Monday, August 11, 2014

babies don't keep

I've been a mother for almost a week now, and I am completely at a loss for words to describe how wonderful it is. The six years of waiting, of hoping, of despairing...the constant ache that is finally fulfilled has rendered me speechless. I stare at her all day and all night and I feel like my heart might shatter into a million pieces. Camilla is worth every. single. second. of the wait.


I always suspected I would love my own child like this, but now I know. I bound out of bed at ungodly hours of the day and night, anxious to scoop her up and kiss her sweet cheeks. Matt took this picture of us this morning and I scolded him because I look hideous, all glasses and morning hair. But now I look at it and I see a picture of the me I've always wanted to be: the me that has a baby to cuddle, to dress up in adorable ruffle-butt onesies, to love.


My parents left yesterday but have requested at least a billion pictures per hour. This was her first 'outfit' of the day. I love that she keeps her eyes open sometimes now. She has already changed so much in her almost-week of life. I was looking at her 'newborn' pictures and can already see so many changes. At least I can safely say I have savored every moment. 

We took a family hike today on the trails at the park near our house. It's like I have this long mental list of Things I Planned To Do When I Had a Baby and now I'm frantically checking them off as fast as I can. While simultaneously savoring, of course.


Millie slept the whole time, so I guess we'll call it a win.


This is what we look like when she's napping. I mean, when we're not just sitting in there next to her staring at her in person. And as soon as we hear her stirring and see her making her hungry face, it's a sprint to see who can get her up first. Winner gets the cuddles, ya know.


We went on a walk after dinner tonight. I drew the short straw and had to walk Lola while Matt paraded Millie around the neighborhood like she is the homecoming queen or something. Several neighbors stopped us to say congratulations. One man hollered across the street, "I couldn't believe it when I saw the balloons-- were you PREGNANT?? My wife and I have been trying to figure it out all week! You really did not look pregnant!!!" Another woman kindly said "I hope this isn't rude, but...you didn't give birth to her, did you? I see you all the time- you really weren't PREGNANT with her, were you??!" I told both of them the truth, and they offered more congratulations.

I did not offer that same truth to the strangers at Target and Lowe's who merely exclaimed "you had her TUESDAY?!?!?!?! You look GREAT!!!!!"...for those folks, I merely say thank you!! Hopefully they don't feel bad about their own lack-of-quick-bouncing-back-after-childbirths now, but...it's just funny to me. 


I try not to have my phone always stuck in Camilla's face, taking pictures. I want her to learn my face, not just see a turquoise rectangle in front of her all the time. But sometimes she makes really cute faces and I can't help myself.

I know this is all over the place, but I have no time to go edit it and make it make sense. Sweet Millie is awake and babies don't keep (this poem is constantly stuck in my head and my mantra right now). Good night! 

51 comments:

  1. I don't have any words for how happy I am for you! Savour every single second mama...you have earned it!!! What a beautiful little girl!

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  2. Shes beautifuland you both look extremely happy with her.

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  3. The first picture is priceless. Truly shows the love you have for her. Beautiful!

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  4. Oh Erika,
    She is so beautiful and you are such a beautiful mother! For all your gorgeous pictures, decked in fabulous colors and makeup and accessories, you, with your Mom hair and tired eyes, is by far my most favorite picture of you ever, the picture that captures you the best. I have tears running down my face right now because I know the joy that has swept you away and I am there with you! Row no longer, my beautiful blog soulmother!

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  5. This is by far my favorite picture of you ever! You look fabulous holding that sweet baby even with wild hair and zero makeup! Enjoy sweet Millie! So, so happy for you, friend... Just not enough words to capture all the happiness!

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  6. So yeah I'm crying the happiest of tears for your new little family! Just precious :-) HUGS!!!

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  7. She is the cutest!!! Love all the pictures and your experiences so far. What a sweet, sweet time in your life... those newborn days are always a little foggy from sleep-deprivation, but your entire world is so focused on your little family and moments like these.

    I also love how the legs and hand in the last picture don't match.... or either Matt has some womanly legs/you have some hairy hands. Hahaha! ;)

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  8. Babies do keep if you cryogenically freeze them… just saying.

