Wednesday, May 7, 2014


This post is kind of emo...sorry (not sorry). :-/

Day 1 post-maternity leave, and I'm still alive - barely.

Hanging out on her first day of daycare

Yesterday was awful, and I had an empty pit in my stomach all day. When 4:00 PM finally rolled around, I BOLTED from work. I don't even think I said goodbye to anyone; I just packed up my shit and peaced out, jumped in the car and totally sped the entire way down to her daycare.

When I finally arrived, I found my usually sweet and happy baby tired and sad. I leaned over to say hi and instead of a huge smile and a giggle, I saw an exhausted baby gaze back at me with glassy eyes that were bloodshot and puffy from crying. I picked her up, and she immediately nuzzled into my neck and started tiredly cooing, which made me feel so good that I started--you guessed it--crying. The head teacher said to me, "Sydney did so well! She slept so much - about 1-1.5 hours, I think?" My heart dropped: 1-1.5 hours?! Sydney is used to sleeping anywhere from 3-5 hours during the day, so 1-1.5 hours is nothing. I picked her up immediately when we got home, and within two minutes, she was sleeping in my arms.

I was so bummed. I hadn't seen my peanut all day and all I wanted to do was play with her, but I knew she needed to sleep so I reluctantly put her down. As I watched her peacefully sleep, I realized just how crazy of a ride the last year has been: pregnancy, labor and delivery, having a newborn, maternity leave... I realized how lucky I was to have gotten three whole months to hang out with her. I realized--again--how wonderful of a husband I have for being such a loving and supportive partner. And I realized once more what an incredible circle of family and friends we have; the amount of calls, texts and emails I received yesterday and today made me feel so much better just knowing people were thinking of me and sending me positive thoughts.

It's hard to believe my body went through so many changes in only one year. Even though I most certainly didn't have the easiest pregnancy, I feel very fortunate I didn't have the hardest either. My nausea was only during weeks 8-13, I gained a healthy amount of weight (surprisingly because McDonald's breakfast may or may not have made it into my diet one or 10 times), I never got stretch marks (thank goodness!), my feet and hands only swelled for maybe a week or so and it wasn't even that bad, and I LOVED labor and delivery. Yes, I loved it. I think it was because I was so over being pregnant that when I was finally admitted into the hospital, all I could think of was, "OMGYESTHANKGODI'MDONE." I had no surprises with the pain (it was pretty much what I expected it to be), but the care taking of the hospital staff far exceeded my expectations. It was probably because of them that I recovered so quickly and so easily. (Awesome side note: Jessie James & Eric Decker delivered at the same hospital in the exact same room as we did. That makes us BFFs, right?) I also feel very blessed and fortunate I never suffered from any postpartum depression (PPD). PPD is legit and a very real and very scary thing, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried I would get it. I researched a lot while pregnant just so I could look for any warning signs after I gave birth, but fortunately I never had any symptoms. I feel so lucky, as I hear from friends and acquaintances who have experienced it that it's a pretty dark and miserable place to be in. But lastly and best of all, I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl. Before I got pregnant, whenever I heard parents say, "We just want a healthy baby," I wouldn't think much - sounds kind of cliche, you know? But going through pregnancy, that is truly ALL you care about. There were a handful of times I didn't even care if I was carrying an alien - as long as my alien had its health. I thank my blessings every single day for Sydney, her happy disposition (pre-daycare, ugh) and her health.

I initially intended to take only eight weeks of maternity leave. The downside of working for a small, private company is I didn't have the luxury of a paid maternity leave, but the upside is however many weeks I decided to take off was fine with them (because I wasn't getting paid, ha) - and thankfully so was Jordan (because he's awesome). He was so supportive of whatever I decided and even encouraged me to take the full leave when I told him I was toying with the idea, and I just realized today three days ago, I've yet to thank him for that. So, Jordan, thank you so much for allowing me to spend as much time as I wanted to with our daughter. I am very grateful for your understanding and patience, and I'm so thankful you gave me the precious gift of time with her. I have cherished these past 3+ months more than you'll ever know!

