Sunday, June 24, 2012

ONE MONTH AGO...


It is June 24th... this means that I gave birth to my daughter,  London June Ray, exactly one month ago today. How can this be? Everywhere we go, we get stopped by strangers, they look at her with sentimental eyes and they all seem to say the same thing... "they grow so fast" or "don't blink" and "enjoy every second", and with every little passing moment I am acutely aware of this acceleration of of time... and it actually causes me a pain in my chest, a physical anxiety, a panic almost and I beg my beloved Londy Loo to please... Grow slow.


We stare at each other most of the day. And when she is asleep I stare at pictures of her, I've got nearly a thousand of them, documenting every last facial expression, cute outfit and tender moment. Yes, she even has her own instagram account dedicated to "a little bit of London everyday". I'm infatuated, deeply, and it's a bit ridiculous how much I love to just look at her, study her features, kiss her cheeks over and over, and hold her as tight as I can with out completely squishing her delicate newborn frame. I cry a lot, like the day she turned a whopping week old, or when her yucky little remnant of her umbilical chord fell off to reveal the perfect belly button, or when I saw real tears stream down her tiny face a few days ago. While  hormones and exhaustion are  likely the culprit, they can't take all the blame... real love such as this is intense.


As Ron Burgandy so poignantly and dramatically exclaimed, "I feel like I'm in a glass case of emotion!!" I am happy, I am sad, I am worried,  there is constant ache, a vulnerability and a confusing melancholic joy that I can't even describe. I suppose this is why it has taken me so long to write about it, which I was certain that I would do nearly the second I came home from the hospital. I wanted to get it all down, while it was fresh and new and powerful. But... I just haven't been able to find those words to articulate this kind of love, I still can't, and I couldn't find the desire to sit in front of a computer when I could be sitting in front of my beauty of a baby, and nor has she allowed me much time to do so. She is not one of those babies that snoozes the day away in a swing or a swaddle, nope not my girl. She is bright eyed, always looking up at me, melting my heart and demanding my attention when distracted by the buzz of a text message, requiring me to rise before the sun and stay awake with her till almost noon, She was quite literally born ready to give this life a real go. Even the lactation consultant who came to my rescue in the depths of my woes of nursing (so hard, a blog post unto itself) held my squiggly wiggly and alert newborn up to take a good look at her, and said to me "wow, this is a wild person!". Eventually I might likely grow weary, but for now I am so happy to just be right here with her, right now, taking in every bit of her sweet wild spirit. I'm not getting much done, but who cares, I've spent the last decade of my life "getting things done" and being a hyper-multi-tasker, overly ambitious and constantly stressed about "doing it all". However, a funny thing has happened to me, while I still care deeply about my music, my "projects" and being a girl with glasses, right now I am quite consumed with the desire to do one thing really really well, and that is to be London's mom.


That morning I went to the hospital to be induced one week shy of my due date, I was abnormally calm, as a cucumber. Now I realize I was just completely oblivious of what was to come, and thankfully so. Perhaps my subconscious was protecting me, blocking out all fear, because I expected no pain. Sounds silly I know, I was about to push a person through "down there", and with my one and only plan for an epidural in place ,  I anticipated to not feel a darn thing. However this was not my fate. From the I.V. to the anesthesia, to the epidural, to the catheter to the main event... I felt a lot. Unfortunately the right side of my body seemed to have complete disregard for the epidural, I could wiggle my right toes, do leg lifts, I pinched my thigh only to let out an "ouch"! My left side however was dead to the world, and if I had to push a baby out of my left big toe I would've been good to go, however we all know that the left toe is not the location of a babies entrance to the world. While my contractions were rather dull, the necessary region was still fully aware of every painful sensation. This was not good news, and that calm feeling was abruptly replaced with panic. I informed the nurse several times that "I think I need more".  I'll be the first to admit, I am scared person, I am fearful, particularly of pain. Through out the day the nurses and doctor would ask me "on a scale of 1-10, how is your pain?" It wasn't till the end of the experience that I'd gotten an educated sense of that pain scale. Basically I learned that my tolerance for physical pain was, low. Dave, calm and strong as he always is, held my hand while my body shook and sweat ruined the make-up that I had put on that morning in hopes that I would look decent in photos. Looking back at the pictures, that attempt was unsuccessful...


