Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Dear Aurora: You're three months old

Dear Aurora, 

You're three months old! The past three months have been the biggest challenge of your mama and daddy's life, yet have passed in the blink of an eye.

I remember being pregnant with you and feeling so much love for you every time I felt a kick, flutter, or little poke in my tummy. I wondered if you would be a girl or a boy, what you would look like, who you would be. The second I delivered you, and pulled you up onto my chest, I thought "of course". Of course this is who you are, of course this is what you look like. Our tiny little Aurora Gillian was finally here. 

The first few days and weeks with you were extremely overwhelming. I was experiencing pain from delivery, struggling to feed you, and experiencing the most intense exhaustion I have ever felt. Your dad and I felt like we didn't have a freaking clue what we were doing. Other moms would say to me "Isn't it the best? Isn't it the happiest you've ever been?" I would smile and say "Yeah..." feeling guilty because inside I was really thinking "this is hell!" At the same time, there was such an intense, overhwhelming love and need to provide for you and protect you. 

At the beginning, little Rory, you and I struggled. We struggled with feeding, and I anxiously awaited that amazing breastfeeding connection that other moms talked about. When I was pregnant with you, I just knew breastfeeding would be a breeze for me. I would happily and proudly breastfeed anywhere and everywhere - in bed, while blissfully reading a book, on a park bench. But, just days in, you were miserable, you weren't gaining weight, and we were having to bring you to the doctor every couple of days to be weighed. You would scream in hunger all through the night and I would sob because I wasn't able to give you the one thing that all mamas are supposed to be able to give their babies. I was so committed to being able to breastfeed you that I cried (a lot) when I finally 'broke down' and gave you formula. I was convinced that I was doing you a huge disservice and tried everything to boost my supply, including eating what felt like gallons of oatmeal, lactation cookies, drinking mother's milk tea, letting you suckle for hours, and pumping until my nipples were black and blue (literally). Looking back now, I realize the formula I was giving you was finally filling you up, and you weren't hungry anymore. You started sleeping better and you were more content when you were awake. It was the best decision I could have made for both of us at the time and once I realized that, my guilt evaporated (along with my milk - sorry, couldn't resist) and I was finally able to enjoy my time with you without constantly stressing about whether or not you were hungry.

When you were just two months old, you took a road trip with mama and Grandpa Bill. We went to Toronto so you could meet your Great, Great Aunt Jean who was dying of cancer. Seeing her hold you with a huge smile on her face was so special, and something I'll always remember. How amazing for you to be able to fulfill someone's dying wish at only two months old. You were such a good girl, lying there peacefully in Aunt Jean's arms. Aunt Jean passed away the night we got home from our trip. We're all convinced that she held on to see the newest member of the McLaren crew (you!).

Sweet little Aurora, every day you continue to amaze your daddy and me. When you started smiling, I thought it was the best thing I had ever seen. When you carefully examine my face, when you look at your hands and then put them in your mouth, when you gently place your little hand on mine as you're falling asleep - all of these little moments make all of the hard days 1000 times worth it.

At the very beginning, when we were wondering how on earth we were going to get through it, some people would tell us "it gets better." I loved those people because they were a) admitting that having a newborn baby sometimes downright sucks, and b) assuring us that there were brighter, more rested days ahead. With every day that passes, I become more and more convinced that your dad and I have this under control. Not only do we know what we're doing, but we're actually getting pretty good at it.

Every time you smile, Rory, I fall in love with you all over again. When you coo contently, I am so proud of both you and I for how far we've already come. When you sleep for 7 straight hours I feel like you may just be the best baby in the whole world. When you're all cuddled up to be and I'm feeding you your bottle and you look up at me as if to say "thank you mama, I love you mama", it is one of the best parts of my day. 

Looking back over the past three months, I'm so proud of how far you and I have come. We've got a lifetime of learning, exploring, laughing, crying and growing together. We're just getting started, my girl, and I can't wait for the adventures that lie ahead. 



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  2. So proud of how honest this post is. I'm glad things are better and so happy for your little family! I hope I get to meet her one day!

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