It's so cliche to say this, but holy crap has time flown by since this mini creature entered my life. Today little Essley Morgan is officially two months old, which is just bananas to me. It honestly does feel like just last week that I was in labor, equal parts excited and terrified, utterly clueless about motherhood. And now here she is, quickly on her way to becoming a little girl with her own feisty personality. And here I am, a mom - who had absolutely no idea what she was doing but somehow has been able to figure it out enough that her daughter is healthy and strong and growing. Crazy.
On Essley's one month birthday, I shared both the good and bad parts of my first few weeks of motherhood, and I didn't sugarcoat the struggles. I'm not going to get too into the challenges today, because for the most part, they haven't changed. It's still really hard working full time with a newborn when your husband is out on the road for his job 75% of the time. It's still exhausting and I'm still seriously sleep deprived. But it has gotten exponentially easier with practice and lots of trial and error. Essley is sleeping for longer stretches, which is huge. And we've learned how to nurse in a way that creates less gas issues for her. I've also become much more open to accepting offers for help. Ess and I have gone to stay at my mom's a few weekends while Robbie's been gone which has been a lifesaver (meals prepared + extra sleep + help with laundry = gold to a new mom). I'm adjusting to my new work routine too. My work schedule is much less fluid than in the past, but I'm getting pretty good at putting down a project in the middle of it and being able to quickly pick up where I left off. I'm also getting better at saying to no to projects that I simply don't have the extra time for anymore. This is a big deal for me, because I'm a workaholic by nature and have often valued my own self-worth by the level of success in my career and/or amount of projects I'm able to juggle at any given time. Although I have to continue to work full time because of boring adult things like bills, my priorities have definitely shifted career-wise (baby comes first, always), and I'm learning to accept that without feeling guilty. In fact, everyday I'm more grateful for this major shift in my life.
As with the challenges of month number two, the rewards aren't much different either - they've just gotten greater. The more natural things are beginning to feel with this baby in our lives, the more I've been able to appreciate every moment (even the ones that are filled with screaming, vomit, and/or poop). Seeing her smile is just huge you guys. I think if you'd told me a few months ago that seeing a baby smile could bring me to tears, I would have rolled my eyes. But it does. I was nursing her the other night, singing 'You Are My Sunshine' (because she is), and she unlatched while I was singing, looked me in eye, and broke into the biggest, gummiest little smile. Tears instantly filled my eyes, I felt a lump in my throat, and my voice started to quiver. I'm pretty sure that my heart was close to bursting - all because of a tiny smile. It's also been so cool to get Essley together with friends' babies and to watch them react to one another. She had her 'first date' with a baby boy named Jackson a couple of weeks ago, which was ridiculously adorable on every level. She also got to go work with daddy, and meet up with about half a dozen other babies of band/crew members at the band's sound check when they played locally last weekend. Hilariously, she slept through the entire check (I guess music runs through her veins enough that it naturally lulls her to sleep!), but it was the best feeling in the world to get her together with this little gang of future playmates. As the days go on, she is more and more alert, interested, and involved. Everyday is better than the last. She is honestly the most amazing person I've ever known.
Just like last time, I could go on and on, but I'll spare you before things get out of hand. (Side note: Although I might feel like it sometimes, I'm not the only person in the world who has had a new baby, and I will never be offended by readers who choose to skip over these excessive baby gushing posts.) As much as I can't wrap my head around the fact that it's already been two months since Essley entered this world, I also can't quite remember life without her. I love her and my little family more than I could ever put into words. It hasn't been an easy adjustment by any means, yet it somehow feels completely natural. Everyday is better than the last. Sincerely. I can't wait to see what month three brings.