Thursday, August 10, 2017


To four-years-old.

You told me you liked the smell of coffee and when you grow up you are going to drink coffee...and also alcohol and you think cigarettes smell, "goody. goody." So...there's that to look forward to.

You would ask to sit on my lap every time we sit down to eat. I usually wouldn't let you...but perhaps I are, after all, little for only so long. You are wise beyond your years, Greta, that sometimes I forget you just turned four and just want to be held like I held you the first two years of your life. When I ask you why you want to sit on my lap all the time, you reply, "Because I love you."

Today, you told me that you don't miss me when I go away, but you miss daddy when he goes away, and then you asked when I would be dead.

You tell me you want another little sister...not a little brother because "boys are too loud."

You sing...always. I can't get you to stop even when I ask you to stop...because I have a headache, and although I do love your, my dear, are loud.

You whine and cry...a lot.

You love "The Sound of Music". You and your sister are always performing the songs from it.

We all went blueberry picking for the first time and you did so well, only picking the ripe blueberries. You ate most of the blueberries you picked before we weighed them, and it was very hot outside that day, so when you were ready to go, you plopped down among the bushes and asked which way was out.

You asked to go to the zoo for your birthday, and so we did.

You and your sister have been fighting a lot lately. You are usually quite sweet to her, but you taking things out of her hands while she's playing with them has been our biggest obstacle you have yet to outgrow. (maybe never will? I hope so...for my sanity.) happened in the blink of an eye. There is that saying that the days are long but the years are short...but even the days are short for me. Even the bad ones...the ones I can't wait to be over. Because everyday, you get a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little bit closer to being on your own someday. Bittersweet, my love. So very bittersweet to watch as you grow from a teeny tiny baby to this sweet little toddler to the sassy little girl you are today.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

On the night you were born...

It was a Saturday. Your Gram and Papa came over to watch your big sister while Daddy and I went in for another non-stress test, which would be at the hospital this time. They monitored you and me for about an hour and a half. The doctor was concerned because there was a significant drop in your heart rate...just one little dip in all that time. They wanted to admit me because I was two and a half weeks overdue and that dip was a big deal to them. But I felt you. I felt you moving around. I knew you were ok and you would come when you (we) were ready.

We argued with the doctor and then our midwife. Our doula, Jessica, met us at the hospital. She explained that the dip could mean that the cord was wrapped around your neck. They agreed to let us leave the hospital so that we could have some lunch. We walked to a burger place down the street. Daddy and I discussed what to do next as I did not want the pitocin, which is what both the head doctor and midwife were strongly urging me to take to get labor going. I would have contractions every now and then, but never very regular and certainly not as strong as I remembered having with your sister. We decided to admit me, but no pitocin. There needed to be another way to get labor going.

I don't know if there's a better term for this or not, but nipple stimulation was what our midwife suggested...and seemed pretty optimistic about it, too. Let me tell you, it wooooooooorrrrrked. After only a couple rounds of the medical grade breast pump and then walking around the hospital, I was all up in labor with you. Daddy and I would always crack jokes at each other in tense (uncomfortable?) situations such as this and we did just that as we walked around the basement of that hospital. I saw the doors of another delivery room swing open and there was so much blood I thought I might pass out right there. I was having pretty regular and close together contractions and they had to hook me up to the i.v. because I tested positive for something (I forget what now) which would require a few rounds of antibiotics.

I was throwing up. I might have been pooping, too. I don't really know. I know I pooped a lot with your sister because they kept having me lift up my butt to change the sheets. Your Daddy was NOT holding up my leg this time. Instead, he was gently brushing the hair from my face and holding the little pink oblong thing I was throwing up in all while holding my hand through each contraction. Jessica was helping me focus on my breathing and rubbing my back and then, your Aunt Melissa was there holding my hand, too...and taking pictures of me. Daddy had been playing music for me this whole time. "I Need My Girl" by the National began to play. I felt a wave of calm rush over me as this song played.

Four pushes. I'm pretty sure that's all it took to get you out once that pushing urge took over. The midwife, Nancy, placed you on my chest right away. I looked at you and said, "She looks just like her sister." I feel like you made your way on over to my left nipple and just started nursing and then peed all over me. I was a mess anyway so I didn't mind, but it was so warm that it shocked me a bit. They delayed the clamping of the umbilical cord, but when Daddy cut it, Nancy decided to measure it. She said it was the longest umbilical cord she had ever seen...40 in. I guess an average length is about 20. 

It was now Sunday at about the same time as I am writing this on a Wednesday. And so, my darling Estella Plum, Happy Golden Birthday.

Love always,


P.S. You just woke up and said, "Mama, hold my hand. This one." (Our place is tiny and I am writing this literally steps from where you're asleep.)