this is what it looks like when dreams come true

 this is a very baby-centric sappy post...skip if you aren't into babies :)

Have you ever wanted something so much that it feels very precious to you? So much that you hesitate to even talk about it aloud, treating it like some sacred secret to be handled with reverent care, holding it inside you like a gem that gives you buoyancy and spirit. It is a part of you, this dream, will always be a part of you no matter the outcome, shapes every thread of your existence.

My dream has always been to have a baby.
There was a time I dreamed of having twenty kids! By the time I was ten years old I'd settled my dream to becoming an anthropologist with six kids. All my dreams involved being a mother; even as a teenager I dreamed more of having babies than having a rad boyfriend or a great love affair. Needless to say I was an excellent babysitter and a second-mama to my littlest brother Joey. I rocked him to sleep and sang songs to him, changed his diaper and fed him bottles and played school with all three of my brothers. I held every baby I could get my hands on.

As an adult I grew other dreams too, of course. Dreams of being a scholar, of having a country house with a library and a spiral staircase, of writing a novel, of selling vintage clothes, of having chickens and kittens and a farm in the sun. A lot of my dreams are still in the making or changing shape. But underneath them all, for years, was the dream that started to seem impossible, the dream of having my own baby. The prospect started to look dim as my cycle came back regularly month after month, year after year. I have vast compassion for those who struggle with infertility; the desire to have children is something so huge and so personal and life-altering, and when that desire is threatened, your heart breaks again and again and you never know what to expect and the path of your own life seems strange and impenetrable and foggy.

When I found out I was pregnant after six years of trying to conceive, I was filled with inexpressible happiness. I hardly dared believe that my sweetest dream might be coming true. It was like holding my breath, with pure excitement and glee like a little kid on Christmas Eve, but for forty weeks.

Then she arrived. My tiny baby. A little daughter for me to feed and teach and love, love, love. i smell her, I cuddle her, I gaze at her hands, toes, tummy, eyes. I whisper in her ear, i love you i love you i love you.
Friends, there is no telling how much light fills the heart when this kind of dream comes true.


I know I sound blissed out, and that's because I truly am. 

Yes, having a newborn can be difficult. She cries and I panic and I feed her round the clock. I have anxieties and I am fuzzy headed, tired and a little bit cuckoo and completely devoted. I never knew the extent that a baby would become the air I breathe. And because I am utterly a baby person, I embrace this transfiguration with all my heart. I really do think my acceptance comes from having loved the idea of having a baby for so long. I don't know how it is for everyone else; I understand that there are frustrations and struggles and I admit, nothing is easy anymore...not a routine run to the grocery store, not thrift store shopping, not even taking a walk. everything comes with a plan, a fresh diaper, a light blanket, a pad for my boob, an exit escape in case the baby freaks out. But I love all this, because it means I have little Lucy by my side.

I have always tried to be the kind of person who lives life with gratitude. I want to always appreciate the town I live in, the kind of family I grew up in, my amazing husband and our incredible friends, the wildflower hills and the books I've read, professors and poets and the river and gardens and the earth itself. 
Well, needless to say my gratitude has never been more grand. with this most incredible blessing of life, I spill over, I can't contain the flowing spirit of this immense joy, like a confluence of rivers to the sea. 
My baby and me, we are ancient as time itself. Doing what mothers and babies do best, caring for each other, knowing each other fully, loving.

 My Lucinda is six weeks old today. All these photos are from the last week or so, just hanging around home and town, getting our rhythms down, growing together.

 And all I can do is go outside and look all around, and look at my baby, and my house and my husband and my life and say right out loud until tears stream down my face, thank you. thank you. thank you.

i hope that every one of you has known a joy so sweet as a secret dream coming true.