Thank you also to our family and friends - simply put, Jordan and I have some truly amazing people in our life. Thank you, guys, so much for your continuous support and love for not just yesterday, but for my entire pregnancy, my baby shower, labor and delivery, having a newborn...the list goes on. The amount of calls, texts, emails, cards, gifts, flowers, balloons we received once Sydney was born was overwhelming in the best way possible. Jordan and I both received so many well wishes from our respective employers, and my company even gathered together to make a bunch of meals, which they brought to our house, just because. Our families - oh gosh; where do I begin? We've received so much help and love from you guys. Everyone immediately booked flights to come visit. Everyone called, checked in, texted and emailed multiple times just to say hi, they were thinking of us, and let them know if we needed anything. My sister-in-law Kortney -- I've never had a sister but have always wanted one, and Kortney, I am so thankful and grateful for you! The amount of advice, well wishes, gifts(!) and love you and Kyle have given us has been more appreciated than you'll ever know. I'm so thankful I have you to call on whenever I need something! P.S. All the pics and videos of Kennedy definitely makes my day better, so thank you so much for sending them - especially in times of need!! Our friends - Jordan and I have seriously surrounded ourselves with some seriously good people. I'm blown away by how many people dropped whatever they had going on during the week Sydney and I came home just to see her, and I was so touched by how many of my girlfriends texted, emailed and checked in on me on Sunday and Monday to see how I was doing with going back to work. You ladies are awesome, and nothing you've done has gone unnoticed or unappreciated!

And lastly, to my sweet, darling Sydney Belle (who won't be able to read this for many years)... I recently received an email to this blog I subscribe to called Lucie's List, which is advice and recommendations for all things baby (new moms, I highly recommend!), and it was titled "Goodbye 4th Trimester!" The beginning of the email said this:
The Hard Part is Over (sort of) 
Ladies, congratulations. All of you. You've made it past a critical point: the dreaded 4th trimester - colic, being up all night, getting your nipples chewed raw, blowout poops, never leaving the house, endless crying...yeah, you know exactly what I'm talking about. 
It might not all be over, but the worst is definitely behind you. 
Thus beings a new era: getting your life back. Going out! Even if it's to the grocery store. Getting your toes done. Having a date night (what?). Buying some new clothes. Wearing real clothes. Showering, yes, SHOWERING. For many, this also means going back to work...
When I read this email, I don't think I realized how good we've/I've really had it. Because no, I don't know what you're talking about Lucie. I actually don't even have the faintest idea of what you're referencing because Sydney didn't have colic (THANKFULLY), she has only been up all night once, my nipples have never been chewed raw (sorry for that lovely image), she has only had a blowout twice, we left the house on the second day home from the hospital and have never looked back, and we have never, ever experienced endless crying. Going to the grocery store? Sydney is such a veteran at the grocery store she's practically downloading coupons on my store app by herself (yes, I have a grocery store app, and it's awesome). My little Sydney Belle, you have been one hell of a good kid (might be whistling a different tune in 16 years). You are such a sweet little baby and have brought your father and me so much joy than we ever imagined was real, and we fall more and more in love with you every. single. day.

I've said this before and I will say this again and again: no one can prepare you for how much you love your baby. I remember thinking during my pregnancy all the times I was such a shit to my parents: I remembered all the times I messed up, whether it was intentional or accidental; I remembered all the times I spoke out of anger and talked back; the last day of college during my freshman year when my dad came to pick me up to take me home and I had absolutely NOTHING packed and was still laying in bed nursing an awful hangover (. . . still so sorry for that, Dad, and really glad we can laugh about it now, lol); the time I got in a horrible car accident with my dad's SUV; the list goes on (side note: pleeaaassee let Sydney be a better child than me). But somehow my parents never stayed angry with me. They forgave me so quickly, always wanted to make sure I was okay and safe, and continued to love me -- and not going to lie, I always wondered how. I mean, I completely totaled my dad's car. How in the world did he still talk to me after that, let alone love me?? And the car accident was totally my fault; I wasn't paying attention, simple as that. To be honest, I was a little worried I wouldn't be that good of a mom because how do you look past all those things and just forgive them? And then I had Sydney, and within one second of seeing her beautiful little face, I understood. There is absolutely nothing in the world that Jordan and I wouldn't do for her, and I completely understand the patience, understanding, forgiveness and unconditional love that my parents have provided for me.

Anyway. So sorry for such a long blog post, but I got a little emo Monday evening as I was watching my little bug sleep. The main point is: WE SURVIVED DAY ONE!

Happy belated Cinco de Mayo. :)

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