A day out with baby.

Sam and I have had the joy of having his parents visit us. They’ve been here since Sunday and I am just so thankful for everything they have been doing for us.

Ma has been so helpful. She has prepared meals, cleaned up after, helped me fold clothes, held Daphs and changed her, and offered invaluable advice just when I needed it. Pa has held Daphs and rocked with her, pushed her along in the stroller, and made her coo and fall asleep in his arms. Their visit has been a very welcome treat for the both of us. We are thankful for them. Truly.

Today was our last full day with them being here. They’ll make the trek back to Kansas tomorrow. We wanted them to see downtown Charleston.

I made sure Daphs was well fed and had a clean diaper before we left. We got to downtown around 1045/11ish. It was a lovely day! Pa parallel parked and I fed the hungry meter some quarters to buy us a couple of hours. The air was cool but not bitter and the sun was shining fully.

We headed down the main street and I excitedly pointed out stores and buildings. Daphs was rolled along in our jogging stroller and remained content and warm.

Parenting is truly a trial and error experience at times. In the few days we’ve gone out in public with Daphs, we’ve experimented with different levels of warmth in the vehicle and layers of clothing. A few times we had to take layers off and felt a sweaty baby emerge from the carseat. I certainly don’t want an overheated baby! We also have been learning Daph’s routine by trial and error. I initially would change her diaper to wake her up and then follow up by nursing her. After a few days of this, I realized a pattern: She poops halfway through feedings, guaranteed. Now, I feed her and then change her. This saves me sanity and diapers!

Being out in public with baby has stressful moments but it doesn’t have to be a traumatic event. As I mentioned, Daphs was great out today. We walked around downtown for a solid 3-4 hours. We often stopped to look in stores and went up and down curbs. She heard the hustle and bustle of cars and trucks passing by on the street. The whole time, she remained sleeping in her snuggly blankets in our stroller, her chariot.

When we all were hungry, we stopped in at Barbara Jeans for lunch. I went to the bathroom to feed and change her. This was a good 4 hours after I had fed her at home. I had to wake her from her peaceful sleep and she wasn’t hungry at the moment. We ate lunch and while Pa ran back to the car to feed the meter, I fed her under the security of my receiving blanket at the table in the restaurant.

The restaurant was empty save the servers and a table of elderly women eating. I covered up and wasn’t scared to nurse in public. Baby had to eat! I knew she would be hungry by then and by george, I wasn’t going to let my baby squeal and starve in public. Breastfeeding in public wasn’t bad. I made sure to cover up and I was discreet.

The night before, I had been concerned with the prospect of not having a place to nurse her or change her while we were out and about. I was a little stressed. When it was all said and done though, I came to realize that I could let that worry cripple me into ruining a wonderful day out with my loved ones. I could have been so consumed with worry that I would have been fretful and grumpy. What a horrible attitude! What a bad way to spend the last day out with family! I changed my attitude and didn’t stress–after all, the majority of fears don’t come to fruition.

I can honestly say that I had a great day out with baby. I had a wonderful time out with family. Today was great. Daphs slept. We walked in the open air and saw many bright colors and got a taste of fickle winter here in South Carolina. I will be sad to see my parents leave. We hope to go home for Christmas and I can honestly say that I am so excited to see all my family. My eyes have been opened.

It took becoming a parent for me to want to be a parent.

Growing up, I’m sure I played with dolls and pretended to be a mom. I never wanted to be a mom though. It wasn’t my dream.

Sam and I spent the first 6 years of our marriage not wanting kids (more like not having discussed kids and not made a decision about it either way). We decided to have kids because it was something we wanted in our future—we wanted children and a family to call our own. It was the right time.

My pregnancy, as you might know, was generally a good one and it was an exciting time in our life. My birth was also exciting and quite an ordeal. I can honestly say that the past 10 days of my life have been the best days yet.

Each day, my love for my husband and my daughter grows. I look at my husband and am filled with pure joy and a deeper connection. The fibers of our love have strengthened and become more tightly knit. I am consumed with gratitude for him as my helper. He wakes up in the night to change Daphne’s diaper while I sit up and ready myself in bed to nurse her. He refills my water bottle with cool water for me to sip while I nurse. He holds me close and tells me how excited he is to squeeze me in a big hug when my incision hurts. His desire for me has only grown. I am full of love for him.

I look into my daughters eyes and I want to cry. She looks up at me with trust and confusion. She hears my voice and her head turns to find me. She listens to me sing to her as I nurse her and rock her for bed. I keep a song in my heart and in her ears as often as I can. I tell her how beautiful she is. I kiss her forehead and gently brush her hair with my fingers as I nurse her.

Daphne and Sam are my world. I am a blessed woman. I never knew that I could love another person as much as I love Sam. My life is becoming more rich and full. I have barely tasted parenthood but I love it already.

I am ready to face all challenges to raise my little girl to be strong and loving. I eagerly accept the challenge of making sure my daughter has self respect and respect for others around her. I want to raise a happy child. A gentle heart. A selfless person.

I am in love. I am content. I love being a mother. I love cherishing every moment I can with Daphne. I love holding her and spending time with her.

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