Now I don’t want to give the wrong impression here because I’m not back from my maternity leave (When does that end exactly? When your child turns 20 years old and moves out?) but I did feel the need to write something on this old blog. After all, it has been an eventful year!
On March 12th, 2008, we welcomed our wonderful little girl in this crazy world. She weighed 6 lbs 13 oz. and was 49 cm long. We named her Taylor Wendy DeLong...and so our lives were changed forever!
I’ve now been a mom for just over two months. Every moment of everyday is filled with new adventures of sights and sounds, expressions and emotions. Everything Taylor does is magical and only enhances to Danny and myself the fact that we have the cutest, smartest, prettiest, most adorable – let’s just say we have the perfect baby! Now I know that every new mother may say that, but I really mean it!!!
Life with Taylor is filled with so many special moments. New parents are often caught in the wonderment of all the ‘firsts’ but there is always one first that stands out as extra special. It may be the first cry, the first smile, the first sound, first word, or even first step. Well, the other day I had a ‘first’ that will always hold an extra special place in my heart. But before I get to that, let me just walk you down the path of the past few months to show you just what’s been happening along the way to where we are today.
I loved pregnancy. I was spared the violent battles with morning sickness and was able to enjoy eating a ridiculous amount of food, gain 20-some pounds and still have people tell me I looked great, even glowing! I loved feeling this little person grow and move inside me. Even more, I loved getting to see my baby when I went for ultrasounds. It was all magical to me!
As the time approached for Taylor’s arrival, I came down with a very strong case of ‘nesting’ syndrome. This is where moms-to-be are overcome with the intense need to prepare their homes for their new arrival. Depending on the seriousness, ‘nesting’ can vary from some light house cleaning to a complete interior overhaul. I was somewhere in the middle leaning as much towards the more intense side of the scale as our budget would allow.
First I cleaned. Then I dusted, I vacuumed, I scrubbed, I washed, I scrapped, and I bleached. I watched unhealthy amounts of TLC shows regarding home decor and interior design, after which I then went and examined every room and deducted what that particular place needed to perfect it. I scanned the Ikea catalogue religiously and pointed out to Danny the things we “needed” to complete our happy home before the baby’s arrival. There were bookshelves, end tables, lamps, storage baskets, picture frames, etc., etc. Each one was quickly scratched off the list. So I decided the quickest and cheapest way to brighten up our home was with some new sheets and towels. It was a simple way to change the look of things. Sadly, they did not make the budget cut. The closest I ended up getting to fully satisfying my nesting needs was a new can of Glade Air Freshener for the bathroom. The scent: Clean Linen. I figured if I couldn’t get new sheets, at least my house would smell like it. Unfortunately, whenever someone does something in the bathroom that requires the use of the new air freshener it doesn’t make our home smell at all like we have fresh, new clean linens. It smells like someone has pooped the bed.
And so ended my nesting stage.
Finally the day came for the baby’s arrival! There were no surprises with the event itself as I had been scheduled for a c-section a couple of weeks before (because of the past brain tumor thing). The only real surprise of the day was when we heard the first cries of our baby and the doctor announced, “It’s a girl!” Minutes later Danny and I were holding our beautiful little angel, admiring her round, rosy cheeks and full head of hair through our misty eyes. After the surgery, I was wheeled into the recovery room and promptly offered a cup of tea (I love England). It took a while to sink in that we had a baby! We had a baby! It was so surreal. Actually, everything was surreal thanks to the epidural and pain killers I was on. Especially the curtains in my hospital room (I swear that floral pattern was growing).
Taylor and I spent four days in the hospital under the care of a wonderful team of midwives and nurses. I had my own room with my own bathroom, a TV, and a cup of English tea every two hours. Nevertheless, when the time came, we were happy to go home!
As soon as we got home there were no end to phone calls and visits from our excited friends! It would have been really overwhelming if I hadn’t had my wonderful mother-in-law, Ruth, around! She came just before the day of the delivery and was able to stay for over a month. Danny’s dad came as well just after Taylor was born. It was wonderful having them around! It was like having home come to us when we couldn’t get home!
One of the biggest tasks we had to undertake was going through all the cards! We had so many our house was quickly turning into a fire hazard! My favourite ones though came from the kids at our church kids club. They range from ages six to ten. Here are my top picks:
To Danny and Elisha (that’s me),
I hope your baby is nice and doesn’t cry all the time. My baby brother does.
Danny and Alisha (that’s me, too),
Good luck. You’ll need it.
Congratulations on your new parents. I hope you like them.
Hallmark Cards have nothing on these kids.
