Your whole life changes once you get pregnant. The changes only accelerate once the baby is born. Your home changes. Your body changes (for the women, anyway). Your activity list changes. Your priorities change. Another big change for Will and I has been the dynamic with our extended families. Don’t get me wrong: we’ve always had excellent relationships with all of them. But we did keep to ourselves quite a bit. We were just more introverted, I guess. This was often a source of guilt for both of us, but we figured quality of visits was more important than quantity….or at least that’s how we justified it (although to be fair, we didn’t really discuss it much – the situation simply “was”).
With Stella, that whole situation has completely changed. It started before birth, with wonderful people pitching in with both baby gear (which we desperately needed and didn’t have) and lots of helpful hints (which we also desperately needed and didn’t know we didn’t have) and that trend has only continued. To be totally honest, that has been difficult. It’s hard for both Will and me to allow people to do for us, whether tangible things or intangible deeds. Neither of us has ever enjoyed being the center of attention or the object of fussing over. I think he would agree with me when I say it’s easier for us to do/give for others than it is to receive it. But the generosity of all of our family and friends has been positively breathtaking. We’re downright uncomfortable about it, as it’s our natural inclination to want to reciprocate, but there is literally no practical way (financially or otherwise) to do so.
We always say thank you (and thank you notes are sent as appropriate). Still, it simply does not seem like enough. All I/we can do is hope with every fiber of our being that all of these people realize that we are so touched by all of them, and that this journey would be ever so much more difficult without them. Merry Christmas to you all!!!