Letter to Ava...
I wrote this to Ava when she was nine months old, I intend to add on to it sometime soon but for now I thought I would share this:
You are nearly nine months old and I thought I would take a moment to give you a glimpse at what it is like raising you, a bit of insight into my world of motherhood.
The first thing I did right for you was made sure I picked a man that would love and cherish you and teach you how to grow up to be a wonderful person that knows what to expect from the man you will eventually choose. You are absolutely blessed to have John as your father, he is wonderful.
I always knew that I wanted children. I knew when I met your father that he was “The One.” When we got pregnant with you we were ecstatic. The days of pregnancy went by so slowly, riddled with worry over what could go wrong. I just so desperately wanted a healthy little baby to carry home from the hospital. I warned John not to expect a good looking baby, most come out looking like a creature, but when we saw you, when they first handed you to me I was stunned at your beauty. Your tiny little perfectness absolutely blew me away in that moment and to be honest it still does every single day.
You were an absolute handful for the first three months, a real monster of our creation. You were held and passed around from person to person and grew to expect nothing less. There was no setting little Ava down, oh no, she would not have it! We rocked and coddled and bounced you endlessly each day, for three whole months! That was about the time I reached my breaking point. The only sleep I was getting was fragmented through you sleeping right up against my chest (AKA the all night buffet) and me worrying that I was either going to suffocate you or wake you up which would led to more eating, something I could not sleep through either. I was a walking zombie, which is funny because I have never needed much sleep and I really couldn’t go another day without some. I was determined to get you out of our bed and into that cute little crib I just had to have but wasn’t at all using.
Well I did end up getting my way. With much persistence on my part and much resistance on yours I implemented my new system of forced independence. As it turned out you were as exhausted as I was! It was then that I realized that the baby that was so grumpy and crying all the time and so demanding actually needed me to leave her alone. I was convinced that we had ruined you. I kept saying “well the next one will be better.”
At that point everything shifted. You got sleep, I got sleep, everyone was happy. The change in you was miraculous. Such personality, every time anyone would look at you you would flash them a huge smile. You are always literally jumping with joy. Everyone is constantly telling me that you are the happiest baby they have ever met.
As for your milestones, you smiled for the first time when you were one month old and boy did I need to see that. It was the first real encouragement you gave me. At three months you really came out of your shell with that new foreign thing called sleep. The day before you turned five months old you began sitting up. You woke up that morning able to do it perfectly like you had been doing it forever. When you first learned to crawl you started out going backwards and it was very frustrating for you. When you finally got going in a forward direction it was as if you had been inventorying the entire house for eight months as to what you wanted to get into first. You went from room to room sticking your hand in the VCR, playing with knobs on the stereo, sticking your head through the dog door and splashing in the pet’s water dish. You have grown quite strong now and are crawling all over the house. You pull yourself up on everything easily and can stand independently for a few seconds. You love to walk holding my hands and just today I started making you only hold one hand to help build both your balance and your confidence. You have your two bottom teeth now and you love to eat. We really haven’t come across anything you don’t like. I hope that pattern continues and you don’t become a picky eater.
I love this letter, it makes me tear up when I read it. I hope to continue this throughout her life & this blog is largely to remember precisely these kind of moments : )