This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.

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Samantha was born six weeks early, so the doctors gave us instructions to keep her home and avoid crowds/people until we got to her due date. That meant that for Lent, I gave up being around people. Sure, I still saw my family, who stopped by regularly. In fact, we kept a pump bottle of hand sanitizer on the coffee table, and each of my nieces was instructed to use it before coming near the baby. The family shorthand for this quickly became “handitizer.”

I was pretty sleep-deprived, as all new mothers are. I knew that getting on a “schedule” was important, but I couldn’t think clearly enough to even figure out what the word meant, let alone attempt any sort of working towards one. It doesn’t help that the advice you get as a new mom is often very contradictory:

Never wake a sleeping baby.

Don’t let the baby sleep through feeding time.

Nurse when she’s hungry.

Get her on a nursing schedule.

Really? Um, sure, let me just figure that out now… Nope, still don’t have any ideas on how to make it happen. I’m sure seasoned mothers have this all figured out, right?

Being in the house also kept me from attending church during Lent. Considering that my body was still in recovery mode at that time, I didn’t really mind. It meant I didn’t have to figure out how to fit into either my maternity clothes (too big) or my regular clothes (too small). We did have an adorable Easter outfit for her, one that matched our niece/goddaughter M’s outfit, a yellow number that said something about First Easter. It was M’s first Easter, too, since she was born in May. We planned to take her to church for the first time on Palm Sunday, which was about the six-week mark after she was born, and right after her due date…

Next post coming tomorrow.