Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I am a mother. To a toddler. ::Gasp::

I know every mother says this and I know you hear the old adage over an over (especially when pregnant), but time does fly when there are little people involved and you should cherish and revel in every second.  I don't know what makes the clock seem to tick faster and the calendar pages change sooner, but it does and in the blink of an eye your sweet newborn is an honest to God real little person.  A toddler.
My sweet baby girl was born at 3:10AM on March 25th, 2010 weighing in at 8 pounds 6 ounces and 20 1/2 inches long.  One year later she is a toddling (not quite walking), cruising, crawling, babbling, whirling dirvish weighing in at 18 pounds 10 ounces and 29 1/4 inches long.  I swear someone played tricks on us and skipped a day, a week, or a month here and there during 2010 and early 2011...how could it possibly have been a full year since I first gazed in awe at my baby girl as she lay dazed on my tummy right after being born?!  She looked at me with a, "what the heck is this place", expression before letting out the most adorable baby wail you could hear (so I say).
There were some scary moments with M's birth and I'll never forget her first moments and telling the nurse over and over again that I couldn't see her as they cleaned her up and suctioned out her tiny lungs and then realizing that my bleeding wasn't stopping and both the resident and attending physician (who was an absolute saint) had gloves up to their elbows covered in blood from me.  I started silently crying in fear that I wouldn't get to glimpse my baby girl again if the darned nurse wouldn't lower my bed railing while the doctors worked on me.  I got a shot of something in my IV that made my heart flutter and me feel loopy, to help my uterus clamp down.  It was then that A.R. took his eyes off M and realized what was happening to me.  He came over and held my hand and told me she was beautiful...we were both still shocked we had a baby girl.  The first girl in A.R.'s family in many years- he's the youngest of 4 sons and we have 4 nephews before M was born (there's a 5th nephew six months younger than her).  As I laid there, watching the doctors work and trying to steal a glance at M again it ran through my mind how sad it would be to leave M and A.R. behind at her birth.  It was a fleeting thought, but one that haunted me for awhile afterwards.  We all sighed a huge sigh of relief when after what seemed like hours (probably more like 5 minutes), the medicine and doctors skilled hands stopped the bleeding and I was stitched up.

A.R. held our precious girl after a she got the final all-clear from the on-staff pediatrician after the cord had been wrapped tightly around her neck twice.  A.R. is still bummed that he didn't get to cut it- the doctor did it before she was even fully born.  Then, he handed her to me with the biggest smile on his face and the nurse helped me get her to latch for her first feeding.  My mom had been outside the door during all of this and we finally let her come in to meet her first granddaughter.  It was the still of the night and we all stared at this tiny little one snuggled up to my breast.  She is and always will be my Angel Baby.  Absolute perfection even down to the tiny brown birth mark on her little calve.  I hope she doesn't hate it when she's older...I call it her little spot of Puerto Rican.  (I know, I know.  It's not politically correct, but she IS half Latina and I hope she can Somba and Bachata with the best of them someday.)  I whisper, "Goodnight, Angel Baby. Sweet dreams. Mama and Papa love you very much," into her ear every night before I lie her down.  I've done that since day one when she was already sound asleep and I do it now as I lie her down semi-awake as she snuggles up to her Taggies blanket and lovey.

I could not imagine before motherhood, how much one tiny being could make me so in awe, so proud (eg. I cried when she laughed for the first time- not a tear in the eye, I mean I cried.), so exhausted, and feel so blessed to be able to call her my daughter.  Watching her explore, learn, and test her environment is my new favorite hobby.  She was an easygoing baby...all smiles and babbles.  Now, she is a toddler.  She points out things she wants and when she doesn't get her way I can see a bit of me in her.  M resembles her Dad- she's a spitting image of him- but she sure has my spunk, my stubborn nature, and my determination.  I think that's all a nice way of saying the girl has a temper. :)  She threw herself on the floor last night for the first time because I wouldn't let her take the books off of the bookshelf for the umpteenth time.  A.R. and I glanced at each other wide-eyed with the telepathic "Awe, shit- we are so in for it look" that we're slowly getting accustumed to.  She will also arch her back and throw herself backwards when you are holding her if she is deprived of that one thing she HAS to have that very second.  If we don't put food on her tray fast enough, she screams with both arms outstretched reaching for what you're slicing.  The girl is a week into her first year...how the heck are we going to handle the terrible twos?! 

An old favorite of mine...

I look forward to watching M continue to explore her environment, play with her dogs, get her courage up enough to take more walking steps (she's taken 5 in a row so far, but only with coaxing), finger paint, and doggoneit grow some more hair so I can give her the pig tail look of a "real" toddler!  She cut her two top front teeth in the last week and had a tough time with them (the first four came in with no issues), lord help me when it's time for the molars in a few more months.  At the end of my day at work, I get a smile on my face because I get to finally pick her up and steal a quick snuggle before she's crawling off to her next big adventure.  When I drop her off it pangs me to have to leave her yet again (other moms told me it would get easier when I first went back to work when she was 9 1/2 weeks old- eh, still not easy.  It flat out sucks.).  She loves bath time and I know she loves me (I have the milk tap afterall!), but she adores A.R.  M has always smiled the best for him.  Whenever he walks into the room she lights up...a true Daddy's girl.  Watching them together is intoxicating.  I wish I had a spy cam to catch him dancing like a lunatic singing the theme songs to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Dora the Explorer to her at the top of his lungs while she dances and smiles and babbles along.  I'll walk in the room and interupt their little world and both of them look up at me with the same smiles and I know I am home.

After all is said and done, I love being a mother to this little girl.  Right now A.R. and I are her world and all is right with our world.


Momma J said...

OMG this made me bawl! So touching and very true. You're an amazing mother and family!

Amanda said...

Here I am, a blubbering mess at my desk at work lol. Your words were so touching and ran so true for me. I know I've said it a hundred times, but M is one of the most beautiful little girls I've seen. You and A will have your hands full! :) :) :)

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