Today is my fourth child’s tenth birthday, so there are a lot of emotions bubbling up this morning.
Our House, Germany
Joy–because she truly is one of the joys of my life.
The Residence Garden
If you have three kids and are ‘debating’ whether or not to have a fourth, let me give you some advice–go for it! The fourth child is the one that you can relax with and enjoy the most because by this time, you have the system down. And things always go better when you have some idea of what you’re doing.
Sadness–because we no longer have any single-digit kids, which means our family has ‘graduated’ to a new level.
The Red Sea
Happiness–because we no longer have any single-digit kids, which means our family can do cool things we haven’t done before (Example: we can cross the border from Israel to Jordan on foot without taking a stroller).
Nostalgia–I can’t help but think of the day she was born. Our friends came over to watch our then 1 year-old, our 4 year-old and our 6 year-old, while my husband, mom-in-law and I went to the hospital. It seems like I had JUST gotten the epidural when Libby came along.
She was a go-getter from the start, having only 3 hours of labor. But as soon as she was born, they rushed her away because she was a meconium baby. I realize from the hundreds of birth stories I’ve heard over the years that this is NOT a big issue–that some women have their babies taken away for weeks due to serious medical issues, but for me, it was terrible.
She was born, and they just swooped her away and put her little pink head in a bubble. It was three long hours before they could give her back to me.
St Vitts Cathedral
During that time, I was worried we had missed the most crucial bonding time ever. I didn’t have the chance to burn her little face into my memory. I didn’t have that initial feeling of satisfaction that comes when your newborn snuggles on your chest. The labor and delivery was over and done and eventually they handed me this little ‘stranger.’
With my history of depression, the doctors were worried about me. I had them put a no-visitor sign on my door, and I even stayed an extra night (the Air Force hospital was GREAT). I wasn’t depressed though, I was simply trying to relish every quiet moment I could. And I wanted to get to know this new little person.
We did bond, though it still worried me for a long time afterwards. Would I love her the same?
It seems silly now. She is the sparkle in my step, the joy of my life. She makes everything happy and shiny and fun. Even on her ‘worst’ day, she is a treasure.
Libby, Katie & Mama
December, 2003 Anchorage, Alaska
If you are reading this and you happen to be one of my other three children, don’t think that Libby is the ‘favorite.’ I love EACH of you more than words can describe–it’s just her birthday, so she gets her own post:)
Libby is ten. And with my older two making plans for their futures, it makes me incredibly happy we had four. At least, as Libby tells me, she’ll be around the ‘longest.’ And someday, when the other kids leave the house, we can trade the minivan for a sports car, and we can zip around together. Mother & daughter. Our hearts bound together forever.
Happy Birthday Libby!