My mom and dad walked into the room after driving in from AZ,  along with my sister who had surprised me with her unexpected presence. Seeing them suddenly made me feel like a little kid lying in a big scary hospital bed and I cried... cause I was so happy to see them, cause I wanted my mom, because I was scared, because of the drugs,  because I was in pain, because in a few short hours I was going to finally meet my very own first child. My little sister who gave birth a year before me took my hair and tied it up in a knot on top of my head to keep it out of my face, she assured me I could do this.  Within a few short hours I had made significant progress, my wonderful nurse Joy went on her lunch break and assured me that by the time she returned, I would be having a baby. The anesthesiologist returned to give me a pep talk a one final boost of the epidural, and my right side began to feel dull in the nick of time. My doctor came in, assessed the situation and announced it was time to push. I had been listening to John Mayer's record "Born and Raised" through out the day to sooth my nerves and take my mind off the pain and anxiety of labor.  Those songs will always remind me of the day London was born...


I looked at the clock, it was just ten minutes past six pm. It was go time, I tried to calm my shaking body with the deep breathing techniques I had learned in my pre-natal yoga class. I wanted to be brave, I said a million little prayers under my breath "please heavenly father, please help me do this". I begged Dave to not "look", to stay up above with me, but he couldn't help himself and wanted to be a witness. He was amazing. I was relieved after my first push to feel pressure instead of pain... though the pressure was intense it was bearable to my worn out body. My tricky doctor would distract me in between pushes by asking me about how Dave and I met nearly nine years before at the Thanksgiving dance in Mesa. I would get to a certain part of the story and suddenly feel the strong urge to push. It was hard physical work. My dad waited just outside of the curtain to be saved from the visual of the birth, but I could hear him cheering me on from the other side. My mom and sister stood at my side wiping my forehead and taking photos that would document the most important experience of my almost twenty nine years of life. We never made it to the end of the story, and those final pushes I squeezed Dave's hand with all I had left, the doctor exclaimed "she has hair!" I was over the moon with just the thought of her little head of hair and I started to cry, I could hardly wait to see her, and with one motivated last push and she was out by 6:41pm, it was so quick and yet played out in slow motion, she didn't even cry, as they immediately placed her beautiful little body on my chest.


She was still covered in Goop, I didn't care, I felt like a momma lion with the instinct to nearly lick her new cub clean, but I held her close to my body and kissed her head over and over and told her "Im your mom! I'm your mom!" I cried, I laughed, I was so high. Never felt so euphoric in my life, all the pain, the pressure, the fear, didn't matter. Now I've gotten to do some pretty cool things in my life, had some pretty special moments, but none of them could compare to this one. Dave cut the chord, we huddled together, a little family. The love... the love.


They took her, they cleaned her and weighed her. Just as my ultrasound suspected, I had a big healthy baby, 8 lbs 12 ounces, 20 inches of perfection. My family all took their turns to hold her.  Watching them hold her I kept thinking "that is my baby". I couldn't wait to hold her again. As well I become intensely aware of how thirsty and hungry I was, little did I know I would not be allowed to eat nor drink during labor. Finally they brought me a fruit juice concoction that was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted and I chugged it faster then I should, only for it to come right back up. The room became quiet as my family went back to our home to sleep, the doctor left us for the night and it was us and our London. The responsibility for her life weighed heavily upon us. It was nearly impossible to sleep that night. Having never felt so exhausted I could hardly close my eyes. We watched her like a hawk, the tiny rise and fall of her chest. Picking her up at the slightest cry. Attempting several times to nurse her, it hurt. The epidural wore off and the pain of labor settled in. My body felt like a wasteland and yet I felt like I was floating on a cloud. 

The last four weeks have been nothing short of the most euphoric, challenging, exhausting, painful, happy, heavy, lonely, overwhelmingly joyful time of our existence. The spectrum of emotion is vast and extreme. It's amazing what a body can do in just over nine months, and though it might not ever be what it once was, is healing and changing almost daily and I am grateful for the miracle it produced. Nursing has been harder then I hoped, hurts like heck and yet is truly heavenly in those moments when it is working, it's getting better everyday. Dave Ray CPA, I've never loved and appreciated him more. He told me before she was born "I'm gonna be a good dad, I think it's going to be what I'm good at"... but he's way better then good, he's amazing. Turns out he's a full on baby whisperer. It's remarkable to see this sports loving, hockey playing, accountant turn into a swaddling, diaper changing, lullaby singing super dad.  The day he had to go back to work I fell apart. Parenting is a team sport...


