Dear darling baby! Mom on tenterhooksMarch 1, 2014
Dear darling baby,
As I type this (on my phone, no less) you are in my arms, all set for the night in your cute polka-dotted pajamas quietly nursing after wailing the roof off the house during your bedtime routine of massage and a warm sponge bath. You refused to nap anywhere but in Mommy’s arms the whole day today, and the only time I could put you in your bouncer was when I had my lunch, sitting right in front of you, eating rice from a bowl with a spoon so I didn’t have to go wash my hands in case you needed some emergency picking up (which you did; you coughed and Mommy thought you might be choking on your spit up or something and picked you right up) You spent a total of thirty minutes trying to suck your fist, which would (comically for me; frustratingly for you) end up somewhere near your eyes or cheeks. You fought sleep by looking up at me and babbling away over my lullaby, and the louder I hummed the louder you babbled and cooed. On days like this I wonder why I even try to put you to sleep on your crib during the day. You pooped on your towel right after bath time, and peed on your towel right before massage time. Such timing, missy, you make Mommy proud.
You are two days shy of completing 11 weeks. You are starting to look more and more like Mommy as days go by. For the record, these days you are going through a “I hate Daddy” phase and will become so hysterical the moment he tries to pick you up that we have invented a game called “How to make a baby cry in less than a minute”. It is not a very funny game. Not for Mommy’s shoulders and back, baby. You have quite the personality already! You love it when Mommy kisses you when you are half sleepy and reward me with a smile every single time I kiss your chubby cheeks. You hate being held in any way other than straight up so you can see the world. You love Mommy’s sling and taking walks around the park gaping at the sky. You hate being taken out of the bath tub. And you love the sun. It is so appropriate. You are my bundle of sunshine.
Like I had previously said, it will be (hopefully) several years before we talk about how you came to be inside me but I want you to know how you came to be in my arms. Oh baby, Mommy never really knew what love at first sight was until she saw you. It was a Saturday, and on Friday night you had been kicking up a storm! So much that Mommy and Daddy stayed up till 1 am to try make you sleep so Mommy could sleep a little. And then on Saturday morning, because Mommy’s blood pressure was a little high, we called up the good doctor to let her know. And this moment I will not forget… standing in the living room, staring blankly outside the window, barely registering the doctor’s words as she asked me to go to labor and delivery immediately. I remember feeling, more than thinking “I’m gonna meet my baby today!” Daddy was in the middle of prepping lunch. He stood still for a while, not knowing how to react. We weren’t expecting to meet you until two weeks later after all. He kept asking me to repeat the doctor’s words. “Today? Delivery today?” He kept asking. I remember being as cool as I could be, and taking a quick shower and dressing up in my cutest top that still fit, and this I particularly remember: carefully making a fish-bone plait with my hair. I figured since I would spend a lot of time lying down, a hairstyle that didn’t mess up very much was my best bet (didn’t work; an hour into labor I was a sweaty mess with hair coming loose from all sides) Daddy was pretty flustered, so thank heavens I’d had my hospital bag packed since way before. The day being a Saturday I was really worried about not being able to get a cab, but the miracle that you are for us, we got one in no time at all. As if that was not enough, we didn’t hit a single red light on our entire way! I held Daddy’s hands and asked him not to be nervous because I wasn’t. Maybe because it seemed surreal to me even then.
Once we reached the hospital things started “happening”. Since you weren’t quite ready to come out, the doctor had to “help” kick start the process and then we were to wait for things to progress. And wait we did. From 1:30 in the afternoon to 9:30 at night, baby, Mommy waited (in pain, too, and you are never going to hear the end of it once you are a teenager and I need to play the pity-Mommy card) but you stayed put. Oh missy you made Mommy beg even before you came outside in this world.
But at 10:23pm, when I heard your first wail in the operating theatre (the doctor had to cut me open to get you out!) I started weeping. You were frowning the first time I saw you, this wrinkled red bundle with your eyes shut tight. How dare they evict you from your cozy warm home into the cold outside under harsh lights! They then took you away from me to clean you up and stitch me back up, and it was the strangest feeling ever. It suddenly hit me that you are a whole different being now! Not a part of me, but a whole new you. And then I was impatient like I had never been impatient. As they brought me out of the operating theatre, your Daddy was waiting for me, and the first thing he said was that you had your eyes wide open, and didn’t cry when they gave you your first injection.
The next two hours were excruciatingly long for me. They didn’t bring you to me until 1:30 because they were regulating your temperature and I kept looking at your pictures on Daddy’s phone to pass my time. And then they brought you to me, wrapped up in a towel, and as I held you in my arms for the very first time, you looked right at me, almost as if you were curious to know what I looked like on the outside. That moment, right there baby girl, was when I knew I would willingly give my everything and then some more, for you. That I was gone, completely lost to everything else, everyone else… So deep in love that it was near impossible for me to comprehend anything more beautiful, more divine, than you…
Some other day darling, I will write about the past 11 weeks. About waking up every three hours at night and staying up watching Fox Movies just so I could feed you without falling asleep. About how I was constantly worrying about poop and pee and spit up and sneezes. About how the first sponge bath I gave you took three people, five wash clothes and a bed strewn with towels, lotion and what not. And how in just 11 weeks Mommy can give you a bath in your tub all by herself. And has learned not to worry about your spit up as long as your onesie is not too wet. And learning to drink water and eat with one hand while maneuvering a squirmy you with the other hand. About your first immunization shots and how Mommy cried along with you. About your first coo and first aah-goo that made Mommy laugh. And about just how much fun Mommy has each day with you, despite you fighting naps leaving Mommy dog-tired by the end of the day. And someday, when you are grown up enough to understand the silent language you and I have between us, you will see in my eyes just how complete you make me.
Until then, Miss Smiles-a-lot, quit squirming while feeding and let Mommy put you to sleep.
I love you. Oh so so much.
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