On Monday, our little mister turned three months and we celebrated as a family of three. If I’m going to be honest, we spent the bulk of the evening trying to put an overly excited Emerson down for a nap, but this is our life now and we kinda sorta love it. A lot. These last three months have been the most incredible months of our lives. Adi and I sometimes sit and stare in awe at him and wonder what we did to deserve such an amazing gift. Every day, baby Em makes new discoveries (hello, fingers) and grows out of his adorable outfits way too fast (hello, mommy tears). It’s all quite bittersweet actually. Bitter because I miss everything all the time… his tiny size, the way he’d let us cuddle him in any position, how much he used to gurgle and grunt in his sleep, and how he would comfortably and perfectly fit in our arms. Yet it’s sweet because of all the new stages that make us laugh till it hurts… the way he tries so desperately to understand & focus on the connection between him feeling something on his toes and seeing us kiss them, the games we play, his little laugh & our conversations, and how he finally knows us as his momma and dadda (at least we hope he does). I just love it all. Every last bit of it. And today, as I write this, I am fighting back those hormonal momma tears because I just can’t believe this little blessing is ours forever.
I wanted to share a few of the last three months because those memories are so fleeting so here’s to celebrating little Em!
Emerson’s birth was difficult, yet perfect. If I could have written it myself, it wouldn’t have been half as good. I labored at home (with remnants of a flu) for a full 25 hours because my contractions refused to get closer than 5 minutes apart. It was emotionally draining and I was tired to say the least, but looking back, that time at home taught me so much about my body, my endurance, my mind, and best of all, my God. When I had nothing else, I had Him and that was all I needed to get me through the pain. That, and Adi letting me squeeze whatever body part of his I could reach fastest. God bless that man of mine. Once we got to the hospital, everything progressed beautifully and I had the most incredible nurses alive, who made all the difference in the world. With their help, my amazing family who all not so nonchalantly took over and set up house in the family waiting area thankyouverymuch, and of course, my superhero husband who sat by my side watching that monitor like his life depended on it, warning me with each coming contraction and offering a numb hand, Emerson Cayden was born on Sunday, July 1 at 10:42 AM. He came out kicking his legs, squirming around, and sucking his fingers. From the beginning, everything from his squinty eyes down to his soft cry (which by the way, has since been perfected to a much stronger, manlier pitch) was as sweet and perfect as can be.
In those first few days, we did a lot of staring. A lot of asking. A lot of kissing and cuddling that sweet face. And we were amazed at how little sleep we got.
But through it all, the thing we were most amazed by was how quickly we felt like a complete family of three. Emerson felt like he had always belonged to us and Adi and I were overcome by complete protection and love for him.
I remember seeing Adi for the first time with him alone. There aren’t really any words for what I felt in that moment. It’s as if your whole heart swells to the point of spilling over. There’s something so deep, so incredibly overwhelming, so inspiring about seeing the man you love most in the world with the little life you both created. There is a beautiful simplicity and yet such an intricate feeling in knowing that part of you and part of him is in this tiny baby.
We brought him home after a few days in the hospital and felt such a mix of emotions as we walked through that front door. Contentment and happiness to finally be coming home with our little family, but at the same time, fearful and nervous. I wasn’t prepared for what was about to happen… I still had so many questions. I needed to take many more baby care classes. And good heavens, I needed a solid hour of sleep to regroup. He felt so tiny and perfect to us that we were afraid of messing him up. We googled everything under the sun and moon—most of which started with “is it normal for newborns to…(insert the most ridiculous questions you can think of)”. We youtube’d videos on how to bathe a newborn. How to clean his ears. How to soothe a crying baby. We read every article there was on breast feeding. We downloaded every baby app there was. And then there were the pictures we’d take of the smallest rash and compare it with images online so that we could self diagnose our little guy. In the end, we ended up at his pediatricians office 3 times in his first week of life. Let’s just say we’re all on a first name basis now. Even though we felt pretty prepared before Ems arrived, we quickly realized how clueless we really were.
The first month was what we like to call the “getting to know each other” month. We spent a lot of time learning about him and he spent just as much time learning about his new world. We showered him with more kisses than he probably would have liked, we cuddled with him as much as we possibly could, and of course, I had an absolute blast taking a thousand photos of him. I mean, honestly now… you try and resist those chubby cheeks and little rolls.
It was fun and there was so much love in that month but it was also hard. Really, really hard. No, let me rephrase just in case anyone misunderstood: it was the hardest month of our lives. Both Adi and I don’t do very well without our sleep and well, there wasn’t much of that happening in our home. Emerson was up every 2 hours at night and by the time we fed, burped, and changed him, we were able to get about 30 minutes of sleep before the next round. Little Ems also had some colic/acid reflux/whoreallyknows going on and cried a lot the first month. For us, that was probably the biggest shock because we just weren’t prepared for it. I mean, we knew babies cried, but that much? Not part of the plan. We often felt helpless and worried that we weren’t doing enough. Our saving grace was my mom who pretty much lived with us during that period and my cousin who came all the way from Romania to visit Emerson. Poor thing… here she thought she was coming on vacation. So yes, it was really hard, BUT—oh, glorious but—then it suddenly started to get better. The crying started decreasing, we became bathing pros, and our baby boy started to enjoy his new world and his new family.
