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Before her smiles were here…

I am so blessed to have many girlfriends expecting babies very soon. It’s exciting to walk through this time with them, especially since I just experienced it myself just a few months ago (and let’s face it, still experiencing it…I don’t think the “adjustment” period for having a baby ends…ever). Recently, I was browsing around Facebook, checking out the latest baby belly pictures on one of my best friends’ walls. She only has about 3 weeks left, so she’s packing for the hospital, doing finishing touches on her nursery, and all those last-minute details. I couldn’t help but notice several people had written on her Facebook wall that, “Don’t worry, once the baby comes it will feel like they were there all along.”

I have to be honest. I think this is hilarious. I don’t find this to be true for myself.  Maybe I’m the only one, but it does not feel like Heidi has always been here. In fact…I can very clearly remember when she wasn’t.

It was quiet at my house.  I could sleep in on the weekends. I could sleep through the night without having to get up five times to give someone their pacifier back. I could go get my hair done whenever I wanted. Cody and I could go on dates whenever we wanted. Dinner and drinks? Sure!! How about we catch a movie too? ALRIGHT!  I could watch an entire movie without being interrupted or falling asleep. I had way less laundry to do. I fit, and looked good, in all my clothes. I could throw on my shoes first thing in the morning and enjoy a long run. I never had to re-heat my coffee.  I could sit through church without being paged to the nursery.  I could paint my nails, blow dry my hair, and apply my makeup after my shower instead of doing it all in five minutes increments of time throughout the day (that’s when I actually decide to do those things…which is hardly ever now).

But I can also remember the things I couldn’t do before Heidi arrived. I couldn’t wake up every single day to the brightest smile I’ve ever seen (I mean, yeah, sometimes Cody smiles first thing in the morning but I wouldn’t quite describe it as “bright”). I’ve never known anyone who can wake up happy so consistently, every single day like my daughter can. I can also remember not having a reason to giggle first thing in the morning because I didn’t get to see my baby girl turned completely around in her crib, her feet up in the air, her blankets strewn everywhere, squealing and singing before the sun even comes up. (Yeah…if Cody ever woke up that way, I don’t know if I’d giggle or be totally annoyed, HAHA). I can remember what it was like before I could feel those tiny hands on my face throughout the day, those slobbery kisses, that little body pressed close to mine as she gets sleepy, those teeny tiny lips resting on my shoulder with drool soaking my shirt. I can remember what it was like before I learned to appreciate Friday nights at home in front of the fire snuggled right next to the two I love most in the world.

Sure, life is different now that I’m a parent. And if you are expecting, there is no end to the people who tell you to “just wait until the baby gets here, then your life is over!” Well, you know what? I’m so glad my old life is over, to be honest. I’m glad I can remember what things were like before she came because it reminds me how much more there is to life. There is so much to do, so much love to give. She tells me not to miss it every day. I just need to listen.

When I hold you in my arms, love
Something changes, it’s the strangest feeling
The things that use to matter
They don’t matter to me

When I see you and you’re smilin’
How my heart aches, so full it is about to break
You make me believe in love

I could never count all the ways that you change me, baby
Every day the sky is a deeper shade of blue when I’m with you…

-jj heller

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