Four years ago I went to bed, huge and uncomfortable, wondering if this baby of mine would ever come on her own. She was six days overdue, and I hadn’t had a single contraction. The induction was scheduled for two days later. I woke up at 1:30am having contractions every two minutes, that quickly picked up speed until they became one big long unending contraction. After a scramble of packing, and calling a neighbor to come sit with String Bean until my sister arrived to watch her, we were on our way to the hospital.
It was my second child, so I knew the drill, and I knew that this one was coming a lot faster than her sister had. We made it to the hospital, and the anesthesiologist, who’d been my favorite person the first time around, stopped by to tell me that I was too far along for an epidural. He fell right off my favorite person list at that news. We negotiated for a pain-relieving shot, and moments after getting it, at 3:04am, my little Peanut arrived. Only, at 8 lbs, 15 oz, she wasn’t all that little.
She came into the world on her own terms, calm and strong and fast, able to hold her head up from birth, ready to nurse and sleep and grow and take in the world around her. She was a content baby, a smiley one, a giggler who was mostly cheerful, except when she wasn’t, and then you found out how physically strong and willful she was. She’s kept that same core personality these four years of her life. Primarily calm, steady, happy, quick to laugh, but she has a will like I’ve never seen, and doesn’t do anything until she’s good and ready. Go ahead and try to rush her along, she’ll just dig in deeper, move slower, linger longer.
And now my baby girl is four. I like the new changes that have come with the age, the complex theories about life and death that she’s developing when she’s supposed to be sleeping, her ability to remember the name, habits, and habitat of every animal she’s ever heard of, her more legible writing and budding reading skills, her obsession with counting to one hundred. But I will also miss that snuggly girl who walked so slow I had to carry her everywhere, who thought chocolate milk could solve every problem, who woke up singing every morning and often giggled in her sleep. I hope that, her stubborn nature being what it is, she can hold onto those wonders a little longer.