After the ultrasound where we saw our little one for the first time and the excitement around announcing our pregnancy, I knew two things indefinitely: one, I wanted a healthy baby and two, I wanted a girl. I so very desperately wanted a girl! Why? Well, for starters, I’m a girl so I know how we work, I have a sister and a mom and since I grew up without any brothers, I felt being a first time mom would most easily be accommodated with pink cap instead of a blue. Second, I wanted a mini me. Yes, I envisioned this little peanut (my daydreaming was more of her around the age of 2) as we walked hand-in-hand having dark hair and cute bangs like her momma and wearing a casual but super trendy baby Gap outfit semi-coordinated with what I’m wearing (no, I was not envisioning matching outfits although leggings and jean jackets would be pretty cute!!!). We’d be laughing and maybe eating ice cream and the sky would be a perfect blue with birds chirping and maybe we’d even start to skip! Yes, completely silly but when I daydream it’s always very unrealistic (or never how it really ends up happening!).
So after 27 dreadful hours of labor and the doctor said to my husband and I “it’s a girl”, I was beyond thrilled. I had this feeling towards the end of my pregnancy it was a ‘she’ but the confirmation just put me over the moon…AND, she had a ton of dark hair (now we’re kind of just working with a fro-hawk and some patches of hair!). My dream had come true…Emma Grace was here!
I’m told by all she looks just like her daddy and I agree, she definitely doesn’t have my face except maybe her big eyes and her lips, but her eye color, nose and slightly larger head is all her dad! However her personality? Oh man, is she ever a mini me! Her fake yawn (something I was told by my mom and sister I would do when I don”t want to talk about something! Ironically my husband actually does it too so this one doesn’t really count) that she does when she’s bored with someone talking to her, her hilarious faces, her kicking soccer star legs and already incredible leg strength (arms not so much, just like mom!), her overall happy demeanor and constant smiling, completely hyperactive (totally am!) and of course, her regimented schedule.
Ah yes, the schedule baby. I have created a not-a-minute-late-or-I-will-scream-because-I-know-my-schedule child. At first, I was very proud of this accomplishment. She eats, plays for a bit then takes a nap and that continues throughout the day (some naps longer than others, some skipped) until the evening when she has her night time bath then feed and bed for 12 hours. Yes, my child sleeps for 12 hours (but that does NOT mean I do!). She is definitely a mover when she sleeps and since her bassinet is right next to me, when she’s moving a ton and making noise, I am up (my husband says she sleeps like me!). So from her first feeding in the morning she will continue to eat every three hours until bed. However, after her bath and pajamas, she knows it’s time to eat. She could have just ate at 5:30PM and it’s now 7:30PM but she will scream for her bottle as if she hasn’t eaten all day. She’s not that hungry, SHE’S ON A SCHEDULE!
So, did I create a monster? Did I curse myself because I, myself, am a crazy scheduled individual? I’m not sure. I worry as I think most parents do that our children will inherit the bad habits we have which is why we try to ensure they won’t make the mistakes we did that can result in some ‘tough love’ and being ‘overly involved’ (I feel this personally is better than uninvolved). Yet, no matter how controlling we try to be, their lives will take their courses because ultimately it’s not up to us, it’s up to Him. Yet I can’t help but wonder, will she be a mini me? Do I really want a mini me? We all have our flaws and I’m the first to admit I have my share of issues, but having another me around…hmm…I think my husband would politely say ‘One is enough.’ I, without a doubt, want her to be a happy child. My mom said I was always happy, smiling and laughing. I wish that for her. She is that way now so I hope it continues! She’s kind of a pistol when she wants things and my mom said I wasn’t as much of a handful so I guess I have no choice there! But I think when it comes down to it, I don’t want a mini me. While I had imagined a little pint size version of me carrying her baby Coach purse and following me around, I don’t think….who am I kidding I TOTALLY WANT THAT!
Juuust kidding! In the end, I want her to be Emma. I want my husband and I to raise her in our Catholic family and instill the Catholic values that will help shape who she becomes. I want to be the best parent I can be which isn’t turning her into me. It’s allowing her to be who she is and one day making her own decisions. It’s allowing her to grow into her own and being there to help guide her, but not control her. She will always have traits of me and my husband because we’re her parents, but she is never going to be exactly like one of us. So as she continues on her schedule and continues to be happy on it (despite the moments of crying before a bottle), I will never complain. Children are a blessing and although at times she drives me nuts and I want to pull my hair out some days, I just think about that first moment I saw her…all the love that rushed over me and how from that day forward, I would never again be the same. I got my baby girl and for now, that’s all I need.