This day, one year ago, I found myself 9 months pregnant and all of a sudden SO emotionally ready to have my baby.
I had been wanting the baby to wait to come until Christmas was over, my doctor was back in town, Aaron finished his third CPA test and I met the pediatrician. By January 8th all of that was done and I felt set for the babes to come.
I went in to my 38 weeks and 6 days doctors appointment all ready for some good news. Instead, my doctor started scratching his head while looking at my charts and saying things like the dates and measurements of my pregnancy may have been off this whole time. When I asked what he meant, he said that I probably shouldn't expect this baby until at least January 19th (which literally felt like an eternity away, even though it was just 3 days after my January 16th due date). My jaw dropped and I was devastated at the thought of having to wait that long. Up until that point, I had been a little apprehensive about going in to labor and giving birth, but it was like a switch flipped in me at that moment and all I wanted in the entire world was to have that baby as soon as possible.
Now of course, my doctor didn't actually check if I was dilated, which could have changed everything he was saying. I will forever wonder if and how much I was dilated on that day because when I did go in to labor everything progressed quickly. It would make total sense that I was dilated a lot at that appointment. I'll never know!
So I took a picture of myself in the doctor's office window on the way out, which was depressing because I looked SO huge and felt so ready to be unpregnant.
My belly had dropped and it was like my body was telling the world, "She should be popping any day now! Bring on the awkward comments!" I just could not fathom waiting 10 more days. I still had not felt a single braxton hick or contraction though so there really was no sign that labor was coming any time soon. I just had to trust my doctor and keep chugging along.
In stereotypical womanly style I hit the mall for some shopping therapy. I bought a baby shower gift for my friend Carrie Toolson at Baby Gap (after all, now I would get to go to her shower for sure!) and then decided to buy a couple things for my own baby, if she ever decided to show up. Can you believe this was the first time that I bought my own baby baby clothes? I had held off the entire pregnancy. I would pick up cute booties or sweet little newborn pajamas and put them in my shopping cart but inevitably put them back, telling myself to just wait til baby showers were over and I could assess what I actually needed. (Side note: next baby, I am totally buying tons of cute things for my baby as I wait in anticipation for the arrival. There is just something special about putting your child in something you've picked out just for them.)
So I bought a pink polka dress that ended up being Eleanor's Easter dress and a sweet floral blouse that I put Eleanor in every that I could for her first 3 months. Those two items of clothes gave me hope that one day I would get to hold my sweet baby. Looking back now this all seems so dramatic as I was not even to my due date yet. Goodness, what would I have done if I was overdue! But in my mind, I was sure she would be coming then so every day after that seemed like an eternity.
I started making my mom's stir fry recipe for dinner that night and called my mom to catch her up on my doctor's appointment. I told her I needed something to look forward to to take my mind of the waiting so we planned to head in to San Francisco that Saturday with my parents and Blair and Chelsea's family.
Aaron and I sat down for dinner and talked about the day and how our baby was never going to come out. I remember Aaron showing me an article he had read on some manliness blog that talked about how to become a great dad, which I thought was terribly sweet. We talked about how he probably should put some things together for a hospital bag (mine had been packed for weeks but we hadn't even thought about how Aaron would need somethings too). Discussing hospital bags made us realize that we needed to pick out a coming home outfit for the baby. We sort of cleaned up dinner and then headed to the baby's room to search through her drawers for the perfect outfit. We came up with three cute options but couldn't decide which one to choose. It seemed like a very important decision that needed to be mulled over so we left the outfits laying out on the nursery floor for another day.
Aaron asked what would make me happy and I said that maybe if we watched a movie in bed I could relax and get my mind off things. We got ready for bed and started Ocean's 11 on the iPad. I complained part way through the movie that my stomach was feeling off so I went to the bathroom a couple of times. I brushed it all off though thinking that something about dinner just wasn't sitting well. Aaron fell asleep around 10:30 pm and I was kind of drifting off to sleep but was just starting to feel more crampy and uncomfortable. Sometime between 11:30 pm and 12 am I decided that my upset stomach was more like cramps and just assumed I would be in for a not so restful night of sleep. What I didn't realize was that this was the start of labor and that the very next morning (just 7 1/2 hours away), I would be holding my baby in my arms. I'll fill in the more exciting second half of this story another time but for now I'll leave you hanging.
Let's just say that if I had somehow known I would have a baby by morning things probably would have gone MUCH differently on January 8th. For one thing, I would have bought WAY more baby clothes at Baby Gap out of anticipation ;)
Now a year later, we had a really sweet night as a family reminiscing about last year. Aaron came home from work and suggested we go out to dinner to celebrate how I was still pregnant one year ago today. Eleanor was in her pajamas already but we loaded her up and headed out for dinner at a local BBQ place.
After dinner we came home, got Eleanor in her jammies and said her goodnight prayer thanking Heavenly Father for sending her to us. Then we read "On The Night You Were Born" as a family. That book makes me tear up every time.
I let her nurse extra long and took a picture of the last time I nursed her as a "baby."
Then I rocked her a little longer while singing our nightly ritual round of "I am a Child of God." And then I kissed her goodnight as I always do and said, "Goodnight baby girl. I love you" just as I always say, but this time I added, "Do you promise to always be my baby girl?" There was no response, but I'm pretty sure she agreed ;)
And now I'm walking around the house, preparing for our mini family birthday celebration tomorrow.
We are so grateful to have Eleanor in our lives and for the blessing it is to be her parents. We have learned an amazing amount about life and love this past year thanks to her. She has helped us grow and become better.
We sure love you babes!