What Happened When We Brought the Second Baby Home

Syndicated

I haven't written much in the last two weeks.

When Grace was born, I wrote every day. I wanted to remember every moment, every little sigh and every baby grunt.

I haven't written anything this time because I don't want to remember.

I don't want to remember the sadness, the tears, the hardships. I don't want to remember how crying became normal, nor how I detached from my children.

I don't want to remember the struggles, the frustration, the mourning for my former family, for easier times, for deep sleep.

I don't want to remember the temper tantrums, the anger, the raw feelings. I don't want to remember, "I don't think you love me any more."

big sister

But I should be writing.

It hasn't been all bad. There are things I want to remember.

newborn

I don't want to forget gummy smiles so fleeting the camera missed them. I don't want to forget the silent laughter that shook Allie's belly when she was a week old, nor the way she rolled over at the pediatrician's office at her 7-day check-up.

I want to remember Allie's puckered lips and wrinkled brow when she first wakes up. I want to remember her tiny arms stretched up in that moment, and her tongue that licks the air while she roots for something to eat.

I want to remember how Allie kept her legs pulled up tightly against her belly for the first two weeks, as though she were still a fetus in my uterus.

I want to remember Allie's suspicious face as she eyes me and the soft chestnut fur covering part of her tiny head in a manner akin to male pattern balding -- sparse on top and thick on the back and sides. I want to remember her tiny eyelashes and eye brows, nearly invisible.

I want to remember how teeny tiny Allie is, even at twenty-four days old. At fifteen days, she was smaller than at birth. Her whole body fits between my palm and my elbow. She's only slightly above her birth weight.

newborn

I want to remember the tiny red splotches that she has on her left eyelids, stork bites, and the strange shape of her developing belly button.

I want to remember the fervor with which Grace hugs and kisses her sister, even when it rises to the level of annoying -- for Allie and for me.

sisters

I don't especially want to remember the breast pump to which I am tethered for several hours each day, but I am happy to be able to nourish my baby the way God intended.

I want to remember the happiness of our first day bottle feeding. I slept for the first time in three weeks. Joe felt needed and helpful. Grace was delighted because I could play with her for hours. Most of all, Allie had a heavy, full belly, and she slept more and cried less than any other day of her life.

I will remember the day she started snoring, day twenty-three.

I won't relish the sleepless nights, but I won't forget weeks of nights spent holding a baby who needed to hear her mother's heartbeat and smell her mother's scent.

I'm ready to write again.

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