About Dear Bex

This is my place to speak to my daughter. She won't remember these early days in her life, and I want to make sure that I do! Plus, there's just so much I want to say to her and be sure she knows.

August 23, 2011

The Hospital Stay

Dear Bex,

The first few days after you were born are a bit of a blur to me. There were so many visitors to the hospital on Saturday, it was like a rotating door - from all of your grandparents, Lulu, Eric, Marcelo, Nicole, Michelle, Alexis, your cousin Amanda, and tons of Mommy and Daddy's friends - Denae, Lauren and Don, Ruth and Dave, Drew and Gabby, Meredith, Dorothy and Jeremy (who were visiting their niece, Emerson, down the hall! Mommy and Emerson's mommy had joked for about six months that we'd have the babies on the same day, and we did! It was funny, especially because Mommy's boss is Emerson's grandfather, so he was at the hospital too! Luckily Mommy likes him and didn't mind!), Jon and Tracy, and Mimi and PopPop's friends Randye and Harris... it was great to see them all, and have them meet you on your first day of life!

But I didn't get to hang out with any of them too much. I had a terrible headache because the doctors messed something up while giving me my epidural.  It was the worst headache I've ever had in my life, constantly. I couldn't sit up without it hurting, so I spent most of the time laying flat in bed. I was so sad about it too, because it took away from my being able to enjoy you - and all I wanted to do was hold you, stare at you, feed you and cuddle you.  You were so captivating from that first moment I laid eyes on you, Rebecca, and I wish so much that those few days in the hospital, and the first few at home, had been different.
But the most important thing, and what saved my sanity somewhat, was that The Daddy was unbelievably strong and jumped right in.  He changed diapers, he burped you, he swaddled you, he let you sleep on his chest (not that you gave him any choice - it was the only place you would lay comfortably! We put you in the bassinet and you were having NONE OF THAT! You would be totally asleep, and he would sloooowly creep over to the bassinet, place you ever so gently in it, and BOOM you were awake! It was remarkable!).
The Daddy was really the best, having to take care of both of us.  We both had no idea what we were doing with you, and called the nurse in more times than I can count to help us, but we made it through - and they even let us take you home on Sunday!

That morning we had a photographer come to take some pictures of us.  We got a few good ones, so I'm glad he came, but overall you were not pleased during the shoot.  We wanted cute shots of your naked tiny body laying down, but you had other plans, and just wanted to be in our arms.  As you were laying on the blanket crying, and we were trying to settle you down, I began to sing a song to you that I sang every day that you were in my belly.  I swear, you knew it - you quieted down, looked at me as I sang, and it was the most magical moment of my life. You KNEW me, and it blew my mind.  Then I looked up and saw Mimi crying, and I started to cry, and it was just such a perfectly emotional moment that I will always remember (and will always tear up at, as I am while writing this!)
I love lilacs and avocados, ukuleles and fireworks, Woody Allen and walking in the snow... But you've got to know that you're the love of my life You are the love of my life, you are the love of my life, you are the love of my life From the moment I first saw you the second that you were born I knew that you were the love of my life - Quite simply the love of my life
I love Lucy and pumpernickel bread, the Statue Of Liberty, standing ovations, and falling into bed... But get it through your head that you're the love of my life... You are the love of my life, you are the love of my life, you are the love of my life From the moment I first saw you the second that you were born I knew that you were the love of my life - Quite simply the love of my life
You can drive me crazy... You can drive me anywhere! Here are the keys, just do as you please. It may not always be easy... But you're the love of my life, my heart is on a runaway train... You are the love of my life through all the pleasure and pain.  
From the moment I first saw you I knew it right away... I knew that you were the love of my life. Simply the love of my life.
You are the love, the great love, of my life.
I've sung the song to you countless times since, as I feed you at night before you go to sleep, and every time I see you pause right as I start, as the tune is familiar to you and nothing makes me happier.

After the photo shoot we dressed you in your adorable going home outfit, and got ready to hit the road... but more about that next time.

I love you, baby girl!


August 18, 2011

The Call... and The Birth!

Dear Bex,

Three or four weeks before you were supposed to arrive, I began itching like crazy.  My legs, arms, belly, head - it was unbelievable! My doctor finally took a blood test, and called me late in the afternoon on January 20th with the news that I had cholestasis.  She said it wasn't too serious, but that since I was so uncomfortable that we should induce me either that night or the next.  It was 3:00 PM, and here she was saying to come to the hospital that night at 8ish!  I was in shock - but so excited at the prospect of finally meeting you, and especially finding out who you were - were you a girl or a boy? Did you look like The Daddy or like me?

I immediately called The Daddy, Mimi and Lulu and wrapped things up at work - I know I had a meeting but I was so excited, and flustered, and barely remember what happened!  All I know is I left my office at 5 to get home, shower, finish packing and get to the hospital.
We got to the hospital around 8:30 and checked in - they started the induction that night, and told me to get some rest.
YEAH RIGHT!  I didn't sleep a wink.  The next day was a bit of a blur... I remember them telling me I wasn't as far along as I thought I was in the late morning... I remember Mimi and PopPop and Grandma and Grumpa and Lulu and Nicole and Michelle being there... I remember finally getting some rest after they gave me an epidural... I remember getting frustrated that things were taking so long and asking if it was time for a c-section and the doctor telling me I was overreacting or something and not liking her very much... I remember when they broke my water... but most of all I remember when they told me I was finally ready to push, and knowing that I would finally meet you!

