Phoebe Sue

Dear Phoebe Sue,

Today is your first birthday! I can’t believe that you have been with us for a whole year now!! What a joy and blessing it has been to watch you grow. I love being your mommy! You are such a happy baby. Always full of smiles and giggles. You adore your daddy and sister. You are crazy about circles and animals. You can say cat, dog, mama and dada. You don’t love to eat but you LOVE to nurse. You can stand for a few seconds and I think you’re almost ready to walk. You love music and clapping and you smile so big when Daddy plays his guitar for you. Sometimes you go pee pee in the potty too!

Today I’m watching you take a nap and I’m just overwhelmed with happiness.

I love you so much. I can’t help but think back on this day one year ago. I’d like to tell you the story of the day you came to be with us.

The day you were born, there was laughter in the air. We checked in at 5 in the morning and Daddy and I went to wait in the pre-op area. People were allowed to come visit as we waited for my operation. But for a lot of the time it was just me and Daddy. Daddy makes me laugh. It’s one of the things that I love most about him. That day was no different than any other in that regard. While I was being attended to by nurses he was finding ways to get me to giggle. And he was laughing too. The nurse even commented that she had never had someone laughing so much back there.

We laughed and talked and kissed. It was a beautiful moment for us. I was a little nervous but mostly I was excited. Your sister, Violet, was worried. She wasn’t sure about mommy having an operation. But I told her I would be just fine and soon she would be able to hold you.

When they came to take me back to the operating room, Daddy had to wait behind for a little while. We had to say goodbye in the hallway. I never ever like to say goodbye without a kiss from Daddy.

We kissed and he told me he loved me. Then they took me back to get my epidural. I was so nervous. I started shaking very hard and crying. I kept moving everytime the needle came close. I wanted your daddy. They wouldn’t let him come in yet though.

So I hugged the nurse. She told me to hug her as tightly as I wanted. So I did. I squeezed as hard as I could. Finally I was numb from the waist down and they let your daddy come back to me.

He kissed me through the mask he was wearing and held my hand. I wish I could remember what he said but I can tell you just holding his hand and looking into his eyes made me feel so much better.

The doctors were so careful and quick and suddenly you were here. I couldn’t wait to see you and hear your cry. My heart raced and I cried knowing you were waiting for your mama to hold you.

Your daddy held you first. He was so amazed by you. I think he fell in love with you right that second!

At last, you were with us and my heart felt like it grew 100 times bigger. I couldn’t believe how beautiful you were. Everyone said the same. You were perfect!

I held you on my chest and you were so strong. You actually lifted your tiny head and moved it to my breast! You nursed right away. Your daddy and I were so surprised! You nursed for a while as they stitched me up and then you went back to daddy’s arms.

He held you and also made sure I was ok too. You have a very thoughtful and kind father.

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Everyone couldn’t wait to see you. Especially your sister!

We stayed in recovery for about an hour and I held you most of the time. Sometimes daddy held you too. You learned how to breastfeed very quickly. You were perfect in every way. It was an amazing day filled with so much love.

“We made you, my darling, with the love in each of our hearts. We were a family, my darling, right from the start.”

Phoebe, you are our rainbow baby. We waited for you. We prayed for you. You are our dream come true little one.

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I can’t imagine our lives without you. Thank you for letting me be your mommy. Thank you for making me smile every single day.

We pray that you grow strong and healthy and always know that you are loved.

Forever love,

Mommy

Delivery Photos credit to Marsha M. Mason

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Memorable Monday

I have been thinking a lot lately about all the women who influenced my thoughts on breastfeeding. I would have to say that my Aunts were a great influence as I was growing up. In adulthood, I have been influenced by friends and especially my sister-in-law.

After graduating college I returned home three months after the birth if my niece. My brother and his wife brought the first grandchild into our family. I was an aunt for the first time. They really wanted someone to watch her in the home and I gladly took the job.

I loved caring for her and watching her sleep. In many ways, those six months that I cared for her really helped to shape me as a mother. I had babysat from the age of 12 but this was different. I was in charge if her care from about 7:30am until around 3 PM. I fed her, changed her, soothed her and gave her medicine when she was sick. It was a wonderful experience for me.

My sister-in-law breastfed her until she was about a year old. She had to return to work as an elementary school music teacher when my niece was 3 months old. So, as you can imagine, they were still really in the phase of nursing quite often.

My SIL asked if I would bring the baby up to her school at lunch every day so that she could nurse her on her break. I was more than happy to oblige. Each day I would drive my niece to school, which took 30 min., to see her mama. I would really try hard to time her pumped bottles in the morning to make sure she was ready to nurse when we got there but not too hungry in the car.

Sometimes I misjudged and she would scream and cry the whole way there. That was always hard, as I would have to just keep driving while she cried in order to get there in time to see her mama. I would sing to her and talk to her but often times she could not be soothed until she saw her mama’s sweet face.

My SIL was so strong and determined to breastfeed her baby. She pumped through the day and I always had enough pumped milk to feed my niece. As soon as she came home from work she would sit in her recliner and nurse her daughter. She was amazing and I have always admired her strength. She helped shape me into the mother I am today.

So, thank you,sister, for all that you did for my niece and thank you for being such a wonderful role model for me.
I love you!