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A Penny for Your Thoughts: On Wrapping Up Maternity Leave

I have been on maternity leave for 3 months now, and these have been some of the greatest months of my life.  I truly and without a doubt cannot imagine my life without this little person and that honestly blows my mind.  I love her with every fiber of my being and wish I could just sit and stare at her every day of my life.  I will do a little back tracking and tell you more about life thus far, share lots of pictures and tell my birth story when time permits.  

When I think about the emotional, physical and mental journey the last few months have been, I am overwhelmed.  I am completely changed and feel like it's impossible to really explain becoming a parent.  It's incredible and wonderful and exhausting and exhilarating.  I just feel so fortunate (because blessed somehow is played out in today's culture) to get to call this sweet person my daughter.  I want for nothing and constantly remind myself that this is my life and I really am living it.  I spend so much time just staring at her sweet face.  Sigh, what a blissful 3 months it has been.

As my maternity leave comes to a close, I have some thoughts I wanted to share (and I thought I would use pictures of Reagan to show them), but please bear with me, because this post just kept getting longer and longer as my thoughts poured out - apparently I have a lot to say on the subject!
  

1. I'm Tired.  

This is a different type of exhaustion.  I have been tired before from staying up all night and working double shifts, but what I didn't consider is that my body is producing the food to feed my baby.  This is an exhaustion from the deepest parts of me, and our little Reagan sleeps through the night!  I can't imagine if she didn't!  I always felt like people were exaggerating or being dramatic about new parenting exhaustion, but I can now attest that being a mom is absolutely exhausting and I get it.  Isn't it funny how you always think it will be different for you?

Is this tiredness worth it?  
100% yes.  
That little person just holds your heart.  
It's really so surreal.


2. There is NOTHING Better Than Newborn Snuggles

Y'all...  How did I not know?!  
This must be a drug.  
I feel insane about wanting to snuggle this baby.  
I had no idea how incredible baby snuggles were because I have always been too afraid to hold other people's newborn babies.  But there is a special magic in a tiny person holding so tightly to you.  I mean, honestly, what an incredible honor to get this little person's trust and to assist them in finding rest.  There is just nothing like it.



3. Family is EVERYTHING

This one has taken be by surprise.  I hoped and prayed I would love our little one as much as I do, but I had no idea how much my family would love her.  It has been so incredible for me to have every member of my family reach out excitedly to hold her and realize how much she will be loved throughout her life by the people surrounding her and already is... it brings me to tears to think about.

Our West Coast family brought us meals and gifts and spent time in our home letting us nap and shower when Reagan first arrived.  They always told us we were doing a great job and really encouraged us to keep resting and pushing through the hard moments.  I always felt like we were doing so well and was so encouraged by visits.   I underestimated how much I needed that support.

My mom came to visit for a few weeks after Reagan was born and she cleaned and cooked and took care of me both emotionally and practically, and it just meant the world to me to have her in my home caring for me in that way.

Bill and I got to take Reagan on a vacation to the East Coast where the majority of my family is and she got to meet so many friends and family.  I was amazed how many people encouraged us and told us how sweet she is.  Sharing her with those people in those places was so special.  Introducing her to my brothers and sister in laws and niece and nephew was amazing.  She got to meet her great grandma Wecker as well, which was a moment I cherished.  Every single minute spent with them was special to me and I am so glad we took the trip before my maternity leave ended and while she is so little.



4. I'm Confused on the Baby Haterade

I guess I should have seen this one coming.  Just like before I got married people were referencing "the ball and chain" and saying I will never feel freedom again, so many people said I will never sleep again and how exhausting babies are.  So much negativity really got me thinking maybe I needed to be more worried than I was.  However, I fought the tendency towards anxiety and chose peace.  Well I am here to announce that marriage is wonderful and having a baby in our home has also been an incredible experience.  

When something is hard, people always focus on the tough parts.  If someone were to ask me about becoming a parent, I wouldn't even bring up the long nights and crazy crying fits - I would talk about the first time Reagan made real eye contact with me.  I would talk about how when she gains weight it feels like a personal victory because my body is producing the food that sustains her.  I would talk about how incredible it is to see her smile at me and how wonderful it is to watch her sleep peacefully.  I would tell anyone that becoming a parent has changed my life for the best and that what I have learned has helped me understand the Lord better and myself better.  It has given me new purpose and brought me great joy.



More on momma life coming soon... I will definitely be sharing my favorite parenting and pregnancy books thus far, although I haven't used most of what I learned yet :)  You guys... I also have SO many pictures.  Brace yo selves.

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