The other night I went through some of my son's infant clothes. We have a new nephew that I am going to send them to. I'd given my brother-in-law and his wife most of Aaron's infant clothes in November, but held back on some things until the birth because they didn't know whether it was a boy or a girl. Their son was born the same time of the year as our son, so that works out great for hand-me-downs.
While I was looking through these little outfits, many of which I remember vividly, I was remembering my son's birth and first months, and conversations and moments related to them. I can hardly remember him being that tiny, and yet my arms can almost feel him and I can sense him breathing gently against my chest.
I remember the minutes after he was born when I was so full of adrenaline. Just a few minutes before I had been so exhausted I was falling asleep between contractions! I had been so scared of labor and birth and of how I would be as a mother. The moment Aaron was first in my arms, it all felt to natural, so right. This perfect little being, and we actually made him! I whispered my hellos to him and dropped tears onto his tiny hands.
We took our son home and remained in awe of him for months. To be honest, we are still in awe of him today. His first smile - on my first Mother's Day, no less - and everyone thereafter. Laughs and sitting up and playing and crawling and talking and walking. Even in his colicky and cranky moments he amazed us.
One afternoon, when Aaron was about four or five months old, we were driving somewhere when my husband said to me, "It's so incredible. Out of all your eggs and all my sperm, we got Aaron." It may sound goofy, but it was a perfectly sweet and romantic thing to say, and I felt exactly the same way. Out of all the possibilities, we have this one and only unique child, perfectly Aaron, and we know it couldn't be, nor would we want it to be any other way.
So now I wonder, of all the possibilities, who is this little person growing inside me? The questions flow through my mind, threading their way in and out of everything I do.
"Who are you?
Are you a baby brother to Aaron, as he insists you are, or are you a baby sister? Will you have your daddy's eyes, so obvious on your big brother since birth? Or will they be more like my eyes, and your grandmother's?
Will you nurse well from the start? Will you be sensitive to foods I eat?
Will you love to be held and rocked?
Will you like music?
Will you tend to spike high fevers like your brother does, and your daddy did as a little boy? Will I call the emergency room as often when you have them, or will I manage them in you like I do now with your brother?
What will you do to earn your family nickname?
Will you choose a part of my body as your comfort touch, like your brother chose my neck? Will you choose your fingers or your thumb to suck for comfort, or neither?
Will you like baseball? Or soccer? Or some other sport? Or no sports?
Will you like to draw? To read?
Will you like me?
Who are you?"
It seems like so long to wait to start to find out, but it's not, really. In less then six months I will be holding our new child for the first time, whispering my hellos and dropping tears onto his or her tiny hands. Though I have held babies before, I don't know what it is like to hold this little one yet, and I long to know.
One thing is for certain. Out of all my eggs and all my husband's sperm,
this baby will be our one and only unique baby. Perfectly her or him.