Geny said…
This is the best blog post ever!! She is beautiful and perfect and you are an amazing mommy!!! Love you!
GrittyPretty said…
Your gratitude for your life is so beautiful and inspiring! and holy moly- your adorable babe is your twin!
lorlore said…
Babies are a miracle, and my 2 miracles, [now 26 and 32] still give me such great pleasure, oh, and just wait for the grandchildren, another wonderful blessing!!!!!
Amy Beatty said…
oh heb!!! In a way I feel like I know a tiny bit how you feel. Thats all i ever wanted for you too. You were a born momma. And I'm also so unbelievably happy for you. it really is a dream come true. I just stare at those photos over and over again. she melts me every time and so do you. I feel the love. all of these pictures are so beautiful and you are the most radiant mother i have EVER seen. You are living right!! blessings!! lucy lucy lucy! she is such a doll in every photo. I can't get over it. I'm just dying to see her again. she already looks so huge. like in that photo where she lying next to you and you are kissing her head. she looks so big, there is no way she came out of you that size!! Every picture is just pure amazing. I really love the ones with her and darin. too adorable for words. and can I just say HELLO HOTTIE!! I love you guys so much i'm bursting with love love love love. all of her faces are to die for!! I'm going to have to look at this blog a million times and more. I just can't get enough of her. are you sure luc doesn't want to go to zacks comic com and the beach in a few weeks?!I'm trying to get matt to look at the blog with me and he says its too weird that lucy looks exactly like you. its true and i love it. You have your baby and that baby has got the best momma and daddy. love you xoxoxo
Anonymous said…
it's hard to say with a writer like you, but dear dear heather, this may be my very favoritist post of yours, ever. what must lucy see when she looks at you? i imagine like gazing into the very warmth and love of life itself, big radiant sun mama. lucy is wondrous, you are glowing and fern and i send you all our love. xo
Teeny said…
I asked myself what is my dream come true? And I looked down to my kids who are hungrily eating their food on the carpet after a really big play after school - and I think, this is my dream come true. Two curly heads, one on his way home and all the warmth and adventures and growing we do together. I can't ask for anything else! You Lucinda and Darin were meant to be. xoxo
a hymn to life and all it truly means.

beautiful earth mother, you are an inspiration
martine said…
Hi, I have so enjoyed watching and reading through your pregnancy and then your birth story. I am so glad that you beautiful daughter has made you so happy and that you appear to be relishing every moment of being a mum. I am at the other end of the story, my youngest about to turn 18 so it has been a wonderful nostalgia trip for me. i feel sorry that blogs did not exist when my kids were little because I would have relished recording family life and their progress. It's funny how with the first baby you photograph every moment and every change, but then by the time the second arrives (and in my case the second and third together) you hardly have a moment to take pictures and life flies by and they grow up without the benefit of a detailed record and each moment replaces the last so no matter how hard you try to hang on to tiny memories they are swamped by all that follows. I love my grown up children but I miss the little people they used to be, when I knew everything about them. Enjoy every moment.
with much love and best wishes
Anonymous said…
Your words read like a song of beauty and light. I'm in awe.


P.S. Lucy's dubious looks in a few of those photos are just the bomb.
Missa said…
Aw Heather, I'm just so dang happy for you :)

For reals, I think you've got this living life in the best, most true and beautiful way, DOWN. Like maybe you should teach classes or something because I feel like if we could all be a little more like Heather, the world would be a much happier and healthier place.

What a bright shining family you folks are! Yay for dreams coming true!
Anonymous said…
Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts on motherhood. I came across your blog by chance just around the time your daughter was born and reading about your pregnancy has been almost therapeutic for me (or a bit like a mommy class, as someone suggested!). I found the transition into motherhood(two years ago) overwhelming, not to say traumatic, and it's so nice to see how blissfully you can approach it. I wish I'd read this before becoming a parent, never having been a baby person or taken much interest in newborns I didn't have anyone to be inspired by, no role model, and your blog would have been a fantastic way to prepare. Also, outings to the shops will never be the same, but you do get less nervous about them. /Alice
Andrea said…
Heather-- this post is so utterly beautiful! I think that only people like you should have babies. ever. Can I just make that law of the land? Seriously. I could just feel all of your radiant joy when you were preggers and it seems as though not a bit of it has faded. You haven't allowed it to. I wish I could say that I had the same feelings. In truth, I was never much of a baby person. I was the baby, so I had little experience with them. I grew impatient when my cousin (who is very much a baby person) would depart in the middle of our kickball game because the neighbor sauntered outside with her baby in tow and she just had to touch it! I think I've certainly come a long way since then-- and I do have a desire to have children now. In fact I knew I wanted to have children when I started to feel things that I think baby people feel, and I started to find them really cute.

