Right now you are in your bed with only ONE TOY. I'm a monster, I know. You're used to sleeping with about 4 but, since you keep pelting your brother with them, I now limit you to one. You've been potty training all day. Since 10:00 this morning you have been totally bare bottomed and have not gone in the potty at all. No accidents, no potty. Just pure stubborn I-refuse-to-do-this-on-your-terms. You went to bed early tonight because you didn't nap and were manic with trying to do the Potty Dance all over the house.
Honestly, you annoyed the crap out of me today.
Four years ago you were lying in the Baylor NICU with a feeding tube in your nose, 3 monitors on your body and an IV in your scalp. You weighed 5 pounds and 2 ounces. You were the smallest baby I had ever seen up close. I remember standing by your bassinet with your Daddy as the nurses told us about your feeding tube and what to expect over the next few days.
God, I was scared.
You were my first. My first baby. I thought I had done everything right until my water broke at midnight on the 16th. You were only 34 weeks along. After laboring with you for over a day, you entered the world at 6:48 AM on the 17th of January. Your little head was cone-shaped because you took your sweet time. You didn't cry. You were very alert. The doctor put you on my stomach and all I could see was your tiny right hand waving around as they dried you off. I was scared and asking why you weren't crying. As they tried to convince me that some babies just don't cry, I tried to convince myself that you were real by taking that little hand.
You held my finger and my heart shattered.
I was a Mama. I had always wanted to be a Mama and here you were. My baby girl. My Sophia Sakura. I held you for an hour that seemed like 3 seconds. Then they took you to the NICU and I didn't see you again for another 7 hours. It was a tiny taste of the most perfect feeling in the world and then it was snatched away from me.
That first night, I couldn't sleep. I crept out of my room at 3 in the morning and slowly made my way to the NICU. They were just about to feed you and offered to try breastfeeding. We couldn't make it work so they suggested Kangaroo Care instead. I sat in a comfortable glider with my feet up. You laid your tiny head on my left breast and tucked your feet under my right breast. The nurses put warm blankets over both of us and then put a screen around us.
Every muscle in your tiny body relaxed and you fell asleep over my heart.
I sat for hours just marveling at the wonder that is You. I sang lullabies. I told you about your cat. I examined your face to see what family members you resembled. I will remember those hours for the rest of my life.
Happy birthday, my Sophie-chan. Please go to the bathroom.