You were born under water in our bedroom, with your nana and big brother, sound asleep down the hall. You came out screaming and crying and in that moment, all of my fear and anxiety evaporated. Here you were, we did it, you and me. They laid your slippery little body on my naked chest and covered you with a warm, wet towel. Grateful. So. Grateful. That’s what I felt. I tried to feed you, but you weren’t interested, you needed a moment to cry out, to speak your mind.
Your nana entered the room and she couldn’t stop crying. Your dad was relieved, that you were here and that the wait was over. He was handed the scissors and cut the lifeline that connected us for 10 months. You were your own little man. They eventually coaxed me out of the tub and into bed, but our bed was too soft and it hurt. So I walked to the guest room, where the bed is firmer. Your brother woke up around 6 am, only 22 months old, thirsty for juice and wanting to go downstairs, he stumbled upon a new chapter of his young life. He met you, he didn’t know what to think, he buried his face into your dad. Then the four of us lay in bed together and life felt more full than I ever recall.
With your brother, I become a mother and had a baby. With you, I had a baby. I’m not sure I’ll be able to fully articulate the difference but I will try. I knew that becoming a parent would change my life. In fact, I remember thinking, that I was over life being all about me, my choices, my dreams, my wants, my problems etc, and that is when I knew I was ready to become a mom, for me that time came around 27 and 4 years later I was married with a baby on the way. You can be ready for something and still not have a clue how you’ll feel or respond once in the midst of that moment you dreamt of. With your brother, I became a mother, my world and my brain shifted and it was overwhelming, sacred and beautiful all at the same time. I found myself trying to cling to an old version of myself, trying to hold onto my identity outside of being his mom. I felt I could sink under in the quicksand that was motherhood. I spent just as much time trying to find balance as I did surrendering to the great gift and responsibility that was loving and protecting this little baby, your big brother.
When you were born, I had fully surrendered to becoming a mother and trading old versions of myself for this new version, your brother had raised me as I raised him. I learned how quickly every single phase is over and to hold on for dear life. The sibling lost before you were born gave me an even greater appreciation for just how precious your journey here into this moment is. I now know to inhale you, that the clingy, must be held phase is incredibly temporary and how much I will miss it in a few months and maybe for always. My love for your brother taught me how be more present in my love for you. So, when you were born I didn’t become a mother, I became yours.
You are a calm, peaceful, contemplative baby. I was terrified that we would have a hard time nursing, but we didn’t. You are a pro. It hurt so much for the first 2 or 3 weeks but now it’s easy and I’m still surprised. I think nursing has made all the difference. I feel so connected to you and you seem to be happy as long as I’m in the room, which melts my heart but frustrates others. But ya know what? You are not even 4 months old yet, it ain’t about anyone but us right now. You sleep next to me in bed and nurse twice during the night. I love having your warm little body and stuffed up infant snores next to me. I feel like I should sleep train you soon, but I’m being a wuss about it. Your dad gets up with your brother at 6am every morning so I can sleep in a bit. I hope you do the same for your wife someday. It’s nearly impossible to function on 6hrs of sleep while watching a baby and toddler, especially on the days that you both serenade me with high pitched cries and nap strikes.
Your brother bonked you on the head with a tennis ball day one of your life. You were in my arms and I foolishly didn’t see it coming! Ugh. It is terrifying to raise 2 boys under two, even if it was a dream that I fully signed up for! To be fair, it was a honest welcoming into your brotherhood. Your brother can not wait to play with you, sit with you or feed you. He tells me “slide brother” which means to hold your little body and drag your bum down the slide after him, he loves it. He wants you to sit on his little stool across from him, which I will do by holding you. He wants you to hold his trucks, his balls, his blocks etc. At this point you grab hold of anything he gives you and try to bring it to your mouth.
I struggled with your name. In fact, we named you what we called you all pregnancy and then it didn’t feel like you, when I wrote it out at the pediatrician’s. So… I called the midwives and asked them to wait on mailing out your birth certificate. You went without a name for 5 days and I lost more sleep over it than I did from being a mom of a newborn. In the end your first name became your middle name and you were named after my intelligent, classic, serious, loving grandfather, it seems to fit you.
You flew to Nebraska at only 6 weeks old, and I stood in your uncle and aunt’s wedding with you in my arms. You have a “witching hour” which just means you’re fussy, cranky and typically “hangry” at the same time every day but if you are in my arms, you are calm. And of course, the ceremony was during your witching hour, so you little buddy have already been in a wedding. Craziness.
You are ticklish all over, your armpits, ribs, feet, neck etc. You will giggle endlessly if tickled. You love driving but scream bloody murder if we are stuck in traffic or at a long stoplight, you are more of a highway kind of guy. You like to be held like a baby or like a football with your head facing out. You like to be walked facing out now too. When you wake up, you star into my eyes and then slowly smile. Your smiles feel peaceful and careful to me. You’re adorable and the best of 2016.
You like to eat most of all right now, but you are getting playful. You are smiley but not in an endlessly flirtatious, joyous way, you seem to smile when you like something. You are a thinker. So far you look like your nana (my mom) and I think, your dad’s dad. A jack hammer could go off next to you but if your belly is full or you are in my arms, you are unbothered.
You are loved little one and as much as your brother wants you to hurry up and grow so you can play trucks and throw the ball back at him, I say… take it slow, so I can soak it all in.
Love to you,