There is so much more, but this is certainly long enough, and It's nearly midnight, I will with out question be awoken by the cry of a hungry lil' baby with a poopy diaper in less then two hours, and that nap I was going to take today never happened, so I'm going to stop here... for now:)

56 comments:

  1. Simply beautiful, Brooke. Congrats!

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  2. ::plonk::

    Yeah, you've just KILLED ME DEAD with the magnificent sweetness of your birth story.

    :P

    But seriously, thank you for sharing this with your readership and for chronicling it all so beautifully. May your lives be blessed with oodles of health and love, always and forever!

    Oh, and needless to say London is gorgeous!

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  3. well, this made me all teary eyed. she is so beautiful (no surprise there) - and i'm so impressed you pushed out such a big babe!

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  4. What an incredibly beautiful tribute to your beautiful daughter, and one you will be so happy you wrote for her.
    I remember feeling the EXACT same way about wanting to slow...and stop...time (still do, 16 years later). I used to rock my baby girls to sleep to a song by Kathie Lee Gifford (I know...I know. Stop laughing...) that she actually wrote for HER baby. Still makes me cry when I hear it, all these years later.
    Here's a bit of it (it's called 'Before you Grow'. And the title alone just made you teary, didn't it?!?)

    How do you like the world so far?
    Where did you get that smile?
    I know that you've got a lot to do...
    but won't you sit with me awhile.
    Time is on your side, so why don't you go slow?
    'Cause I'd like to get to know you
    Before you grow.

    ....I look at you and wonder where oh, where does the time go?
    and I'd like to get to know you
    Before you grow.

    (there's more, but I'm getting all misty now...)

    And btw - you are never 'ridiculous' for staring, holding, gazing, photographing, cuddling your tiny girl every waking minute. And you CAN exist on pop-tarts and in your pj's for a few months. I'm living proof. ;)

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  5. oh my goodness she is so beautiful and you chose a great name to match that! congrats Brooke

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  6. She is beautiful Brooke!!! Everyone talks about how wonderful having a baby all is...and forgets to mention the pain of it all. It's prob a good thing or I might never have taken the plunge!!:) it took me 2 weeks to feel like I was going to make it, I loved and adored my baby but I HURT "down there" and nursing was no fun!!! Stick in there, I vividly remember after nursing 2 months, I suddenly realized"this doesn't hurt, in fact it is super easy and I love it"

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  7. Sooooo happy for you!!! Through all the pain, it is so worth it!! Beautiful post

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  8. Brooke, those are some beautiful moments you have shared with us! Thanks! May God Bless you and your little darling now and forever!

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  9. A beautiful and insightful reflection, Brooke. God bless London, Dave and you.

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  10. Against my own desires, I was asked to wait for 11 years before my first (a girl) came to our family, almost 15 months ago. There isn't a day that passes that I reflect and ponder on this experience. In all my journaling, I've tried to capture the feelings that have washed over me again and again. I have found myself unable to find appropriate words that exist in any language to convey the love, the power of such an experience. I think, Brooke, you may have said them for me. Congratulations......drink deeply from this experience. For it truly is unique and it passes quietly, carefully right by us.

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  11. What a great post. My mom's name was June. So happy to see someone using that name. Best wishes to you!

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  12. so beautiful brooke! you said it so well. there are so many words, yet so few, to describe being a mom....so happy you're getting to enjoy this time!
    xo,
    joy

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  13. Thank you for letting us share this time with you, Brooke. Your words were just beautiful, and it brought back so many memories of when my son was born.
    By all means, take your time with this and enjoy every minute, because each moment with your beautiful little girl is unique unto itself. There will be plenty of time later to catch up on your music, projects and the rest of life. For now, just enjoy your little girl and being a mom. She's so precious!

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  14. That was a beautiful blog post Brooke!!! I am reading it at work and now I have tears in my eyes!!
    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, and you summed it up perfectly! xo

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  15. Awesome. Thanks for sharing all this. Don't worry if it gets harder before it gets easier. It took 4 months for me to feel like I got my head above water. It's different for everyone, of course, but just know that you have lots of friends who will understand when you feel crazy, out of control, unable to continue, or totally not yourself. You can do this!!

