Without the support of others, taking care of babies can be overwhelming. Overwhelmingly beautiful, but also just overwhelming. You get pregnant, fairly easy for some a little more work for others, you grow a human being inside of your body without much decision making on your part at all- aside from choosing to/not to drink coffee, and then you triumphantly deliver this beautiful being that gasp! does not come with a handbook. You and your partner figure out most things - the bath is precarious the first time, the first night is a disaster, the baby coughs and you scream, "She can't breathe!" - but slowly, you settle in, get into a rhythm, and then your partner goes back to work and you are left to fill your days with this little newborn all alone!... or at least that's how I felt until Elle saw my "I must get out of the house today!" facebook status. We had shared pregnancy stories over coffee before Eloise and Liam made their life debuts and being a born planner Elle invited me to join her at a moms group she was planning on attending that morning.
I managed to pack up the diaper bag correctly and arrived at the group with a snoozing baby at 9AM sharp. I remember feeling pretty triumphant that I'd managed to bathe and clothe not only Eloise but myself and I quickly realized that this group was going to save my soul. Immediately Elle and I started chatting with Mimi who was sitting to my left and comparing labor experiences, nursing techniques, how many hours of sleep we were getting.... While I had been talking about these things nonstop with Tim and my own mom, it felt really really good to run them all by other women who were in the exact same place as I was with Eloise. I left group that morning feeling energized and happy- more like my own self than I'd felt in a few weeks. I felt, suddenly, like I could do this! We're all doing it together! It takes a village right?
Over the course of the next few months Mimi, Elle, and I made lasting connections with a few other moms and started meeting each other at our homes when the babies got too big for the hospital meet-ups ... these women and their babies have become such wonderful friends of mine and are truly part of my village. Since Elle is a wedding planner, she put together this little trip to Tahoe months ago before our group expanded and I can remember looking at my little blob nursing away in my arms, feeling like this trip was so far off and thinking, "Oh man! Eloise will be crawling by then! She'll be so big!" Like all things during this first year, this trip came up way too fast and was over in a blink but I hope we've started a tradition- I can see all these babes paddling along, making sand castles, eating burgers by a fire pit summer after summer. (Hopefully every year Eloise won't end up sleeping all night on my chest!)