Oh Maylee, My Maylee

Oh Beautiful, My Beautiful

My daughter, Maylee Brooklyn Santiago, is now a little over 10 weeks old and I can honestly say (without a shadow of doubt) that she is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me. Who knew a little 10 pound, chubby cheeked, Michelin-armed, peeing, pooping, crying baby girl would be able to change my life in such a impactful way. She has taught me how to fight harder, truly sacrifice, love more, persist longer, and practice patience I’ve never known existed.

I won’t lie, the first couple of weeks after having her was probably one of the toughest seasons I’ve had to experience in my life. (Warning to you parents-to-be). The pains of labor, delivery and recovery. Then bringing her home and immediately being thrown into the mommy role with no instruction manual. Feed her, change her, rock her, burp her, wipe her, clean her, hold her, care for her, don’t drop her, don’t neglect her, don’t lay her on her belly, don’t shake her, don’t use this soap, give her a pacifier, don’t give her the pacifier, the list goes on and on. OH! Don’t forget as mommy, you need to pump, wash and prepare bottles, eat, pee, poop, shower and sleep yourself, if you’re lucky!

Did I forget to mention the toll this takes on the daddy’s? Daddy has to help with all of this and in addition, deal with the hormonal and emotional changes that mommy is going through. This means mood swings, anger, frustration, irritability, and crying, all for NO reason at all-well, there is a reason: ALL OF THIS! They say that sleep deprivation has been used as a torture tactic; I’m sorry to say, but as a new mommy, sleep deprivation is one of the things that accompany baby. So when you start feeling like you’re going insane, please be reminded that you are not alone. I know for me, it gives me hope and peace knowing someone else has experienced this and has defeated it, so that means I can too!

If you are experiencing any of these side effects of having a baby, please do not hesitate to reach out to fellow mommy’s! I know for a fact that God has placed people in your life that will support, encourage and pray for you the way that I have been so blessed with in my experience. It has been a complete blessing to be able to be transparent with how I have been struggling as a new mommy and knowing that I’m not going out of my mind. There’s an old saying that says, “It takes a whole village to raise a child” and after having Maylee, I am convinced that this statement is a fact. If it weren’t for the “village” who brought us food, prayed for us, called us, texted us, encouraged us, laughed with us, cried with us-I don’t know where we would be.

Now, with all of that being said, please note, there is hope! All is not lost. I truly believe that through all of these “hard” things, I have grown and matured as a daughter, as a wife, as a mother, as a friend, and ultimately, as a person. I am convinced that God allows me go through all of the things I go through to teach me how to truly love, sacrifice and trust in Him. And in the midst of it all, I am also reminded of God’s fierce love for us. As I mentioned at the beginning, Maylee has truly been one of the greatest gift God has given me. Even at just 10 weeks old, she’s beautiful, bright-eyed, silly, observant, strong-willed, cuddly and the sweetest baby ever! It’s crazy how much I love her and can’t imagine life without her anymore.

Since having Maylee, I have gotten a deeper revelation of God’s love for His children. There are things that Maylee tries to do that I know she can’t do. There are things Maylee thinks she’s doing when in reality, I’m really the one doing it, but I allow her to think she’s doing it. There are also things I wish Maylee wouldn’t do, but even though she does them, I still love her. There are things Maylee does, that no matter how repulsive it may be, it doesn’t change my love for her… I wonder if that’s the same way God thinks of us. Yet, as much as I may say I love Maylee, I know our heavenly Father loves her, loves me, and loves all of His children EVEN MORE. How is that even possible?

The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” That’s how much He loves us; He gave His Son so that we could have the opportunity to spend eternity with Him in heaven. This blows my mind! I love Maylee so much and can’t imagine my life without her; yet God GAVE His Son up so we could have everlasting life. I am literally lost for words.

My prayer is that as my husband and I raise Maylee in this world, we will be able to show her God’s love, grace and mercy through our actions and sacrifice. I pray that we will be able to show her this amazing God we serve through our love for one another and for others. And as we raise her up in the ways of the Lord, when she is old, she will not depart from it.