First off, words cannot even begin to describe how excited I am about meeting my niece. I have been wanting to hold this baby before she was even conceived. You can ask Anna, I am bugging the stink out of her with my daily/hourly questions of "has anything changed? Any contractions? Pain?" When I say hourly, unfortunately, that is a pretty literal statement. The anticipation is killing me!! I can't wait to see her and hold her and tell her how much her Aunt Coco loves her! I am going to be one of FIVE amazing aunts, so I am going to have to step up my game so I can be her favorite. haha!....just kidding to all other aunts who might reading this:) I'll just say this- Lucy Kate is going to be one loved baby girl.
Other than meeting Lucy Kate, I am beyond thrilled for Anna and Nathan to experience parenthood. There is nothing in the world that compares to those first few days in the hospital when you just fall head over heels in love with this precious gift. It is just the most incredible time as a family. I loved it, and I can't wait for them to have this special time with their daughter. It's especially wonderful because at the hospital, people wait on you hand and foot. They can take your baby to the nursery for some much needed sleep, people come and dote on you, and the world is just perfect. Then you go home....which brings me to my third point.
As wonderful as motherhood is, there is no denying its difficulty. Especially those first sleep-deprived, exhausting weeks/months. Even getting up with my babies at midnight, I truly cherished those moments. They were so precious and sweet...and so short. And that's what you have to remind yourself of at four a.m. Because you.are.so.tired. I used to pray "Lord, give me the strength to get through this and somehow enjoy it in the process." And He faithfully did. Some of my best memories of Lily and Evie at that age are the times I spent singing, nursing, and rocking them to sleep in the dark, quiet early morning hours. It's wonderful. And hard. And amazing. And enough to make you cry. And thank God for the precious blessing of actually having that baby to rock and hold. And also plead with God to please make this baby stop crying. When it comes down to it, there is nothing better in the world. Those hard moments will be over before you blink, and then you will wake up with a one year old. There are women all over the world who would long for nothing more than to get up and pace the floors with a screaming baby in their arms.
So that is what I am looking forward to the most: Anna (and Nathan) getting to experience the absolute JOY of one of God's sweetest gifts. My advice is to cherish every minute. It goes so fast. And when you are tired and can barely keep your eyes open, just praise God for Lucy Kate. Praise Him for healthy lungs that can scream so loud. Praise Him for her waking up at all hours to eat. It means she's a growing baby girl. Praise Him when you feel you just can't go on another minute....because He will give you what you need to care perfectly for her. Some of my most desperate and heartfelt prayers came after Evie was born. I would be exhausted, and she would be wide awake at three a.m. I knew I would be getting up with a two year old in a matter of hours, and I would think "there's just no way I can do this." But HIS strength is made perfect in my weakness, and somehow, I managed. I would hold her and think - this is LIFE, and I love it.
Last but not least, I would be remiss if I didn't say that I am looking forward to watching Anna change all those diapers, clean up spit-up, chase after a crawling/walking/crazy baby, and all of the other totally unexpected things that go along with motherhood. Because just as most (or all) of first time expectant mothers are, she.doesn't.have.a.clue. I can't wait to sit back and laugh. haha!!:) I'll leave you with a few quotes from Anna to prove my point:
"How hard can it be? If she wakes up, I'll just nurse her and lay her back down. I mean, why would a baby cry for no reason at all?"
" I have thirty newborn diapers, so that should last for a pretty long time."
me- "Anna, those might last four days..."
"WHAT?? Are you kidding me? They go that much?"