(California edition of the standard issue monthly mug shot.)
She's goo'ing and gah'ing, she's smiling and widening those big blue eyes at every new sight and sound, and she makes me breathlessly giddy with anticipation for the future. The gauzy pink tutu she'll wear, the songs she'll make up and perform to a living room full of pets and stuffed bears (and maybe her brother, if he'll obey her commands), the sparkly pink girlness of it all. Though I never yearned for a daughter, three months in, I can't imagine life without this little girl of mine.
I spend so much time holding her, breathing her sweet baby scent, staring at her in awe. In awe that 90 days could really have passed us by since her first cries rang out. But also in awe that this is my life, my second baby. This life so full of babies that there's just not much room for anything but babies (including leg shaving, movie watching, wholesome meal eating, etc.) For it wasn't so long ago that I doubted there were babies in the cards at all. It was this week of May, 2007, that I found out our first baby wasn't going to be born in November as we'd been told by my doctor a month earlier. Our Turkey Baby, evaporating in the sad blink of the OB's eye as she put her hand on me and told me the heartbeat was gone. I stared at the ceiling as medical jargon filled one ear and went right out the other, knowing all that I needed to know: our first baby no longer existed in any way that mattered to anyone but us. On this day in 2007, I was in bed, recovering from surgery that finalized the loss. I laid there staring at the sun spots that moved across the wall as the hours dragged on, wanting to disappear with the spots into the darkness, refusing food or drink or anything that allowed for the possibility of life moving on without that baby. And it wouldn't get better anytime soon. Months would pass, I'd become pregnant again, tentatively this time, painfully long weeks of secrecy and all-consuming fear ... and I'd go through this cruel loss once more. Back to bed.
So there's awe now, every single day. Awe as I look back on those hundreds of blurry days that carried me from the lowest of low to the highest of high. In awe of these days of mothering. They are long days and messy days and days that often contain a fair share of frustration and stress and 'OMG, CHILD, WHY ARE YOU CRYING/THROWING MY CELL PHONE INTO THE TOILET/STRANGLING THE CAT AGAIN?!?' moments. But deep down, bubbling up through all the insanity that is 2u2 (or really, mothering of any number at any age), there's just awe at my fortune to be given these gifts. This week especially, as the sorrows of the past creep without warning into my private thoughts, as I let myself grieve a bit for the "what ifs" and consider what might have been as I lie in my bed late at night .... the awe, still, is bigger. I stood there on the sidewalk yesterday, V pressed to my chest letting out sweet sleepy baby sighs and A with his marveling grin, rocking back and forth on that plastic yellow horse .... and there was a feeling of contentment. Righteousness. I can't explain what the misery of miscarriage was for, why the desolate days had to come before the sunshine could reign. But I can tell you with all certainty that these babies are worth all of it. My life, with my J and my A and my V and my angel babies forever in my heart ... this life is just as it should be. And it's pretty awesome. Insanity and all.
Happy 3 months, baby Vivi. Thank you for making me a mommy once more, thank you for letting me watch you grow and sing you silly songs and thank you for smiling at your brother so brightly each and every time he looks at your face, making him giggle and beam up at me with pride. Thank you for showing your daddy that little girls are their own special kind of love, that he is softer than he knew. I can't imagine our family before you came along, so perfectly you complete us.