Getting used to having a new baby is an adventure in itself, but I have to say that most things went pretty smoothly. I know this is only my first baby (of at least five, according to Danny) but I have to say it’s been a lot easier than people implied. I don’t know why, but it seems that as soon as we announced I was pregnant I got everyone’s horror story of their pregnancy. The morning sickness that lasted all day, the heartburn that rivalled lava, the constipation, the migraines, the ingrown toenails – oh wait, that was a different story. Then when the time came to have the baby I heard everyone’s horror stories about birth. The 27-hour long labour, the intern nurse who still couldn’t get the epidural needle in after five tries, the surgeon who lost their watch during the c-section. Then after I had Taylor I got all the new baby horror stories. The colic that never ends, the diapers that don’t work, the breast feeding that is more painful than being tortured in a P.O.W. camp. After all the stories though, I have to say that it sounds like I’ve really gotten off the hook – big time! I had a healthy, happy pregnancy, a quick delivery, and it all led to a healthy, happy baby! In fact, I almost wondered if something was wrong because she barely cried at all. She’s quite content and laid back (a good Canadian baby). In fact, the loudest noise she has really made so far does not come out of her mouth at all, but from the ‘southern hemisphere’ (yep, she definitely takes after her father on that one). The hardest things to get used to are those stupid, frustrating snaps on her one-piece sleep suits. Honestly, who designed those things? The makers of Rubixcube? It’s like some Mensa puzzle. It still takes me a couple of tries to get the snaps together in the right order where the leg intersects with the rest of the body!
It’s funny all the things you do around a new baby in an effort not to disturb them when they sleep. We tip-toed around, whispered in barely audible tones, made mad dives for the phone whenever it rang and scowled at anyone who dared to knock at the door whilst our little angel was asleep. Over the weeks, though, we slowly became more daring. We started microwaving stuff without trying to rip scolding hot food out before the timer beeped. We let the phone ring a couple of times before answering. When people came to the door, we would make small talk. I even got so bold as to vacuum during one of her naps. Eventually I discovered that Taylor, like most babies, will sleep through almost anything. And, like most babies, there is only one sound that will really wake her from her deep slumber – and that is the sound of my head hitting the pillow to sleep. Honestly, that sound to a baby’s ears must be like a sonic boom because it never fails!
When I was finally strong and confident enough, it came time for me to take the next step in motherhood: going out with the baby. We’d been out before but I figured the doctor’s office didn’t really count. It was a very exciting even when I went out for coffee with my friend Rachel and brought Taylor with me. I was quite proud of myself. I packed Taylor up in her car seat, secured it in Rachel’s car, packed the stroller in the boot (aka trunk) and off we went to Ikea (for free tea and coffee refills). When we arrived I unhooked the car seat, clipped it into the stroller, and proudly walked into Ikea with my baby and my friend. I was pretty good at this mom thing! When we got in we went to the lift (aka elevator) and couldn’t help but gaze into the stroller where little Taylor lay peacefully asleep. She was so adorable! So irresistible! Both Rachel and I ‘oohed’ and ‘aaahed’ as we waited for the lift. Just look at those cheeks, we cooed. And all that hair! What a cute little outfit she was wearing today. Yes, she was quite the vision. Unfortunately, so were we. I don’t know how long we’d been standing there before we realized that in order to get on the lift you have to push the button.
All these special firsts that make motherhood such a wonderful thing, it is no wonder that there are countless books that try to capture these moments. Well, I have my own special first, as I did mention at the beginning (hopefully, you’re still with me).
The other morning I was enjoying playing with Taylor in our bed, which has become a bit of a ritual after she eats around 7 or 8 in the morning. As usual, she was happy as can be – smiling and gurgling, arms waving around clumsily and legs kicking excitedly. It is also not uncommon for her to sneeze two or three times in a row first thing in the morning. And like most babies, it is not uncommon for her to spit up a bit after eating. Well, this particular morning was not unlike any others – at first. Taylor’s smiling and gurgling was interrupted as a sneeze began to creep up on her. Head tilting back and with short gasps of air she prepared for the sneeze, however at the exact same moment her stomach decided to empty the overflow of her breakfast. The sneeze was rudely interrupted by a watery belch, but nothing came out – at first. Then a small trickle of milk appeared from her tiny nostril. Eyes wide, Taylor and I had only a split second to realize what was about to happen. And then it did...she sneezed. Milk came shooting out her nose at such a velocity that her clothes remained untouched (I took the brunt of the blast)! Unfortunately, the volume of this regurgitation was a bit more that the norm and, well, the stream was impressive to say the least. After the event, we just looked at each other in shock. When she realize what had just happened, Taylor was pretty upset. I don’t blame her. Shooting 15ml of milk out of a new pair of nostrils with that kind of force had to hurt. I quickly wiped up the mess as best as I could and picked her up to console her. Rushing down stairs I grabbed the phone, called Danny’s mobile phone and through my hysterical laughter said, “Danny, you won’t believe what Taylor just did!”
Yes, it was a first that I will always remember!
With that I must go. There are diapers to change, laundry to be done, and new memories to be made! And besides, I need to add an extra line to Taylor’s baby book. Right under ‘First Time I Smiled’ I’m going to insert: First Time Milk Squirted Out My Nose.
Until next time (whenever that may be), God bless and take care!
~Alycia DeLong & Co.
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