On Friday, I was driving home from work and spending my hour commute zoned out in lala land...letting my car go on auto pilot. I was lost in my memories from December 11, 2009. The day when I became a mom. The day that I learned what real worry and real love really meant. It was the day that will forever be ingrained in my mind as the day I grew up. The best day of my life...even though the most scary day of my life.
I remember my doctor saying that she'll break my water at noon, and at 11:45 my husband ran down to the hospital cafeteria to grab some food, knowing it would be the last time he would be able to eat for a long while. He barely made it back up before my water was broken.
I then spent an hour in the whirlpool tub, feeling real contractions and thinking I was going to die.
Another hour went by and I finally got my epidural.
My mom finally made it to the hospital and we all hung out just waiting for the time to push.
Took me only 43 minutes to push her out.
And then she was rushed away to the NICU after laying eyes on her for a few short seconds. I remember those seconds as a whirlwind of panic, fear, excitement, sadness....I think that was really the only moment in my life where I could honestly say I felt every human emotion rolled into one.
It wasn't until several hours later that I would lay eyes on my sweet baby girl. The one who had been kicking me and rolling inside me all of those months before. That sweet girl that I had yearned for, for so long.
This time seems like it was just yesterday.
But it was really almost two years ago. Two years. Has it really been that long? Is she really that big? How did it go so fast? I feel like I blinked and my baby grew up. Did I miss it? Did I enjoy it as much as I should have? Did I cherish every moment?
We have been working so hard on the pacifier weaning... it's sort of been our mission. We got it down to bed time only in the last couple of weeks. We were proud of that.
And then this weekend, I realized something.
She is "big" now. She gets things that I don't give her credit for. She comprehends. She understands.
I can talk to her. I can explain to her. I can tell her what is happening.
And so I did.
At bedtime tonight, we did our story time and read four or five books and then she gave grandma and grandpa kisses and love (they are in town this weekend). She ran in to the kitchen to her paci bowl and I picked her up and showed her that it was empty, aside from a lonely M&M (which we put there earlier). I told her that the paci had to go bye-bye to another baby. I explained that she is a big girl now and doesn't need it anymore. I explained that only baby's need the paci and paci went to live with another baby. And then I told her that paci left her a treat instead.
She pondered for a second.
Snatched up the mini M&M (I don't give her the regular sized ones just yet) and put it in her mouth. I sat her down and she ran to her room.
We said prayers. She gave us kisses. She went to sleep.
She grew up.