i’m lost without you, e-byrne

For my G, the unflappable  E-Byrne;

Just wanted to say THANK YOU:

For being such a cool kid when I met you at a BBQ, you were wicked pregnant, with a crazy tiny MOB running around and a super energetic JZ bopping about. You ate a cheeseburger with no bun, and I swear you winked when you said you didn’t eat gluten.

For meeting me at Torii pool when Harry was only 2 months old and MOB was starting to be a serious terrorist. For listening to my silly early pregnancy concerns. For showing me it was possible to wrangle children and strollers and bags and towels and still portray yourself as being in control. For not giving a fuck and just sitting on the step of the van and nursing Harry like a boss in the parking lot. #normalizebreastfeeding

For answering my Facebook messages and questions about pregnancy, even when it involved me revealing too much information. Questions about boobs, and vaginas, and things of that nature.

For letting me hold and cuddle the squishy Harry and take pictures of him.

11830274_426975067486529_828999842_n
11830191_426975020819867_1601453723_n

For listening to me bitch and moan about how I didn’t feel well and wasn’t having a glowing pregnancy. For helping me not to give a fuck and trust that the mommy instinct would kick in and I’d love my baby. Oh, man, did it.

For always taking me seriously, even when I asked you if you thought 6 pairs of nursing pads were enough to pack in my hospital overnight bag.

For buying AK the absolutely coolest item on the baby registry: Hello Kitty powder puff.

For giving me ALL your baby gear – bassinet, car seat mirror, swing, walker, bumbo, so many clothes, tons of toys.

For the homemade candy, cookies, peppermint lip gloss, and candied nuts at Christmas.

For hating baby showers, but attending mine because you liked me that much. And bringing a Harry along.

11823845_426973564153346_1310324098_n

For visiting me in the hospital after I had AK. For bringing me chocolate covered strawberries. For the homemade lotion bars. For letting Harry be the first baby that AK ever met. For knowing that 15 min is the perfect length of time to visit a mama and day-old baby.

For coffee at your house, anytime I wanted to come by. For letting my kid be friends with your kids.

11853935_426973577486678_713697735_n

11844098_426973590820010_1636187055_n

For not judging me when I said I was only having one baby.

For being a good baker of all things delicious and wheat-free.

For the coffee.

For liking my Instagram posts. For understanding the the imagination that goes into Little Girls of Anarchy. For telling me I was a bad ass for doing a cartwheel at 9 months pregnant.

For all the time and messages (on a goddamn broken screen iphone) over the time we’ve been friends: consoling, complaining, validating, being clever, communicating through Facebook stickers.

11815855_426978347486201_297988400_n

For cutting my hair and for fixing AK’s when I cut hers.

For our matching wave tattoos. For understanding the therapeutic value of clear water and the sound of the surf.

11845889_426979037486132_2073545836_n

Did I mention coffee?

For being quite possibly the most bad ass mofo of a mama I’ve ever met.

For not crying when we said goodbye. And not judging me for blubbering.

I miss you, friend, so much. Oki isn’t the same without you, but I’ll see you soon. xoxo

All my love,

J-Owens

 

 

 

 

baby love

As soon as I began telling people I was pregnant last summer, everyone I knew who had kids started telling us, “It’s the most incredible thing in the world. You will never know how much you can love anything until you see that baby.” Every time they would say it, my HusBon and I would agree with them, nod, and smile. I was screeching on the inside. I was the most miserable pregnant person you’d ever met.

10941422_352224031628300_3855119788590767164_np

“Oh, I’m suuuuuuure. Can’t waaaaaaait. It’s gonna be amaaaaaaazing,” I’d gush, secretly rolling my eyes at what I thought was over-dramatized emotion on their part. After all, I loved my husband, I loved my friends, I loved my family. Yes, yes, I get it. I will love my baby, my daughter, my child. Love love love. Love is all you need. Jeez.

I was completely unprepared for the entrance of this tiny gurrrrlll into my life.  Now, let me back up a second. Lightning didn’t strike at the hospital, necessarily.  I carried carry a lot of guilt and shame regarding my birth experience. I immediately clicked into auto-pilot in the hospital, dutifully changing diapers, nursing around the clock, receiving our well-wishers, taking the “obligatory”  24 hours postpartum-body selfie (SO FUCKING RIDICULOUS).

Even the first few weeks at home were a haze of breastfeeding sessions every hour or two hours, so painful, that my husband had to pinch a pressure point on my hand to distract me from the nursing pain. I loved my daughter, of course, but I was feeling a bit…mechanical. My only goal was making sure she was fed, clean, comforted, happy, thriving.

11739725_418706084980094_368262708_n

Once I turned the corner at 8 weeks postpartum, I was feeling better. My thrush had gone away, so nursing was no longer like having my fingernails slowly pulled out. She was looking at me. She smiled at me. She rolled over. We were co-sleeping. She whimpered in her sleep, reaching for me, comforted once she felt I was there. All of a sudden it hit me. THIS WAS MY BABY. MY…BABY. I lost it. I held her in the darkness, while she was sleeping, tears coursing down my face, whispering,

It was YOU, the whole time, in there. It was YOU. I wish I’d known it was you.

See, now, that is how I fell in love with my baby. And you know what? It’s the most incredible thing in the world. I never knew I could love anything as much as I love her. I worry about everything now. I worry about the world in which she will grow up. I worry about her first skinned knee.  I worry about someone saying something mean to her. I worry about some boy hurting her precious little heart. I worry about how she will be so sad when Beedoo and Fenway pass away when she’s in high school.

11124638_418707471646622_35373659_n11719977_418707474979955_1794092914_n

So with this great love, comes great responsibility. How is it possible that I am ready for this task? I am an “older” first-time mommy, 34 years old, plenty of life experience, completely aware of how I do NOT want to be. I just want to be the best mother I can possibly be. I want my daughter to be nurtured and protected, yet aware and smart. How on earth am I supposed to be able to do this?!

Every time the anxiety chokes me, my baby is my anti-dote. Her sweet face, whether grinning at me or placidly asleep, heals me. I thought I was supposed to take care of her, help her, make her feel safe? She does exactly that for me. There truly is nothing like this in the world, this… this Baby Love.

11720034_418708424979860_438199079_n