Thursday, August 19, 2010

Seven Years Ago

Seven years ago on Aug. 19th, my youngest daughter was tugged into this world. It was a planned c-section and I was told it would take a mere twenty minutes or so. For days before my scheduled surgery, we had a huge blackout in the city where I lived. "Elective" surgeries were cancelled, so I wasn't sure if I'd even be going in that planned day. It was hot, I was near my due date, and hugely pregnant. The idea of not having her arrive was not very welcome. Luckily, arrive she did.

As they went to pull her out, they realized she was wedged in there very well. Apparently, I have no room in there, something I should have learned with my first daughter. They got out the vacuum (yes, on a c-section) and still she wouldn't come out. The twenty minute counter came and went. They tugged with several pairs of hands, alternately pushing and pulling. Still, nothing. Finally, they got out the forceps. You would think with all of that, she'd be some massive baby girl. Nope. She was delivered into the world all 19 inches and 6.12 lbs of her. I thought my eldest was a small baby, and here was a second baby even smaller.

When they brought her over to me, all wrapped up and clean, my first sight was dark blue eyes framed by a crop of dark brown curls. She was quiet and calm and honestly, looked like a doll. Even the nurses would tell me that in the days following.

The difference in my birth experiences was incredible. My first delivery was thirty plus hours of pain resulting in an emergency c-section. Then, from there, it took weeks of healing for swelling to go down and to figure out my eldest had fractured her skull during the whole process. Despite that whole horrible train of events, my eldest was the easiest, most calm and quiet baby. It kind of made up for the loud, difficult path prior to her birth.

My second pregnancy should have been my first hint that this child was going to be VERY different than my first. It was still a relatively easy pregnancy, but I had horrible heartburn. I never got sick, but I felt like it off and on for the first months, almost daily. While I had to drink oj and lie on my side to make sure I felt enough kicks in pregnancy number 1, there was no doubting the kicking and punching with this one. Then came the easy recovery after the birth. Within hours of delivery, I felt awesome. I was begging to be up and about, disconnected from all of the tubes and wires that limited my walking and even going to the bathroom on my own. I should have realized that these were all signs of what was to come.

After leaving the hospital, we spent a week or two with a sleepy, quiet baby. That quickly changed. My youngest had colic that lasted all day, every day. The only time she wasn't crying was when she was sleeping. She could be the sweetest, most shy little girl, or the loudest, most intense. She was happiest in my arms, and within minutes of anyone else holding her, wanted back with me. Once the colic made an exit, I realized that her personality wasn't going to be that different.

To this day, she is the child that loves me hard, and rails at me just as strongly. She can't be dissuaded when her mind is set. She knows what she wants when she wants it, and will persevere until she gets it. Sometimes that's to my detriment, but sometimes it makes me beam with pride. She can still be shy and clingy, whispering in my ear rather than saying what she needs out loud. She can also be entertaining for a crowd, putting a smile on everyone's face and making us all laugh at her antics. She enjoys math and will spend hours doing addition and subtractions on a paper at the table. She carries a bag full of books around the house, and owns more journals and notepads than anyone I know. Just this past weekend, a relative commented that you always know what she's thinking because her eyes say it first. She's expressive and loving and silly and funny on the one hand, while also being stubborn and fiery and feisty and demanding on the other. She's that juxtaposition of sugar and spice, of sweet and sour.

Her Daddy says she reminds him of someone....but I still can't figure out who he's referencing. Something about apples and trees, I hear.

We're seven years into this journey and it's been quite a ride. She's brought so much laughter and fire and joy into our family, and I'm so excited to see what she does in the future. I think sometimes that the expression "larger than life" fits her to a T. She's small in stature, but huge in heart and personality. I worried my heart couldn't hold more love than I had for my first baby, but I have learned that what Moms around the world say about "loving equally, but differently" is universally true. My daughters are what make getting out of bed worthwhile every day, and on their birthdays, I reflect on who they are, and what they've brought not only to my life, but to the world. What my youngest brings is special and unique to her, and I love her wholeheartedly for it.

Happy Birthday DollFace.

1 comment:

  1. Awe, that's so nice Trace, brought tears to my eyes. I can relate - R is a lot like B. Although my pregancy and birth were amazing, but he's fiery and stubborn on one hand and soft and cuddly on the other. We've been through a lot in his almost 6 years (going on 13)... Wouldn't trade him for the world.