Friday, July 21, 2017

New job titles: Mom & Dad

I don't know if I've ever told you this, but in jr. high, I was nicknamed "Mom" by my circle of friends.  This nickname stuck and permeated into other circles throughout high school and college.  For the first time, now, however, I can officially assume this role!

Our son, Jacob Earl, was born Monday, July 3, 2017 at 8:54 p.m.  He weighed 6 lbs. 7 oz. and measured 19 in. long.  I know several of you are interested in all the details, but several of you aren't, so I've written a separate post about his birth story.  Click here if you'd like to read it!  The nutshell version, though: it went well.  ☺

Perhaps my favorite part of being pregnant was watching Bryant getting increasingly excited to be a dad...and that "favorite" has permeated into motherhood.  I love how much he loves our son.  It's so awesome to see him assume a brand new role so naturally and so well.  Definitely brings a tear to my eye.

I have cried many tears over this baby, already (quite literally - have to wipe them off his super-squeezable cheeks, sometimes).  They start as happy tears - tears of gratitude for the gift God has given us in this son.  Tears of overflowing love for him.  Tears of amazement at the way he looks at me, and that he looks around for his dad and me when he hears us speak and did so even in his first few moments in the world.

My happy tears, however, soon turn to tears of heartache.  Perhaps it's my hormones leaking, as I like to say, but more likely, it's my heart growing to understand new heights of joy and realizing the potential for equal depths of pain.  My heart aches for those who long to be mothers and are still patiently waiting on God's timing and answer to their persistent prayers.  My heart aches for those mothers who have lost children, young and old.  It aches for those whose are witnessing their babies going through illness and pain.

These tears change again, however, to tears of admiration.  Admiration of all the mothers who have gone before me - those I've known, those I've observed from afar, and those I've only heard about.  It's been made clear to me that a mother's sacrificial love manifests itself in so, so many ways - before and after birth!  It is shown in late-night feedings and early morning diaper changes.  In months of careful eating and health monitoring in an effort to get pregnant.  In wanting the very best for her child, regardless of the implications on herself.  In financial saving and sacrifices to fund adoption and/or fostering.  In sore nipples and tears of pain during breastfeeding.  In complete lifestyle changes and priority shifts.  Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list - only the tip of the "mother's love" iceberg - but it's what's on my heart, right now.  A mother loves her child so much before she meets him/her, and though it doesn't seem like there could possibly be any more love to give, that love just continues to multiply once she holds her child in her arms and watches him/her grow.  It's amazing.

(A father's love is similar, of course, but I can't speak about it as knowledgeably...☺)

On a lighter note...I believe I promised you pictures of the nursery.  ☺  Keep in mind these were taken before Jacob arrived.  There have been some subtractions/additions of various things, and it definitely looks more "lived in," currently.  Wish I could somehow attach the "new baby" smell for you all!  (I mean that wonderfully good "new baby" smell - nothing to do with poopy diapers, though in an effort to keep it real, I'd probably attach that, too.)
This is a "before" picture of the bookshelf corner...
...and after!
Shelves courtesy of IKEA - custom cuts and installation courtesy of my handy husband!
So many great things in this pic!
The dresser-turned-changing-table was found and delivered by Bryant's parents and painted by his talented sister.  Isn't it beautiful?!  And it's the perfect size/height.
You may recognize the pennant banner and diaper cake from a couple different showers.
The little wagon is holding alphabet blocks is an antique from my dad's side of the family.
Another great hand-made gift and little boots from ancestors on my dad's side of the family.
We were so excited when we found this rocker at a consignment sale - it was just what we were looking for!
The afghan was made by a friend (it's the perfect size - Jacob and I have used it every time he's nursed!).
Boppy and cover (and cute little tote down there) were much-appreciated, practical gifts.
We couldn't believe our luck when we found this crib on clearance at NFM at 1/3 of the original price!
Both blankets were handmade gifts.
You may recognize the wall-hangings from the showers, as well.
We'd been collecting books here and there for a long time and have been gifted so, so many since our pregnancy news and baby's arrival.
The frog was a gift, and the striped bin was the very first thing I purchased for the nursery after finding out our baby was a boy.

That's all, for now, from this new mom!  Thanks, as usual, for reading and for your interest, love, and support.


Favorites of the day:
Our first date night as parents: "Netflix and Chill" with ice cream souvenirs we brought home from the hospital.
(Do you get it?  "chill" - ice cream?  Haha.  Bryant has been killing it with the "Dad Jokes," already.  Though, if you know him at all, you know he was ultra-prepared in that department, and had been practicing long before adding the "Dad" part to his joke repertoire.  ;)
the fact that this baby is starting to learn the difference between night and day, already!
These precious bright eyes.  Can't wait to see what color they turn out to be!
His mom and dad's are hazel and green, respectfully, so we'll see.

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