Joanie woke up early today — 6 AM — after sleeping a full 12 hours straight. Drew got her out of her crib and gave her a bottle and then brought her to me in bed so he could take a shower. Jackson was still asleep, the sun was slowly rising, and in the quiet of the morning I told her the story of her birth, six months ago today. I showed her a few photos of the first moment I saw her, and I reminded her of that night we spent together, just the two of us, in my little hospital room, sometimes sleeping, sometimes nursing, sometimes just being still together. I thought then that she was the sweetest thing I’d ever known. She hardly even cried. And in her tiny face, those big saucer-like eyes locked on mine, as if they’d always known each other. I still think she’s the sweetest thing, and every day I can’t believe she’s mine.
To experience mothering a baby again after the steep learning curve of the first time is one of the biggest gifts and honors of my life (I feel the same about mothering Jackson, too, of course). I struggled so much the first time around and felt like I failed more than I succeeded — so much so, that I didn’t enjoy it as much as it seemed others were enjoying their experience. I didn’t know whether I wanted to try for a second baby and risk the feelings of inadequacy and depression again. Frankly, I didn’t even know if I could handle months of sleepless nights all over again. I agonized over the decision for two years. Drew was always onboard — he very much wanted another baby — but he never pressured me. Still, when you know such a big decision is basically yours to make and that your immediate family members will be so affected by what you decide, the pressure IS great.
What a relief to know, as soon as I met her, that she was the best decision ever and that there could never have been another one with as much joy as she brings us. Happy half birthday to our sweet Joanie May, who has made all of us — Jackson, Drew, and me — feel like the luckiest family ever.