I’m Back

Aside from yesterday’s not-really-Wordless-Wednesday post, it’s been a while since I wrote anything here. I blogged last November about landing a part-time job doing what I love doing – writing. Well, that part-time gig actually turned into a full-time one not long after I started. The timing was just perfect and the fact that we had found probably one of the best nannies in the world to care for our Little Miss, convinced me that it was time for me to return to the workforce. Besides, I’ll still be working from home so I wasn’t going to be a whining mess who’ll be pining for my baby all day it wasn’t going to be all that bad.

And it wasn’t. In fact, the job has been one of the most rewarding I’ve had, including motherhood. Like I said on that post, and as it is with everything that I do, I jumped into my new career enthusiastically. I happily typed away on my keyboard every day and before I even realized what was happening, I was given bigger responsibilities – a promotion after just one month on the job. Imagine that.

Blogging, as well as reading all those other fabulous blogs I love, took the backseat since then. I have been putting in a lot of hours at work that by the end of the day I was just so brain-dead exhausted and missed my daughter so much that all I wanted to do was savor the last few hours of the day with the Little Miss. I missed it, oh yes I did. But for some reason I just couldn’t bear sitting in front of the computer again, to blog or read blogs, which baffled me because I really love this space. I love writing on this blog and I love reading the blogs of the women (and men) who have become such good friends and inspirations to me as a mom.

Thinking on it over the past few weeks though, I realize it wasn’t blogging per se that repelled me – it was the other things attached to it that did. Don’t get me wrong, blog hopping and social networking, etc. – all of those are fantastic tools and have introduced me to some great people that I might have never met otherwise. But truth to tell, going that route is hard work and time consuming. Before I started working and whenever the Little Miss was asleep or otherwise occupied, blogging and all that other jazz was my job. I worked hard on my blog and put myself out there as much as I could. I guess you could say I was kind of a slave to social media, which is not to say that I didn’t like it then.

So now I’m back, but I’m taking it slowly this time. As a fellow blogger put it, I’m taking a few steps back from the digital world. I’m going back to the roots of why I started this blog anyway – to update family and friends and to serve as my creative outlet. Pardon my silence over on Twitter and your blog hops, fellow bloggers. I need to take a breather for the meantime.

Well, with the occasional exception of lovely Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. Of course. ;)

{Photo credit}

My Hero

Today I am talking about my hero. She doesn’t fly, wear a costume and a cape. She hasn’t saved the world from catastrophes or jumped off tall buildings to rescue a gentleman in distress. I’m not talking about Wonder Woman, Supergirl, or Oprah for that matter.

I’m talking about someone who’s a living, breathing (not that Oprah doesn’t do all those, but you know what I mean) inspiration to me.

I’m talking about my mom.

You see, my mom had me, the eldest of 6 children, at the tender age of 19. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for her. How afraid she must have been. How uncertain of her future. I remember her telling us that the one thing she regretted about her unplanned pregnancy at so young an age, was the fact that she knew she hurt her own mother. But she never regretted having any of us. She loves us, and we know this not only because she tells us every time. We know this because love, for her, is an action word. She lives love. She breathes love.

She was a stay-at-home mom until I reached 6th grade, there were only 4 of us kids then. She would take care of us, cook, do the laundry, get us ready for school, pack our lunches, take us to and from school, make sure we did our homework, clean the house – the quintessential hands-on mom and wife. Then when she decided to join the workforce, she did so with the same fervor with which she managed our household. She worked hard (and still does), but still managed to be as much a part of our daily lives as she used to. The twins were born when I was 14, and added a whole other crazy into the mix. But it was a good crazy. When I was young I took all that she did for granted, as ashamed as I am to admit that. Now that I have my own family, I am amazed at how she managed to do this all for us and stayed sane.

But this isn’t all that she is. She patiently sat with us at the table as we did our homework. She rarely raised her voice, or her hand to us. Even then, we always felt that she was coming from a place of love. She prayed with us, taught us songs (she even played the guitar!) and good-naturedly endured our endless questions. In the case of 2 of my sisters, they really were endless (Ahem, you know who you are). ;)

She never spoiled us. She was honest with us and told us that we couldn’t have what we wanted because we just couldn’t afford it. And none of us grew up to resent that. In fact, she taught us to be satisfied with what we had and to be thankful for every blessing, big or small, by her example. I cannot remember a time that she whined or complained about ‘our lack’, or stewed when she didn’t get her way. She was always so gracious and kind and genuinely happy no matter our circumstance. She would worry, oh that she would. She is, after all, human.

