6/19/09

Dear Eliza

Dear Eliza,

Your umbilical stump fell off weeks ago. My hospital adhesive tape marks and bruises are FINALLY gone. You are getting over your first cold. You have outgrown your 0-3 month clothes.

You are one month old today.

Before you were born, I was deeply concerned about your inclusion in our family. I couldn't fathom who you would be, how you would possibly fit into our family's tight little dynamic, how you could be different from Zoe and still be lovable.

I had so many doubts about how this whole two child thing would work out. In my mind, you were an interloper in my love story with Zoe. I worried about everything. How would you change my relationship with Zoe? How would she suffer? How would I? When I thought of you and how our early days together would be, my thoughts were filled with confusion, concern and anxiety.

You have taught me so much already.

Everyone comments on how peaceful and alert you are and though they really are probably just searching for something, ANYTHING, to say about a big, drooly grub of a baby who can't even hold her head up, I have to agree. You spend a lot of time in what the books call a "quiet alert state", staring with wide eyes at the world around you as if you are taking it all in, not like it is new and unknown to you but as if you are an old soul who's been here before.
I am a bit obsessed with your exquisite, expressive eyebrows.

And then there are your cheeks. NOM NOM NOM.

How is it that you've only been on this earth, in our lives, for a month?

My worries were all for naught; my love for you was just THERE from the beginning. I am admittedly shocked that my crappy pregnancy, my constant fretting over the difficulties of having two children and, most of all, my overwhelming love for Zoe didn't prevent me from loving you the moment I held you in my arms. If anything, my love for Zoe seems to have primed me for how much I would love you, as if my heart already knew how to love someone this much, making it even simpler and easier this time around.

And you have been so easy to love, my dear. The obvious, overwhelming, overstuffed beauty of you is one reason. Then, there is the fact that so far you have been a good sleeper, a NIGHT sleeper even, and for that I am forever grateful. Maybe it's how large and fully cooked you were at birth; starting that first week, you were allowed to sleep at night for as long as you can. You seemed to immediately understand that nighttime is sleepy time and we both regularly turn in around 9 pm. After that I am usually up with you only once in the wee hours of the morning. Can I get a HALLELUJAH? Even if when you stop sleeping so well at some point in the future (and don't we all know how much I am tempting fate by even daring to call you a "good sleeper"??!), I am grateful for the rest it has allowed me to have. As a result, I have more sanity, energy and patience for you and your big sister than I ever expected.

Plus, unlike your sister at the present moment, I can dress you however I want.

I know this has been a stressful transition for Zoe and she hasn't been all sunshine and roses since you were born, but one thing that has has never wavered is how much she loves you.

She's constantly kissing and hugging you, clapping your feet together, inspecting your fingers, patting your back, and stroking your head.

We all want to eat your fingers.

She always asks if you can come in to pick her up from school and she delights in pointing things out to you when we're all in the car together. She loves her new "buggy board" on the stroller for the simple reason that it allows her to be close to you, to watch you for the entirety of our walks. Seeing Zoe love you so readily and easily, watching her grow into her role as a big sister, has taught me volumes about loving you. Zoe is very matter of fact about you; it's as if she's saying "Of course Eliza's here and isn't it grand?".

It is grand. It is so very grand.



Love,

Your Clueless But Hopeful Mama

8 comments:

artemisia said...

I love reading your thoughts as you and your family grow together.

Love it.

Hillary said...

LOVE that picture of Zoe nomming Eliza's fingers. Beautiful.

Kate said...

Eesh, thanks for making me cry first thing in the morning!

So great to hear about how things are going. And those last two pictures are stunning.

desperate housewife said...

I am so, so glad things are feeling even better than expected for you these first weeks! From one to two kids is such a huge adjustment. Everyone says its harder even than two to three. So you guys are doing GREAT.
Also, those girls look so much alike, don't they? Darling.

Kathi McCracken Dente said...

Yay! I am just so thrilled for you. After your pregnancy I am so glad things are going so well for you. It is so cute that Zoe is so into her little sister. And maybe the upside to having to birth a 10lb baby is the good sleep habits. Enjoy!

bat7mess said...

Don't they grow WAY too fast? :( I have also been pleasantly surprised at how smooth the transition has been since my #2 was born. And in response to your comment over at my blog: from someone who is a couple months "ahead"- it does NOT get harder. In fact, it gets even easier! Enjoy all of those precious moments with your girls :)

Whimsy said...

So lovely.

Mrs. Chicken said...

She is just lovely.

And it is so easy to love the second one, isn't it? Just as easy as the first. And you know what, it only gets better.

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