Elliot Elizabeth Gooding was born two weeks early on the evening of August 3rd. She was wide awake and very alert from day 1, ready to find out what the world is all about.
She’s now six weeks old. This has been the longest and most challenging six weeks of my life but also the most rewarding. It’s funny how many people love to offer the same stock advice when they find out you’re having a baby: “Sleep now cause you’ll never sleep once the baby gets here,” or “Guess what, your life is over,” and “Enjoy every minute – they grow up so fast.” None of those tips get you through the first few weeks.
What you really need to hear, before you know what you’re in for, is something encouraging that you can hang onto in the middle of the night when you haven’t slept but a handful of hours in days. Children are a blessing, and this is the best gift you will ever receive.
It’s something I’ve had to remind myself of when I’m covered in spit-up, sleep deprived, and desperate for a shower and a few minutes of quiet. But then she smiles at me and my heart is so happy – I’m suddenly overwhelmed with thankfulness for a gift I could never deserve.
Elliot is a Gooding family name and there are several lady Elliot’s in the genealogy that my husband’s uncle shared with us. The first was Elliot Ruth Harrison Gooding, born in 1862. She was named for Col. Stephen Elliot, a confederate officer and a warm friend of her father, Major J.J. Harrison. The most recent Elliot Elizabeth Gooding, born 1916, was a cousin to my husband’s grandfather.
Elliot means “The Lord is my God” and Elizabeth means “My God of Abundance.” He gave us a baby after years of trying and we are so blessed. There is no one like Him.
In recovering from surgery and learning to care for a newborn, I found that I love my husband more than I ever thought possible. It seems like he always knows what to say when I am afraid, sad, or disappointed, and he never fails to make me laugh. He is the best friend a girl could ever ask for and a sweet and loving father to our baby girl. I don’t know how single moms do it – I have nothing but respect for those who are doing this on their own.
I have to admit that it’s taking some time to get used to our new life as parents, but our greyhound was ready since the day we brought baby home. He loves to cuddle with her and kiss her and has never once acted jealous.
After just six weeks of getting to know little Miss Elliot, I’m amazed at how awake and alert she is. When she looks at you, it feels as though her eyes are piercing through you, ready to uncover any illusion. I can’t wait to find out what she thinks about this big wide world.