She disciplined us and set boundaries, and yes, there were days during my teens that I felt she was ruining my life, how could she be so unfair and totally uncool? There was the oft-repeated “When you grow up and have kids of your own, you’ll know I was right” or “You’ll thank me one day”. To which we rolled our eyes when her back was turned and vehemently and secretly disagreed. (A side note to the twins: She is right and you will thank her one day!)

During the dark days of my college years, I withdrew from my parents. And what I regret about that is the time I lost getting to know my mother better. I know she grieved for me, for our family. I saw it in her eyes. But I was a stubborn, angry, hard-hearted daughter who thankfully had a prayerful mother who never gave up on me. Who never gave up on us.

“A mother’s prayers mark her family with faith and trust in God. Her overflow of mercy and grace is a reminder that Jesus is the ‘author and finisher’ of the family’s faith. The fruit from her prayers personify Christ’s character, and hell clamors at the calm requests from a mom who trusts God. They pray for their children to obey and worship the Lord, and for their husbands to fear God, hate sin and love people. A mom’s prayer matters.” ( Boyd Bailey, Wisdom Hunters)

And we were given another chance.

2005 marked the beginning of a new relationship between me and my mother. I drew closer to her in a time of familial distress. In our less than ideal circumstances, we prayed together, our tears mingling in our tightly-clasped hands. As she cried out to God, I didn’t see a weak woman who had let her obstacles defeat her, I saw a woman strengthened by her faith. I saw a woman strengthened by her love.

During the following years, I would get to know an intimate side to my mother. We would whisper in the dark, long after the whole house has gone to sleep, sharing our dreams, our visions for the future of our family. We would swap stories and giggle like schoolgirls at the silliest things that happened during our busy workday. Often, she would fall asleep in the middle of our conversation out of exhaustion, and we would pick up the next night.

One of the things I would never forget is how she prayed for our would-be wives and husbands. She would lift us up, her kids, one by one in prayer and ask that God will give us the patience to wait for and direct our paths to the men and women He has chosen for us. And in my case, asked that God will bless my relationship with my then-boyfriend.

And so it came as no surprise to her the night I came home with a ring on my finger and told her of our engagement. The days and nights leading up to my wedding were a flurry of happy activity. But beneath it all, I was mourning the end of those nights shared with my mom – all to live with a boy.

Even now, as I mother my own daughter, I look to her for advice when uncertainty creeps in. I am eternally grateful to my mom for all that she is and all that she does.

To borrow lyrics from Brian Melo’s song “Half as Good as You” (which I have not heard):

Who’s watching over you
While you’re helping me find my way
All the things that I went through
I thank God that I met you
I hope the day comes soon
When I’m half as good as you

Mom, your very act of love, each and every day inspires me to do great, to be great. I look forward to the day that I can say I’m half as good a mom to my Little Miss as you are to us, and wife to My Man as you are to Dad. I love you, Mom.

 

From left to right: My sisters C, CJ, Mom, Me and my sister J

Written as part of MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop for the prompt: Describe a woman who inspired you.

Mama's Losin' It

 

10 things parenting has taught me

It has only been 8 months but already parenting has taught me some things about myself and the people around me that I doubt I would have learned any other way. I would like to share with you what they are, thus far:

1. I’m not as squeamish as I used to be. – Yep, the sight, smell, subject and sometimes feel of poop, puke, pee and snot don’t gross me out as much as it used to. Since having our Little Miss, I have been pooped, peed and puked on and proceeded to clean said baby up before even attending to myself and other pieces of furniture her emissions have landed on. I have dug around her nostrils for bogies. So yeah, I’m a mom now and I have no (more) aversion to such things. (Note: As long as said stuff are from my Little Miss).

2. That said, I have also learned that I definitely have germophobic tendencies when it comes to the general well-being and health of my Little Miss. – If you have any intention at all of coming near her, to touch, hold and play with her (OR her toys), you better make sure you have washed and cleaned your hands. Yes, that includes removing the dirt underneath your fingernails.

When we are out with the her and she needs a diaper change, I wipe down the surface of every changing table before I place the rubber mat I’m then laying her on. Afterwards, I wipe down the rubber mat and wash it with soap and water as soon as we get home.

