Today marks 4 months since the day Zachary entered our world. 4 months to the day when unspoken fear paralyzed me and I worried that despite all of the tests to ensure otherwise, it would just be too soon for him. 4 months since the day he was in the NICU, away from me and I worried about his fate long before I was able to hold him for the first time. Since the day we finally met and everyone in the room was silent as mother and son just stared at each other, breathing each other in after months of pain.
I’m struggling to put into words just what this little boy has brought to my life. He showed me my toughness. He showed me just how much my heart can hold, how much I love being a mother. That miracles really can happen not once, but twice, to the same life. Or is he really my miracle? Perhaps he is his own and I am just the one priviledgd enough to witness it.
It is absolutely amazing to watch his personality unfold before my eyes. Big personality in such a small packege. 14 pounds of preciousness. To see the wonder in his eyes as he takes in the world around him renews in me a sense of just how amazing everything can be. And I want to give him nothing but the best. I did with his older brother as well, but not quite to this extent. I was always more of a creature of convenience. I hardly recognize myself these days: babywearing, breastfeeding, making my own baby food, considering cloth diapering. I never thought this would be me. Zach did that.
As for Zachy’s development, I refuse to allow myself to get caught up in timelines for milestones. I know he was premature and have the expectation that he will be a month or two behind his peers. But regardless, he is happy and healthy and thriving. He will do it all in his own time. As for right now, he is the most social baby. He has the warmest of smiles for everyone, especially Mommy and Daddy. He has slept through the night since about six weeks of age, which is amazing because for him, 6 weeks of age was my actual due date. He bats at toys and tries to “talk” to them in his baby language. His hands curl around his toys and he brings them to his mouth, but I don’t yet think this is purposeful. When he is held close, he still curls into the ball of a newborn, with legs tucked up under his belly and arms close to his chest. He still loves being swaddled. He takes 2 naps per day. My favorite time of day is when I have just returned from a night of work and Zach and I retreat to my bed were he lays in the crook of my arm, close to my heart, and nurses as he drifts off to sleep. Long after he falls asleep and I should be asleep, I find myself awake and just staring into his sleeping face. Long black lashes curling onto cherubic cheeks. Rosebud mouth. The absolute picture of peace and innocence and beauty. And when he finally awakens, whether it be from a nap or from a nighttime slumber, he doesn’t wake us. He will lay quietly and coo at his mobile or just look around. When we awaken and run to the crib to check on him, he just looks at us with the sweetest of toothless grins, as if to say “Good Morning! I thought you might need some rest and so I let you sleep in.” He still only cries when hungry. He won’t let you know he has a dirty diaper. Instead, he’ll just look at you as if to say, “Hey! You gonna do something about this or what?” Lately he has added a new cry: the cry of boredom, to which we respond with more talking and showing and doing. And it actually works, unlike with his older brother, who was temperamental and fussy and hard to please.
I have never been a religious person. I lean more towards the laws of science. But having Zach has made question what higher power is out there, governing the miracle that is him, adding this gift to my life. And if there truly are angels on Earth, Zachary is most decidedly one of them. It’s just that we cannot see his wings.