Saturday, September 06, 2008

One month old!


Dear Valerie,

You are one month old today! I've been going through various options in my head regarding what to do on this blog to celebrate your one-month-old-ness, and I ultimately decided that I wanted to write you a letter. I had originally decided against this, because my blogger heroine, Dooce, writes a monthly newsletter to her daughter, and I hate to be a blogger copycat. But, then again, a good idea is a good idea, and I'd like to think that this is an idea that I might have come up with on my own, even if I hadn't seen it on someone else's blog first.

Actually, I suppose you turned one month old yesterday, since I am delinquent, and didn't get this thing posted until after midnight. You may want to start getting used to that: I can be less than punctual on occasion. On our very first outing with you, which was your one-week check-up with the pediatrician, we planned to leave 20 minutes early to make sure we would get there on time. But then you needed a diaper change, and then I needed to grab a few more things to throw in the diaper bag, and then, once we were all bundled up and out the door and halfway to the doctor's office, we realized that we had forgotten your diaper bag, and had to turn around and get it. We ended up being 20 minutes late.

There have been some very difficult parts of this first month of your life for me. I think the hardest part was that day that they sent me home from the hospital without you, because they needed to keep you in the NICU under the jaundice lights. I cried that night. For nine months I had carried you inside of me, and I had grown used to feeling you move around in my belly. And then I delivered you, and they took you from me, for your own good, to help you get better. But at least you were just down the hall, and I was in a foreign place, myself. But driving home in my own car, and sleeping in my own bed, without you, inside of me or beside me; that was the emptiest feeling I have ever felt.

You spent six days in the hospital, and already, that first week has faded into the background of your life, and it feels like water under the bridge. And I know that, in time, the sleepless nights and constant feedings will fade into that same background, although, I have to admit, I'm finding this whole motherhood deal pretty exhausting at the moment. But just when I think I can't take anymore, you will fall asleep in my arms, and my exhaustion melts away as I gaze at your peaceful, little face. Or you will wake up and start to make faces at me, and whether you are aware yet, or not, I name your faces and mimic them back to you, and we might spend five minutes happily making faces at each other. Or, after you've been screaming with gas pains for an hour and I am at my wit's end because I've tried every trick in the book to get you to burp, you'll suddenly let rip the most amazing belch that would put a trucker to shame, and I can't help but laugh.

I know I'm not the world's best homemaker, and I'm sure that there will be many days in your life when we'll eat take-out in the living room because there were no clean dishes in the kitchen and no space on the dining room table to balance a plate. But I pray that I can provide two things for you in your lifetime, even on the days when nothing else is working out: A lot of love, and a lot of laughter. And when you grow up, I hope that your memories of an imperfect home will at least be filled with joy.


(More pics on Flickr)


jd said...

Amen and amen!

Alana said...

This is so touching it made me cry. Welcome to mommyhood.

Miss Jillian said...

Jule Ann, your first letter is BEAUTIFUL! :) I can't wait to read more of them....

Bright Blessings,

intensesimplicity said...

You're awesome:)