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Time is very strange. The days go by fast, but the weeks go by slowly. And then all of the sudden, I look up at the calendar and realize that Hannah will be two months old tomorrow.
It seems like it has taken ages for her to be two months old. But at the same time, it seems like only yesterday she was just one month old. It’s very peculiar.
She’s smiling a lot now, but she never seems to do it when I’ve got a camera in hand. She smiles at me and Geordie and especially at the hot-air balloons that my best friend Heather crocheted (or knit? honestly, I can’t tell the difference; sorry, Heather!). She loves those balloons. But most of the time, she has a serious-baby look on her face, like she’s not sure what’s going on but she’s going to do her best to figure it out.
She tolerates tummy time but isn’t thrilled with it. She gets frustrated when she can’t move the way she wants to, but she can move her head back and forth, and she’s successfully held it up for several seconds. On her back, she’s started throwing herself around a bit in attempts to turn herself up on her side. She’s very nearly got the hang of that, and it’s likely only a matter of days before she can do it whenever she wants.
Yesterday, she seemed to discover that her hands actually belong to her. She spent several minutes staring at them last night. She’s been rubbing her eyes when she’s sleepy. She hasn’t reached out to grab anything yet, but today she voluntarily clutched at my hand while we settling down for a bottle.
Her next doctor’s appointment is on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to seeing how she’s grown and how well she’s doing. I’m not looking forward to the shots. She’s not a very fussy baby, and she seems to take little injuries in stride (like when she scratches herself with her fingernails or when she face-plants the floor while trying to move her head around), but they’re so minor compared to shots. I have no idea how she’s going to react.
She sleeps in four-to-five hour stretches at night. Sometimes, she goes down easy. Sometimes, she doesn’t. As babies do. Some days, she naps well. Others, not so much. She’s fairly easy to entertain during the day, but in the evening, she wants more attention. Again, as babies do. She seems a very normal child.
Is it that normality that makes her so exceptional to me? I look at her sometimes and think, I have a daughter. A living, breathing daughter. It’s amazing. She’s amazing. And yet, she’s so normal. How strange.
It’s hard to explain. I don’t quite understand it myself. She’s so normal, so part of the every-day. But her mere existence in our lives is nothing short of miraculous. There were times in these past two years that I thought I would never be sitting here at my computer and every so often turning my head to make sure that my daughter is still sleeping quietly in her cradle. How very odd.
And how very wonderful.
Hannah Jayne turns a month old today. And finally, she is back up to her birth weight! In fact, she’s a little bit beyond, by just an ounce or two. After all the worrying and all the feedings, it’s good to know that we’re going in the right direction. Her appetite is wonderful, and the soy formula seems to be working much better for her. She has a one month well-child appointment on the 26th, and then hopefully we won’t have to see the doctor again until her two month appointment! Best of all, we get to spend Christmas knowing that all is well with her.
It never fails: summer plods, August drags, and September seems to linger for as long as it likes. And then autumn rolls in, and September picks up its pace, and the next thing you know, it’s the middle of October.
It’s the middle of October.
October is usually one of my favorite months, but this year, the first half of October was rough. The end of September brought the anniversary of Lauren’s sleeping birth – two years, my god, has it been two years since she left us? She still seems so close to us, so real. I can still see her in my mind’s eye: a tall, lanky two-year old with dark curly hair and bright blue-gray eyes. I realize this is just my fancy, but that is all I have of her, and so it is what I believe in. She is still real to me, as real as her sister who – thankfully – is still bopping about in my growing belly.
Thirty-two weeks. Only eight weeks to go.
Less than that, really. As of today, only 52 days to go.
I hope it is only that long. I wouldn’t mind her coming a week early. Not much earlier than that, no, but I’d rather her be a week early than a week late, if not for my sanity then because I am so anxious to have her here with us.
She is so strong and so vibrant, our nameless little Niko. I place my hands on this great belly and feel her roll and twist and kick, and I pray that she doesn’t stop. She can cause me all the discomfort she needs to, just keep moving.
Keep moving, Niko. Keep that heart beating so strongly. Keep living. We’re waiting to meet you, waiting to hold you, waiting to shower love upon you. Stay strong, and live.