While everyone else in my home is napping (or pretending to #toddlerlife), I am currently indulging in my most favorite afternoon ritual: Chocolate and the iced version of my morning coffee. This is something I have looked forward to about afternoons long before babies and naptime, but the coffee intake has increased and the chocolate has evolved from a piece to a small bowl...and I'm ok with that.
I cannot believe that I haven't blogged since JANUARY. Going on six months of silence here, and honestly not a lot of journal writing either. Between anticipating baby Gray's arrival to the adjustment since his birth the first half of 2018 has flown by! I want to work on carving out more time for things like this. Making space for "me-time" and slowing my brain down to write is not my natural tendency. If i'm being totally honest, this actually happens on the days I'm feeling ahead of my to-do list. Maybe I should start adding 'blog' to that list.
The reason I'm writing is that I ALSO can't believe it's been TWO WHOLE MONTHS since Grayson Cole became a real life miracle. I am not exaggerating when I say again and again what a joy he is to our family. At the risk of sounding gushy/unrealistic, I actually have very fond memories of March 26th (the day he entered this world, two weeks early). I had an amazing experience at Women's & Babies Hospital and, although my labor was not at all glamorous or without pain, I would not change anything about that day.
A few highlights of baby Gray's birth:
-It sounds trivial but I was so thankful to have him during the day. My first contraction was around 6:30 AM and I went into labor with a full night's sleep AND a shower behind me. I could explain to Cam what was going on (between contractions as he repeatedly hit me with a sword). Even something about seeing daylight through the windows of the labor & delivery room was comforting.
-My nurse was an angel. I cannot even explain how thankful I was to have her. She guided Brent & I through the process, calmed my nerves, and even stayed well past her shift had ended to be with us for Gray's birth.
-The doctor who delivered Gray was the doctor who one year ago, almost to the day, had operated on me after our third loss. When he held Gray up in front of me I just cried. It was like my life had come full circle, and he had been with us through intense pain and even greater joy.
-Two of my best friends were part of Gray's birth documenting with photo and video. I am not only blessed by their talent, but also had no idea how special that would be. An added bonus was that I assigned Amber to the essential oil diffusing and Vanessa to the labor playlist. Not that I was paying attention to either one of those things closely but you know, *i'm all about the atmosphere.*
Things to note for the future:
-I spent an absurd amount of time searching for "the perfect robe" to wear after Gray was born, only to end up at Target a few days before his birth. There were probably better things I could've been doing with all that time, because the last thing on my mind post-delivery was silk and floral prints.
-Don't tell your husband that "he'd better" bring the lunch you packed for him that morning, UNLESS you want to smell chips and salsa in the middle of your contractions.
-At the end of the day, I am the mom. I think I asked permission for pretty much every move I made the first 24 hours until finally a nurse told me, "That's up to you sweetie, he's your baby." And then it hit me- HE'S MY BABY. I GET TO KEEP HIM FOREVER AND TAKE HIM HOME AND MAKE ALL THE ADULT DECISIONS ABOUT HIM. I guarantee I started crying at that point.
The past few months:
-Gray has been a very consistent, predictable and relaxed baby so far. Since day one he has maintained somewhat of a schedule which I am so thankful for. He wakes up once a night, and rarely cries unless he's hungry, tired or needs a diaper change. I definitely don't want to take that for granted.
-Although the overall adjustment has gone way better than I could've imagined, having a toddler + newborn is definitely not for the faint of heart. I would say that the hardest part of the past few months has been helping Cam understand that Gray is one more piece of our family, and that he's not a replacement. I cannot wait until they are both a little older and their relationship as brothers can really grow. But for now, I'm relying on a rewards system involving lots of gummy vitamins and velcro stars and reasoning with toddler logic.
To me, holding Gray in my arms is tangibly holding God's promise to us. He is a picture of redemption in our lives, and I even underestimated how wonderful he would be. My days are filled with imperfection and motherhood has many challenging moments, but Brent and I talk often about how much sweeter our life is as our family grows. Cam & Gray are not only the answer to our prayers, but also so many of yours. We have felt surrounded by love, support and genuine excitement for the lives of our boys, and we are thankful.