    Ha, I hope someone reads my comment and thinks I'm serious. And a serious weirdo.

    So thankful you are FINALLY getting to experience this wonderful, exhausting, breathtaking journey of motherhood!!

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  9. Oh my goodness. This warms my heart and thrills my soul! Congratulations! She is beautiful, and has a beautiful name! You and dad look great too! God is sooo good! Thankful to read along on this journey! ~your sort of neighbor

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  10. Hahaha to Amanda's comment! But seriously: it never gets old seeing proof of your dreams come true!!!

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  11. What a sweet poem you referred to Erika. I love that you call her Millie! What a darling picture of her with her eyes wide open and that little foot peeking out, and of course the one with you snuggling her is precious too. You & Matt are wonderful parents! Hearing your thoughts reminds me to savor the sweet moments with my girls- they are far too fleeting.

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  12. Agreeing a million times with the other comments! So so so happy for your family!! :) I just love reading your post with pictures of her and you talking about her! She's a special little girl who is already SO incredibily loved at just one week old :)

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  13. Wow. Bless you and your little family. Enjoy your little girl. The feelings are just as you described them and oh so much more, right...? xo

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  14. she is absolutely beautiful, you two are naturals!

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  15. Love this post, Love the pictures, and LOVE the nickname Millie!

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  16. Everything about these pictures looks perfect. You're such a natural mother, and Millie such a lovely daughter. Matt looks like he's doing a pretty great job, too! :) Enjoy these moments!!!

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  17. You are a beautiful mommy! That first picture is priceless...kudos to Matt for capturing it. Millie is changing every day. She's getting more and more precious by the moment!!!!

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  18. I just love every single thing about this post. That baby girl is BLESSED. I also love love love that you call her Millie! So happy for you and your husband.

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  19. Love the nickname Millie - like on Parenthood!

    Don't forget to take videos! I only took 1 and wish I took more...

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  20. Oh. My. Goodness..... She is BEAUTIFUL!! and you look great ;)
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

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  21. Those cheeks do look especially kissable! Oh and that first picture...the only thing I noticed was her cute ruffle butt:)

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  22. This post is so precious and the pictures are amazingly adorable! I'm so happy for you!

    waitingforbabybird.com

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  23. she is beautiful! i love all of the pictures, especially the one with your glasses and morning hair, it's a keeper. :] i'm glad you are loving it so much, you're a natural mother.

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  24. Absolutely beautiful!! My heart is exploding with happiness for you and your family (at 1:30 am while I'm up with my own "not keeping" baby)! :)

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  25. Beautiful family!! We call Camille "Millie" too. :)

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  26. Congratulations Erika! Oh man, those sweet babies don't keep but the growing is fun and exciting, too. Love this happy post and I agree that you look like a total natural. And I like that you realized that the first picture is exactly what you've wanted even if you're not all put together - because it just doesn't matter with that sweet girl in your arms. Can't tell you how often I just stare at the baby monitor (we even used it when he was sleeping right next to me in the bassinet so we could see his face while lying in bed!) or put him to sleep and then pore over pictures on my phone.

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    1. Tell me how you were able to use the monitor next to your bed!! I tried, but just got a lot of horrible feedback- I think from having the camera + receiver so close together (on the same nightstand)?? Even when we moved the receiver one to the other nightstand, we still got feedback. It was devastating because it was SUCH a great idea!!! Tips??!

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  27. Do you pronounce her name Cuh-mill-uh? Or Cuh-meel-uh? I thought the latter but the Millie nickname seems derived from the former. Just curious, I think it's beautiful! As is she! -A

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    1. Mostly Cuh-MILL-uh. I really love it the Cuh-MEEL-uh way, but since I don't otherwise speak much Spanish...it felt kind of phony using primarily the Spanish pronunciation...but since I love it so much that way, I do say it like that sometimes. :) I guess if she has a preference when she's older, she can pick her preferred pronunciation!!

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  28. She's beautiful and so it that first picture! You can see the love. So happy for you guys. Congrats!!!!!

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  29. This is perfect, friend. You are so wise to savor the haze of the newborn days, because those moments are so fleeting. Love the pictures, your words, her nickname, and her sweet little cheeks.

