It’s just before 5am and Everly just finished her overnight meal. I pulled her in to burp her and she just snuggled close and started to fall asleep. And it made me wish I could just hold her all day. I wished I was less tired or it was a different time of day so I could just keep her there. I wished she didn’t need real sleep, swaddled in her bed. I want to hold on to her sweet smallness just a little bit longer.
I went back to work today and Tucker and I got home and struggled through thinking about feasible long-term care for her while we’re both at work with crazy schedules. Honestly, I don’t even want to think about it. I feel called to what I’m doing, but don’t know how to find the balance of my tiny little girl and my hoard of sweaty teenagers.
I’m not sure there’s an answer. And if there is, I’m sure it’s not easy.
One of the best things about this new little life we’re building has been watching Tucker become a dad. He’s a great husband – always buys me flowers at Trader Joe’s, let’s me have the last, best bite of dessert by pretending he’s full, and doing almost all of the heavy lifting in our move since I was pregnant. But now he has a new, tiny little life to take care of and he’s been better at it than I ever even imagined.
Because Everly was a C-section, Tucker got to see and hold Everly first. I hope I never forget his tone when he said, “we have a little girl!” While they closed me up, he took her back to our room for the earliest moments of Everly’s life.
In the first days, Tuck did every diaper change since I couldn’t get up or move very quickly (he also opened EVERY cabinet in our room and knew more about where things were than the nurses #architect). He slept on the terrible plastic couch that the hospital touts as a “full bed.” When she wouldn’t settle down, he got up and walked her bassinet in circles for hours. And the poor man has heard and talked about breast-feeding more than anyone should have to.
He showed our little girl around our room, always made sure I didn’t need a nap before he took one, and sat with me through every painful feeding and all the times I dry heaved into a tiny plastic tub.
All the times I cried – with reason or without – he was right there. He held me while we stood in the NICU while our girl was under blue lights. He took my hand when I burst into tears at the pediatrician’s because breastfeeding is a FRICKIN BEAR. He just put his arm around me when I cried for no reason at all.
I can’t wait to see what happens as our little girl grows up – the new ways she’ll need him and he’ll take care of her, pointing her to the best Father like he does for all the students in his life.
Tonight you were wide awake – not even a walk shut you off and moving ALWAYS seems to be a power switch, so we rocked you and held you close and swaddled you tight and played music. And we did it. It convinced you that sleep time is now.
Now we’re sitting in bed and I’m thinking of all the things we hope for you as you grow up.
We have so many prayers for you. I hope you are strong and brave. I hope you fight for other people. I hope you’re protected, but not too safe. I hope you’re passionate and kind. I hope you find a man someday like your dad – not because you need a man, but because your dad is so good and our lives are so much better because of him. I hope you love Jesus and find him early in your life to be the only thing that is always true and trustworthy.
We also hope you love either the Broncos or the Giants and for sure hate the Patriots, Cowboys, and Raiders. Your dad is even okay with you being a Yankees fan (they’re really good this year, little girl). I hope you aren’t allergic to dairy or gluten because ice cream and brownies. I hope you are left-handed and I can’t wait until I can braid your hair.
I hope you love to run and play. I hope you have lots of friends and are wise about the good ones. I hope you never get your heart broken, but when you do, that you learn from it.
I hope you know how much you are loved because it is so much. I love you with my whole heart, Everly Alice.
The first month has been trying. We’re getting excited about 5 hours of sleep in a row and our conversations revolve around blow out poops and when the next feeding us. Last night this happy little face peed out of her diaper onto the bed (OUR bed, mind you) not once, but twice.
But the first month has also been so sweet. We’re learning which cries are which and that she likes music and to be on the move. And there hasn’t been a heel prick in weeks. We’re getting more smiles and alert hours every day and can’t help but just watch her.
It’s 6pm on a Saturday afternoon and we’re just here on the couch with music on and a sleepy girl in our arms and wouldn’t trade it for the world.