|Clearly pleased with her weigh-in results.|
I wrote to Brandy about my apprehension in doing so. Because I'm so grateful she's growing big and strong, but it seems too soon for her to no longer be itsy-bitsy. She's four weeks old today- something which is so hard to believe- that we've had her here with us this long- that she's still alive... It seems too good to be true.
At birth, Grace outweighed Jack by more than a pound (the whereabouts seemed to be identifiable as having landed in her nom-able sweet baby cheeks, naturally). Changing to 0-3 sized clothing and size one Pampers Swaddlers seems like such a feat. It's acknowledging she's growing, but it's also yet another thing Jack never got to do- when he died he was no where near outgrowing his pint-sized clothes.
Whereas Grace lives for breast milk, her soft belly a nod to the nourishment she gets from Momma's good stuff, Jack wasn't the least bit interested in breastfeeding- he was a (pumped) bottle man. He didn't re-gain his birth weight- he didn't have the time. And of course it was the lactation consultation which led to the discover (and later the diagnosis) of Meningitis... It was something I was so scared to do- to breastfeed her and hope for a different outcome than the last time. But it's working, and I'm so thankful she's a greedy little feeder because I'm not sure I could have mentally handled it if she wasn't.
She now wears the same size diaper Jack wore in the NICU- his generously sized to allow for the catheter and other various tubes and wires. I still have the single size one Pampers Swaddler they sent me home with in his memory box... And now I wrap, and unwrap the very same diapers for his little sister. Huh.
She's here, and she's outgrowing him. She's here in a way he never really was- growing- thriving even and I am so thankful for that. But I don't know how to process that everything she does from here on out are things he never will. I feel like this may be the biggest burden of parenting after a loss I ever experience- trying to cope with my anger, guilt and sadness for the things he'll never experience, while we celebrate her every milestone.
Tonight, she fake-cried, then when her dad and I laughed at her, she gave us our first mutual gummy smile. It's enough to break my heart- because I can only imagine what his might have been like.
She locks eyes with me as we nurse together, as though to thank me for the milk she drinks. She coos at me, and pushes her feet into the palms of my hands as I rub lotions into her soft little feet. We shower together, her warm little body pressed gently to mine as I rinse Burt's Bees from her baby mullet. Sometimes I hold her, and kiss the top of her head, and I cry, remembering the boy who occupied these same hands, these same arms, these same kisses not all that long ago... Happy tears mixing in with the sad- it's hard to distinguish them from one another.
It's all so bittersweet.