The First Week

6.20.2014

I kept my expectations low for life postpartum. I do a variation of prepare for the worst, hope for the best with a dash of "if you brace yourself for something to suck, think of how pleasantly surprised and happy you'll be when good comes from it." I expected to not sleep, and to cry a lot, and to be frightened by how much I didn't know. I braced myself for the hormonal mood swings, the night sweats, the leaking boobs, the hair loss. I relished every long afternoon nap and spontaneous trip to the store that took all of five minutes to get out the door.

In the time it takes to grow a human, there's a lot to think and to feel and anticipate. There are so many moments. Joy at the thought of what will be. Excitement to meet this new little person, knitted together so carefully and thoughtfully for close to a year. Nervousness at the thought of no longer being able to safely shield and carry her and protect her from everything out here. Selfishness in my moments of realizing that I really enjoy the life of just Bryan and me -- but trusting that it's because we just don't know how amazing it would be to have her join us.

But no one could have prepared me for this.

No one could have told me just how much I would love her. It's so bizarre, too - because how amazing to be so loved by everyone for just merely existing?

Melissa came over a few days after we finally got home from the hospital and took photos of our family of three. When we woke up that morning I told Bryan that I just wanted to be able to capture what our life looked like in that precious and tired first week. Baby accoutrements strewn about the apartment, tired eyes and messy hair - I wanted to remember all of it (...even my fluid retention).  Bryan said, "So, should I put pants on?" and we decided that yes, Bryan. We'll make an exception for pants.




Bryan and I leaned in to smooch Elsa and knocked heads instead. Elsa was not amused ;)















We're four weeks in and thankfully (and unsurprisingly), I was really wrong in my expectations (except for the leaking boobs - that's REAL). I think partly because I could only imagine the bitter without the sweet, and I didn't account for the grace God would give us in savoring each moment with her because I understand now just how fleeting it is.

"You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow, they'll be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift. Breathe and notice. Smell and touch them; study their faces and little feet and pay attention. Relish the charms of the present. Enjoy today. It will be over before you know it." 
                                          - Jen Hatmaker 

19 comments:

  1. oh my sweet Franny as a mommy. Tears throughout this entire post! how proud of you I am!!! <3

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  2. I'm expecting my first baby in the next 2.5 weeks (or, you know, whenever he decides). This was beautiful to read- thank you!

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    1. Ahhhh! SO EXCITING! I hope he comes in a timely manner :) I hope the rest of pregnancy goes well and you get plenty of rest.

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  3. I love the photos, Fran. I love that you didn't get up early, get dressed with makeup, and stage a scene that isn't realistic to first-time Mom's. Even though I have a long ways to go, I often think about how our world will change. I know I can't anticipate it and I find myself fluctuating from being ridiculously nervous/scared to overwhelmingly excited. I'm hoping that with time I'll find myself somewhere in the middle ;)

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  4. That picture of her sleeping with her little mouth open is amazing. Such a unique spin on the newborn photos, a nice diversion from the babies in the cabbage heads or pumpkins ala Anne Geddes. Congratulations, you all look so happy!

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    1. I already look at that and feel kind of achey that she's already so much bigger than that! Thank you so much for the kind words...I really love them, too. I am glad the idea translated well and would love to do that with all of our babies!

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  5. So perfect. So beautiful. Happy tears for you and your family!!!

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  6. These photos are so honest and beautiful. They'll be so great to look back at!

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  7. So beautiful Fran - kind of bummed Bryan wore pants but overall, really happy about how happy you all look together. LOVE

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  8. These are beautiful and so perfect.

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  9. So many things...

    First, I just discovered your space here and I'm in love with it. If you need me, I'll be clicking back through your archives all night.

    The naturalness in these pictures is perfection. Exactly what I'm hoping for when our little one arrives in October.

    Your voice is so lovely and so apparent in your writing. Can't wait to read more.

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    1. I'm a few days late, but THANK YOU! Seriously, such an honor to hear when anyone likes what I write. Love the space you've created as well - and your IG photos are beautiful!

      I am so excited for you - your life is about to get so much sweeter :) I hope the Alabama summer is good to you and you prop up your feet often and enjoy air conditioning as much as possible.

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  10. These are beautiful. So real, and so much love is obvious. The quote from Jen Hatmaker is perfect.

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  11. These are precious photos! I love that you are loving being a mother to Elsa!

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