My sweet child. Oh how long I waited for you, dreamed of you, and hoped for you. Because of our journey to bring you into this family, I anticipated how I would savor every moment, be cautious, and perhaps be even more click-happy as I knew you would be my last baby. And then you arrived, on a very cold winter’s day, in an intense fury. Life has been on fast-forward since.
While I carried you within, I worked to keep up with your sister on the outside. Pregnancy with you was a far cry from the days I was a non-parent pregnancy lady! I didn’t get to bed as early as I should have. You were likely smooshed from time to time as I carried and rocked your sister. It seemed the condition of being pregnant alone stole hours from my day, and I focused on the time I had spending with your sister, mourning the days she would be only ‘one’ and helping her transition into her new role. I’m sorry.
During my first pregnancy, I was on Cloud 9: Calm, blissful, patient. I placed headphones over my belly to send classical music to your sister’s developing ears. I journaled frequently and blogged each month about what was happening in our lives, how the pregnancy was going and recorded measurements, and made your daddy take pictures of me to capture the growing tummy. With you, I posed in front of the mirror with my cell phone, may have made a couple entries in the journal and blog, and most nights crawled into bed with some ache or frustration. I’m sorry.
With your sister, each month I set up the lights and backdrop, collected the props, coordinated an outfit, and ensured we conducted a full-blown photo shoot with the ‘big camera’ each month of her first year. I fully expected I would do the same with you. I’m sorry. On the first of the month, I haphazardly dress you, grab the milestone cloth we were gifted, and snap a few images with my cell phone. The rainbow-themed cloth with its number cards gives the illusion that we are being consistent and on-purpose but the reality is another month came and went and I’m eager to capture images to commemorate your monthly birthday between work, dinner, chores, and bedtime routines.
When we introduced solid foods to your sister, we did so deliberately. We started with one food and watched for reactions for a week before introducing something else. With you, we introduced a handful of foods the first week, allowed the family to share table foods with you to watch your facial reactions, and mixed up food blends early on. I’m sorry.
I’m doing a lot of the things the same as I did with big sister and I’m doing things special just for you. I’m capturing lots of pictures, even if they are on the phone. I bring you into our bed and allow you to use me as your personal pacifier. I take the lead on night time routine so I can hold you, sing to you and give you security as you drift off to sleep. I send your sister off on adventures with family so we can have some time for just us.
And despite feeling stretched too thin some days, there is a familiarity with it all. I don’t have to read or research as much this time around and feel confident with all the uncertainties of your care. Your sister broke us in and paved the way for you. And she loves you. It’s hard to beat the smile you give me, but it does not compare to the smile you give your big sister.
Sure, you won’t have many things to call your very own. Most of your clothes and toys were once your sister’s (and as a toddler she is still learning to share her items as well as those that should be dedicated for you). But you’ll be tougher and more resilient. You’ll have the benefit of a guide, friend, and co-conspirator. You’ll be more brave, as she shows you the way and you’ll be faster as you’re eager to keep up with her.
A half a year has passed since that cold winter morning. If these past six months are any indicator, there is no pause button on this journey and I have to find time to stop, reflect and soak you in. You light up our world, baby girl. Just as your sister does, but with a new light and with your own unique contributions to this family. We’re so glad you are here. We look forward to watching you develop and witness who you will become.
You’re our baby, always, and our destiny. We love you. –Mama and Daddy