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Only Child

I am 35 weeks pregnant today.  That means my unborn baby is about the size of a honeydew melon.  It also means that Willow will be an only child for another 5 weeks (or fewer).

I’ve obviously been thinking about this a lot, but now that I’m down to the wire I’m finding it difficult to process this concept.  On one hand, I’m glad that having another baby just sort of happened, because I don’t know how we would have been able to decide when we were “ready” for a second child.  On the other hand, my heart just hurts.

It’s also ironic that just as I’ve crossed the line from pregnant mom to crazy, fat, hormonal mess, my little girl is experimenting with asserting herself – like you do when you’re almost 16 months old.  She’s always been a very independent child, (which I love) but now more than ever I wish that she would just slow down and cuddle with me for a little while.

The other day I found myself weeping to my husband about how I worried that Willow didn’t love me, that I wasn’t fun, and that she was sick of being with me all day.  (Hormones.)

I love watching her grow.  I love every new discovery, every laugh, every ear-to-ear grin, every kiss I’m lucky enough to get.  I just want to hold onto these moments as long as I can.

I’m both comforted and distressed by the fact that Willow will never remember a time without a sibling.  (Gut punch.)  I know she’s going to LOVE having a playmate, but I’ll miss sharing that role with just Tom.  (Gut punch.)  Sigh.  This was supposed to make me feel better.

It’s helpful to remind myself that I am crazy emotional about all of this because I’m almost done cooking ANOTHER human being.  I imagine that all parents on the precipice of having baby #2 find it hard to believe that their hearts will expand enough to love that baby as much as their first.  Obviously, it happens.  Its going to happen, and I won’t be able to imagine life without her.

Willow has been sleeping through the night (more or less) for a long time now.  We consider a zero to one wake-up night a success.  Last night, about an hour after she’d gone to bed, we heard her crying.  It was frightened crying, something that’s rare for her.  When I went into her room, it was obvious that something had spooked her.  I held her, told her it was okay, and eventually she began to calm down.  I sat down with her, cradled her (difficult now with my swollen belly), and rocked her with her bottle.  Immediately I felt her little body relax and her eyes fluttered shut.

Obviously I never want my baby to be frightened, hurt, or upset.  But I could cry tears of joy in moments like that.  Just to know that she’s still my baby, that she still needs me, that I can provide the comfort she needs.  Honestly…I forget these things.

As Tom often says, its interesting when you are aware of an impending and life-changing event, e.g. your wedding, the birth of a child, etc.  In life so many of your most memorable moments are things that you never could have predicted – meeting your significant other or your best friend, your favorite high school or college story.  When you’re about to have a baby, you know its something that you’ll not only remember forever, but it will, with 100% certainty, change your life as you know it.

Our little family is going to change in a big way, but it won’t take away the 17 months I will have had with my Willow, just Willow.

The happiest kid I know.  The best, the sweetest, and mine.

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