She turns fifty again today! This means that she was a mere sixteen when she had me. It gets more interesting every year. Mom, you totally could have starred in that MTV show Sixteen and Pregnant. I'm confident you would have been a hit.
Wish I were there to celebrate with you! We'll have a crazy party in July when I there where you can do keg stands and set off firecrackers and play a game of hoops in honor of your big day.
Yes, I know you don't want that stuff but for some reason that is what came to my mind when thinking about celebrating you. Did I mention your gift is coming? It's going to be late, but it's coming?
Hooray for extending the the time period to celebrate!
Remember what you were doing a year ago Mom? Sitting around and waiting for a baby with me. Lucky you! I'm reasonably confident that you are having a much better time with your husband, daughter-in-law and 2/5 of your grandchildren eating pizza and cupcakes.
I was desperate for Stella to get the hell out of me. Seriously, she was due on the 30th and I was convinced I was going to have her early since my doctor kept marveling at how LOW she was...which is why she was born on June 2nd.
Those last few days were filled with anxious anticipation and so much readiness to just get the painfully, uncomfortable pregnancy over with and start the painfully uncomfortable newborn phase. I was beyond ready. I was the Queen of Ready.
I was also the Queen of Really Cranky.
(Perhaps all this news of my Royal status has you a bit overwhelmed. Feel free to take a moment.)
I also was excited though. It was tough to decipher in and among all the complaints that I had, and all the "For the love of God please someone ask Google how long the longest human pregnancy has lasted so I know the final end date!" Then we did Google it and read that some lady from the Middle East carried her baby for 46 years and I started crying. True story.
But I was excited. This was my first girl. (I also really love labor because I've had such easy ones and it's pretty darn exciting.) I loved my boys, but I was elated to get to experience something different. I had high hopes that the newborn/baby phase would be different.
Maybe this time I would get a sleeping baby? Maybe she wouldn't have horrible acid reflux? Maybe she wouldn't scream for hours on end on a daily basis? Possibly I would be able to relax a little? Dare to dream people...it all came true...and more.
Below is a re post of something I wrote about my Stella shortly after she was born while I was deep in the midst of being completely enthralled by her. She has continued to be my most easy going baby, and the one that most easily can elicit a smile, even a fleeting feeling of sadness about her being my last baby....which speaks volumes about how much I adore her. She's phenomenal.
I stumble over the phrase, "my daughter" in everyday conversation. It shocks me when I walk into her room filled with pink accents and a closet full of dresses. Her feminine name still sounds awkward, but beautiful, coming out of my mouth. I am so very, completely in love with her. I feel drawn to her. I hold her and whisper my love for her over and over because I can't think of any other words worth saying to her in the moments that are just for the two of us, like rocking her to sleep or cuddling with her while the boys nap. It's beyond me...it's amazing.
Now, before my mother reads this and sends me an email explaining her concern for these types of blog entries because my boys might one day read this and feel less loved, I must point out what I feel is obvious. Stella is my third baby, not my only one, and I love and adore each of my children equally. I am in no way implying, or straight up stating, that I love her more than the boys. But right now...oh she's my favorite for the peace she brings. Aiden and Cole, if you are reading this and feeling less loved, sorry, but you should have cried less and slept more...I do love you immensely though.
Things are simply different with her, especially at this point, than they were with the boys. The boys had acid reflux and cried without any chance of consolation. They woke and ate constantly. They were restless sleepers when they were asleep and rarely slept more than 4 or 5 hours in a row until they were 4 months old. They consumed me. They drained me. I had to give all of myself to them constantly for the first 3 months of their lives and it was rough. I loved them desperately and would do it again for them (unless I could have them and skip that part, I mean why would I want the torture?), but I didn't have the opportunity to peacefully enjoy the first days and weeks of new life in one of my children, until now.
Everyone asks me if it feels different to have a little girl specifically. In a word, yes. But, why is difficult to pinpoint. I mean, some things are so clear, like clothing covered in hearts and baked goods versus construction vehicles, or as basic as pink versus blue, but that isn't it. At times, the differences resonate with me so profoundly in everyday moments, but I can't quite articulate them. Some of the differences I feel are truly because she is a girl, and some are probably more because she is my third and let's hope final baby which makes her the light at the end of my baby tunnel (maybe not a good expression because this definitely sounds more birth canal than part of an analogy, but you know what I mean,) thank goodness...I think.
I feel irrational pride over how adorable she is, though I do feel it is not even subjective, she just is adorable. While getting the boys' haircut last week a woman waiting next to us was staring at Stella. I turned and smiled at the woman and she half talked, half gasped, "your baby is beautiful!" She continued to comment on her delicate features and gorgeous skin. I felt an irrational surge of pride of my child's appearance that I never felt with the boys, and I think I have good looking boys. My little girl could be...pretty! It was ridiculous on so many levels. I was embarrassed of my pride about such a shallow thing, and even more embarrassed that I felt this about my daughter but never had felt this about compliments on my sons' looks. What's next? Would I start telling my boys to be smart, make a lot of money and be funny and they could have everything they would want in life? Ridiculous stereotypes.
I do love to dress her, something that rarely gave me joy with the boys. I feel like I have this smaller, much cuter version of me that I get to dress in crazy things like large bows on her head or bold print dresses that come with matching underwear covers. I could never wear that since no one wants to see my large butt covered in a bold print bloomer, but I love that my daughter can.
I had always felt that girls were more peaceful babies, though I do know there are exceptions to this. Stella is immensely peaceful. I find her lying in her bassinet, quiet and smiling at the ceiling, amused and satisfied by herself. Both my boys would have been crying and squirming to have someone come save them from this private moment. She fusses when she gets tired and is only pacified by me putting her down and leaving her alone to rest. I can not describe the immense joy I feel at her not needing me every moment. She is bliss.
I left her in the middle of my bed starting at a ceiling fan for 30 minutes today. Every time I walked by she was smiling at the fan. When I stuck my head over her to say hello she glared at me as if I had interrupted her private joy with watching the fan...how dare I? I love that she was that independent.
(Dear Lord, please help me remember this gratitude of independence during our first fight over makeup, clothing, curfew, etc.)
I could go on and on. She has been an immediate joy with no effort from me. I always felt I was working to love the boys in amongst all my work just to survive with them. This is heaven to just be with her, love her and feel like she is adding to me rather than trying to rob me of me. I know, this is possibly helped by this being my third and all the perspective that comes with that, but she is different. She is heaven. She is my little girl.