You Light Up My Life

July 30, 2015

IMG_0389Before I had a baby I was very skeptical about motherhood. I read post after post from moms who talked about how fulfilling and amazing it was being a momma to littles, and I worried that I wouldn’t find it nearly as gratifying and wonderful as others described. I wondered, to be totally honest, if I had the “mom gene.”

We walked the road of infertility for two years before Ainsley arrived. Sometimes when you’re in the thick of charting and temping and visiting doctors and searching for answers you start to wonder what the point is, if you really want a baby, if the pain and heartache is worth the physical and emotional toll it takes on you and your family. After our second miscarriage, I told Joe I was done trying. That I didn’t have it in me to keep going and risk more heartache and loss. I was devestated, depleted, scared.

While I was pregnant with Ainsley I became increasingly worried that the expectations I had for her would be too great for any one child to carry. She was our miracle baby, her story and arrival into this world was unlike anything I had ever experienced firsthand. I was fearful that my expectations for motherhood would be too large for any baby to fill.

Our first couple months with this little one? They were HARD. There is no other way to say it. She was, and continues to be, a very easygoing baby, but the adjustment to parenthood didn’t come naturally to me. I was tired, scared and uncertain, questioning myself on almost everything related to baby care. Add a stint in the NICU when she was 4 days old, a scary (but ultimately OK) diagnosis, many specialist appointments and a surgery at 8 weeks old and I was doing my best to keep my head above water.

Being a momma is scary stuff. Fighting for your little one and advocating on their behalf? Gutwrenching.

But this whole motherhood thing? You guys, it’s turned into something wonderful. Around 3 months the haze lifted and the doctor’s appointments slowed down. Ainsley started smiling and giggling and becoming a little person with distinct likes and dislikes and funny quirks. And along the way I’ve been affirming my parenting skills. Am I a perfect mom? Hardly! But I frequently tell Joe, “I think I’m the best mom for Ainsley, and I’m doing a pretty good job!” Not because I want to be boastful or arrogant, but because this whole parenting gig is hard enough as it is, and a little (or a lot) of encouragment and affirmation is absolutely necessary.

So, Miss Ainsley, thank you for lighting up my life like none other. Being your momma? It makes me feel more “me” than anything ever has before. I couldn’t be more thankful for you, sweet pea, and I have a feeling that it’s going to keep getting better.


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  • Reply Lindsay July 30, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Love this…sometimes I read blogs and wonder, HOW do these moms have it so together in those first few months? My first few months with my son were tough. And I did love him immensely from the very start, and felt like I knew what I was doing with a baby. But, I was tired, emotional (hormones!) and frustrated at times and those things overwhelmed me. And then, things just started to get easier and easier! Of course, you have different struggles and challenges at different times on this journey, but I feel like the pay-offs only increase (or at least in these early years – that may not be true with teenagers haha!)…anyway, at 18 months, I can honestly say my little guy is one of my best friends! I love spending time with him – going on adventures and trying new things. He brings me more joy than I could have imagined…

  • Reply Justine July 30, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    This made my heart grow three sizes. I had a hunch from some of your other posts that things weren’t always smooth sailing for you in the beginning, but it’s so clear from everything you’ve put up recently that you (and Ainsley!) are having such a good time getting to know each other better now. I can’t wait to start that journey myself! (Also, you’re both gorgeous — I can’t get enough of her rosy little cheeks!)

  • Reply Lauren Santay July 30, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I’m in the thick of infertility treatments and I too have that question of will this be worth it in the back of my mind. I told my husband one day that I knew we could be happy just the two of us but I feel like there is a tiny hole in my heart waiting to be filled and I don’t know if that would ever go away. I try to imagine that even the struggle of trying to conceive will give me a greater appreciation for even the hard days. Great job mama, and thank you for always being so open and truthful.

  • Reply JPH July 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    This is beautiful. I have loved reading your honest posts. I was lucky enough to have some friends be honest with me (especially not feeling that instant “oh my god” connection when they throw the baby in your arms for the first time) and that helped reaffirm so much to me that my feelings were normal. 19 months later, my little one is the best part of my day every day. Thank you for sharing your story to give other mamas a piece of mind and comfort. And love watching your little girl grow and you love being her mama!

  • Reply Urban Wife July 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    You really ARE doing such a fantastic job with Miss Ainsley! I love seeing how she’s made you such a beautiful and brave mommy.

  • Reply Amanda Nagy July 31, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Thank you for being honest about your experience. I love reading about this as these are things I worry about. Isn’t it interesting how sometimes men worry about the logical things (money, time) and we worry about illogical things (are we going to be good at this)… I needed to read this so thank you for writing it! <3 Amanda

  • Reply Lenorenevermore August 3, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    You have such a beautiful way with words–I can almost feel the emotions you’re writing about. I love this photo with you and your daughter. Your expression says it all-utter happiness. She is so so beautiful, God bless her!

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