I'm not ready.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Yesterday, life was all that you've ever known it to be.

Today, everything will change.

This morning, I will get you up earlier than you're used to. I will feed you, get you dressed, and pack you into your car seat. You love car rides, so you won't think anything of it. But then we're going to pull up to a house that is pretty unfamiliar to you. I'm going to take you inside, hug and kiss you goodbye, and hand you over to a stranger. Finally, I will turn around and walk out, because I have to go to work, and for the first time in your little life, you won't be able to come with me. And I will cry.

I'm not ready.

How is it that 12 weeks can go by so quickly? It seems like just yesterday, we were bringing you home from the hospital and this journey, our wonderful time together, was just beginning. I look back in awe, because I simply cannot believe that we've reached this point already. I feel like I don't know where the time went; it feels like it somehow slipped away.

But then, I remember. The time: it was full. It was filled with snuggling, kisses, laughter, smiles, and hugs. Feedings and diaper changes, baths and naps. Sleeping in together. Books and songs and trips out of the house. It was filled with love. Me loving you, you loving me--24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I will always remember it as one of the greatest times of my life. It was a gift.

That wonderful time of just you and me, all day, every day--that was yesterday.

Today, different hands will hold you. A different voice will sing. You will nuzzle into a different neck to drift off for your nap. Different fingers will stroke your hair, and different palms will pat your back. You will eat from a bottle, and burp over a new shoulder. Someone else will have the privilege of enjoying your smiles.

I will have to share you. And as much as that makes sense--as much as it is good for us--it makes me cry to know what I will miss. That while I sit at my desk for 8.5 hours today, you will grow 8.5 hours older without me there to witness it. The part of your life during which I live every minute of it with you--it's over, and...

I'm not ready.

For nine months, I carried you within my body, taking you with me wherever I went. We were connected in every way. You were mine--all mine. For the last 12 weeks, you have lived outside, on your own, but still so very attached to me in all of the ways that count. So, today--to leave you and go off on my own, while you go off on your own--it feels so very unnatural. You are a piece of me; you are my heart. And I am leaving you behind.

The transition: We will make it. Soon, this will be our new normal. Someday, it will not hurt as badly as it does now. We will do it, simply because we have to. But knowing where we will be does not make where we are any easier to deal with.

I'm just not ready.

But ready or not... it's here.

"No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you;
After all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside."
- Unknown


Robin December 6, 2010 at 6:54 AM  

I feel your pain Heather. My little guy was born a few weeks after Nora and I have been back for almost a month already thanks to 4 weeks of bedrest before he was born. While I think I have it a bit easier because my guy stays home with my husband, it still sucks being away from him all day. It does get easier, try to take some comfort in that. This post was beautiful and made me tear up a bit :)

Anonymous,  December 6, 2010 at 7:27 AM  

I, too, teared up as it brought back every emotion I had a few months ago when I dropped off my daughter for the first time. While I still miss her terribly, I have realized how much she benefits from being at 'school,' and how much more it can offer her, as opposed to just me. :). Also, there will come a time when she flashes you the biggest smile when you pick her up-that alone can make everything worth it.

It WILL get easier; still, be extra nice to yourself this week.

Thoughts and prayers,
~Kristen M.

Anonymous,  December 6, 2010 at 7:59 AM  

No tearing up here Heather.........I am full blown sobbing. I am the Mom of a mom to be in a few shorts weeks. You do have a way with words on the subject and I do feel your PAIN. That quotation at the end....well that would make the stronest mommy cry. I am so looking foward to being a grandmom and will sob when my grandbaby goes to a caregiver. Be kind to yourself and extra hugs to baby Nora! Bella

jack+alli December 6, 2010 at 9:13 AM  

way to make me cry! oh my heck! that quote did me in. im praying for you today, i'm hoping the day flies by and you'll be holding your sweet babe before you know it.

