a letter to my baby daddy,
for 21 months we have been parents to our little bean. for 21 months we have loved, worried, prayed, hoped and treasured this life we created.
before i was pregnant i had all these elaborate plans to “tell you” about our positive pregnancy test. all pinterest finds, of course. on that morning, with no power and very little cell service, i couldn’t wait. i told via text. we went about our day as if everything hadn’t changed. this was the start of the most incredible roller coaster ride.
from tater tots to banana pudding, to all the ultrasounds and self imposed fetal heart rate monitoring, oh and don’t forget the counting of kicks each night before bed, we grew a baby boy. an incredible, beautiful, healthy baby boy. with lots of heartburn earned hair. we did it.
<insert high fives>
do you remember during my first non-stress test the lady asked how that contraction felt and i didn’t realize i was and had been having contractions. and then counting contractions during the world series on your ipad. and then that time i went to serve chicken and dumplings while you got blue bloods started. we had no idea what was in store for us despite the birth plans, reading of countless books, classes and tons of advice from every single person that did or didn’t know us.
throughout our pregnancy and now this first year, you have been there for me. every single step of the way. adjusting my body pillow just right, helping to put my socks on just the way i like it, holding my hand and giving me more love than i have ever felt as i was more afraid that i have ever been just moments before meeting our son.
for every big moment and most of the little ones, you have been there.
there’s something about turning one that really reinforces the feeling of transition from babyhood to toddlerhood. maybe it’s the determined attempts at walking or talking. maybe it’s the fact that he will now be joining the ranks of people who don’t count their age in months. or maybe it’s the fact that he survived our first year of parenting.
yes, we have never appreciated sleep the way we do now. those precious extra couple of hours you give me on the weekends are magical. when you let me take a shower in the morning while you change the first very full diaper of the day and get breakfast started. my heart fills with gratitude.
yes, we have been pooped on, peed on, sneezed on, snotted on, spit up on, and thrown up on. even poop in the tub. i appreciate that almost all of these moments have happened when we have been together and we simple laugh. together.
yes, sometimes my time, my body, and my brain does not feel like my own. i have moments where i break down. you are there. you offer kind words. a hug that lasts a bit longer than normal. you remind me that i am beautiful. you remind me that i am a woman, before i became a mother.
this past year i have learned …
how to love more completely.
and how to start seeing the world with more wonder.
to live more purposefully.
how to have patience.
how to have confidence.
and to find complete joy in the simple acknowledgement with a glance from our son.
becoming a mom has pushed me to the limits of what i’ve experienced so far in my thirty-three years.
i’ve felt crushing insecurity at times and steady confidence at others.
i’ve been exhausted and exhilarated.
i’ve been confused and i’ve questioned, a lot.
sometimes i’ve trusted my gut. and other times i’ve floundered.
i’ve spent hundreds of hours reading books and the internet looking for answers, help, tips and ideas.
i’ve patted that tiny baby bum a thousand times to help him fall asleep.
i’ve rocked him in the night and held him through teething and illness and growth spurts and needles.
i’ve swelled with pride and joy, and i’ve stood in awe.
i’ve sang lullabies and read thousands of stories.
i’ve nursed and i’ve nurtured.
i’ve danced and i’ve paced.
i’ve watched and listened and savored and recorded.
i’ve taken more photos than i can count.
i’ve felt like an amateur and felt like a pro.
i’ve sought advice and sometimes given it.
i’ve sought validation and i’ve sought empathy.
i’ve sought encouragement and i’ve sought affirmation.
i’ve been amazed and overwhelmed, grateful and relieved.
i’ve learned sacrifice. i’ve earned wrinkles and gray hairs.
i’ve found a depth of strength that was yet unlocked.
i’ve. given. birth.
i’ve been humbled. i’ve grown up.
i’ve become more of who i am meant to be.
i’ve. had. fun.
and you sir, you have been there for it all. every. single. everything. you have been there. i am not the mother i am without you. i am not the person i am without you.
now about you.
you are going to be garrett’s hero. he watches everything that you do, learns from everything that you do, and wants to do everything that you do. i see him watching you. i love watching him watch you when you don’t even know it. you’re teaching him to be confident, self-assured, and proud.
you are teaching our son to be strong and have sensitivity. you are ignoring gender roles and raising him as a person. you’re teaching him equality.
he is watching how you treat me. he is watching how you never leave or enter our house without saying “i love you” and giving a hug and a kiss. you’re teaching him how to be a great partner. a phenomenal partner. you’re teaching him about the important treasure that is family.
the kindness you show to other people will rub off on him. he will see you help others and give generously. you’re teaching him compassion and respect, manners and appreciation.
your humor is a staple in our lives; how quiet our house would be without laughter! he expects tickles with your hugs and whiskers with your kisses. you’re teaching him to smile, to find joy, and to feel happiness.
most importantly, you are teaching him to love and to be loved.
i wrote this in a letter to garrett:
“whenever i doubt my own capabilities or find some part of myself ugly or flawed… i think of the tremendous thing i have been a part of. i dreamed of you and grew you and birthed you. in your bones lives my strength. in your heart, my courage. and in your small arms, all the love i have ever known. no matter how i fail or fall in the days ahead, you have allowed me the chance to be a part of something pure and good in my life. thank you for existing. thank you for being mine.”
i would like to add a thank you to you. thank you for existing. thank you for being mine. thank you for being ours. you are his daddy. you are my husband. you are our everything.
on his first birthday, we are celebrating the fact that garrett has not only survived our first year of parenthood, but he has thrived.
and so have we.