Finding My Footing As A Mother

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It’s been a little over seven months that Henry has been in our lives and I continue to be amazed not only with every little thing he does, but how bringing him into our lives has changed us in the most profound ways. To say I was jaded and skeptical about just how dramatically a baby can shift your perspective on life is an understatement. I figured that I’d change, of course, but not that I’d end up one of these people who was all “ I wasn’t really living fully until I became a mom”. That phrase would send me into a fit of exaggerated eye rolls two years ago. How cliché.

But guess what? I wasn’t really living fully until I became a mom. Yup, it happened. Now I’m rolling my eyes at myself.

Now, this in no way means you need to have a child in order to live fully. Not at all. It’s just that for me, it took having Henry to get my head out of my ass and be able to live in the moment and appreciate the amazing blessings I have- a loving family, good health, a beautiful home, a caring nanny for Henry, a job I love and a fully stocked wine rack (because wine is the fuel on which mommy runs. Also, coffee). I never really realized just how focused I was on the wrong things and how stressed I’d get about total bullshit until I had something BIG jostle me awake to the fact.   For some people it’s another kind of catalyst that does it, for me it was Henry. Of course in the early days of motherhood I feared that I had ruined my perfectly curated life with this screaming, needy, terrifyingly vulnerable baby. But in the last two months Henry has developed into a magical little person whose smile and giggle could potentially save the world (in my eyes, at least). No longer a sleepy lump, he’s giving back, sitting up, discovering the world and developing new skills every second! He’s made me recognize what is truly important by giving me a powerful frame of reference. Is my son happy and healthy? Yes. Ok, great- so am I going to get all upset about a light fixture being backordered AGAIN for another ten weeks? Nope, not that important (although still epically annoying). I have so much more patience and empathy than I did before, which is truly a game changer when it comes to my daily happiness.  The little things like watching tv in bed with Andrew at the end of the day or taking a walk as a family fill me with gratitude, where as before I may have just gone about these kinds of things in a stress fog.

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Henry’s Birth Story

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Moments after birth!

This will be brief, and thankfully uneventful, but I wanted to document it here since most of my life story seems to be chronicled on this blog.  So much for taking a week off, huh?? I guess I just don’t know how to quit you.  Don’t worry, next week I’ll have the beginning of my holiday gift guides and curb the baby stuff a bit. :)

We were due on Sunday November 15th and I was sure I was going to be late.  So I went to bed Friday night after seeing the doctor thinking we had one more weekend to get prepped for baby. Well, cut to 12:30 p.m. when my water broke. After feeling the most bizarre sensation, I laid there going “Was that what I think it was? Is this really happening? Oh my God”- I woke Andrew up and told him and he was half-asleep and confused saying “What? Are you sure? Really? NOW?” and then woke up a little and looked at me and goes “It’s Friday the 13th!”   Earlier in the week we had come to realization that it was possible that Henry could be born on Friday the 13th AND we live on Crystal Lake (apparently that is where the Friday the 13th movies take place, not that I would know since I am too terrified to see them).  So I spent a couple days concerned I was about to birth a serial killer, and here I was heading to the hospital on that very date!

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Henry’s Nursery

So here it is- finally- Henry’s nursery reveal! It’s taken a long time to complete, but I am so grateful to Wayfair for helping outfit this room with some seriously dreamy items! As you know, I went with a serene scheme aimed at calming not only the little guy but myself as well. I knew I wanted to do a scenic wallpaper and chose this Susan Harter muralpaper (Calmsden in Grisaille) to base the room on. It’s SO gorgeous, a real work of art. We want Henry to love being outside, so hopefully this starts him off on the right foot.

For the crib I chose the ducduc Campaign crib and I am OBSESSED. It’s the perfect mix of modern and boyish with the greyish stained wood supports. It’s an amazingly well made piece of furniture too.  The bedding here is from Rikshaw (quilt and sheet) which I have loved forever, and the mobile I got from a maker on Etsy (the brass finish is INCREDIBLE in person against the paper!)

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Introducing Henry.

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He’s finally here!  Our baby boy made his debut into the world on Friday (the 13th!) evening after a pretty uneventful labor (more on that another day).  I still cannot believe he’d real and he’s MINE (especially because he came out BLONDE?!?!)

His name is a mix of tributes, and one we loved from the very beginning (before he was even a real possibility).   I will never forget when we had to cancel our first round of IVF because I had a bad reaction to some medication and I was devastated and blaming myself and Andrew looked at me and said ” We need to give Henry the best chance to come meet us” and I lost it.  Ever since then, we knew we’d name him Henry (and as it turns out, we each have relatives named Henry!)  I wanted something classic, so it stuck even as we tried to find something more “unique”, but we knew in our guts this would be it.

For middle names we doubled it up as Andrew is actually Andrew Bradley Stephenson Gates and we wanted to follow that tradition.  Flynn was my middle name until marriage and my paternal grandmother’s maiden name. I’ve always loved it and knew I would give it to my first child either as a first name or middle name.  So that was super easy. :)  Stephenson is Andrew’s maternal side of the family (his mother’s maiden name and his dearly beloved Grandpop’s last name whom we wanted to honor in Henry).

Here’s our little family the morning after birth. And yes, I did wear pajamas and loved having them. :)

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Heading home!

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Meeting Baxter and Oliver with Nana and Daddy- they did SO well. Oliver is actually quite obsessed with him- he wants to be next to him ALL the time! Baxter has been ignoring him, exactly as I predicted.  But doesn’t seem mad or depressed, just non-chalant.

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And we made it home just in time for his first Patriot’s game with Daddy.

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Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers and good thoughts.  He is the picture of health- crying very little, eating like a champ and sleeping really well and thriving.  We are so happy.

I’m going to post his nursery reveal on Wednesday (it’s so wonderful) and birth story on Friday. So I’m not gone, just in a baby haze. :)

Love,

Erin