Eighteen months ago, I was sitting in a beautiful, newly renovated hospital room at UCI in Orange, CA, meeting teams of doctors and waiting for the next chapter of my life to open...Parenthood. I was so excited. Josh and I were both very surprised when I found out I was pregnant and each day, we got more and more excited to welcome our baby girl into this world.
Josh had arrived at the hospital after work, purchasing a camera on the way. From what I remember, I was pretty calm, I think it was just too surreal. And because of my early epidural, I never felt one contraction (sorry). I kept thinking, labor is a piece of cake. Right after I had dilated to a nine, I felt the need to push. I told the doctors several times before they finally check and said, "you're at a ten. This baby is coming!" Josh stayed up by my head the whole time and his voice was the only one I listened too. Twenty minutes later, our sweet, unnamed baby girl was out and VERY alert!
When they were cleaning her up I remember my mom said, "she has a little bit of a cone head, but don't worry, that will go away" and "she has your nose!" Something I was a bit worried about (love Josh's nose, don't get me wrong). Josh did the first skin-on-skin, which I am so glad he was able to have that experience.
Every time they needed to take Charlotte for tests or she needed a diaper change, Josh was right there by her side. We both loved her so much from the second she arrived. We had her sleep in our room and we never were away from her.
You would think it was an actual birthday she was having but I need this post for me. I need to remember the quiet times, because it's anything but quiet these days. Everyone wants to say they have the perfect baby, and I was convinced that Charlotte was the PERFECT baby. But lately, it's been kind of hard; I need to write this post to keep everything in perspective. Josh always teases me that I have such a rough life, that I get to stay home with Charlotte and we play all day. There are plenty of days were all we did was play, but recently, I am just trying to get through each day. I think the "terrible two's" have a come a little early. She cries and whines a lot, she has a hard time sitting still (in strollers and shopping carts), most days she just wants to watch "Finding Nemo" ALL DAY, and when we are out in public she just wants to run. I have never been one that is great with kids and honestly, having your own is nothing like dealing with other people's kids, but it's emotionally draining when I have gone from one extreme to the next. I know this is totally normal, that every kid goes through this. In no way do I think she is bad or naughty, I know she is only a baby still and learning each day. And then she gives me kisses and hugs, it reminds me what a special relationship we have. I love this little girl more than anything. Like I've said before and will say it until she thinks I'm not cool anymore, she is my BFF. No matter what she puts me through, at whatever age, I will always love and support her. I made her. How beautiful is that?
This is the first time I have written my frustrations down, but there are, of course, some fun things she is doing that make each day so great! She is getting more animal noises under her belt. At first, she barked for every animal. I would always do the correct animal noises and just a couple weeks ago when I asked her what a kitty cat says, she responded "neow" in a high-pitch voice (yes there is an "n" sound). She also does an elephant, with her arm as the trunk and a monkey while it looks as if she is tickling herself. She is feeding herself, with utensils. She has been doing this for a couple months. I didn't give her utensils for a while because I didn't know if I should, but since we have moved I started giving them to her and now she is a pro! She says "MOMMY!" all day long. When she sees a picture of Josh she says "Daddy?" She has several facial expressions that just kill me. Her favorite thing (besides Nemo) would have to be taking showers. We started doing this at Christmastime in Newtown. We both loved it so much that we really haven't gone back to baths. If I am already done getting ready before she wakes up, she'll take one on her own. I don't have a shower curtain and have a clear liner, so it works perfectly. Maybe I'll keep it that way for a while. If she wakes up early enough, we will just take a shower together. Sundays, I have to wake her up at the same time Josh wakes up, so I throw her in the shower with him. She never wants to get out.
I take pictures of her almost everytime...it cracks me up.
Another thing we've been working on is calming herself down. Like I said, she's been crying and whining a lot, and I tell her to relax and she will put her finger up to her mouth and do the "shh" sound to calm her down. It's cute but I'm glad that she is learning to self-sooth (if that's what you want to call it). She loves playing on our bed, especially after I've made it! She will just lay on the pillows or climb on whoever is laying down with her. Another thing I am trying to do with her is bake. I got a KitchenAid and was a little intimidated to use it for a while, but now I am using it more often. I have Charlotte stand up on a chair next to me and pour in the ingredients. She loves it and loves the finished product!
Today we had her 18-month check-up with our new peditrican. I really liked him. Everything he said, I agreed with. Charlotte on the other hand was all over the place. THEN we had trouble with our insurance, so I had to call Josh at work, he had to call HR...we finally got it worked out but that was just more time in a tiny room with a naked toddler who wanted to get into everything. And then came the dreaded shots. Oh she was screaming and it was a nightmare, but we eventually got out of there.
I would take some pictures of her, but she is not a happy camper. I will just let her be and do her own thing for right now. Maybe I'll be able to capture a few pictures and post them later :)
Sorry this post is so long. There were a lot of things I needed to say and document. If you're still reading this, you must love us haha!