Being a mom is filled with ups and downs. From snuggling your newborn to sleepless nights, a mother’s duty never ends – even after everyone else has gone to bed. But it seems that no matter how tired you are or how bad you smell because you can’t remember the last time you took a shower, these moments are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When your little one is all grown up, you’ll want moments like these all over again.
There was a lot of anticipation leading up to Audrey’s birth. Of course, I thought she was a boy until the day we went to get our ultrasound done at 21 weeks. For me, I really felt like I became a mom at the moment I knew there was a tiny girl growing inside of me.
These are a few of my favorite things
While I cherish all of the moments I get to spend with my little girl, here are a few of the ones that stick out the most in my memory:
- Family memories: One of my favorite memories happened before Audrey was born. We live in Chicago, but all of our family members live in Ohio. We went home for our baby showers at the end of September, and when we arrived at my grandparents’ house my grandma came running over to me so she could rub my belly and talk to Audrey. That’s something I’ll remember forever because my grandmother unexpectedly passed away a month later and never got to meet my daughter. It was absolutely devastating for me, not only because my grandma was hip, cool and my best friend, but because she was the person we’d chosen to be in the delivery room with us. Although my grandma wasn’t there in person when Audrey was born, I know she was there in spirit.
- Delivery day: Of course I’ll never forget the day (night, actually) Audrey was born. I went to the hospital on a Monday evening and she was delivered via C-section at 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Labor was particularly excruciating for me because my back is held together with four screws thanks to my past as a gymnast and a broken back I suffered years ago. Audrey was already a week late when I went into the hospital, and when my doctor saw how much pain I was in from the contractions she decided to keep me sane and get labor moving with a Pitocin drip. I was finally able to start pushing at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, but because of a “failure to progress” I had to be taken down the hall for a C-section. When I heard her first cry, I was immediately in love even though I hadn’t actually been able to see or hold her yet. Once I was moved to recovery and started nursing her, the bond was immediate and I gained my most cherished memory as a mom.
- Homecoming: The day we brought Audrey home from the hospital was, I’m sure, a sight to be seen. We were brand-new parents with no family around to help out and we truly had absolutely no idea what we were doing. David was changing Audrey’s diaper for the first time and thought it would be a “good idea” to let her air out in order to prevent diaper rash. He quickly learned that his genius plan wasn’t so great when she proceeded to projectile poop on him. It was a good lesson for dad and a hysterical moment for mom.
- Face-to-face: I’ll always remember when our family members got to meet Audrey for the first time. They were all so instantly in love and made the moment even more special by telling us how beautiful our now-complete family was. I’ll also never forget when my grandpa got to meet her and see her smile for the first time. He still says she’s got a big smile like her great-grandma.
- Smiles: The first time Audrey laughed was in her sleep. Every night her dad and I give her a bath and splash around in the water with her. Then she gets a bottle and I rock her to sleep. In early March, she started giggling and it was quite possibly the cutest sound I’d ever heard. By the time I got David in the room, she’d stopped. Eventually she started doing it while she was awake when we’d blow raspberries on her belly or tickle her feet. The first time David heard her was such a heartwarming moment for me.
- Zoo fun: After a horrendous winter, we were excited for spring and summer to finally return so we could get outside and do fun things with the baby. As soon as the weather got warm, we took Audrey on a trip to the zoo and later the aquarium. Babies don’t have the ability to see very far when they’re that young, but we know Audrey saw the rhino because her eyes were as big as quarters and she had the most confused look on her face. We made our way to Tropic World, where the apes and monkeys are located. It was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen when she saw the gorilla and smiled her precious smile. During our trip to the aquarium, I think she could have screamed with excitement when she saw the penguins and dolphins swimming around.
- Ma: I had been trying to get Audrey to say “ma” since she first started squealing when she was 4 months old. Every time I would say it, she would look at me and giggle. Then, one day while we were out shopping, she started saying “da da da da.” Her dad, of course, loved that she said “da” first. Even though it wasn’t “ma” it made me smile that she was starting to talk. Now, she looks at me and says “ma,” does her big goofy smile and flashes her bottom teeth at me. Her little quirks won’t be forgotten, even when she’s grown and has children of her own.
What are some of the moments you’re most looking forward to? Join the discussion in the comments below!