Over the past few weeks I’ve had to come to terms with something that I never thought would be so difficult to face: My baby is rapidly becoming a toddler.
I’ve always been a baby person. From the time I was a child I have been obsessed with infants. The way they smell, their tiny little features, the jagged movements of their newly discovered limbs, I love it all. I was also always surrounded by them so it just became a part of my world. I have 3 younger brothers and I am the 2nd oldest grandchild on both sides of my family. I have cousins young enough that they could be Muppet’s siblings. Babies are just a part of my world.
Some people wish they could skip the newborn phase and skip ahead to when children are walking and talking. Not me. If I could time freeze a newborn I think I would be very tempted to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I love toddlers and kids. They are so imaginative and watching them learn and discover the world is incredible. But there is something about snuggling a newborn that is so intoxicating for me.
Muppet is growing up quickly. She will be 9 months on Friday and already has 2 words (Mama and Dog). She crawls faster than I can chase her most of the time and stands up on everything. When she is feeling particularly brave she will take a few tiny steps with her walker. She can stand unassisted for 5-10 seconds. She is becoming extremely independent and will push your hands away if she doesn’t want to be held. She is now a child with her own thoughts and wants.
She still has her moments of ‘baby-ness’. At night before bed she always curls up on my chest and lays there so I can listen to her breath and smell the top of her head. If she falls she immediately crawls over to me for cuddles. Although she is starting to eat a lot of finger food she still is very dependent on her bottle so I get to hold her in my arms and feed her 3-4 hours. I treasure all these moments but there is a part of me that misses the days that I didn’t need these moments in order to snuggle with my baby.
Today she had an allergic reaction (eggs) and it was absolutely terrifying. She broke out in hives and her eyes became swollen and bloodshot. I rushed her to an urgent care and they took good care of her. The reaction never affected her breathing which I am grateful for. We gave her some allergy medication and I watched as she fell asleep in my arms, something that hasn’t happened in a very long time. I’m so grateful for this little girl. If anything ever happened to her I don’t know what I would do, she is my world. So even though I miss her being my teeny tiny baby and sometimes my feelings get a bit hurt when she doesn’t want to sit on my lap, I wouldn’t change a thing about her for the world.
Now she is sleeping soundly in her crib after 2 projectile vomiting incidences. I am emotionally drained, smell faintly of vomit, and incredibly in love with my child. Keep growing my little girl, but maybe try to slow it down just a bit so I can make sure to drink in every moment of your life.
This past Sunday was Bereaved Mother’s Day. This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day. Where does one fit when you feel the need to honor both? Everyone has been saying to me this year “You finally get to celebrate a Mother’s Day!”. But in my hearth I’ve been a mother much longer than Muppet has been in my life. Having a baby in no way erases the pain of the babies that you have lost.
I remember so clearly how I spent Mother’s Day last year. I was mourning my 4 lost babies while waiting to complete our home study and feeling like it would never be finished. I was working at the salon and spent the entire day literally holding back tears as almost all my clients that day went on about their plans for the day and asking if I was a mother yet. At one point I had to walk away from a client and go to the back room to regain my composer as it all just became too much. That night when I got home, my sweet husband presented me with a bouquet of flowers and said “Thank you for being so good to our babies”. While this gesture was greatly appreciated, this finally broke down the bridge of emotion that I had managed to hold together all day. I sat and sobbed thinking that I hadn’t been good to our babies, if I had we would have them in our arms and not be in the position we were in.
This year I don’t really know how to feel. I still miss our babies, more than I can say. But at the same time I have a very live baby in my arms whom I love more than life itself. But I feel like I can’t fully enjoy Mother’s Day. I want to feel like a “normal” mom. Like I can celebrate my motherhood without dragging my piles of baggage around with me. I just don’t know how to do it though.
I feel as though I am stuck between two worlds: One where infertility and loss rule my life. One where I am an overjoyed new mom with no cares in the world other than her daughter. How do I find a balance? As much as the losses pain me, I don’t want to “get over” them. I don’t want to ever forget where I have come from or what the cost was to get Muppet. But I want to enjoy this time, the time where my baby is growing and thriving.
I can only hope in time that I will be able to join my two worlds. This year I honor both Mother’s days. One for the 4 babies I lost and one for the baby who is currently climbing all over me.
My little Muppet is 8 months old as of 2 days ago. It is unbelievable how fast time flies. This month she learned how to sit un-aided, pull herself into a standing position on pretty much everything in sight, and give her own version of kisses which is her wide open mouth pressed against your lips. So. Cute. She mostly army crawls, which she learned at 6 months, but she can crawl on her hands and knees. I think she prefers the army crawl because she is so fast that way where as the other way is still a bit new.
I’m so proud every time she learns a new skill but at the same time it breaks my heart a bit because she is growing up so fast and I want her to remain my baby forever. There is a part of me that is scared that this will be the only time I get to do the baby thing and it is flying by. But when she leans towards me with those big brown eyes for a kiss my heart melts and I know how incredibly lucky I am to have her.
Happy 8 months baby girl, we sure love you.