A year ago today I got my maternity photos taken. Our photographer was awesome and she took some beautiful pictures for us:
hello Adeline, I love you
I was 35 weeks pregnant and ready to be done. I couldn’t wait to meet my little girl. And, you know, to not have her in my giant belly anymore. David and I were impatient, but we were so incredibly happy. The nursery was done, the tiny baby clothes were washed and folded, the cloth diapers were ready to go. I read my daily pregnancy book every night and closed my eyes and pictured my beautiful baby floating around, happy and peaceful and more connected to me than she ever would be again. And we counted down the days. Looking back a year later, I realize how little I knew what was coming. It has been amazing and wonderful and completely and totally life-changing.
so in love
When we had these pictures taken, I was still at work. I knew I’d be leaving in a few weeks, and I knew I probably wouldn’t be going back. At least not to that job. But I had, really, no understanding of what a huge shift that would be. I pictured my life with baby as involving lots of trips to the park and visits to the museum and fun play time. I didn’t account for the rainy days, the inevitable boredom, the lack of intellectual stimulation. I didn’t know how it would feel when the lady at the bank asks where you work and you have to say, “I don’t work.” I didn’t know how I would struggle all the time with the question of whether to go back, of what I could do instead of the job I hated, of whether I had the courage to pursue something I thought would make me happier. I didn’t know that, even in a relationship full of trust and equality, I would feel powerless and at odds because I wasn’t earning any money. I love my time with Adeline (even when the boredom creeps up) and I don’t regret staying home. But that doesn’t make it any easier.
at the lake
These pictures were taken by the beach in Chicago. My home. The place I finally felt I belonged. At the time, David was already looking for a job. Something that would allow him to spend more time with me and the baby. He was looking pretty much all over, so we knew it was possible we’d have to move away. But I was in denial. I made a beautiful nursery for Adeline, complete with hand-painted border. I was nesting, what can I say. But within a few weeks of her birth things really started to pick up: David had multiple offers and we were trying to decide what to do. We were stressed and tired and everything felt rushed. We spent hours going back and forth, trying to figure out what choice was the “right” one. And finally, we ended up here, in Denver. The weather was wonderful and the mountains were beautiful. We unpacked and settled in. And David started work. And there I was: alone with Adeline, alone in a new city, alone. I look at these pictures and I miss the lake and then I remember that if we’d stayed, David would have been working until 11:00 or 1:00 or 2:00 every night and I would have been even more alone. And I wonder: is there such a thing as the “right” choice?
always remember that papa loves you
So I stopped working and we moved to a new city; big changes. And of course there was the biggest change of all: little Adeline. When these pictures were taken, we hardly knew Adeline at all. We had a few ultrasound pictures that I studied endlessly. I thought she had David’s eyes, and I was right. We laid our hands on my belly and felt her kick, or, by this time, roll around and try to push her way out of my side. We felt her little elbows and knees and feet and tried to imagine what they would look like when she came out. We wondered what color hair and eyes she’d have, what her smile would look like, what her personality would be. And now we know, or at least we’re starting to know. She has blue, almond-shaped eyes and her hair sometimes has hints of auburn, like her great grandma Ruth. She crinkles her nose when she’s happy and she has a beautiful big smile. She’s a mover and shaker, but she can be quiet and pensive, too. She’s so smart and so happy. She changes every day and I now understand that I will be getting to know her for the rest of my life.