It's been six years since we've had a newborn in the house. If I'm honest, while we've done this three times before, I don't remember all the details like I'm trying to savor them this time. This time our baby comes after a year of what has felt like holding my breath. In other pregnancies I had what now feels like the luxury of naiveté. I hadn't experienced loss like we had with our miscarriage and any thoughts of our babies not being okay quickly fled. This time fighting the battle in my mind and lies about what could happen was an every day occurance. Repeating verses of faith to myself, often through tears, was a very real part of my pregnancy.
When all the hormones mounted this past weekend, I sighed a deep, tear-filled breath of relief over the awe and beauty that we can see in our newborn. I get to hold a little head in my hands, to prop up his neck and rock him in my arms. I know his cries and when he needs to sleep or eat. I know his little patterns and it's only been 11 days.
When we had a newborn last, our other boys were still young themselves. These days I have helpers. I have big kids who ask silly questions like, "can your milk make cheese?" and "how do you know when your milk is in?" We can laugh about these questions and I am glad in many regards that this baby will be remembered well by them. He'll grow up with a fan club and support that puts any concerns of "age gap" in siblings aside.
When I think about the newborn days I mostly savor how life all around seems to stop. A few people have told me, “there’s nothing like a baby” and it’s true. There’s nothing like this sweet short season when time gets to slow down and I get to breathe in the little life that needs me so much. There’s nothing like seeing my older boys lovingly want to hold him, talk to him, or wait for those first smiles. There’s nothing like the adrenaline, exhuastion and privelege of being the one to rock him to sleep. There’s nothing like a baby.