Anywho-- thanks for all these joyful posts and new baby pics!
i'm so very happy for you. you look absolutely amazing. seriously.just so beautiful. and look at that little bean! she is so alert and has such a sweet face.
I'm so happy for you Heather. I am also so happy you're my friend! I love watching you guys grow as a family... and I can see Darin is just as stoked too :)
AdieSpringB said…
Bun such a beautiful beautiful post. I'm so glad your deepest dreams are coming true, life is so amazing and gratitude is involuntary. I only hope that having grown up such a different person than you I too can be this in love when my babe comes, even tho the baby dream is more like a leap of faith for me than a lifelong dream like yours. I hope Lucy gets two, three, four brothers and sisters yet! Or at least a cousin or two that help make it seem like it! You are such a beaming momma I've never seen you so truly beaming. Lucy is unbelievably adorable, so studious already, seems engaged in all the world! Love you darlin.
Penny said…
My 26 year-old 37.6 week-pregnant -for-the-first-time daughter introduced this blog to me a short while ago. Since I've been checking back for the past several months, I keep being surprised by many parallells to my experiences ...beginning with this particular post. As over-the-moon happy as you are at this moment, I was the same with my dream come true tiny baby girl. I'm pretty sure you already expect this, but let me say, the dream comes true over and over and better and better with each passing season. I, like you, have always loved and cared for and doted over bunches and gaggles and strollers-ful of babies and children. I was 16 when my youngest brother was first brought home from the hospital and I sat watch over him that first night through (I was quite experienced by then.) The whole night, just looking at him because I could hardly believe nor fathom the reality of him. We lived in the sort-of country and spent days, weeks and lifetimes just being there. Oh what a dream!
Then I didn't have my very own Best Beloved until I was 36 years old! What a scary wait that was! Our delivery was very similar to yours and your daughter's and I grieved while being so grateful we both made it through. Unlike you, however, I didn't immediately develop the compassion for other mothers in the same situation for many years because I didn't really hear that it happened that way for others. Most people would just say it didn't matter how she got here, but I still felt cheated in her behalf. At this late hour in my life, you have shown me a more graceful way of remembering that experience with your immediate empathy.
I used to imagine having lots of little lovelies, but life turns out the way it will and I'm not even a little bit wistful because oh, the seasons we've had! I live in Alaska now living out yet another dream I never really knew I had, and they live in SLC. That's far. I sure didn't set out to create a whole blog post, but I just wanted to let you know how much your telling your living has moved me. And resonated with my daughter, too! If you feel like it, here are a couple of my own posts about how we still celebrate each other:
Amanda said…
I love love love love this post.

Also the picture of Lucy and the book is too precious!

anne said…
this is awesome! i am so happy such a wonderful, blessed dream came true for you! your little lucinda is a lucky lass to have you as her mama :D
dolly anna said…
SHE IS SO CUTE!!! and you probably don't believe me, but she's just going to get cuter!

Yes, you are a momma true blue. I envy your inherent maternal equipoise. I never, ever, not for one second spent any time in my youth day dreaming about babies or motherhood. I never babied my younger siblings or cradled baby dolls or oggled baby clothes...

Yeah, parenting is cosmically rocking my world. I'd do anything for my kids. I love them unconditionally , .......and this is a loong story for another time.

Threes cheers for androgynous queerdom and teen pregnancy!

elizabeth said…
She has grown so much!!!!

You will have these gorgeous love filled posts forever, or that beateous feeling in your heart. I imagine you could live forever on that ind of love. It takes so much courage to love so much. It takes a great open heart to love so much. We are al blessed to read this.

x E
Milla said…
Oh Dear One! I'm with Missa. I may have said it before, but whenever I feel down, misantrophic, self-pitying I think to myself "what would Heather do?" and most often get a little lift out of the funk.

I so admire your instinctive responses to lives turns big and small. You follow your emotions and do not question them or over-analyze (so it seems to me here on the outside). It is my believe that you must be an old old soul. Sweet smart and wise...

Love you and fan. More baby shots pls.
Tera said…
I read this post twice. So beautiful. Lucy looks so much like you! I understand and can relate so well to your secret dream coming true. Hugs and kisses for you and Lucinda from this dreamer and my 16lb dream tucked under me xo
i love seeing you rock the s-h-i-t out of motherhood! xoxoxo
Glad to hear everything is still going well and momma and babe are still happy and healthy. Love the look on her face in that photo where she's resting on her dad's arm!
Violet Folklore said…
Oh Heather, you are such a shining light with such a dear, sweet heart. This was absolutely beautiful. You nailed it. Once again, you have perfectly verbalized how so many of us feel. Or want to feel. I'm going to send this to all my new mama friends :-)
Violet Folklore said…
Also, Darin's beardy greys- adorable.
Kimberly said…
Absolutely beautiful Heath...You are an amazing momma. I especially love that last picture of little Lucy. That is the cutest picture ever. Love you :)
Miss Claire said…
Oh you are so amazing, and so inspiring. This post is beautifully worded xx
Celynne said…
Lucinda, such a perfect name for her! I'm sososo late congratulating you, but life swept me away into offline world heh. I'm so happy to see how happy you are :)

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