Jacki December 6, 2010 at 9:52 AM  


what a sweet entry...
I can't imagine what that feels like... but I'm sure I'll have to suffer through it someday soon.

Shauna December 6, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

Thinking of you today, Heather.

I cried just thinking about how leaving Maya for the first time felt like the hardest day of my life and already dreading leaving baby #2 when the time comes.

But the other commenters are 100% right. It will get easier. I hope your day flies by and you are holding that little baby soon!

Anonymous,  December 6, 2010 at 11:19 AM  

Thinking of you! I hope the day goes by quickly so you can hold your daughter soon!

basebell6 December 6, 2010 at 12:58 PM  

this made me cry and my maternity leave ends a year and a half from now. i will be in just as much pain on that "first day back" (i just have longer to dread it; thus excalating my fear!)

Jenny December 6, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

This was a truly beautiful post. I'm not a mom yet and it made me cry. I wish you all the best, and little Nora is blessed to have such a wonderful mommy.

Krystie December 6, 2010 at 3:45 PM  

Dang it Heather. Tears. lots and lots of tears. Hang in there lady.

A Long Far View December 6, 2010 at 3:49 PM  

Wow - I also can't believe 12 weeks have gone by already! I hope today went ok for you. I can't even imagine having to do that someday, so be good to yourself today and think about the snuggles that you'll get tonight when you pick her up.

Ms. H December 6, 2010 at 6:47 PM  

*sniff sniff* the sadness in this speaks volumes for the current state of our country. I wish the family unit could be intact all the time for every child growing up. Nora is blessed to have such a wonderful mother {even if she can't be with her every second of the day}. <3

nikinikinine December 6, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

That quote killed me. This broke my heart, I'm so sorry that your maternity leave is over. So, so sorry. I know it will get easier, but that doesn't make it better right now. I hope that the transition is quick for you both. Tons of hugs.

Janelle December 6, 2010 at 7:00 PM  

I was waiting for this post so i could wish you both well! Hope all goes as smoothly as possible for you both. I bet Nora will be just as delighted to see you at the end of each day as you will be to see her!

Anonymous,  December 6, 2010 at 7:47 PM  

I hope today went okay :)

Kate (This Place is Now a Home) December 7, 2010 at 10:35 AM  

Oh Heather. This post is so beautiful.

Just know that someday (hopefully soon!) you'll be so thrilled that you made the decision you did. It will be AWESOME for her, and for you.

Hang in there this week!

tab890 December 7, 2010 at 10:30 PM  

I know this all too well. This week will be the hardest, but by next week you will really be in a routine and she'll do so well.
Good luck this week. This is the hardest thing that I've ever had to do in my life, but you are right, its the best thing for her.

Anonymous,  December 8, 2010 at 8:02 AM  

Wow...so touching. You are a very expressive writer. I felt every bit of your pain! I leave this comment whilst holding and watching my almost 7month old son sleep.I live in the UK and hope to start work in the new year, and though it feels at though I,ve spent a lot of time with him, still he's still my little baby and the thought of spending all that time at work and him with someone else, leaves me all knotted up. I know he needs it (mixing with other children, getting educated etc).....it's just quite tough.
Your little girl will be fine by God's Grace and so will u. She's really beautiful.

Catherine July 8, 2011 at 12:43 PM  

I was looking back at your posts because my son had started daycare this past week and I wanted to see if you posted an update on Nora adapting to napping there. Then I remembered this post and decided to read it again. It made me sob and sob. You truly couldn't have put the emotions of sending your child to daycare any better. It feels like my heart was just ripped out of me. I love my career and was actually in a way looking forward to getting back to it after 8 long months. I knew it would be hard, but the magnitude of heartache never occured to me. I hope it gets better...and soon!

Tricia January 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM  

This post is so beautifully written and I thought of it today as I dropped off my little one at day care for the first time this morning. Although I had been preparing myself for this day for some time, I still cried as I walked out the door. I hope it gets easier, cause right now I'd give anything to have the last few weeks back again.

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