Also, my mom and (married/mom to a toddler) sister have both observed on separate occasions that I wash my Little Miss’ bottles TOO thoroughly. Like, is that even possible? To be too thorough? I genuinely wonder at this.

3. I could live with pink. – There was a time in my life (actually, this was until after I had my chubby-cheeked girl) that I absolutely abhorred the sight of pink. I’m not ashamed to admit it was the reason I was primarily hoping we’d have a boy (aside from the fact that I have NO IDEA how to ‘do hair’, as I’ve almost always had short hair, but I digress). When we found out we were having a girl, I even went so far as to adamantly say, “We will NOT dress her up in pink, we will NOT buy anything in pink for her.” To which My Man replied, pleading, “Are you crazy? Please, please don’t project yourself on your yet unborn daughter.” Recently, I found out where this repulsion stems from when a nightmare a picture of a much younger version of me surfaced on Facebook. In it I was wearing an all-pink ensemble – from shirt, to shorts to, OMG, SOCKS! – at a family event. I’m still trying to think up ways to get back at my mom for that atrocity.

BUT, since having our Little Miss, I have had a change of heart towards pink, just because SHE looks absolutely adorable in it! I only hope that one day, she won’t hate me for dressing her up in an all-pink outfit and her photos wind up on the internet. Lol.

4. Not having a perfectly cleaned, organized place doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. – During our life together BC (Before Child), My Man would teasingly refer to me as Mrs. Clean. Growing up in a family where cleaning the house (daily) is the norm, the fervor with which I would attack dust in every nook and cranny of our cramped living space baffled him, whose family was more laid-back in that aspect. He wasn’t at all surprised, he knew this about me waaaaaaaay before we even got together and got married. However, it exasperated him that it was something he was required to participate in. He resisted it in the beginning and it took him a while to adjust to how determined I was to (have him) keep everything spotless and tidy. I was constantly in a sanitizing frenzy. Organizing our stuff, folding laundry, wiping down – with the aid of my trusted and beloved Pledge or Lysol products – every surface (visible or otherwise), sweeping and/or waxing the floors, scrubbing down walls and for all of this, I had a schedule. Sunday was laundry day, Monday was folding and putting said laundry away, everyday was sweeping/dusting day and Saturday was general cleaning day – bathroom included (Note: In the interest of keeping everything truthful, I have to state that we have someone who does our laundry, cleans the bathroom and cooks for us).

Nowadays, I am lucky if I get to sweep our floors twice a week. And I’ve learned that, guess what? It’s ok. Don’t get me wrong, I still  try to maintain a hygienic, healthy space for the Little Miss. But I have since stopped sweating the small stuff, adapted a more relaxed schedule and spent the time I could spare sleeping instead of cleaning. Or else I would have probably gone crazy(ier).

5. Flexible is my (new) middle name. – People who know me well, know that I thrive on routines and planning. As evidenced by #5, I had a timetable for almost everything. So when I found out I was pregnant, of course, I made the following (laughable) plans:

Plan #1: Have an easy pregnancy.
What actually happened: First off, I had what is called hyperemesis gravidarum, which rendered me completely useless, caused me to lose 11lbs within a span of 2 weeks and put me in the hospital twice during my first trimester. I also wrote about that experience here.

Then through a routine blood typing during my pregnancy, it was found out that mine is O Rh negative which could possibly cause complications due to Rh incompatibility - not for the first baby, but for subsequent ones. Thankfully, God through modern science now has a solution for this in the form of Rhogam. It is sooooooper expensive but also worth it!

Plan #2: Give normal birth.
What actually happened: The Little Miss was too big for my birth canal and I had to undergo c-section.

Plan #3: Breastfeed at least until The Little Miss reaches 1 year of age.
What actually happened: After everything I’ve tried, the supply ran out a LOT sooner than I wanted – I was only able to breastfeed for a little more than 1 month after all.

Plan #4: Keep the Little Miss’ care-taking all to ourselves.
What actually happened: Even in the beginning, this plan was destined for failure. Since I had an unplanned c-section, the Little Miss and I had to stay with my family for a week after the birthing so that I could recuperate and she could be taken care of by her doting grandparents. More on this in items #7 and #8.

