Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My New Baby

My new baby isn't new anymore. Oh, my. She's so big, so grown up. But still so cozy, so tiny. I'm still struck, still frozen at times, when my eyes catch that glance of myself cradling Charlotte Amelia in my arms, and I catch myself seeing Charlotte only for the few details of her face that make her look different from her ever-so-similar sister. Shivers run up my spine to imagine that I had this other child, and while there are moments where I can sit and ponder this gigantic concept, most of the time I am moving on, and I see my Fiona Clementine and a rush of warmth flows in to diminish the goosebumps, and I scoop her up.
Fiona Clementine is a baby like all my babies: calm, delighted, highly verbal, and quite sedentary. She's beginning, just only beginning at 10 months of age, to slide around on the floor as she reaches for things. She loves to be carried around, to watch everything that's going on around her, and it's always busy. Drop off time at school is one of her favorite times of the day, she lunges for the floor to sit with the kids, and looks around with this glowing, proud look on her face. It's so early that babies want to be like the big kids.
She's learning new words every week. Ma-ma and Dad-dee have been around for a while, and she uses them both out of necessity and with delight when she greets us. She comments on the dog, the cat, and the ceramic sun on the wall. She can fill in the blanks when we read Goodnight Moon, on the page where there's the old lady whispering...... hush, she says, hush, with a huge, wide grin, her eight little pearls glittering in the lamplight. She waves, and claps, signs for milk, and more, and all done. And she doesn't like to poop in her diapers, so now she goes in the potty, and likes that better. She's figured out how to pee on the potty, too. I guess I better stop looking cross-eyed at people who tout elimination communication. I certainly can't spend my day paying attention to how long it's been since she's last been on the potty, but I've cracked up at my success rate at putting the little potty under her whenever her diaper is dry. One day she used the potty six times in one day.
It's no wonder she usually spends about sixteen out of twenty-four hours sound asleep, there is so much going on in that little brain.
She is turning into a person, and in some ways, I'm trusting her more. I've moved her out of my room at night, which for me is a huge step in trust. That I can sleep without her is very indicative of my own confidence; as if somehow I could keep her going just by being nearby. But still, I examine her little body every day, searching for signs or clues that something might be wrong. Bruises and funny marks of any kind send me reeling. One day I found these two tiny, dark purple blood-blister like marks on her tummy. My heart literally dropped. I was in a hotel room on the way to Ontario and I almost took her to the ER. I was certain this was it, the evidence of leukemia that I had somehow known would present itself at some point. It was only when I looked down, an hour or so later, and realized that the inside of my left arm was covered with the identical bruises from her tiny pincer-grip squeezing my arm as I held her, that I calmed myself down and realized Fiona had pinched herself. It was going to be okay.
I fear for her, and still I am ecstatic at her very existence. I still can't believe I got pregnant after all, that I have this little child who makes me so amazingly joyful all the time. Having a six and four year old rule the roost at most times makes having an eternally-happy ten month old child all the more amazing. To have a child who is always pleased with your decisions, where you go, what you feed her, or what you dress her in is just such a treat.
This is where I just simply can't imagine how to ever tell her how I feel about her. I could never put words to that love.
And so I must stop writing now.

(here's our self-timed photo, Liam as photographer, from this morning)


Hope's Mama said...

What a big girl! Hey wait, I have one that big as well! How did that happen?
Pooping on the potty - very impressed! That would make my life a lot easier with washing my cloth nappies (diapers). Go Fiona!
Angus is still a bit of a fuss pot, and it does worry me. But I know it would help matters if he had a sibling here with him. He's super fussy when I leave his sight, which is lovely and frustrating all at the same time.
Such a lovely post about your big, little girl. She is so much like Charlotte. It does take my breath away.
I wish we could get the kids together for a joint first birthday party. That would be very cool.

Erika P said...

She's so beautiful. She looks exactly like you in the last picture (where she has the blue teething ring/rattle). And I really feel the time warp of grief when I see babies born in the second half of 2009 and realize how big they are now.

Maybe it's because I'm a biologist, or maybe just because I'm a mom, but development fascinates me. It's interesting how some babies seem to prioritize verbal development and some physical development. By 10 months Austin was just beginning to say mama and dada and it would be a couple months before he would say or sign anything else, but he'd been crawling for two and a half months and was pulling up on everything and driving us crazy with starting to climb. It's a fun age; glad to see this little snapshot of how much you are enjoying her.

And yeah, I worry about any unidentified bruise or mark on Austin too. (And I don't think I did this as much before I lost Sierra.) Right now he has a sore on his cheek that seems to be taking overly long to heal. Rationally I know that it's simply because he keeps picking at it despite my telling (ok, nagging) him to leave it alone, but that doesn't stop me from imagining it's the start of some horrible infection or somesuch.

I'll listen to any of your fears anytime; I totally get them.

Ya Chun said...

aw. they just grow up so fast...

Pietrowski's of North Andover said...

Love this post.

Charlotte's Mama said...

Oh, thanks for saying you love this post. I am sometimes reticent to post about my baby since so many people who are here are baby-less.... but nevertheless she IS my baby, and hence a huge piece of me, and our family, and Charlotte Amelia's legacy...

Mel said...

She's really lovely! I have a girl around the same age.

I have to say that I saw a documentary called The Edge of Dreaming on PBS's POV and the filmmaker/subject reminded me of you. This is odd, I know, since I don't really know you and I can't even put a finger on why I thought this. Anyway, it is a good short film: