I am so Thankful

It's Thanksgiving Eve, and I'm watching Carter sleeping in his swing. I usually dread holidays because of the stress they bring ... figuring out which relatives to spend it with, getting dressed up, awkward conversations. But tonight, I feel so happy.
At this time last year, Matt and I were coming to grips with doctor reports that we'd probably never have a family. We were going through blood tests, shots, surgeries and ultrasounds - never really believing that any of it would work but still wanting to try everything we could. Last year I couldn't think of one single thing I truly felt thankful for because I was so focused on being sad and angry. I knew it was time to start considering what we were going to do with life if we didn't have a family to raise. I was sure we were the two most unlucky people in the world.
I had no idea that two months later, we'd be blessed with the pregnancy of Carter. Of course, now I understand that there was purpose to our fertility struggle; he's not just a regular baby - he was hoped and prayed for, day after day.
I'm so glad modern medicine and IVF exist. I'm so happy we could give my mom her first grandchild. I'm so excited Matt and I got to find out what it feels like to be parents. I'm so believing in the power of prayer. I'm so loving taking Carter in public so strangers can stare at him and admire him. I'm so proud when he smiles at me. I'm so happy I can kiss his chubby cheeks. I'm so thrilled I get to watch him grow.
Thanksgiving truly belongs to him this year. For Carter, I am thankful.

Happy Baby

There's nothing more satisfying than seeing this baby smile ... except maybe catching it with a camera!

Settling into the New Me

People aren't kidding when they keep warning you that your entire life's about to change as soon as you push that baby out. I almost wish I'd taken a couple seconds to say goodbye to myself - the me with the simple, lazy life - right before that last agonizing push that made me a mommy.

A lot happened from then on out ... I began a new love affair with a tiny bumbling boy that felt completely natural and strange at the same time. I lost focus on most of the things I revolved my life around - makeup, hair, the latest fashion, celebrity gossip and TV shows - and stared at this little baby just wanting him to somehow know the only thought that constantly spun through my head: I am so proud of you for existing. My new goal is for him to know this.

I was immediately overcome by admiration for him, as if demanding his own little spot in this world were equivalent to winning the Nobel Peace Prize. There is not a more determined, incredible baby.

After six weeks home with Carter, I've made several attempts between rocking, exploding diapers, funny faces, kisses and feedings to squeeze in a few dollops of makeup and a couple curls in my hair. I abruptly realized that I'm not going to be able to devote hours upon hours of time to self indulgence anymore. There really aren't full hours of anything, except baby.

In the first couple days, when I got a few minutes of silence, I found myself utterly confused - I have so much purpose now, and, at the same time, I lost a lot of ambition for things that used to be important to me. Having a baby doesn't just mean a lifestyle adjustment; you have to figure out how to reinvent yourself.

I've heard people talk about this before, but I'd never realized how true it is. I pictured myself as the same Meghann, but with a baby added ... kind of like a cute, new accessory. Yep, I almost completely forgot about the whole poopy diaper part until the second day in the hospital.

My husband and I have bid a quick, unexpected goodbye to our years of capricious dating. Movies, restaurants and Target runs are strategically planned now. Matt and I are a lot of awesome things, but neither of us have ever been great planners. We're learning fast and wishing we'd had better warnings. How does everyone else make it look so easy? Why does nobody else's stroller have shrieks of terror spouting into the air?

While I was pregnant, I heard a woman on the radio who said she loved being a stay at home mom because she uses the opportunity like a job that relieves stress from her home. She makes dinner, goes to the dry cleaners and keeps closets, pantries, everything organized. Yes! I thought, That's exactly what I want to do.

So, with my new family in hand, there are a few attributes I'm wanting to juggle into this grand reinvention of my Self. I want to maintain some part of what I've always been: a girlie girl who gets excited at the sight of pink and Starbucks' mochas. I want to be organized - organized enough to be able to run to the store on a whim, baby in tow, and I want to learn the kind of organization that will help me give Carter all kinds of opportunities in his life: sports, camps, college, the works.

I want to show him how to be a good person. I want to keep my house cozy and clean, clean enough that people can drop by without notice (and even open the door to my pristine pantry). Despite the curves life will throw, I want to be a part of the reason Matt and Carter can say they're happy at the end of the day.

I want to figure out a way to tell Carter how proud I am of him for existing.

Ugh Sears!

Today we went to Sears to get Carter's first baby pictures done. We were nervous he'd cry or be grumpy, but he did such a great job! He had a couple smiles and was so composed, Matt and I were completely shocked when he sat there, perfectly calm and wide-eyed, in the pose he was put in. -HURRY!!- we warned the photographer. Her angle was all wrong, and her finger was ridiculously slow on the snap button. Later she admitted this was her second week working there, she used to work at an AC Moore. The wrinkled, white sheet used as the backdrop had sporadic stains, and I think a stray dark, frizzed hair - probably with a couple H1N1 bacteria on it - caught my eye. Every cute expression or smirk he made was somehow missed, but we trusted that, out of 20-something shots, there would be a couple we loved.
We excitedly came back 30 minutes later to see the slideshow of pictures she'd chosen for us. Five pictures were pulled from the bunch: A couple mug shots, a few frowns and furrowed brows. The blankets and sentimental props we'd brought were mostly cut out of the pictures. One picture we'd requested of him with his little naked hiney in the air had his legs cut off. Red splotches on his face weren't airbrushed out. What happened to all the other pictures? Could we see them? They all got deleted.
Being the suckers that we are, we ended up buying two of the pictures. As soon as I got home, I scanned them into my computer, edited out the red splotches and softened the color. Yes, Sears did a horrible job. But let's be honest here, it's impossible to make this cutie look bad :o)