Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Measure of a Year

Three hundred and sixty-five days ago, I got the first confirmation that Sullivan was on his way.  A very faint pink line emerged in the window of a home pregnancy test on the morning of February 26th, 2012.  I would go on to pee on no fewer than a dozen tests over the next couple of weeks, always fearful that my elusive second line would fade away along with the hopes of having a second child.

Clearly, the line stuck and the baby was a keeper.  And how incredibly grateful we are for that and for little Sullivan.  Even after the first ultrasound just weeks after conception, the one where Shawn and I saw his little heartbeat for the very first time, I worried incessantly.    Each time I went to the bathroom, I worried that there would be blood and that the pregnancy would end.  I worried when I didn't show immediately.  Until I felt those first movements in May, I worried daily.  What an exhausting time that was.

And now, he is here.  Our little "Mystery Baby,"  the boy who surprised us by being a boy, turned 16 weeks old yesterday.  In those brief weeks, Sullivan has become such a part of the family.  I guess when a baby is so wanted, their place in the clan is being held and it makes it that much easier for them to slide right in.

Violet is a natural sister, it is astounding that she has only been doing it for 4 months.  The joy they take in each other is greater than anything I could have hoped for.  He reserves his biggest, gummiest grins for Violet and her off-key song and dance routines she creates for him.  And even on her crabbiest mornings, Sully can coax a softness out of Violet that is off-limits to me and Shawn.  Their relationship is so pure, it just makes me melt.  I know there will be whining and sibling squabbles in the future, but I am enjoying every moment of this magic they have together right now.

So the gift of Sullivan keeps on getting better.  I am savoring motherhood this time around in a way that I couldn't with Violet.  Laying in bed and nursing is never something I don't have the time for.  So what if there have been stacks of laundry waiting to be put away for 6 days?  I get to things when I get to them and don't feel too stressed about it in the meantime.  And Shawn and I are right on the same page, in sync with parenthood and with each other.  Eating dinner together as a family of four is the best part of the day.  Shawn and I share a beer, take turns holding Sully, buttering Violet's bread, and clearing the dishes.  Of course there are still less-than-perfect moments.  The times when we react too sharply to a knocked over glass of juice or run out of patience when it comes to an argument over tooth-brushing, but mostly we are doing a good job appreciating what we have.  That is the biggest gift that Sullivan brought with him.