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  16. I cried through this whole post and loved every word of it. You so perfectly capture motherhood and being a parent - particularly of being a first time parent. I felt so much the same. But to know your words are your experience - that you are the momma behind all of this just makes my heart explode with the same emotions. Girl, you are amazing and wonderful. I love you so much and wish I could be there to love and gaze at your baby girl. Thanks for sharing your story and your feelings. The beauty of technology lets me know stuff like this and I cherish that!!!

    Golda

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  17. What a wonderful post. Brings back so much from when my little guy was born. Enjoy the journey, and be blessed. Your family is beautiful!

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  18. What a beautiful blog post. There is nothing more wonderful in the world than a new little baby! Yours is precious. How about a lullaby record :) I would LOVE my babies to sleep to your sweet voice!

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  19. Wowsers, Brooke-you have such a terrific way with words. You captured it all beautifully.Thank you for sharing!
    I am glad you are enjoying every moment with your sweet baby girl, they are so precious, and the time does fly by super fast! Our wonderful daughters are 35 and 38 and our adorable grandchildren are 4 and 1 already-hard to believe! Every second is a blessed gift as are children/grandchildren so much love, joy, pride, and delight! Again, congratulations to you and Dave, and your whole family, on the birth of dear little Londy.

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  20. She is as beautiful as her parents! You described the emtions to a T! As you have heard many times "enjoy every moment" It will fly by!

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  21. Just beautiful! Congratulations. And thank you for sharing. I am due in 2 weeks so this is very touching and so appropriately preparatory for the journey we'll embark on (a second time). Best to you all, your darling family.

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  22. Such a beautiful, moving, and heartwarming blog post and story. Thanks for sharing it. It made my well up inside... Lena Kovadlo

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  23. Thank You Brooke for sharing these wonderful Moments with us. Congratulations!! to you and your Hubby!!

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  24. This is so beautiful, thank you for sharing. And congratulations to your gorgeous liitle London girl!!!!

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  25. and i'm crying my eyes out for you, dave ray cpa, and londy.

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  26. What a beautiful 'lil family--heaven on earth. Thank you for sharing your precious moments. It made me think back to almost 39 years ago when my first baby boy was born (they grow up). The wonderment of it all will never leave my memory.

    The best to you and your precious husband as you raise one of God's most precious gifts.

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  27. Beautiful baby, beautiful post! Love you!

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  28. Fantastic post. Got teary-eyed...I remember the birth of my two kids...

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  29. You brought me back to my first child 23 years ago. Savor it all. It will pass too fast, but you will love her more each day...as if that's possible. Blessings.

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  30. You have such a gift! The way you express yourself with words is absolutely beautiful. Your little doll is precious, and you look so stunning in your labor photos. Motherhood agrees with you:)

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  31. What an incredible experience, Brooke. And what a way with words you have! I felt I was right there with you. You really are so talented at writing. I wish you and your little London and family all the very best. xxx

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  32. I agree with Angela! Beautiful story, you are so talented at writing. Tears came to my eyes. Being a mother is the most wonderful experience, keep on enjoying every moment... the time really does pass by fast. :)

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  34. What? Brooke you have been duped! Babies come from a Stork. There is no pain! My mother told me so and I have seen pictures of the stork carrying the new baby. :) Congrats and great blog. Can't wait to read more.

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  35. These pictures are wonderful! Congrats to you and Dave! London is beautiful, and I can't get over how adorable she is! Blessings to you and your family. Thank you for sharing this story.

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  36. Beautiful story, beautiful baby girl, beautiful YOU! This post got me all kinds of emotional. ;) Can't wait to be a mama someday!

    xoxo.

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  37. Oh goodness! What a wonderful story! It made me all kinds of emotional as I count down the days till I get to meet my new little guy (who is kicking my laptop thru my belly as I type). London is beautiful! Congrats to you and Dave and good luck on your new adventure!

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  38. So beautifully written. You are an amazing writer, among many other things you do so well. Being a momma is the latest on that long list.

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  39. Beautiful as always! Life is a wonderful adventure and you're living it. I love the way you write, it's so real. Congratulations on your new chapter of life: parenthood.

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  40. What a great story! It does go by fast. Labor and delivery is such an overwhelming, yet surreal experience...enjoy every moment!

