Before we had Adeline, I dreamed of the perfect nursery. I researched the best (and most affordable) options for everything. I scoured Amazon for the best deals, and the most popular baby necessities. I made lists of things we absolutely needed in the nursery, things we could do without, and things that would end up lingering on our want list. But the one thing I kept coming back to, I one thing I knew I would spend the most time using, was the glider. I knew more than anything else, that this one item would be where I would spend the most bonding time with our new daughter. It had to be just right, and comfortable enough to catnap in at 3 o’clock in the morning. This glider would, in a sense, see everything.
Adeline is 14 months old now, but those newborn days spent in that glider still seem as vivid as they were in those moments. The glider became like a safe-zone, the place where Adeline would feel comfortable nursing, secure in my arms rocking, and calm after a good cry. I feel like I became a mother in that chair. I learned in that chair. I cried in that chair. I was scared in that chair. I rejoiced in that chair. That glider saw more raw moments, than even my husband.
And if my glider could talk, if it were a fly on the wall, it would have seen…
…the day it came to be, when my husband and his dad built it together after they assembled the crib.
…the day my mom and I organized the nursery and put all of her clothes and toys away.
…the moment I sat in her glider the night before she was born, pregnant and big as a whale, not knowing in any way how much our lives were about to change.
…the very moment when I brought my daughter home from the hospital, and sat with her back in her nursery for the first time, scared out of my mind. Wondering, what did I get myself into?
…those first few tries breastfeeding her on my own, without the help of any nurses or the LC. Admittedly thinking, this is the most painful thing I’ve ever done!
…the tears shed as nursing turned into something I dreaded at first, something that was so hard for those first few weeks.
…those early days of sheer exhaustion and new parent panic, frustration, and confusion. All the feels. It would have seen a new mom on the bring of hormonal explosion.
…the time I had mastitis and I sat in the glider crying as I nursed her with a 100 degree fever and thought this was the most miserable I’d ever felt in my life.
…the first time we gave her a pacifier after she wouldn’t stop crying one morning after none of us had gotten any sleep and we just knew we couldn’t survive this parent thing!
…those moments when Adeline would be screaming on the changing table, I would be crying, and my husband would be close to crying because we were both crying and there was nothing he could do about it.
…those anxiety attacks where I’d just have to hand her over to my husband and walk away for five minutes.
…those (now embarassing) early days when we would spend way too much time wondering what the color of her poop could possibly mean and if we had done something wrong.
…the time when I tried to put a gown over Adeline’s head and I swore I “pushed her soft spot” and broke her head, resulting in both of us crying and freaking out. Come to find out, that was entirely not even possible and really I was just sleep deprived and delusional. Dressing a newborn can be incredibly scary for a new mom! (Things no one tells you!)
…countless nights where it took both me and my husband walking around the room, and bouncing Adeline for hours to get her to calm down, arguing over what we should do next.
…the joy I had for her when I’d rock her to sleep after a good feeding. Breastfeeding wasn’t the easiest road, but together we got through it and made it work. I’m convinced there’s no better feeling in the world that holding a sleepy, milk drunk newborn. In those moments, you’ve got the whole world in your hands.
…the night where I laid her down to sleep in her crib for the first time. Followed by me sneaking into her room to check on her to make sure she was still breathing.
…all the hundreds of pictures I took of her on her fur rug every morning. The glider would probably laugh at all of the silly noises and faces I made trying to get a new emotion out of Adeline.
…the dark circles under my eyes, the messy hair, and the dirty spit-up stained pajamas that hung off me every night and early morning as I’d stumble into the nursery to scoop her up for another feeding. Those nights sure seemed long and never ending at times.
…the time I turned around for a split second and she started choking on her spit up on the changing table and I called 911 because I was so scared.
…the times I held her during nap time, unable to lay her down because “babies don’t keep”.
…the times I’d cry nursing her to sleep at night, and kiss her on the head and tell her, “love you forever and always baby girl, sweet dreams my love.”
…the times I’d pray to God thanking him for giving us Adeline, and also pray for one more day together because I was so paranoid something might happen.
…the first time I walked into the nursery and found my husband asleep in the glider with her and my heart just melted.
…the times I sat with her in my arms as maternity leave came to an end and I wanted more than anything to freeze time.
…when I went back to work and came home that first night and held her for three hours because being gone for 8 hours that first time was so, so hard.
…the guilt I tried not to show when I realized that being away at work a few hours a day actually wasn’t that bad, and I really needed that for my own mental health.
…the first time I saw Adeline roll over. We were playing on her play mat in her nursery and she just kind of did it! And again, and again! I think I probably beamed with pride.
…the first stomach bug Adeline came down with. I was sitting in the glider with her and she puked all over me. Talk about a scary moment! It also saw me sleep on the floor under her crib that night because I was so scared she’d puke again in her sleep.
…mornings I’d cry getting her ready for daycare because I did not want to leave her that day, so I’d prop her up in the glider to take a picture of her to look at later that day.
…the first time she sat in her Bumbo seat. What a proud moment that was!
…the first time I put her hair in a ponytail! I loved sitting her in my lap and playing with her hair.
…the first time she got on her knees in her crib. Then not too long after, when she started pulling up in her crib and I’d walk into the nursery in the mornings and she’d be there to greet me! If my glider could smile, I’m sure it would.
…the first time she started pulling books off her bookshelf and it made me cry that she was even big enough to do that in the first place.
…the first high fever she ever had. We spent most of our time cuddling in the glider, giving her motrin and lots of comfort.
…when I agonized over supplementing with formula, and spent some nights crying while I nursed her to sleep because I couldn’t stand the thought of giving up breastfeeding but knew it needed to happen. I kept wondering when the last night would be and I tried to savor it every time.
…the nights my heart melted as she’d curl up into my chest and fall asleep and I prayed she would never grow up!
…the hours spent putting up her laundry and organizing her dresser and closet while she played and un-folded everything I’d already folded but it didn’t matter because I’d do it 1,000 times again for her.
…the first time she crawled to her stuffed animal basket, pulled one out, and cuddled with it.
…the first time she giggled herself to sleep in my arms.
…the first time she WALKED out of her nursery.
…the nights where she’d pull a book off the bookshelf and carry it to me to read it to her, raise her hands up in the air, and “ask” to be picked up and read to in the glider.
…the moments where I picked her up out of her crib in the mornings and spun her around kissing her good morning and swearing she just couldn’t possibly get any cuter.
…the nights we’d play in the floor together as a new family and Adeline would laugh and giggle and climb all over us. What precious memories those will be.
More than anything, and mentioned some above, our glider was there for every step of our breastfeeding journey. Looking back at my breastfeeding journey, I would tell myself to relax a little more, embrace the journey, and give myself a little more grace. Feeding your baby can be full of challenges, and outside judgement. I would remind myself that there’s no wrong way to do it, and a fed baby is a happy baby. I was blessed with an excellent support system, and I’ll forever be thankful for that. An encouraging support system can mean EVERYTHING throughout your time navigating the waters of feeding your baby. Check out Honest’s Feeding page for some helpful resources!