A Letter My Son: Month One

Dear Cooper,

We went on an adventure today. Yes, I consider packing you up to grab lunch an adventure. We went to McCalisters Deli (I’m a sucker for their tea). While I was taking your picture, I noticed an older woman smiling at you.

Two of my loves.

“How old is your baby?” she asked me. 

“He is a month old – today actually!” I said.

She smiled and put her hand on my shoulder, “He’s a doll. Good luck!”

I also noticed many other woman (and a few men) smiling at us.

Perhaps they felt bad for me because I was carrying your car seat, a diaper bag, my purse, a tea, and a bag with my to-go order in it. I’ll get better at this packing thing soon …and maybe I’ll learn to balance things on my head soon! We can work on that next month.

On the drive home, I couldn’t help but daydream about this past month.

You’ve been an absolutely INCREDIBLE baby. I mean that…sure there are moments when I wanted to jump out a window. And I once asked if you hated me …because that seemed like the only logical explanation for your dramatic crying at 3 am (or you know – you were hungry and had gas at the same time).

Our first family picture.

But I should have expected you to be amazing. Not just because you’re my son (I’m biased), but because I had such a WONDERFUL pregnancy. You made me want to be pregnant a million times – okay, that’s a bit dramatic (I see where you get it from now).

BUMP!

 But I loved being pregnant…I felt so beautiful and I loved my belly. I actually miss it. I don’t miss that number on the scale – I gained 50 lbs. You were only 7 of those lbs…and the other 43 lbs were probably tater tots.

Belly love.

On top of having a great pregnancy, I had a fabulous labor experience. I had you in like…5 seconds!

Okay kidding- it was more like 5 hours.

My water broke around 3ish and I had you at 7:41 pm.

Making a decision to have a child–it’s momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
– Elizabeth Stone

 I’ll never forget the moment I first saw you…you might expect me to say you were the most beautiful child I’d ever laid eyes on (YOU ARE). But you were blue, covered in a white film, and had a giant conehead. I noticed the wrinkles on your forehead too…that’s a Bedwell trait. I (and your Grandpa Bedwell) both have wrinkles on our foreheads. Despite those first impressions, please know that I still think you are the most beautiful and perfect baby.

And I can’t say much…I’m sure I smelled sweaty. I KNOW my hair was a HOT mess because I didn’t have time to shower before labor (even though that was my ONLY wish for labor…take a hot shower before the hospital).

Crazy hair.
And crazy about YOU!

Also -in case you’re wondering – your conehead is a LOT better than it was the first night. Hey, it happens to the best of us.

In the hospital – we had a moment. The nurse pushed you in the room. We were alone. I looked over at you in your little, clear bassinet. And you had this look on your face…a look of peace and comfort. You seemed relaxed and I felt like you were studying my me…just as I was studying you.

Neither of us have a clue what to do or expect. But we both knew one thing…

We are in this together. 

Our moment.

And that’s when I first this rush of love…

A rush of joyful pride. 

You are my son. I’m already so proud to me your mother

And I can’t wait to watch you grow up.

But I don’t want this time to go by quickly. Even though I feel like it already has…

How are you a month old already, baby boy?

What are some highlights from month one? Here are a few:

– You pooped and peed so much in your crib (on night one) that we had to change the sheets…twice!

– I was so anxious to leave your side that I slept on the ground next to your crib that first night home too.

– We went on an emotional rollercoaster with your jaundice issues and my lack of supply (aka feeding issues).

– I spent a lot of late nights watching Netflix (especially Prison Break) while I was nursing you. That show will always remind me of our late nights and early mornings together.

– You live up to your nickname “Cooper the Pooper”  – for real dude. But thankfully, you save most of your poopy diapers for your father. 

– A lot of your newborn clothes didn’t fit you at first- skinny man! I felt like you wore the same onesie over and over again. I promise I changed and cleaned you…I just didn’t have a lot of wardrobe options.

The most popular onesie of all.
And this picture makes my hear sing.
You were napping and holding my hand.

– We’ve ran our first (of many) errands together – just the two of us. If you ONLY knew how traumatized I was to load you up in that car seat and walk out the door with just you…no one else by my side.

What if something happens? 

What if I forgot something? 

What if you scream your head off in the middle of the store and I have to nurse you in the shoe isle at Target with no cover up? 

Hopefully I learn to stop playing the “What If?” game soon and just go with it + worry about those events when they happen.

– We took newborn photos and you were an EXCELLENT model.

You’re perfect.

– I once dropped a bottle on your head because it slipped from my hands. You didn’t cry. You just gave me a hilarious mean mug. I think if you could talk you would have said, “You get one, mom…now don’t let this happen again!”

I can’t take your mean mug seriously when you have a popped collar.

– We went on our first family walk and park adventure together when you were less than a week old. That felt like a huge accomplishment.

– We went to our first wedding together as a family. And when I say went, I mean pulled into the church parking lot as everyone was walking out of the church. I designed the wedding invites for my cousin, yet couldn’t remember the actual time of the wedding ceremony! Opps!! At least you looked super adorable in your tie!

– You had your first babysitter…and I didn’t have a total breakdown leaving you. This doesn’t mean I didn’t miss you -because you were constantly on my mind, little peanut!

– Speaking of little peanuts (get your mind out of the gutter), I call you a bazillion different nicknames. And I’ve called you Bandit a few times too. I sure hope you know your name after all of this…

My little love nugget.

– You smile. And you are trying to “talk” – I just know it. And once – actually twice- I witnessed you wipe your mouth once you were done eating. YOU ARE SO ADVANCED. Your father thinks this was just a coincidence, but I know the truth…you’re a future Nobel Prize winner.

As my mind was flooding with all of these memories on our drive home this afternoon, I glanced at the sidewalk. I saw a woman pushing a really old man (about 80+) in a wheelchair. He was smiling big and you could tell he appreciated the sunshine and fresh air.

Then I thought about you.

You’re going up so quickly.

“Pretty soon you’ll be an old man!” I said (dramatic, I know). 

Then, as if it were planned, I paid attention to the lyrics of the song playing on the radio:

“Well, life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes…”

I thought about the old man. 

I thought about you.

Us.

Our family.

I started crying.

“These damn hormones,” I said out loud in the car. 

Then I made a promise- right then and there – to always keep my eyes open and focus on what matters. 

To not let the long nights, difficult moments, or emotional breakdowns blind me from the love and joy that motherhood brings me. 

I’ve had a wonderful first month with you, baby boy. And I can’t wait to see what the many, many, many, many (okay – you get the point) months ahead have in store for us.

I love you to the moon and back.

Much love,
Ashley

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