I finally got to see Mikiah yesterday! I was slated to take dinner out to Jason and Alicia and was lucky enough to show up right as they were about to feed him. Soon my arms were filled with baby instead of my bag of food and I settled in for a good snuggle. There is nothing in this world more wonderful than the perfect weight of a newborn in your arms. He was absolutely beautiful. I read somewhere when I was pregnant that babies come into the world with that "cute" factor as a survival tool. Human infants are the most helpless of all mammals.....they cannot do anything for themselves for months and months. Even as they get older they need more care and nurturing than any other species. So they are "cute" when they get here so that adult humans will be drawn to taking care of them. Let's be perfectly honest: who hasn't been at their wits end with an infant during a seemingly endless whining or crying marathon and taken one look at that little face and melted? They are cute so we won't give them away.
Holding Mikiah instantly brought me back to Nathan and Grace's first few weeks. I thought of Grace first because he was close to what she weighed at birth and had the same little tiny features as she did. I gave birth to a toddler when I had Nathan...he was 9 lbs 13 oz. I never felt like he was too small to handle like I sometimes did with Grace. When I finally (grudgingly) gave Mikiah back to Alicia and got back home, I pulled up some old pictures of my kids on the computer. It doesn't seem possible that they have grown so much! Nathan will be 6 in a few days and Gracie is pushing 3. I can still smell the Johnson's baby shampoo in Nathan's hair and feel the gentle grip of Gracie's hand around my finger. It all changes so fast and I feel like I miss it sometimes.
I have the natural guilt that comes with just being a parent. Have I done all I can to encourage and nurture my children? Did the time I yelled at Nathan because I was having a bad day scar him for life? Does Grace remember the time I accidentally dislocated her elbow (what a horrific guilt trip that was!)? Do my children know how much I love them and that I would throw myself between them and danger in a heartbeat? If nothing else, having children of my own has given me an appreciation for how much my parents love me. The whole dynamic between my mom and I changed after I had Nathan. We have always been close, but the common thread of motherhood bound us together in a way that nothing else could.
So, to Alicia and Jason I give this little bit of advice: be still and cherish this time with Mikiah because it will be gone before you can blink. Drink in the smell of his skin and record in your memory the heft of his body in your arms. Oh, and keep a large vat of Mylicon drops on hand at all times! They are magical!!