I don’t really have words for how the pictures above make me feel. I LOVE them! But I'm a little sad, a little happy, a little just wanting to be the best girl mama that Baby E could ever dream of. It’s a lot. I’m so glad our son was first — I need that little boy, I prayed hard for him because I wanted a little boy first that bad — but somehow this one feels like starting from scratch all over again.
We're having a GIRL! Sure, everyone knows that by now. We are getting sprinkled with small, adorable, very thoughtful, PINK gifts as our due date approaches. It's kind of different. When we found out we were having a girl my husband practically did a happy dance... or was bouncing of walls with excitement in the ultrasound room... I'm not sure which phrase he would prefer more. He's always wanted a little girl. After we left the doctors office that day we went and bought our first pink outfit so we could tell his parents it was a girl. I was (and am) set on her being just as special as our firstborn so telling family over the phone or just a casual "Oh, yeah, it's a girl by the way." wasn't going to cut it with me.
Surprisingly, I didn't go crazy with the pink and the only thing I've bought without my husband being there was some socks and small hair bows. I'm adamant about hair bows big little. Big, poofy hair bows just look ridiculous to me...and I'm not THAT frilly of a person. We didn't buy clothes for her until maybe a month later when I decided I just needed some pink around the house to get used to the idea of having a girl. Burlington - literally my new go-to for baby and kids clothes - was where we bought 4 hangers of girl clothes. Probably 6 outfits and even one with a pair of shoes for not very much at all. I have no problem spending money on certain things and I value professional services I pay for, however baby and kids clothes are far from on the top of that list. They ruin easily and if they don't ruin first, then they grow out of them in like a month.... or so has been our experience with our 36 pound 2.5 year old boy. So sorry high-end, boutique dress companies, I may be having a girl but I'm probably not spending $50 on a dress for her until the Sadie Hawkins dance or something. Also, Jane..... enough said ha.
The day after I started writing this post we had the worst day with our son. He has always been an amazing boy and so well-behaved. As a baby, he was an unrealistically good sleeper, eater, and just a happy baby. I think he only ever spit up twice and beyond teething fevers and such, didn't really ever get sick until a month or so ago. So really as parents, my husband and I have been completely spoiled by our firstborn (wish us all the luck for baby #2!). Anyhow, for some reason that one bad day last week just made me feel like I should delete this post and forego the entire idea of a Mother's Day blog. I felt like a horrible mama! Yes, I own a business and I spend full days and some afternoons away from my son while at weddings and portrait sessions. It's still probably safe to say though that he basically spends 24/7 with me. He's usually such a good kid that I couldn't - and still kind of can't - wrap my head around the fact that we may very well just be in the late stages of the terrible twos! I think as moms we all have days where we feel like we are failing. Kids. Spouses. Ourselves. I'm going to say it's probably a normal human thing - just like sometimes two-year-old's have horrible days too. My final thought is that we are almost a week out from our baby girl being here and maybe our son knows things are about to change and that's his reasoning for "acting up". Needless to say, my husband and I have high hopes that they will soon be tighter than peas and carrots, if it doesn't happen right off the bat. And yes, I also know deep down I'm really not a horrible mother.
Being my third Mother's Day, this is strange to say: I'm 38 weeks pregnant this year and even with our unpredictable toddler, it may be the best one ever. Being a mom on Mother's Day certainly doesn't consist of breakfast in bed or the best day of the year by any means. I've been surrounded by children my entire life, but I don't feel like a pro at all and my first two Mother's Days were hard for me. An 8 month old for my first one and a huge bundle of toddler boy energy for the second (and technically for this year too). Get to church on time with that! I basically picture the movie Moms' Night Out every time. And yes, I'm the mom that can't get the towel dispenser in the bathroom to work... next year I can multiply all that by TWO!
Above are mobile pictures from the last few weeks of baby girl. I didn't take pictures EVERY SINGLE WEEK with either of my babies until 30 weeks. The last 10 weeks always seem to change more so of course, I had to do the same with baby girl that I did with Rustin. I’m so ready for a big summer with BOTH of my babies and all the changes that are fixing to come. Here’s to being super aware and opened minded about all of it so it’ll maybe be an easier transition too. I don't know about other moms that have multiple children but I'm genuinely concerned about having two now. I'm worried about forgetting my first baby, not giving him all the time he's gotten from me since quitting my job at the hospital and taking on the full-time, photographer-mom role. That was a hard transition but when we got over the hump things were a breeze. Happy starting again. I know all the sweet mothers of multiple children will encourage me that "It'll be okay" and thankfully they are the same moms I can vent my stress level too without judgement. They get it. Mommin' ain't easy!
Remember earlier I said this Mother's Day may be the best one ever? No, I'm not rushing my babies to grow up, but I'm just happy. I'm excited watch (hopefully) tee ball, be the crazy mom in the stands at basketball games or whatever they both play. Our boy LOVES music so I wouldn't doubt we'll have some form of that in future and who knows about baby girl yet. I really truly look forward to that. This summer we are teaching little man to fish which he is so excited about. He has Hot Wheels sunglasses and insisted this morning that I help him put them on top of his head "like daddy" (insert heart explosion here).
There's so much to look forward to as a parent. Yes, sometimes we feel like it's all falling apart. It's all bittersweet, but it's awesome. You raise your babies the best you know how and send them out in the world to make a positive difference and inspire people. Maybe they move to some place completely different than what they are used to or maybe they will stay close by. Maybe they will travel the world, maybe they will acquire a degree, learn a skill or profession, and then boomerang back home - or not. Hopefully, whether it's what/where/how you prefer or not, they become successful, stable and happy adults. Really, what more should you ask for? I can't wait to cheer my kids on as they grow into adults. I'm sure there's going to be a LOT of tears of both happiness and sadness, some frustration, probably confusion from all of us, and on my end more than likely a LOT of prayin'!
If you're a veteran mama, I'm watching you. I still have so many things to learn and some things I'll probably never learn. I'm sure I already learn something new every day but I'm still learning from you too. If you're a new mama, I'm just going to be here for you. I was in your shoes not long ago and hopefully it's easier for you than it was for me, but if not, I'm a listening ear. If you desire to be a mama, for the first time or just praying to add to your family, I'm praying too. I understand that feeling and trust me, when it happens, your baby announcement might make me cry.
Because it's Mother's Day, I'm wishing you the best day today. You may have had a rough week, your baby might have not slept at all last night, your toddler may be a holy terror, you might be about to watch one of your babies graduate from high school or college (which I can't and don't want to remotely fathom at this point). But I know, in my short bit of time as a mother, that it's not easy. That's about the only way to put it. It's not easy, but it's crazily wonderful.
I'm super blessed to be surrounded by some great moms, who are very supportive and there for me (and my little family) when needed. I can't wait to add another girl to the mix who will have equally the support and encouragement. To those ladies who inspire me to be the best mama to my little girl (and to my first and only baby boy):
Happy Mother's Day! I love you all very much!
Another great mother, Rachael Houser, of Rachael Houser Photography for the family + maternity portraits.
Maternity sweater: Pink Blush