I pushed for not even half an hour. I put everything I had into those pushes and finally at 10:11 PM on January 21st, 2011 heard the doctor say that you were a girl as they rushed to clear out your passageways so we could hear your voice and cries for the first time, something that absolutely brought me to tears.  The Daddy followed you with our camera as they took your footprints, cleaned you up and made sure you were okay.

You were perfect.
They finally brought you over to me and meeting you was incredible.  You were blowing tons of spit bubbles with your mouth, and were the most perfect, beautiful newborn baby in the world. I just kept marveling at you, the fact that you were in my arms after all of those months in my belly - you were the one who had been kicking and hiccuping and moving inside of me! It was so amazing to finally meet you.
I let The Daddy hold you finally and took one of my favorite pictures ever.
Then - he got to tell the family who had been waiting all day (and really, for months and months!) that you were here!
While I was in bed I heard their cheers as he let them know that you were a girl, and that all was well.  They had made friends in the waiting room who cheered with them, and they could not wait to come see you.  It was Grandma's birthday too - you'll be a tough present to top, Rebecca!!  And it was also your great grandmother's birthday, though she is no longer with us.  That they had the same birthday was a coincidence I always found funny for The Daddy and I to have,  and one that ended up being so significant in our lives later.

They eventually rushed down the hall, and got to hold you for the first time - there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  And I finally got to tell them your name! Our little Rebecca Ellie, named after her great-grandfather Ralph and her two great-grandmothers, Elaine and Esther, and her great-great-aunt Ely.
What an amazing day and a half, from when we got The Call to when you arrived - I will never ever forget it.

I love you, baby girl!

August 17, 2011

The Pregnancy

Dear Bex,

I was the happiest pregnant girl there ever was. I wasn't sick for a day of the nine months, I wasn't too uncomfortable until the very end, and a smile lived on my face.  I nicknamed you Shorts (since The Daddy and I called each other Pants, and you were our little pair of pants!) the morning I found out I was pregnant, a n early morning which I remember every second of.  I knew I was pregnant before the test told me - I could feel it.  I saw the test say PREGNANT, screamed, "holy $hit" and ran to show The Daddy.  And that's all we said to each other for the next hour in bed, until we had to somehow get ourselves ready for work and sit at desks, whereupon we emailed each other all day, back and forth, "holy $hit!"

Lesley Neadel to Evan

hahahahahahaha i know pantser. i know. i havent done anything all day.

On Thu, May 20, 2010 at 1:41 PM, Evan Neadel <> wrote:
holy shit.
As we got further and further along in the pregnancy, I delighted in feeling your movements within me, and trying to get The Daddy to feel them too.  I had a doppler radar and would use it to hear your heartbeat all the time - while watching TV on the couch, while laying in bed at night - I loved knowing everything was okay in there, and that you were growing, thriving and doing well - though there was no doubt, as growth was quite evident on the outside!

I loved telling people that I was pregnant, and enjoyed creating elaborate scenarios for telling people.  First we told Mimi and PopPop (who was sick in bed) by texting them both a picture of the pregnancy tests while we were at their house.  Mimi had already figured it out, because Mommy is a horrible liar and can't keep secrets from her, but they were both SO happy.  Then we went to the Bakers house and told Lulu and Jason who were shocked and thrilled.  Lulu couldn't stop smiling and saying, "Really?! OK... really?!"

On Father's Day we told Grandma and Grumpa and the rest of the Neadels by showing them the picture of the pregnancy tests on the computer.  Grandma cried instantly, and they were both so excited too.  Uncle Jason was visiting and immediately called Aunt Beth to let her know that Logi was going to have a cousin! We called Uncle Eric to tell him too.

The best though was Mommy telling her best friends.  We lined them all up for a photo when we were together, and unveiled the pregnancy by having The Daddy take a pic and instead of saying "Say cheese," he said, "Lesley's pregnant!"  This confused them all (as did the fact that we were so. adamant. about taking a group picture), but they eventually understood...

Once the secret was out, I reveled in being pregnant, showing off my bump (you!) and having the best sleep of my life, until I got too big for that to be possible anymore!

Then, during the last few weeks of pregnancy, I developed a rash due to a minor pregnancy side effect called cholestasis. Because of that I was induced a week before my due date - more about that in the next post...

I love you baby girl!


August 16, 2011

Dear Bex...

Here we go!

All I've wanted to do since you were born is talk to you and have you remember everything I say. This blog will serve that purpose - save all of my wisdom, advice, jokes and memories for you for posterity.

In the beginning I'm going to look back on the past almost seven months and tell you all I remember.  It was a rough start for us, Little Girl, and a hell of a roller coaster that thankfully you won't remember, and thankfully I will.  I say thankfully, because being at such a low point myself has given me such an amazing thankfulness for where I've ended up.  We're both on such a great track now and I can't wait to see where we are headed.

I love you baby girl!