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  41. hey brooke....it's kelli trontel. trying to send you an email......have a question for you!
    my email is:: kelli@kellitrontel.com
    LOVED this post!
    XOXO

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  42. That is so beautiful, made me bawl like a baby!

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  43. Brooke, you are such a beautiful writer (and person)! Congrats on your beautiful little girl and family! I've loved following your adventures since American Idol. You're such a fun person, and I appreciate your lovely music, and positive example! I'm listening to your music right now while I fold laundry! xoxo, Rachel Howard (www.familyeverafterblog.com)

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  44. What a lovely story! So absolutely breathtakingly beautiful! Congratulations! I followed you all the way through American Idol and then through your various blogs. Thank you for sharing that with us! BTW your little London is gorgeous! and also, makeup or no makeup, you looked lovely in the hospital. :)

    Natalie
    www.projectdowhatyoulove.wordpress.com

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  45. You have captured the moment a woman becomes a mother PERFECTLY!! Even tho its been 13 1/2 yrs since I last gave birth, all of those emotions are still so fresh!! All of the advice you've been given are so so true! Hold on to every single solitary moment so deep in your heart that there's almost no room for another moment!

    Enjoy loving your baby!! xo

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  46. I so enjoyed reading your birth story. Brought tears to my eyes! She is an absolutely gorgeous, precious gift from God. You are exactly right...these moments will pass by way too fast. Treasure every moment with your babe!

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  47. Husband says its time to take a permanent rest from babies....but let me tell ya, I am going to have to change his mind after reading this. One of the best new mommy/birthing stories ever. And yes, whoever said nursing was easy LIED with a capital L! But two years later I am still doing it and didn't think I wold last 2 days. What a beautiful treasure you've shared with us. Thank you and congrats! We love Brook White!

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  48. Brooke this is absolutely amazing! I had tears running down my face as I just read this! You inspire me and I cannot wait to have a baby of my own! London is a gracious gift from our Heavenly Father and you are so blessed! (which I'm sure you already know) Congratulations you are superwoman!

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  49. Such a beautiful and honest story! I think sometimes it's better not to know what to fully expect... especially for scaredy-cats like us. "Londy Loo" (love that!) is precious!!! Congratulations!

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  50. OMG! What an amazing post! My children are all grown and one of my most favorite quotes/advice for mothers is, "Stop to enjoy the little things in life...for one day you will look back and realize they were actually the BIG things." After reading your post, I see you've already figured this out! Congrats on becoming a family!

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  51. I had myself our first child, a little Man only 10 days before your angel arrived. I, too, have a hard time vocalizing the beauty of this experience as it unfolds daily. It is a miracle, and I only pray that I can be the mother that he needs. I am grateful to read about another mother, who is going through the same emotions and pain and joy that I am. And when I wake up tonight for Conrad's 2:30 feeding... I will think of you, who is probably up at the same time doing very much the same thing for "Londy Loo" and I will feel strengthened and encouraged.

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  52. what a beautiful story. I can't wait to experience this one day. Thanks for sharing:)

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  53. Dear lady! How beautiful to hear such a tender and meaningful recount of London's birth. So glad you popped up in the world a few years ago and shared your incredible light and energy, so grateful you have a blog so we can still have a glimpse of what's happening with you. I am glad you know already the joy and wonder of motherhood. What you are doing right now with your dear husband and baby is what life is all about, best wishes!

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  54. What a joy! Thank you for sharing your story!
    I teared up just thinking about our anticipated arrival of our little SMoore. We are only 20 weeks along, but I know it will go by quickly!
    I documenting my pregnancy on my blog: http://smooretolove.blogspot.com/
    Feel free to read. I just thought I would share our little story with you, too.
    Congratulations on your BEAUTIFUL little London girl!

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  55. I just had my first baby and knew I remembered you posting something very moving about when you had London. I feel like you saw through to my soul, I mean.. what an experience. I feel like having a baby lets you into a special club that only mothers can understand. It's overwhelmingly emotional and so so hard.. but the most beautiful gift from God there could ever be. I cried through this whole post. Just remembering that day in my life about 5 weeks ago. I could never have been prepared for mommyhood but I am soaking in every moment I possibly can. Definitely the greatest thing we will ever do. Again, loved your words, so much.

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