i've been a bit of a hot mess this week. the emotional roller coaster i'm riding has not been kind to me, and i'm sure the pregnancy hormones aren't helping. i've had a hard time focusing on the positive. strike that. i've found it impossible to focus on the positive. i know there ARE positives. but the negatives are just so overwhelming. i'll write about the roller coaster at some point. once i can do so without comparing myself to Bosnian refugees or sounding so whiny.
for now, let's talk about my baby girl. Lyla Mae.
we had picked her name back in December, before we knew she was a she. Mae after Nick's sister. Lyla because we liked it. once we knew she was a girl, we second-guessed ourselves. naming a person seemed like such an overwhelming responsibility, and we decided we'd wait until she was born before committing to a name. so we could get to know her first. make sure it fit. after 8 hours on labor and delivery, listening to our tiny escape artist roll around and evade the heart rate monitor, kicking furiously at the toco monitor, making my abdomen look like something straight out of the movie Alien...we decided that Lyla was perfect for our sassy, spunky babe. and we figured her valiant efforts to vacate the womb should be rewarded with a name; an identity. and we've never looked back. it just feels perfect.
one silver lining is that i've had a lot of time to lie here and get to know my daughter. little things, that might've gone unnoticed if i were still caught up in the busyness of my every day. like how she likes to curl up in a little tiny ball on one side of my uterus when she's sleeping, making me look lopsided from the outside. and how my entire abdomen moves when she's awake and wiggling around. she has plenty of fluid to swim in, and she's loving it. every now and then, a tiny foot will poke at me on one side or the other, and will keeping poking if i try to poke back. (it's like the early days of Facebook...)
my uterus is funnel-shaped as it pares down to where it meets my cervix, and on ultrasound, you can see that this funnel is where she likes to stick her tiny hand. as if she's literally trying to claw her way out. when she's not making a break for it, her hands are up by her face, by her ears, in her mouth. ultrasound is truly amazing--and i'm thankful for the glimpse of my baby girl it has given me.
she's feisty, and a fighter. but she's sweet, too. as best i can tell, she's a lot like me. and i've come to a place where i'm happy enough with the person i've become that this makes me proud.
another silver lining is all of you. i am all too familiar with feeling overwhelmed by the love and kindness of strangers who would seek to bring you comfort in a crisis. once again, thank you all so much for your words and your support. thank you for helping bear our burden, and for your prayers. we've shaken our fists at the sky a lot over the past two weeks, but we were never promised "fair". as unfair as all of this seems, in the wake of the events of the past year, we carry on. we have to.
thank you for making the journey a little less dark and lonely.