- They both like to put inappropriate things in their mouths
- They both like nuks and blankets
- They both like to dig through the garbage
- They both like to unroll the toilet paper from the roll
- They both like to eat food off the floor
- They both require me to clean up their stinky poops
- They both steal things that don’t belong to them
- Neither of them understands boundaries
- They both impede getting out the door
- They both require you to close all the doors to all the other rooms
- They both like to rip paper into tiny, tiny pieces
- They both move methodically from prohibited item to prohibited item
- Neither one can be left alone unsupervised
- They both respond to the same commands – out, stay, leave it
- They both get ridiculously messy
- They both see an open lap as an unequivocal invitation to sit in it
- They both invoke hysterical laughter, which combined with their cuteness, means you can’t stay mad at them for long
This is my first post in seven months. My baby is seven months old. I have so many fragments of posts floating around in my head and what prevents me from writing them down is always this feeling that posts need to be made in chronological order, and how can I fast forward and write about something seven months after the birth of our Grand Finale, without actually writing about her birth or anything else right after that?
But nothing will ever, ever get posted if I follow that rule. Someday I will go back and post about Grand Finale’s birth and the days directly after that period, not because it’s particularly earth shattering or might apply to someone else, but mostly because this blog is an online memory book for our family and I’d like to be able to go back and read it someday.
This post, on the other hand, may be applicable to someone else, and I think it every single day:
Adults generally use the term “bonus baby” as a tongue-in-cheek way to refer to a baby who wasn’t exactly planned. A happy accident. An oops. A bonus baby.
While Grand Finale was very much planned, I very, very much consider her to be my bonus baby.
Every single day, I look at her and think to myself, “What if you never came to be? What if we had been too scared or too nervous to say yes to what we felt in our hearts? What if we had convinced ourselves that we couldn’t handle it, or that we wouldn’t have enough time or money?”
And then I look at her and I THANK GOD that she came to be.
Every day. That’s what I think.
She is SO MUCH a cherished and beloved member of our family. Her sisters adore her. They dote on her, care for her and help us to entertain and occupy her. And she reciprocates with BIG grins when she sees them.
WE adore her. She is such an easy baby. She was sleeping 11-12 hours a night by the time she was 8 weeks old. At 7 months she’s still very mellow. She’s by far our most snuggly baby.
When I look at her, I try to picture our family without her — would we be happy? Sure! Would we love our other two kids to death? Of course! Would we parent the same? Pretty much.
If we had remained a family of four, I think there be less chaos, more order, two little girls who would grow up to be BFFs forever and who would be used to receiving more attention and things. I probably would be more stressed out trying to maintain my version of parenting “perfection” (because with “only” two kids it seems more doable).
I think our family-of-five dynamic will be more chaos, less order, three girls who will grow up to be BFFs forever, and who will have a greater understanding of sharing, more selflessness and compassion, and hopefully more appreciation for things because there will be less of them. In place of things, they’ll have what I believe is the greatest gift we could have given them — a sibling.
If we had never had Grand Finale, we would have been a happy family of four.
But we would have never known what we were missing. Even in her seven short months, Grand Finale already added so much depth, richness and perspective to our family.
The baby is frosting. And I’m just so, so, so thankful to have her. I’m so happy we trusted our gut, and also so grateful that things worked out and that I had a healthy pregnancy.
And for that reason, although she was very much planned, she is my bonus baby.
And my takeaway to you, is that if you’re feeling like you want another child, but you’re just not sure if you can “handle” it, or if you have “enough” time or money, DO IT. You won’t regret it. That’s how I felt six days after Grand Finale’s birth, and that’s how I still feel today.
I’m sitting here looking at the last day of pregnancy, only 8 hours away from induction, and 20(?) hours (hopefully much less) away from a new baby. I’m conscious that these are my last moments of pregnancy and I’m trying to take in all these things and store them away in my memory.
On the other hand, I just want to get this show on the road. I’m so ready. At 3 cms dilated and 75% effaced as of two days ago, the baby is ready. We’re ready. I want to bring on the next chapter. I want to meet the Grand Finale. I am DYING to know what she looks like and to see if she looks like her sisters.
I have a couple of random thoughts running through my head that I wanted to get down for posterity.
I am nested out. There’s been so much cooking, baking, organizing, decorating, cleaning and errand running over the last four weeks, and I am just done. Two days ago I thought it would be lovely to make a potato soup and caramel apple dessert, and then I ran errands for two days and I decided that it would be even lovelier if someone just brought that to me. Because I am D-O-N-E. I don’t want to run another errand for at least 3 weeks.
First and foremost, I’m reminded again of how surreal it is to know the day your baby will be born. With Monkey, it was simultaneously agonizing and thrilling because there was no induction date and every day I woke up wondering, “Will today be the day?”
Both Bean and Grand Finale were/are scheduled inductions. Not that they couldn’t have come earlier. They just didn’t/haven’t. Receiving an automated email reminder for Grand Finale’s scheduled induction date was like receiving a vacation confirmation email. Checking into the hospital for Bean’s induction was like checking into a hotel — carrying our two duffle bags and laptop bag. I’m assuming I’ll feel the same way tomorrow, only with the addition of a special breastfeeding pillow. It’s very surreal to be so acutely aware of one day being without baby and the next day being with baby. I like to quote Heidi Klum when it comes to birth: “One day you’re in. And the next day … you’re out.”
I’m super excited for an Autumn baby. I LOVE fall. I love the change of seasons. I guess spring is my favorite season, but fall is a close second. With the addition of Grand Finale we’ll have a spring, a winter and a fall baby.
Choosing a third baby girl name almost broke me. I think we went back to the drawing board at least three times. And by “we” I mean “me.” Naturally, Husband was of absolutely zero help, except to tell me what anatomy part every single name reminded him of when I threw out a suggestion. He gave exactly one name suggestion, and it happened to be the same name as the town we live. Whuck?? As of right now, we have two “top” names and we’re 95% sure of what we’re going to choose, but we just want to meet her first. Naming humans is haaaard.
Random factoid: According to my midwife, once you have a big baby (Bean was 9lbs 6 oz), you have the luxury of an “extra large” uterus, giving the baby more room to grow even bigger the next time. Funzies!
And we just couldn’t end this pregnancy without veering into a little grossness one more time … regarding all of the peeing in the cup. You would think that after nearly 34 years of owning my equipment, I would have a better idea of how exactly to get the pee in the cup. Especially when I’m getting so much practice at it. Secondly, you would think that someone, somewhere would have invented a better way to get the pee in the cup. Thirdly, I don’t know about you ladies, but I know what I’m thinking when I see a trashed, wet bathroom where women are leaving their “samples” all day long. Groooooss. I just don’t even want to touch anything. And finally, how many times have you written out all your info on the cup (your name, doctor’s name, date and time), only to walk over the toilet and *almost* start going without it. Nearly every.single.time.
Cheers to the next chapter. See you on the other side.