penny my love

there are a million things i could write about you. two million. three.
you've been the delight of this year. from your tiny beginnings and my uncertainly about being a new mom again. from those long 10 weeks of feeling more sick and nauseous and horrible than i've ever felt...literally not leaving the couch or bed for weeks on end...to my big, giant belly with a very active and happy, kicky girl inside. by the time you could wiggle hard enough for me to feel you around 15 weeks, i was happily excited to remember the amazing and wonderful experience of life from within. you were my buddy. my constant companion. i absolutely loved every moment of your time within my womb. i didn't like how giant my body became, but i loved sacrificing for you. if i put my hand on my belly, you kicked me right away. you responded when i would sit by giving me a barrage of kickage. you loved to have your belly sticking waaaay up high and your legs kicking me in the same spot over and over. it felt like a very long pregnancy.
and then i met you.
i was awestruck. instantly and completely overtaken by you. i felt nervous and anxious when i wasn't holding you. somehow you soothed me. somehow you gave me peace. somehow you were everything i needed that i didn't realize i was missing. you were my delight and i wanted nothing more than to soak in every single moment. i didn't want to miss anything. so i held you all the time. day. night. morning. afternoon. evening. i hogged you. snuggled you. kisses you. millions upon millions of times. i photographed our every day with you. i adored your sleepy cheeks pressed to mine. i wanted every nap to never end. every smile to continue forever. every day you were my delight. you are 6 months old now. you rarely nap without me holding you :) and you usually sleep on my pillow with me :)  my constant companion. i need you just as much as you need me. comforting you is my greatest joy. you smile with your whole being when you smile at me. its like you see the real me and you still love me. you are shining God's love and joy on me every single day. if only, i would live every day with you again and again and again.
one of my most favorite part of our new life with you in it, has been seeing your siblings fall so deeply in love with you. during my pregnancy, they were so into everything babies. they wanted to know everything about being pregnant and how big you were and how babies are born and what you'd be like. and after you were born? forget about it. i've never seen such passion and love and joy exude from them, as it does when they look at you each and every day. they talk to you and play with you and push you in your scooter and hold you and bring you your favorite toys and hug you and kiss you and they adore you. every night they tell me to kiss you a 1,000 times. and hug you a 1,000 times after they go to bed. done and done. i think i kiss you 10,000 each evening. your little squishy cheeks and delightful little lippies have been smothered with kisses in your little lifetime.

when you were 2 weeks old, we realized you hadn't gained any weight. i rushed you to the doctor and they old me to supplement with formula, but i loved nursing you so much and you were such an expert nursing baby, i didn't want to do that. so i spent 3 days doing nothing but feeding you. i pumped after every other feeding to boost my supply and i fed you as much as you would allow. around 3 weeks you got very sick and lethargic. you didn't eat much for about 24 hours and spiked a 103 fever. i was panicked and hadn't slept in 2 days because i didn't take my eyes off of you. i rushed you to the ER and they did a ton of tests including blood work and a spinal tap and decided to keep you for observation for 48 hours in the pediatric unit. you were so lethargic, you didn't even move or cry when they put your IV's in and i could hardly get you to lift your head. so we sat in a hospital bed for 2 days and i fed you and kissed you and loved you. you were hooked up to all kinds of monitors and IV fluids helped boost you back to your usual spunky self. it was after your hospital stay that i realized in a certain nursing position you were able to get more milk, so i chose to only nurse you from one position (football hold) and you quickly caught up and started to grow grow grow. you became quite a little chunker and grew out of all the clothes we had for you at 3 months old! by 5/6 months you were wearing 18 months clothes! your belly was the cutest and sweetest and softest i'd ever seen.

you don't like to be apart from the action. you are rarely without siblings running everywhere or mama holding you or being in the middle of life. our house is small and loud and crazy. and you love it. if it's quiet, you seem to wonder where everyone is :)
emery loves you so very much. she talks constantly about how much she wants a baby just like you. she is tender and sweet and loving towards you and wants to do everything for you. but she has struggled deeply with the change in my relationship with her. she has seen me bond with you and it's been very difficult on her. there is a LOT of screaming. she rages and flips out about a lot of things and i often worry that you feel stressed during her terrorizing rages. you often cry when she screams in my face (because i'm usually holding you, trying to protect you from getting hit when emery gets mad), but thankfully i'm able to find ways to comfort you and whisper in your ear to try and make you feel safe, while trying to do the same for emery.

the boys have been spectacular with you. they both think you love them the most :) and they both insist you look like them :) the truth is you look a lot like foster, rowan and me as a baby. i see much of each in you.
you might be the last, but i want you to always know just how amazing and fantastic you have been in my life. how much of a treasure you are and the way that you have changed me for the better. the way that my heart needed you. the longing i have for you the instant you aren't in my arms. you are absolutely amazing and sweet and kind and the best things of life.
i can remember before i knew you were coming, if our family was complete. i can remember looking at family pictures thinking someone was missing but i couldn't imagine who it would be. the kids would draw family pictures and i would wonder if there was someone else we should draw. it was you. you were meant for us and we were meant for you.
i love you and God has gifted me in such a magnificent way with you. i pray over your sweet life that God would guide you and you would live a life of passion and love for Jesus.
you are you. and i love you.
love mama



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