During the first few weeks of having our newborn home, I tried to go back to the comfortable routine I had for myself. Oh yeah, I tried REALLY hard, pushed myself to nearly superwoman heights and ended up frustrated, sleep-deprived and cranky. It was like I was in a permanent-state of PMS and guess who got the short end of the stick? My poor Man was almost at his wit’s end, thinking he’d left his sane, sensible, loving wife at his in-laws’. It took quite a bit of time for him to grill sense back into me and in the end, I gave in and admitted to myself that routines and a newborn didn’t mix so well. So I have since realized the absurdity of clinging to my ornery ways. Mostly because our Little Miss taught me well enough that she is, to some extent, The Boss. For now.

6. You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. – Franklin P. Jones

Having our Little Miss is the best thing that has ever happened to me and My dear Man. She has brought so much joy and love to our small family, it’s hard to imagine life before we had her.

Having said that, the time we have had with her thus far has also been peppered with confusion and frustration. I’m not complaining though, compared to other stories I have heard, she has been a relatively calm and easy sweetheart. But there were, and still are, times that she would cry and cry and I’d have NO bloody idea why when I had already changed, fed, burped, sang to her and held her. Finally, 3 months later and ready to cry of disappointment at myself, my Little Miss and the world in general, I discovered and joined an online resource/community for mothers. Reading through the other mothers’ posts gave me a sense of relief to know that I wasn’t the only one feeling helpless and incompetent. It irked me to no end though to read stuff like: “In time you will learn to interpret the meaning behind your infant’s cries and you’ll be able to react accordingly”. A FAT lot of help that did me then!

Seriously though, when I thought my patience was wearing thin, I found I had more of it in me. Of course, it definitely didn’t hurt to have a very involved and hands-on partner to pass the wailing baby to when things got a bit too intense. Oh, and guess what? After a couple of months, I did learn to interpret what some of those cries meant!

7. Date night with My Man is just as important now as it was in the days BC. – I was ecstatic during the days leading to October 12. My Man and I were both eagerly awaiting the arrival of our Little Miss, so much that we didn’t really want to be or go anywhere after she finally decided to join us. But like a lot of people have pointed out, it is healthier for us as a couple and as parents to spend some time alone.

The first time we went out on a date by ourselves, all we did was think about our Little Miss as we watched a movie and talked about her while we ate dinner afterwards. We missed her so much that we hastened (to my mom’s) home so we could be by her side! Slowly though, we have learned to value the opportunities we do get to spend together and use them to reconnect not just as Daddy and Mommy, but as husband and wife. We are very grateful to our families who generously take over the care of her so we could go out on date nights.

8. I love my (immediate, extended, in laws’) family, more than ever. – They have been nothing but a supportive, generous (in more ways than one!), truly caring, loving bunch who have been a constant source of strength, guidance and wisdom for us. I count it such a blessing to know that our Little Miss will grow up loved, cared for and guided by such amazing God-given individuals who have been called together to form this FAMILY. Ugh, here come the sprinklers. :’(

9. My parents deserve an award for the way they raised us. – I love and respect both my parents, and now that I’m a mother myself, I appreciate the sacrifices made and the values instilled in us as we grew up to be the people we are now. Long story short, Mom had me when she was 18, Dad was 19, and over time I was joined by 5 other siblings. We weren’t at all rowdy or reckless, but we weren’t (and still aren’t) perfect either. We got into the usual scrapes, argued like cats and dogs, sometimes talked back to our elders and sulked when we didn’t get what we wanted. Always, they would be patient and loving, but firm and solid in teaching us right from wrong.

I will forever treasure and be grateful for the fact that they taught the 6 of us to respect, love one another and the people around us. My mom most especially taught us the love of Jesus by being a great example of it. Now that we are adults and the twins are college-age, a lot has been said about the fact that we get along EXTREMELY WELL. I now understand that my honest, open relationship with my family is not exactly the norm in the world we live in. We strive to resolve conflicts or misunderstandings by communicating and trying not to let our emotions rule our rational thought. We are genuinely concerned for one another’s welfare. We may not see eye to eye on everything, but we know that we’ll always have each other’s backs. It is our prayer that my better half and I will be able to raise our mini-me’s with the same regard for people and a real relationship with God.

10. Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. – Elizabeth Stone

It’s hard to say for sure when it was exactly that I fell in love with our Little Miss – the first time I heard her heartbeat, the day we found out we were having a girl, or the first time I laid my eyes on her. As cliché as it sounds, watching her grow up right before my very eyes, I cannot help but be overwhelmed with love for this perfect creature. Everything she does, everything that happens to her affects me in such a grand scale that’s hard to put into words. Some things leave me feeling elated beyond belief: the first time she smiled, laughed, clapped her hands, turned over to her stomach, uttered gibberish, sat up, pulled herself up to stand, planted wet kisses on my cheeks – these all made me feel a mixture of delight and a dull ache in my heart knowing that I can only have these moments of her babyhood for another couple of months, so I cherish them all.

It also sometimes scares the living daylights out of me. The time she fell off the bed was the most frightening we have experienced thus far. This is but a small bump in the road, I know. There are lots of adventures waiting for us, and I pray the good will far outweigh the bad.

As a parent, the bitterest pill I’ve had to swallow is the fact that no matter what I do, at the end of the day I cannot guarantee my Little Miss’ safety. Not everything is within my control. It is such a relief then, to rest in the knowledge that God loves her more than I, My Man, or anyone else on the planet can ever profess. I’ve learned to live each day lifting her up in prayer, trusting that His plan for her, His daughter, my Heart, is perfect.

{Photo credit}

Sophia Leigh, her story – Oct. 12, 2009 6.8lbs, 49cm

1 month and 8 days has passed since that Monday morning when I woke My Man up at 3:20 telling him I thought that my water bag just broke. A bit groggy from our late night, it took him a while to process what he’d just heard and I had to repeat what I said one more time. I called my mom who told me to let my OB know and then I sent my OB a text message. Afterwards, I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth, take a quick shower and change into my ‘going to the hospital’ clothes. I was trying to remain calm, and besides I couldn’t not be hygienic even at times like that LOL. I knew it was more than likely that I would give birth that day so I might not have the chance to shower in a while (and of course I was completely spot-on). When I got back to our room, I checked my cell phone and found that my Doctor replied and told me to get to the hospital right away. Robert had changed and notified my sister-in-law, who then quickly got dressed as well, and then we left for the hospital – again.

3 days prior (Oct. 9, Friday), I had a false labor and My Man and SIL brought me to the hospital ER where I was examined and told that I had not dilated enough yet (was barely at 1cm) and was sent home. Later that day, My Man took me to see my OB and was asked to have an X-ray Pelvimetry done so we could be sure if my birth canal was wide enough for the baby to fit through. Unfortunately, the X-ray results wouldn’t be available for pick-up until around lunchtime the following Monday, as all the doctors who did the X-ray reading (or whatever they are called) were in a convention.

SO, we got to the hospital at a little after 4am, where I was examined and told – once more – that I had not dilated enough, but since I was leaking amniotic fluid I had to be admitted. Then I was brought to the labor room at 5am and there found out that since it was in a sterile environment, neither My Man nor my SIL could accompany me. By the way, in my opinion, it’s just a horrid, horrid way to go through labor, without anyone you love to support you, hold your hand, give you ice chips, apply ChapStick to your lips and occasionally throw dagger looks at while you suffer. Tsk, tsk. But I digress. Fortunately, the nurse was kind enough to accommodate my request to have my cell phone and the digital camera brought to me so I could at least keep in touch with My Man and so that I could ask any one of the nurses to take a picture of the baby when she comes out. The first few hours weren’t so bad – only at around 7am did I start to feel real labor pains – and man, they weren’t exaggerating about how painful they can get (I just have to say, I cannot wrap my head around the fact that my mom actually went through that experience 5 times! Wowza. My hats off to you, Mom!)! The relatively young resident surgeon assigned to my OB (who was just a visiting physician at the hospital), checked on me from time to time and at about 8:30am she told me that the X-ray Pelvimetry results came back and that it showed that my birth canal was wide enough for a normal delivery. I was told that my Doc, who would be coming shortly, advised that we wait out the labor, and hopefully by the time she arrived I would be dilated enough and thereafter transferred to the delivery room.

