Today our precious progeny is one month old. I suppose we should put a candle on her bottle and throw her a little party to celebrate her passage through these first rough weeks of life, but what I really feel like doing is having a good cry.
Despite the sleepless nights and the loss of my identity as anything more than a human dairy, I have thoroughly enjoyed bonding with my baby girl and have spent many a moment watching her sleep and thinking wistfully, “She will never be this young again.”
Now, she’s no longer that young and even though I treasured every minute I had with my newborn, I find myself tearing up at the thought that those moments are gone, never to return. Even if, like so many parents, I try to remedy this problem by having another baby, it won’t be the same precious baby I’ve enjoyed so much.
Every time I hear the bleating noise Maddi makes in her sleep when she’s working on what Chris calls a “Mommy present,” I wonder will this be the last time our little lambykins say “baa”?
Already she has grown up so much. She has gained two pounds and counting. She’s quit falling asleep on the bottle. When her pacifier falls out, she’s able to quickly find a finger or thumb to replace it with. And when she’s offered a meal, whether it’s via plastic or Mommy, she immediately stops crying and starts panting excitedly. Gone are the innocent days of not knowing where her food came from. The look of surprise she used to get when something was put in her mouth has been replaced by an expression that says “Well, you certainly took your time with that!”
One of these days, Maddi’s going to develop motor skills and be able to grab the toys I offer her. Someday in the not-too-distant future, our wee gourmand will become interested in table food. And within the year, she will be traveling freely about the house on the chubby little legs that now do nothing more than kick wildly during diaper changes.
All of these milestones will be great and joyous events, but they will also mean that we will no longer have the same baby we have now. And we are loving our little girl so much as she is, it is hard to fathom not having this exact form of bliss forever and ever. With each passing day, Maddux looks older and loses a bit more of that kittenlike newborn-ness that I so adore. I don’t love her any less, of course — in fact, I cherish this baby more as time passes — but at the same time as I celebrate all the “firsts” my ever-growing daughter is experiencing, I grieve the loss of my tiny, warm, brand-new baby.
I totally skipped the baby blues that most new moms experience, and boy am I glad I did. But I have discovered another misery, one that comes of having such happiness in being a mother: the agony of knowing this new-baby bliss can’t last forever.
And here is the one-month picture of our little girl, who is not a newborn anymore and never will be again (sob!).