The last hours of the night. We start a bath and get bubbled up. I sing a song about washing the belly, legs, and toes, and make sure I scrub under the chin and behind the ears. I pretend to be Billy Madison and fight over shampoo better, no conditioner better! as we wash your baby fine hair.
Afterwards we give daddy a kiss and head upstairs to brush your hair and dry off. I lotion your body as you kick up a storm and wiggle all around. Then it's time for jammies. As soon as pull them over your head you are ready for milk, but not yet, got to find fingers and thumb and get them through the sleeves. We close the curtains and turn on the Sleep Sheep - always the ocean, my favorite (and I hope I'm brainwashing a bit for it to be yours too!). I settle into the chair you begin your final meal.
You'll look at me with tired eyes, before succumbing to the night and getting a little more in your belly before you doze off to dream land. I sing You Are My Sunshine, three times, and you completely settle in. At this point, I'm entertaining myself in the dark on my iPhone (thank you Steve Jobs!). Emails, blogs, facebook, instagram, maybe a game of sudoku... it was always my favorite at bedtime when you were in my belly and not yet in my arms. It was always the time you would kick and we would share our special bond of it being just us two, just like now.
After you've pulled away, and started dreaming with your little sleep smiles and twitchy expressions, I put you up on my shoulder to see if you have any burps to let out. Because I've learned that when I don't, I'm back up upstairs soothing an unhappy honey within 20 minutes. We rock in the dark while you snuggle into my neck and I place my cheek on your head. I go from patting your back into a full out hug. I give you an extra squeeze for how much I love you and how thankful I am that you are finally here in my arms, where I always dreamed.
I think of all we've gone through for you to get here - the tests, the pills, the procedures, the many ultrasounds, the nights I came home from work and ran upstairs to use my at-home doppler to check-in on your heartbeat, the first flutters in my tummy, the first stomach thumping kicks, your butt permanently lodged under my right side rib cage, my water breaking five weeks early, laboring all night, and still being surprised when you decided to come not even 3 hours after being told I was still at 1 cm, and then the smile you gave me when you were placed on my chest. But as all these memories flood my mind, I also remember what we lost. I can only imagine the two angels that sent you here. They knew you were exactly what I needed and that you'd give more to me, than I could ever give to you. They watch over you, and watch over us.
And with this last hug of the day, I don't take minute for granted. Being your mommy is my greatest blessing. My third angel, the one without wings.
On this special day, we now celebrate you too.