Another Year Older
My baby girl is 3 today. I’ve been super emotional about this all week long and I’m just not sure why. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t really have a baby anymore, and we won’t be having another. As bizarre as it is, I don’t have baby fever for another baby, I have baby fever for MY babies to be tiny again. I want to relive those days again or at least make them last longer.
I can’t help but get caught up in reminiscing about how Xavier was Scarlett’s age when we finally moved back to Alaska. How is it possible she’s as big as he was at that time?! He was running around turning on lights, opening doors and basically raising hell, and now she’s on his tail…or leading the way. Haha
Scarlett is beginning to play with all of the toys Xavier treasured at this age, and the floodgates of memories can get overwhelming at times. It makes my heart happy to see this silly little puzzle getting new love again.
I can still hear Xavier saying “A house? For me?! Oh thank you!!” during our first walk through of our home. It’s pretty surreal my baby that was only 14 months at the time and still preferring to crawl or be carried half the time, is now capable of so much. My baby girl is 3 today, and while I absolutely adore watching her learn and grow, she’s breaking my heart.
A Night and Day Difference
Having Scarlett was extremely healing for my heart and soul. My birth experience with Xavier was very hard for me and I’ll still cry thinking back to it because I don’t remember the first several hours of his life. Exhaustion doesn’t even begin to describe it and it was nothing that I wanted. I didn’t get to experience the birth I wanted, didn’t bathe him and didn’t hold him or have skin to skin when he was born.
The one thing I do remember from his birth was my husband telling me “Xavier Joseph is here” and that’s how I found out we had a little boy. That’s the one thing besides our baby obviously being healthy that went the way I wanted. I wanted my husband to be the one to tell me, and he did. Another thing I remember is my husband sitting next to me holding him while they fixed me up. I touched his face, gave him a kiss and fell asleep. But that’s all I remember until waking up in the recovery room.
My husband went through all of the photos on his phone and told me step by step everything that happened during the time I missed. He must have told me the same story in full at least 20 times, and I cried each time. Scarlett though, I remember it all. It was such a healing feeling to know I was present mentally for all of her birth, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.
Miss Scarlett’s Arrival
Scarlett’s birth was a planned repeat cesarean and couldn’t have been more different. I remember asking my doctor if we could have her on Sunday, October 12th because Xavier’s birthday was on the 12th – and I mean, one on 12/12/12 (unplanned) and the other on 10/12/14 is pretty darn cool! He let us schedule a cesarean on a Sunday morning during football season – the sacrifice! Hahaha!! I also asked if my husband could take some photos of our baby’s birth and all he asked for was a model release. LOL!
As I walked back to the operating room, I was a crying fool. I was so emotional about everything to come and totally terrified about having surgery. I’d had that surgery before and it sucked. Bad. While sitting on the edge of the bed getting the spinal blocked placed, I remember the nurse hugging me. Granted, she was there to hold me still but she was hugging me. Like for real hugging me and telling me it’d all be okay. I couldn’t help but melt into her arms.
After the spinal was placed, I kind of lost it and was borderline hysterical just wanting my husband with me. The anesthesiologist was wiping my tears and holding my hand. He kept telling me “your husband will be here soon and then your baby”, and it honestly made such a difference to hear so much kindness. Everyone was nice to me during Xavier’s birth but these people were different. They were being genuinely kind to me.
While still waiting for my husband to be brought back, I heard my doctor come in but couldn’t see him because of the curtain being up already. I heard him say “we’re going to have a baby today! I feel so honored to be here!” He wasn’t saying that to me or to anyone in general, he was just saying it because he meant it. I could feel it. He meant it and I felt such a huge sigh of relief at that point.
It’s a Girl!
Scarlett was nameless at birth because we were team green and couldn’t agree on a girl name! We went to the hospital with only a boy name agreed upon and two potential girl names. It was an overwhelming experience when my husband told me our baby was a girl. All I could think was “my Scarlett’s here” even though she wasn’t named yet. I have a baby girl. She went nameless for another 24 hours but I did in fact win…if you can’t tell. LOL!
I got to hold her on my chest and have photos of her birth. A nurse overheard me coaching my husband about just taking pictures and not looking because he passes out from blood. She was all “how about I take those photos and keep daddy feeling good?” Hahaha! She got the most amazing photos of Scarlett’s birth. I had never felt like Xavier’s entrance was beautiful because society is always so fixated on birth being “natural” because apparently having a baby extracted from your body in order to guarantee their health is not natural or beautiful. But it was beautiful and perfect.
In the recovery room, the nurse that photographed her birth stopped what she as doing when she saw my husband having a sweet moment with our baby girl, and took a few more photos. Like, who has to do that?
A Healing Experience
Motherhood has been healing for me all the way around. Childhood was a series of lessons in what I didn’t want to be as a mother and I was hyper focused on all the ways I could fail while pregnant. The fears didn’t get easier with Scarlett’s pregnancy, they actually got harder for me. I feared I’d have a favorite, wouldn’t be able to love two children, that Xavier would feel forgotten because that’s what happened to me. Part of me longed to have another boy because I know the special bond I have with my sister since we’re less than 18 months apart, but I also wanted a girl.
Scarlett has given me that positive mother-daughter relationship for the first true time in my life. She doesn’t know how much she has healed my heart and I hope she never understands because if she does, that means I will have failed. She’ll hopefully never understand despite knowing my story, but maybe she’ll appreciate how it impacted hers for the better.
It excites me to think of all the things for us to do on our journey together as mother and daughter, and I’m excited to get to be on it with her. She’s my perfect girl.
They’ve Given Me More
My son made me a mother and it’s something I always dreamed about and longed for. Despite wanting it so badly, motherhood was something I feared because of the potential to fail. He has made me realize someone else’s struggles and failures don’t mean I’m going to fail. I’ll struggle because we all do, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to fail. My daughter gave me a healthy and positive mother-daughter bond. Jealously is a hard feeling to fight as a child watching others have what you want. It’s hard seeing what you want and knowing you can’t have it because yours isn’t capable. Forgiveness is hard at that age…or any.
Becoming a mother has changed me so much for the better. I’ve struggled at times with who I am and my identity as an individual, but not a day goes by that I am not thankful for the fact that I am their mother. Navigating this life as mom isn’t an easy one but so unbelievably worth it.
My Baby Girl is 3
So on this day 3 years ago at 10:13 am (it really couldn’t have been 10:12? LOL), my sweet and sassy little princess entered the world. My goodness, she’s so perfect and I hope she always knows it. I rocked her to sleep for the last time as a 2 year old last night, and tonight I’ll rock her to sleep for the first time as a 3 year old. So very bittersweet but the adventure we’re on together is what makes my life as amazing as it is.
One special thing I do with them on their birthday, is sing Happy Birthday to them all by myself. I hold them in the quiet of the night if they wake after midnight, or in the early morning, and sing to them. It’s our special time and I treasure it. I hope we get those quiet mornings for years to come before either of them think it’s silly.
One of our first traditions all started with a silhouette photo I wanted while pregnant, and we’ve taken one every year since. I look forward to watching this collection grow and continuing to create new traditions.
Happy Birthday to my sweet girl.