My baby – my littlest, probably my last. There are so many memories of my pregnancy with Julie, I remember staring at the first test, trying to decide if there was a second line or not. I remember the first wave of nausea, and the times when I’d run to throw up. Marc and both of the kids would come and rub my back. I remember I was hugely emotional, all the time, and every time I’d cry, I’d have to throw up. I ate a ton of sesame chicken, and itched and cried and itched and threw up the entire nine months. It was absolutely the worst pregnancy, and made the other two look like a walk in the park.
But her’s was the easiest, most peaceful and loving and relaxed and blissful birth imaginable. I had my mother and Becky (who was newly pregnant with Abby-with-a-bow) and Marc there with me the whole time. I was in hard labor for all of ten minutes before I asked for the epidural, and three hours later, I was ready to push. After two pushes, there she was. I was laughing when she was born.
Jessie was my first, and everything with her is new. Sammy is my boy, and new on a whole different level. With Julie, I assumed that I’d pretty much done it all, and it would be super easy. But she made sure, right from the very beginning, that she stood out. Both Jessie and Sam were easy nursers, latched on and it was never an issue. Ever. But with Julie, the first few months were hellish, starting with a nursing strike, and then thrush, a staph infection, bleeding, nursing shields, various antibiotics and it was a good six months or so before nursing was second nature for her. She never really ate traditional baby food, we were baby-led solids all the way. She walked late, she was close to a year and a half before she was consistently up and moving. She talked early, and potty trained, on her own, just after she turned two.
She’s my angel baby girl, and brilliant and sweet and loving and funny. She’s tougher than Jessie was at this age, because her immediate example of childhood is her big brother, and she’s an accomplished sword-wielder, karate maven, and loves all things lego related like her big brother. She’s also convinced that all of Jessie’s nail polish is really hers, doesn’t understand why Jessie won’t just give her all the lip gloss, and steals Jessie’s clothes all the time. She sleeps with a zillion different stuffed animals, but only ever one at a time. She’s incredibly stubborn, demanding and imperious, but when the everything goes her way – you’d never know a happier girl.
Julie is my blessing – she’s happiness and peace and joy and chaos and fun.