Two Thursday’s ago I sat on the couch timing my contractions. I believed it was the real thing. I had downloaded this cool app to help me keep track of the activity. I needed the extra assistance because I was terrible at giving a recount when asked ‘how often are they coming?’ Ava and I went though the usual routine to prep for bedtime, with one exception – I cried my eyes out. We snuggled on the couch as I twirled her long, blonde pig tails through my fingers while she drank her milk. Tears poured down my face. I was a wreck. Ava looked up at me and asked, ‘What’s wrong, Mommy?’ I stared into her blue eyes, but couldn’t answer the question. It would have started with some blubbering words, followed by audible sobs and perhaps some drool – not a pretty sight. As I put my baby girl to sleep that night I thought it would be the last time she’d sleep as an only child.
When Ava turned two, people were already asking when we’d have another baby. Life was essentially perfect with one. Both Marcus and I got into a great rhythm of parenting which also incorporated a great balance of time for us to do ‘our’ things (whether together or solo). It took time to find that balance, but once we discovered it everything fell into place. And besides, how is it possible to love another child as much as your first? I couldn’t imagine my heart growing any larger to accommodate another little person. It has to happen, right? Lots of people have more than one child.
It’s in my nature to be moved by something and I must act upon it. So something happened, sometime within the past year and a half and I wanted another baby. Also, in my nature, I already had it set in my head to ‘squeeze in’ a marathon, so the baby trying would be put off until I accomplished that. Check and check. Sitting in that first ultrasound back in October of 2010 was great. I felt the same excitement as I did when we saw Ava on the grainy monitor.
The experience of being pregnant brought Ava and me closer. She showed (and still shows) the anticipation of becoming a big sister. From telling me that she’ll get the baby bottles to having already earmarked one of her ‘babies’ to go to the little addition. She named the being in Mommy’s growing belly ‘Baby Cookie’ and continues to kiss and hug my belly. We gave her a picture of Baby Cookie which she brought to school for Show and Share. Touching…just touching.
With this growing bond between us, comes an inner sadness. She’s getting older. Gone are the days in which I will cradle her tiny frame in my arms, put my nose to her head and smell her baby hair. She won’t need me as much as I will need her, but there is a bright side. We paint our nails and brush each other’s hair; we giggle at Daddy’s silliness; we make up songs to popular children’s tunes; we run around like a bunch of screaming girls waiting for Daddy to tickle us. Life IS good (while I wipe the mascara streaming down my cheeks – let’s face it ladies, waterproof mascara isn’t as good. I’ll have to remember to educate Ava on this; in a few more years, of course.).
So, here I am, almost a week and a half after that Thursday of false labor. Waiting for this coming Thursday, June 2nd - baby day. I’ve been preoccupied with getting some of the necessities in place (clothes washed/put away, bottles organized, painting my and Ava’s nails) that I haven’t had much time to dwell on the next stage of our lives. I’m sure I’ll do that Wednesday night.