. As a guy I’m not ashamed to say I keep getting emotional watching shows where the father is bonding with his child. I can’t imagine the waves of emotion that await me.

  • Aw, what a beautiful post. I nearly teared up. I am pregnant with my first child so I’m pretty stoked about it. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I wish you all the best with your parenting experiences. I am sure it will work out brilliantly for all of us. How can a little bundle of joy bring anything but joy? ;-)

  • I think you’ve summed up all the difficult periods of pre and post giving birth to a new life. What I like most about your post is how you end on a positive note, encouraging all those considering to have a baby to go ahead with it. There is no feeling like having a little baby to call your own.

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