Each child is different, and each one brings their own magic into the mix. Julianna completed our family, in a way that is utterly perfect and exactly what I would have hoped for.
Her pregnancy was a family affair. Sam, Jessie and Marc used to come to the bathroom and Marc would hold my hair, Sam would hug my legs and Jessie would rub my back when I threw up (as I did throughout that entire nine month process). She was the most cherished baby, with everyone fighting to hold her, to snuggle her, to rock her. She was the baby that was closest to her dad, the one who made up her own sign language to tell me when she wanted him.
I used to joke that Julie was my reward. After such a hellish pregnancy, after years of trying to force Sam into social situations, after all of the hard parts of having babies and toddlers, Julianna was so easy. Her birth was a breeze, literally one of the best experiences of my life. I had one bad contraction, and then the epidural kicked in. I was in labor for less than three hours, pushed twice, and was laughing when she was born. She universally loved everyone, and still has an easier time transitioning and adjusting to new situations.
She was hell to nurse for the first three months, but then went on to nurse happily until well after her fourth birthday. She slept next to me every night until she was five, and then snuggled to sleep in my arms every night until she was old enough to claim the top bunk.
Julie is my angel girl, my sweetest, sweetest baby. At eight years old, she’s sassy and smart, devours books faster than I can take them out of the library for her, loves her dog and her Daddy, battles with her big sister, and still misses Sammy going to school with her. Julie is growing up faster than I’d like, with three older sisters who talk about EVERYTHING at the dinner table, she’s better versed in sexual politics and gender identity and why we have to take back the House and Senate in November than the average eight year old. She wants to be big, to have her own phone and be able to babysit and cook. She’s the kid who always wants to hang with me, folding laundry or making dinner. She asks for a minute, just a minute, to compose herself before shots or bloodwork. She’s articulate and thoughtful, self conscious and aware, just on the cusp of outgrowing the little girl designation. She’s quiet and reserved, and endlessly polite in social settings. When she’s alone with me, she talks and talks and talks, and I love how her mind works, and the words she uses to express herself. She’s ready for so much more – and I wistfully want to wrap her in a snuggly blanket and rock her to sleep just one last time.
Happy birthday my beautiful girl. I love you so much.