Lilah started hollering the moment she was from my womb untimely ripped, pausing only for the brief moment they put her in my arms. Then the nurses took her so that the doctors could perform my tubal ligation, and that baby fussed the entire time they rooted around in there, pulling the plugs. She bleated as they sewed me up, and then cried as they cleaned and weighed her and moved us all to a recovery room.
Finally, almost an hour after she was born, they handed her back to me, and I was able to given her what she wanted. She took that nipple into her mouth and shut the hell up, sucking away as if to say, “You fucking morons. That’s what I’m talking about.”
When she was a week old, she re-entered the hospital because of jaundice. Shortly thereafter, she needed a scan because of something called a “sacral dimple” and an x-ray to diagnose her reflux. At two months old, we had the saga of the pneumonia, complete with ambulance ride and six days in the hospital.
She was a very expensive newborn.
I won’t be spilling any secrets if I tell you she is worth every penny.
This is a baby who takes off across the floor, doing her own thing, while chaos reigns around her. She began crawling at five-and-a-half months, perhaps because everyone kept ignoring her and she needed to find her own way around. I have never seen a baby so adept at entertaining herself, although I do wish she’d do it with something other than the toilet.
Yet, oh my god, does that baby adore her mama. She was born hollering for me, and from day one she knew that the sun rose and set around me. The boys, yeah, they love me, but for this child I am the complete package. And when she crawls for me, repeating “mamamamamama,” I drop everything because nineteen pounds of sweetness is coming at me.
She is good and sweet and independent and physical and – the biggest blessing of all – she is pretty quiet. She babbles enough to let us know she can, but, thanks be to the heavens above, I think I have earned a quiet child at the last.
And I don’t care that she breaks out into hives from about 30% of the foods we feed her and that she has sucked her thumb so much that she has chronic eczema and that she thinks it’s funny to drop grass down my shirt. Because she is worth all the trouble with that sweet smile.
“Lilah, do you want Bunny?” I ask, and even though she cannot talk, she laughs to let me know she approves of my suggestion.
“Where is Zachary?” I ask, and she laughs and looks at him, pleased with herself for knowing the answer.
We walk past a book and she starts laughing, only to turn to agitated screaming if we continue on without stopping to pick it up. When the moronic adult gets the message and picks up the book, she urgently flips to the page with the tiger, then, delighted smile on her face, she turns to the reader and growls.
People, I am not overstating the fact when I tell you that Lilah is the happiest accident ever to occur. That my life has grown and filled beyond description because one day, 21 months ago, I peed on a stick and it came up pink. Someday, she will be a teenager who hates me and reminds me regularly how idiotic I am. Someday after that, she will be the kind of strong woman that comes from having two older brothers.
For right now, though, she is sweetness on the go, stopping only for a snuggle, a quick thumb-suck, and a cuddle with her bunny before she heads off to pull all the cups out of the cabinet and then push that bunny around the kitchen inside our colander. I am thankful daily that we decided to use a previous history of infertility as birth control, because a year ago today, I fell in love all over again.