One of the best parts about staying home is that I get to see the little, tiny miracles that happen each day as my daughter grows. One of the most difficult parts about staying home is that each morning, regardless of whether I feel awesome or not, she's ready and waiting to learn and grow! (There aren't "sick days" or "oops I'm late" mornings in the life of s.a.h.m.) But it's these mornings that God always chooses to show me something new and beautiful in my baby girl.
Yesterday from about 1:00 p.m. until about 4:00 a.m. I was having an insane number of Braxton Hicks contractions. They weren't painful (except when accompanied by lower back pain and pelvic pressure) just LONG and incessant! By 3:00 a.m. I was pacing, timing them using the stopwatch on my iPhone, and drinking buckets of water/OJ to get them to stop so I could sleep. NOTHING was working. Finally, I just laid down and accepted the fact that this wasn't true labor (albeit it many classic symptoms of pre-mature labor) and there wasn't much I could do. I wasn't going to wake my doctor in the middle of the night because I knew (without regular intervals or increasing pain/pressure) there wasn't much they'd do. So I was just frustrated.
I slept from 4:00 until 7:00 a.m. when my cat persisted in waking me (he gets to play in the garage and was NOT interested in letting me sleep late). Locking him out of the bedroom only produced mournful moaning, scratching at the bedroom door, and consistent interruptions. Since I didn't want his misbehavior to wake Kayleigh I got up ... called the dr and was told to stay at home for the morning. To sit down immediately when contractions began and drink fluids. If I had more than 6 in an hour, I was to head in to the office. Well, with a toddler, sitting to drink water and pay attention to painless (though annoying) contractions was not super high on my list. Let alone with tennis, preparations for labor/baby, plus work, I didn't have time to take the morning off. This shot my morning to pieces!
Yes, yes, I'm still getting to the Abundant Blessings part :) ...
Nevertheless, as my daughter woke and I thought about the 3.5 hours I had to entertain her, alone, in the house until it was nap time I was dreading what I'd do to fill those hours (especially knowing was supposed to sit and drink water). I'll admit, I was bawling as I fed her breakfast and that ... THAT ... is where God began to show up in an incredible way.
(1). My baby girl, normally quite focused on her meal, took a moment to stop shoveling in the Cheerios, called me over, and just took my hand and hugged it to her face. I don't think empathy or even sympathy truly develops until kids are closer to 3 or 4 but I believe Kayleigh sensed Mommy was sad and did her best to cheer me up.
(2). In a softer mood after some spontaneous kindness from my 17 month old, I started about diaper duty. K desperately wanted to help me so she crawled downstairs (one of her new found skills) and stood guard over me as I started the wash cycle. She didn't go play in the playroom (though I encouraged her to) . .she simply stood by my legs, rubbing them every so often with her head, saying "Mommmaaaa ... " in the tone she always uses when she's really saying, "I Love you ..."
(3). After that we went upstairs to play where Kayleigh went to her room to get her "anket." Its a morning tradition to be lazy at home and just lounge around all over the living room with her "anket" watching "tee tee." She told me, quite clearly to sit in the rocker. She hopped on the footrest (she's learned that trying to climb on my lap is pointless), covered both of us (as much as she could) in the blanket and laid her head in my lap. She said "bush ... bush" and sat still for almost 10 minutes while I brushed her hair (this is NEVER HAPPENED moment with my little mover).
Most of the morning continued this way with Kayleigh doing her best to be sweet, kind and playful. When it finally came to nap time I found myself surprised at how quickly it really had come about. The morning didn't take nearly as long as I thought (probably because of the sweetness of my baby girl). When I said it was nap time she dropped all of her kitchen utensils (She had been making Mommy "unch"), ran to my arms, hugged me, KISSED me on the lips (also a first) and said, "NIGH NIGH Momma." That was 34 minutes ago and I haven't heard a peep. I hung the diapers on the line and decided that I'd be remiss if didn't take time to thank the Lord (through this reflective, semi-public blog and privately in prayer) for the abundant blessing that is my daughter. She has her moments, but in the last week, she's been nothing short of angelic. She's so ready to be a big sister and helper ... I couldn't be more proud of the little sweet young lady she's becoming.
My heart is full ... (and my body tired still ... so on that note, I'm taking my swollen feet/ankles/hands and falsely contracting body to bed ... maybe little ______ will stop pushing down long enough for Mommy to rest for a while. If this is any indicator of HIS disposition, the Lord knows I will need to take every advantage I can right now!)