dear etta z,
you will be three weeks old tomorrow. it’s insane to imagine our life before you and, yet, it has certainly been an adjustment period with you here. ramona is potty-trained, sleeps through the night and in her own big girl bed, and has enough vocabulary to have interesting and helpful conversations with her father and me. you’re not quite there yet.
i knew having a newborn would mean nights of waking up and nursing and rocking and shushing but i had conveniently forgotten what a toll that can take on relationships (snap at my husband much?) and productivity (what else is there to do besides sleep?!). each day this gets easier and easier but, overnight (literally) my whole routine and schedule and habits got turned upside down. and for some reason, stupidly, i was not expecting this. perhaps it’s bc we had done this before. so we assumed it would ALL be easier. well, SOME things are easier. but some things (like losing hours of sleep each night) are impossible to become easier. silly us.
but don’t take this the wrong way, my perfect, late winter baby. i’m just stating there were changes that i wasn’t prepared for. but we’ve got you now and, as cheesy and trite as it sounds, you’re worth every second of adjustment, you, our amazing little girl who completes our family. you’re a loud sleeper, but a hesitant cryer. you’re a snuggler and an observer and a champion nurser. you respond well to loving shushing and swaddles. you, like your sister, came out with her father’s chin and furrowed brow. but you, miss harriet, more closely resemble me overall.
and your papa is the perfect yin to my yang, especially when it comes to helping me fare well in these transition periods. he’s here with us in the mornings, which means he gets to snuggle you in bed while ramona and i get ready for the day (start the day with a shower?! so many other new mothers are going to hate me just for that!). he makes the bed bc he knows i need that to move forward with the day (your mama can be quite particular). he asks me how i’m doing and makes sure i take my vitamins. he changes your diapers and plays silly games with ramona. he is a great listener and mediator. you’ll learn so much from him.
once papa had to go back to work (we had him at home for nine whole days!) i worried about how i would get anything done. but we powerdrivers are surrounded by a powerful and generous community that has lovingly and selflessly brought us meals and scheduled play dates with your sister and passed on needed advice about clogged milk ducts and offered words of encouragement and delivered packages of love in the form of handmade baby quilts. we could not do it without the gracious help of our friends and family, who we know will continue to nurture and look out for our two little girls. they are why, harriet, any crazy adjustments to you joining our world, are completely doable, manageable, survivable.
we’re still getting to know each other, etta. and we’ll be developing our relationship for years to come. but i hope, that as you grow and learn and soak in what you see, it is so clear to you how absolutely loved you are and how we –your mama and papa for sure and many of our friends and family– will do anything for you. and i hope that you will take what you see about the value and importance of love, community, generosity, grace, respect, and insist you have it for yourself as much as you have control over who you choose to surround yourself with in your older years; i pray you find people who are supportive, encouraging, constructive during the many adjustment and transition periods you will go through.
we’ve got so much fun ahead of us as we slowly but surely exit this hazy, sleepless, fumbling stage. i can’t wait to introduce you to the world.
i love you, harriet zona.