Sure, there were the occasional fits…
But he quickly realized we weren’t the enemies. We were his parents who loved him more than anything and he began to trust us. And once we established that, we all started to have so much fun together. Enter month 2.
Emerson’s second month was the beginning of his discoveries. He discovered his voice and wasn’t afraid to use it. He “talked” to us all day long and started to recognize us. He smiled a lot and held up his head, which we were extremely proud of. He kicked his legs nonstop… and when I say nonstop, I mean those legs only stopped moving when he’d sleep. We joke that he’ll be a famous soccer player someday and we’ll get to retire early. ;) Ems discovered his fingers and how great they tasted and we quickly introduced tummy time to him, which he loved and often mistook for nap time. This was also the month that we started to sleep longer and feel like ourselves again. We got out of the house more often and our little mister got his first taste of church. That latter part was confusing for all of us. He was either loving it and praising Jesus through his vocal chords or he wasn’t prepared for the sermon to be louder than his voice and strongly opposed this. We also spent time introducing Emerson to lots of music, books, and the outdoors…
He was so alert and especially loved watching movement—trees, us dancing, shadows—and he loved (loves) my singing. Smart boy. Even though we swore we’d never do this, Ems got lots of nicknames from us, which include monkey, big bear, & squirrel to name a few. How’s that for annoying parents? He interacted with us a lot more and was napping for 2.5-3 hour stretches during the day. Insert Amen’s and Hallelujah’s everywhere. He’d still cry from colic/acid reflux/whoreallyknows but it was significantly less and somewhat bearable since we felt we could now soothe him… like giving him a bath, which he LOVES, followed by the world’s greatest spa-like massage (this kid has the life, let me tell ya). At 6 weeks, he discovered how much fun it was to splash us with his kicking feet and even though occasionally, his attempt to soak us ended up in his own face, we never heard a single complaint out of him. I also began training him to get used to endless photoshoots… sometimes it worked:
While other times, not so much.
We’re still training and I do feel his posing has vastly improved. Enter month 3.
Oh gosh, you guys. This month has been the best yet… and I have a feeling I’ll be saying that with each passing month. The colic/acid reflux/whoreallyknows is completely gone and we have had such an absolute blast with our little guy as his personality has been showing through more and more. For starters, he loves sleeping in until at least 10 AM on a regular basis and if you disturb him, Lord help us all. Once he does wake up though, he has the most adorable permanent goofy smile plastered all over his face. We have our morning routine which includes everything from praying, to stretching, to singing, to dancing, and of course, talking. Emerson will talk your ear off and he’s learned to use different tones too. Case in point: last night, we woke him up for bath time (strange growth spurt is causing him to sleep longer than usual) and boy did he let us have it. Mister stern-faced Emerson sat there, looking from my face to Adi’s, and I swear, lectured us for an hour straight. No, more like, yelled at us both and we totally felt like going to our rooms once he was done with us. Good stuff right there.
His smile lights up my world. It can cure many a bad, hard, long days and gives us the purest form of joy I have ever known. I absolutely adore how the littlest things make him happy and how simple it is. There’s no better feeling than seeing that toothless grin from ear to ear and knowing that our little boy is happy as can be.
This last month, he’s loved grabbing things (like my hair), pulling himself up, rolling over, and sitting up nice and tall (slow down there little one!). He loves his play yard and talks to himself in the mirror like he’s conducting the world’s most important meeting. He loves reading books with us, mostly because of the ridiculous voices we make, and gets startled every time we play peek-a-boo (I promise he loves it though). He started giggling and squealing this month too, which is just about the cutest sound we’ve ever heard. Our favorite time of day is still when Adi comes home from work… little monkey sure does love his daddy. And then there are the precious weekends where it’s just the three of us making new memories. FYI, we’re still working on those Sunday church outings. I have faith.
Little Em now thinks it’s fun to see just how many fingers he can fit in his mouth (not fun for me, as this usually results in him gagging).We’ve tried many a times introducing a pacifier and he wants nothing to do with it. For the most part, he wakes us up only once a night, and we’ve experienced one full night of sleep since Emerson arrived in our world. We look forward to those heaven sent nights again and hope they are a part of our near future. Indeed, life has changed for us in every way and yet,… it hasn’t. Yea, there are many new things that we’re experiencing and many adjustments that we’ve had to make, but at the same time, we’re still us. Adi and I try and do many of the same activities we used to do and we’re slowly but surely getting the hang of this parenting thing.
Yea, we’re still us… only better.
Happy 3 months little Em! We look forward to all that’s to come and love you oh-so-much!