The Art of Juggling ~ Wedding Bells, Babies & Boobs
Last weekend my sister Cristina got married. It was magical. After a year and three months of planning, everything went off without a hitch. This was my first family wedding where I had a baby to take into consideration. A baby I had made a day and nighttime plan for when he was still in my belly. I wanted to be present for my sister, full mind and body, and I also wanted my baby boy to be a part of everything. I knew I would still be breastfeeding him at this time, so that was also a major part of “the plan”. As a Matron of Honor I had responsibilities from sunrise to sunset. I had to juggle getting myself together and caring for my little guy. Before children, I took for granted the ease of basic human experiences, of only worrying about myself and/or my husband. I truly believed I was a great multitasker. Nope.
The wedding day festivities started at 8am. Logan was going to be with me all day until I passed him off to my friend Charlotte who was scheduled for baby duty in the hotel until the party was over. The night before the wedding I packed my overnight bag (which ended up consisting of one shirt, one bra, overalls and nothing else). I packed Logan’s diaper bag and figured I would need about 6 bibs for his drooliness, extra clothes for unexpected explosions, chew toys for his teething gums, Yogi Bites for when he got fussy, his Mamas&Papas seat for eating, 2 bottles of breast milk of which I had to keep in a cooler with ice packs all day, and many, many diapers and wipes. Logan’s stuff was all in order and like most mothers, I took care of myself last and ended up forgetting most necessities. Around 10:30pm that night, I gave Logan a bath to calm him down (because he had taken a random three hour nap) and we snuggled in bed. He didn’t go to sleep until after 11pm but that’s okay because he is an inconsistent sleeper and I’m used to it.
Like I said, the day started at 8am so we had to be up pretty early. Luckily the first stop was hair and makeup so I just had to throw on some clothes and nurse Logan. Before I ran out the door, I prepared a just-in case bottle for my husband if needed. Hair and makeup took about three and a half hours. The next half hour was crucial in terms of timing. I had to get home, relive my husband so he could get into his tux, nurse Logan again, get him dressed (see adorableness below), pack the car and lastly, get into my dress. We were all meeting at my mom’s house at 12pm to get my sister dressed, take bridal party pictures and prepare for the ceremony. I mentioned in an earlier post that my other sister has Jake, same age as Logan, and her toddler Eddie. Remember when I said I had made a plan when I was still pregnant? Well this plan accounted for my sister’s children as well. Lucky for us, she has a big Ford truck that can easily fit three car seats. We needed to get the babies from my moms, to the church and to the reception. As Matrons of Honor we rode the trolley all around town with the rest of the bridal party. Super fun and so cute as people on the streets watched us. But this meant babies needed a ride! We also had to pack the truck with all of our bags and baby stuff so it could get to the venue and hotel along with us.
My cousin drove the big Ford truck to the church because all other family members were occupied. Upon arrival, I whisked Logan from the car and handed him off to his grandparents. I gave him a smooch and found my place in line for the ceremony. My sister glowed walking down the aisle. She lit up the church, our hearts and married her best friend with so much grace. In that moment, I had so much love for my family; for my parents in the front row who just gave away their last baby, for my sister beside me who so carefully and gently guided her son Eddie, the ring bearer, down the aisle and to his dad, for my husband who looked up at me on the altar and later told me I looked so pretty, for my sweet baby boy who asleep in the back of the church got to be in the presence of true love, and for my sister, the bride, who let me stand beside her on the happiest day of her life.
Afterwards, we hugged and kissed family and friends, took pictures on the steps leading up to the church and then quickly had to make our way back into the trolley to go to the venue. But first, I had to find my sleeping baby and get him buckled in the big Ford truck. When we got to Lands’ End, we took more bridal and family pictures and I found some time to breastfeed my little man. Logan and Jake played in the grass while we had some down time. I remember watching them roll around, watching my nephew Eddie run around, watching my sister kiss her new husband, Adam. While I sat and observed, I took a moment to glance around at everyone all dressed up and here to celebrate one of our own. This family of mine has grown into something so beautiful; it was hard not to look up at the sky and whisper a quick thank you.
With cocktail hour starting at 7pm, I wanted to make sure all of our belongings were in the room and prepared for Charlotte. My husband and I quickly grabbed our bags from the truck and dropped it in the room. I had Logan on my hip – he was a little sleepy at this point so he cuddled into me. I didn’t want to miss cocktail hour though so we scurried back to the venue and I met up with family and friends as they started to arrive. It was amazing, seeing so many people here for my sister, and my son getting to experience it all. He got agitated pretty quickly though - it had been a very long day. I could tell he wanted out of his diaper and out of his romper. I gave him a quick snuggle, some kisses and handed him off to Charlotte for the rest of the night.
During the reception Chris and I danced, we stuffed our faces with delicious food, we laughed and sang along to the band and we relished in the fact that we did a damn good job today. We made it through this day of pure love juggling a hundred different things and caring about more than ourselves. We are parents now and basic human experiences come with a lot of extra baggage - adorably, sweet, cuddly, baby baggage. In keeping with the overall theme of this post, this story ends with me running across the parking lot to the hotel during the after party for a much needed breastfeeding session with my little babe.