Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Little Longer, Be My Baby

I get the comments every week, when I'm out toting my golden haired boy.

Are you going to cut his hair? 

Are you tired of him being called a girl? 

Long hair - isn't that, y'know, girly? 

I know I have a different perspective. What can I say, it's those three years I spent at law school with all those cute boys with Bama bangs. I just love a man with a good head of hair and now I have the most darling little man with the most darling curls (and very impressive bangs too).
I really didn't face this question with Zuzu since she didn't even have any hair until she was 2. David had more hair when he was born than Zuzu did until 2.5! Now I admit, sometimes his mane gets a bit unruly...

...but I'm trying hard to wait until he is two to cut it. I know, I know that as soon as it's cut, the baby curls will be gone - and suddenly he will look much more like a little boy than a little baby. But he still feels like my baby - especially now that I have a big girl to compare him to, and I can fully appreciate the swift and fleeting nature of time. I don't want to let that go. If my tendency with Zuzu is to push her to be more mature because she is the oldest child I have, then perhaps I do have a tendency to baby David, as he is the youngest child I have. 

And perhaps many other moms with subfertility can relate to this: I'm constantly wondering if he's the last baby. Now, we've been deeply blessed to have two children - certainly we are far ahead of where my OB said we would be, six months before we were engaged. You'll never have children without serious help, and even then we can't count on anything. In fact, we've been so blessed to have gotten pregnant four times and be holding two healthy children in our arms, that at this point, we count on having more. We have started to think when, and not if

But in the back of my mother's mind is always that worry - what if he's our last? What if he never gets to have a brother, or Zuzu a sister? What if this is the last baby I get to hold at 18 months, the last one to nurse to sleep? There's a thought that all those "whens" might be wishful "ifs" instead and that years from now, I'll wish I had those damp post-nap curls to run my fingers through. That nagging thought means I'll be keeping him my baby, for just a little longer. 

 photo signature_zpsyzdaji8e.png

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Beginning of the Best

Susannah is less 24 hours away from being four years old.

I don't think I ever imagined what it would be like to have a four year old. I was so focused on getting through my pregnancy, keeping her alive, nursing, figuring it all out. Oh I was so focused on that day-to-day, I couldn't look up - I couldn't imagine what was coming.

I remember her being born like it was yesterday. That labor was like a dream - my 6:30am wakeup call on a Friday, the long silence of Hypnobirthing labor, the hour and fifteen minutes of hard work pushing her out - pushing her out to Brandi Carlile's The Story (which I found from this birth video and story).

That first six weeks of her life is burned into my mind too. Such clarity of focus, such intense love and joy and praising: oh finally, finally! I had waited my whole life to become a mother and she christened me so kindly. I remember it all: the chocolate cake every day at 2:12pm, episodes of LOST always on, the sound of the chimes of my new washer/dryer as they ran ran ran constantly with new baby laundry, the cool air blowing in over Grandma Mary's vintage couch.

It's only gotten harder from there - and sometimes I get really scared when I think how much higher the stakes are going to get, how much more complicated the issues. I am afraid that I fail a great deal in being the mother I should be; I am, in fact, often stunned by the depths of my own failings. I am often shocked at you too - you, Susannah, natural heir to my occasional writings here.  You are You are yourself. You are not me - although for so long you were, you were just an extension, as natural as my arm or nose. You are now yourself and claiming that boldly. I'd be more proud if I could stop being so hurt by the growing pains.

It's hard. You're the oldest child I have on this earth, so naturally I expect so much of you - sometimes, too much. I often fumble, I am reaching out a hand to find my bearings, and before I catch myself I'm trampling on you in the process. I worry, oh I worry, and your dad and I spend so much time talking, praying, talking, praying - for you, for help, for guidance, for the ability to give you whatever you need, for you to be shielded from our foibles.

It's good too. I love getting to know you, I love showing you the parts of the world that I love, I love that you get as excited about books as you do about toys. I love seeing your imagination develop, seeing how you crave stories, make up worlds, live in them and believe in them deeply. I know these stories, this newfound independence, this self I am helping you discover will lead you into the deepest and greatest mystery: union with the Triune God, who is all that is Good and Beautiful and True.

Susannah, your birth was the beginning of the best part of my life and every day, even when I am frustrated, I am beyond thrilled to be your mother.

 photo signature_zpsyzdaji8e.png