Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dear Remy | Day Before Returning to Work



Hello sweet girl,

In two short days you’ll be 12 weeks old. It’s hard to fathom you’ve been with us so long Remy Ren! We’ve lived on your schedule for 12 weeks and enjoyed (nearly) every second of it. You’ve been the best baby. 

You don’t cry without reason. You don’t hate the bath. YOU SLEEP. You’ve smiled since three weeks. You’ve allowed us to haul you to Seattle a few times, on an adventurous vacation to Alaska, and to spend some time with Grandpa and Grandma in Utah. Somehow I knew you’d be a low-key baby before you were born and you’ve exceeded all of my expectations. 

Your arrival into the world wasn’t so easy. Where I thought you’d come quickly and painlessly, your entry was anything but. Due to a number of complications including my body rejecting three epidurals (and other pain medications) and a looooooong, slow delivery; things didn’t go according to plan and I didn’t feel prepared for two long days of contractions and a natural birth. Your heartrate suffered at the end (unsurprising as you and I had both been through so much!) and you were vacuumed out; a good thing as you then had trouble breathing on your own. It took a few minutes for the doctor and nurses to get you breathing on your own; there were a few scary minutes but you quickly started to respond. I cried after you were delivered both because you were here, but also because the birthing process was simply over. It was fairly traumatic for us both.

Since the very beginning, you’ve been the prettiest baby. Your features are petite and your wrists and ankles slim. Most shocking to your Dad and me was the very full, very dark head of hair you had and continue to sport. Born at 8 pounds, 8 ounces you still felt so tiny! You were almost 21 inches tall and have been quick to continue growing in height. 

Weight gain has been a different story. In the hospital you were a great eater and quickly put the weight you’d lost back on. At home was another story. You nursed the right number of times per day for extreme lengths of time (30-40 minutes per side). It wasn’t until a weigh-in at a fortunate doctor’s visit, where I feared you had thrush, that the doctor grew concerned with your weight gain. You’d slipped from the 90th percentile at birth to the 40th. We began seeing a lactation consultant and it was discovered you had issue withdrawing milk. My days as an exclusive pumper began. In your first three days of bottle feeding you put as much weight on as you had in your first four weeks of life! Since that time you’ve remained somewhat disinterested in food, but are gradually gaining weight. You’re long and lean.

Through a series of incredibly fortunate events, your Dad was home with us the first ten weeks of your life. The three of us have spent nearly every hour of each day together getting to know each other. We’ve had the best time! Dad has been an incredible helper; he changes the majority of your diapers and does the majority of the feedings. You two have a special bond and I love seeing it develop. 

Tomorrow I return to working full time and you’ll begin spending time at the daycare we’ve chosen. My heart is so divided. I love being with you Remy; it’s surprised me how much patience I have with you and your needs, and how natural being your mother feels. Even when it’s Dad’s turn to do something I can usually be found hovering around you both just watching. I find myself drawn to you in ways I didn’t know to be possible. And yet, there’s a need I have to do more, to use the parts of my brain that are so good at what they do. To go back to my job and provide value and function in a way that is meaningful to me—that fills me up and makes me feel good about myself. 

I don’t know what to expect from my feelings taking you to daycare tomorrow. Last week I had my first cry as I held you in my arms and imagined you being in a strangers’. I know you’ll be in good hands (we wouldn’t ever send you somewhere that wasn’t) but knowing you won’t always be someone’s first priority breaks my heart a little. “It’ll build character,” I tell myself, but still it hurts my heart. If I’m honest with myself I’m also nervous you’ll love someone more than you do me. I couldn’t handle that. 

Remy Ren, Sweetie P, Bitty, Baby Raymi – in the last 12 weeks you have stolen my heart. We spend hours of time together every day and yet I still find myself missing you when you’re napping or in bed for the night. I love singing to you, talking in a ridiculously high voice to you, and serving you. The way you hold my fingers tight and look into my eyes when you’re eating, the way you break into a smile when I get you up from your crib (even as the tears haven’t yet dried on your face), the way you still fall asleep in my arms or on my chest. The smell of your hair, the smoothness of your skin, and the beginning squeeziness of your thighs; I adore it all. 

During each phase of your development I think to myself, “it can’t get better/cuter than this.” I have thoroughly enjoyed being proven wrong time and time again.

Mama loves you sweet girl.

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