I am just home from my 2nd ER visit with a Little Miss who is almost three months old; let’s call her Little Miss Jr.. Little Miss Jr. is 11 weeks old and I know more about children having fevers under the age of three months than I ever wanted to. Apparently, the #1 medical priority is to be certain there is no bacterial infection. This means a full work-up: drawing blood, taking a urine sample via catheter and, the icing on the cake, a spinal tap to test the cerebral spinal fluid within. Within the span of two weeks my less than three month old daughter has had not one but two spinal taps. My usually mellow and very happy newborn screams and I cry. These are all day ER visits with procedure, hours of waiting for results, procedure, hours of waiting for results, procedure, hours of…well, you get it. We would be able to soothe her, get her warm, dim those fluorescent lights and then in walks a nurse, needing to check vitals. It was brutal. Excruciating and brutal.
I have another Little Miss, my first born. She screamed at me for 5 months straight. When I say she screamed at me for 5 months straight, I am not exaggerating. She yelled all the time, demanding to be bounced. Her only comfort was me, sitting on a yoga ball, bouncing up and down. I bounced thousands, literally thousands, of times a day for 5 months. She is still the jumpiest kid I know. So – daughter #1: uncomfortable and very colicky. Daughter #2: multiple hospital visits within the first 11 weeks of her life (did I mention we had to go the hospital at 3 days old for a jaundice test, or that we required an additional ultrasound because she had a soft marker for Down’s Syndrome show up on our routine 18-week ultrasound?) I asked my husband today, “would you rather be screamed at for 5 months or would you rather have this?” He replied “this” because the screaming was that bad.
And this is parenthood. Not all of parenthood, but a snapshot of some of my welcoming moments. But the pendulum swings both ways. The joy, pride, and pure love I feel is vast. Little Miss and I were lying in the bed the other day and she looked at me, caressed my face and said, “Oh, baby Mama (this is her lovey dovey nickname for me) I love you so much.” Then she lowers her voice just a notch and says, “You are so good and fun to play with.” I had tingles from the intimacy of the moment. The first moment I saw her was transcendent – otherworldly – and those moments with her keep on coming.
Little Miss Jr., well she’s young yet, but she is cuuuuuute. She looks like an elf with her button nose and she has deep blue eyes the size of saucers. She looks for my voice whenever she hears it, especially if I’ve been gone a couple of hours. There is a deep sense of satisfaction in our relationship – a peace that exists between us already. It is easier with my second child to accept the mother that I already am, instead of figuring out the mother I am going (or desperately want) to be. That allows Little Miss Jr. to just be who she is without the entanglement of what it means about me (mostly).
I have a lot to say about these little girls, parenthood, marriage, and life in general so I started this blog. It is a collaboration of women’s voices. They are representative of many women who have listened to me, talked to me, provided shoulders to cry on. Every single one of these specific women has made me laugh really hard – something I value a great deal. I hope they lend the same voice to this blog and we reach some readers out there who can relate and feel supported. Why a group blog, you ask? #1 – blog resources recommend you blog everyday and really, who has the time for that? #2 – it takes a village; this is not a journey to traverse alone.
So, there you have it. My first post. I look forward to seeing theirs.