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  30. Oh girl, I am so happy for you guys! I think that picture of you and C is precious-the most beautiful picture ever! Being a Mom is the best thing in the entire world, and I am so glad you get to experience it now! Time really does pass quickly!!!! Enjoy it!!! Also, are you calling her Millie for short? Cute!

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  31. That first picture of you is perfection, you look amazing! We are the same way with our little guy, it's a constant fight of who gets to wear the Ergobaby, who gets him out of the crib, who gets after bath time snuggles, it's all SO FUN!

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  32. I die. That picture of her yawning. Oh my = presh! Precious. Absolutely. I love how God redeemed your story! SO stinking awesome. So amazing that you are already getting out with her and going on hikes and walks. That is admirable in itself :)

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  33. My heart stopped reading the title. So glad to go on to read a post full of so much joy and love. We are over the moon happy for you guys. God is good!

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  34. Perfection. Ugly cry over here. That pic of her yawning, kill me now!!!!! My heart is just over flowing for you!! I could kiss on those little cheeks all day, I don't blame you one bit for wanting to gobble up as much time with her as possible.

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  35. Ryan duct-taped our camera to the crib, which was great because it was so close we could see LittleM's chest rising and falling. Would that help with the reception- or anything - at all?

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  36. love to the millionth degree.

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  37. I've been silently stalking your blog for a while now. And just cried reading this post. Awkward? Maybe. But what a beautiful 1) little girl, 2) momma and 3) story of redemption. Congratulations.

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  38. Millie? Really? I DIE at the cuteness!!!! (but really I teared up when I read it and my husband wondered why I'm so weird!)

    So very happy for y'all! I've been thinking a lot about the Lord's timing and how hard it can be to walk through and wait at times, but how perfectly orchestrated it ends up being. Would you ever have dreamed that your mourning of Ellison 9 months ago were also the same days that the Lord was beginning to knit together sweet Millie? The time line is also a picture of his redemption of grace and leaves no question that she was created for you and Matt!

    p.s. hope that makes sense... and I'm not saying that you haven't had those thoughts yourself, just an example of how y'alls story is reaching so many others!

    p.p.s. I'm afraid I have some grammar errors in my little paragraph up there but I don't have enough time to really try to rewrite it and fix it. don't block me from your blog now ;)

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  39. This is just perfect. All I keep thinking is...perfection!! :) Keep doing what your doing, mama!

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  40. I saw the first picture of you and Millie (Millie!! the cutest!) and simultaneously burst into tears. Seeing you as a mommy is so so sweet. It's plain to see that God is restoring every little thing the locusts have eaten. Love you friend!

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  41. My first thoughts when I saw the first picture were "how sweet!!!" I'm so excited for you guys and glad you're able to soak it up. So, so happy for you guys!!

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  42. I love that poem, and that picture is among the most beautiful I've seen of you. So raw and real - you can feel the love radiating through it.

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  43. I am just elated for y'all!!! ELATED, i tell you! So excited. It makes me so happy to see your dreams finally taking place!! She is adorable & you look like a beautiful mama to me! :) I love her name! Are y'all going to call her Camilla or Millie??? Millie is adorable! But i love camilla too. So happy for you!

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  44. She is precious! Love that you are so happy and in love with your sweet girl! Congrats again!

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  45. Precious! I have a picture very similar to yours of me holding and kissing Kaylee at her first baby shower. I treasure it, as I know you do yours. My heart is smiling for you! Enjoy all your firsts.

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  46. Oh my gosh, so much to comment on.... Your first paragraph brought me to tears! The picture of Matt looking at the monitor is hilarious! Where does she nap, in her crib?? I love that you draw straws as to who will walk the dog - we are so similar in that we fight over who gets to push the stroller as opposed to hold Belle's leash, ha ha!! I just love this post more than anything!

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  47. I think one of my all-time favourite photos of you on your blog is the first one. You are a MOM and all your focus is on sweet Millie. I love it so much!!!

    I can finally catch up on blog commenting now that we're back from our vacation. We had short spurts of internet access and Dave and I both agreed that updating Instagram and then checking out your blog/Instagram feeds were our top priorities. We are both sooooo thrilled for, and joyful with, you, Matt, and Millie as you begin this journey as a family of three together.

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