2 hours and buckets of held-back tears later, the Doc arrived. She was examining yours truly to check on my dilation progress, found out that I wasn’t even dilated 1cm, and that the fluid I was leaking was turning green signaling that the baby was starting to go into distress, when someone from the radiology department asked to speak to the resident surgeon. She excused herself and came back minutes later, apologetically explaining that my X-ray was re-read by another doctor and this one concluded that the baby’s head was 0.4cm bigger than my birth canal – which meant I had to undergo C-section. I watched as my normally sweet, motherly and good-natured OB’s face register displeasure. She then turned to me and discussed the need for me to be prepped for surgery ASAP so the baby won’t go into further distress. I agreed and sent My Man a message to let him know of this development – at that point all I could think of was to let them do whatever was necessary to make sure that the baby was safe and healthy. Orders were issued for the nurses to prep me for surgery and as they were wheeling me into the OR, she took the resident aside and asked for her to admonish whoever did the first X-ray reading as they could have spared me from the past 2 hours of labor, as my OB had relied on the results when she decided to let nature take its course – she and I both were counting on my being able to give normal birth right from the very beginning of my pregnancy.

I remember being transferred onto the operating table and someone turning me onto my left side, instructing me to curl up into a fetal position and to not move (I now know that was the anesthesiologist hehe). A man in scrubs informed me that he needed to hold me in position to make sure that I do not make the slightest movement and then I realized that they were going to give me the epidural right then. I froze for a sec, felt something cold being applied to my lower back and then to my surprise, the needle inserted an instant later. It all happened so fast I hadn’t even had time to finish the prayer I was whispering all the while all this was transpiring. I have no idea how long it was after that I drifted back into consciousness hearing my Doc instructing the anesthesiologist to start pushing again – and felt a pressure on my abdomen as he did so.

I blacked out again after that and the next thing I knew I woke up to the sweetest, most amazing sound I have ever heard – my baby’s cry. It was 11:52am on October 12. The doctors and nurses cheered and I must have passed out yet again for a few minutes, because I was nudged awake as someone held my daughter near my face so I could kiss her. I was lucid enough to know that a nurse snapped a photo as I kissed my crying baby, Sophia Leigh, for the first time. At that moment, I felt like crying myself, but as woozy as I was from the drugs, all I was able to do was fall back into unconsciousness.

The first thing I noticed when I came to in the recovery room was that I felt like my whole body was weighted down by something heavy. A nurse who happened to be there to check up on me and the other 2 women in the recovery room told me that if I were able to move and lift both of my legs then that would mean the anesthesia had worn off and they could have me taken up to my room. I so wanted to see my family who I knew was waiting for me there and was relieved when I managed to move both of them. I was wheeled into my room and found My Man, my SIL, my Mom and Dad and a family friend already waiting there for me.

I spent the next 2 days there under my Doc’s care to make sure I was recuperating well after the surgery. On the second day we asked for Sophie to be brought to my room so she could stay with us already instead of her being in the nursery. Since I couldn’t move around and wasn’t physically able to take care of her just yet, we asked my mom to stay with us at the hospital overnight, in the hopes that by Wednesday, Oct. 14, my OB would deem me recovered enough to discharge me. And by God’s grace, 2 days after giving birth via C-section, I was wheeled out of the hospital with Sophia.

Though it wasn’t the most difficult thing I have had to endure (I think I had it easy considering I didn’t have to bear labor pain beyond those 2 hours), recovering from the operation was still a veritable challenge. The dull pain radiating from the incision and difficulty with which I have had moving around the first few days were tolerable, especially since I was able to rely on my extremely amazing Mom who took time out from work to look after me and Sophie (I was blessed to have a wonderful family who welcomed us into their home so we could be taken care of). But having to settle for sponge baths for the first few days and then just a half-bath for 2 weeks afterward was, in my opinion, pure torture. Eww. My OB made it clear that I would have to undergo C-sections for all subsequent pregnancies because my birth canal isn’t wide enough for a baby to fit through. And though I know I wouldn’t be going through all that yet again (it seems one has to wait 2 years for it to be safe to get pregnant and give birth again after C-sections), I wouldn’t rule out having another baby. But for now, I am content. During the long, uncomfortable and sometimes seemingly unbearable months of the pregnancy, I would think of the day when I’d have my baby in my arms and that would be enough to help me overcome any difficulty. Those days are here and now, and looking back on all that I’ve had to experience to get here, I know I wouldn’t change one thing even if I could. Sophia Leigh is the best gift that God has given to us. The adventure of parenting has just begun, and with it comes numerous challenges. At times, things start to look a bit daunting and overwhelming, but I know with God’s guidance and wisdom My Man and I will be the best parents we can be and in time will become pros at taking care of this tiny, fragile human being, for which we are tremendously thankful.

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