The postpartum period is indeed an emotional time. I often have days where I cry with joy just looking at Ana's little hands or while reading her a story about hugs (true story :) ). And in the same day, I can be brought to tears while thinking of most of my family and friends who live across the country from where we are. They are missing so much. Her cheeks have filled out, her hair is growing longer, and she's already grown out of the N diaper size.
Thank goodness for ease of travel these days- she's already been able to meet my mom, dad and sister (Grandma Voepel, Grandpa Mike and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Derek)- all who have visited in her first 3 weeks of life! And we're looking forward to at least two more visits, Sarah and Derek coming back in April and my mom and Alan returning in May. Also, we hope to make it back to Michigan this Summer, to introduce her to more extended family and also hopefully many of my best friends.
Here are some great memories from these wonderful early visits:
We're immensely lucky to live so close to Kevin's family, who provide a lot of support and love always, especially during this time- when Analise is so little and I am not yet fully recovered. I can't thank them enough, especially Kevin's mom, who help with everything from bringing over coffee and bagels to walking to the dog for us.
But having them so close doesn't make me miss my family any less. Some days I think it makes me miss them more. And my friends, some that go back to elementary school, many of them are having kids these days too- and some days all I want is to be able to drive over to their house and introduce our kids, talk about all the crazy things going on with my body and share our amazing adventures in parenting together.
But, we chose to be here - where the sun shines and the grass is (almost) always green, where we can go on hikes year-round and where there are great and even greater career opportunities. And we love it. I've loved our life, our movement and our adventures we have always taken together- New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Redwood City---- and so on (for now)! We are a young growing family making our way in the world and I love everything about it- even the challenges and emotional toll it can sometimes take.
And so what will I do to ensure Analise can stay close and connected to family and friends that are far away? Weekly facetime calls with my mom and dad. Adding daily photos and videos to the shared picture folder my sister created. Cuddling with her in the blanket that grandma made. Emailing photos to great-grandparents. Calling friends as much as possible. And visiting and opening our doors to visitors. I know for sure that people can be very close even though they are far in distance. From the time my cousin and best friend, Christa, moved away from Michigan to Florida when I was so young- we found plenty of ways to stay extremely connected and close to this day. I hope for Ana to have close and loving relationships with all of her family.
I am so grateful for family & friends near and far and grateful for the opportunity to raise Analise to have the love of all these people, everywhere.