Growth is bittersweet

Over the last few days, I had to sort through Isla’s clothes to separate those that she can’t wear anymore and those that she can. I found shoes that fit her perfectly now and clothes that used to fall off her shoulders.

I was pleased that she finally grew into those clothes and shoes. My milk is enough to sustain her growth after all!

And then suddenly I found myself getting teary eyed when I realized that this girl who used to fit the length of my arm is now a 14-lb rolling baby.

When she gets fussy, I used to hold her with her head against my chest so she can hear my heart beating. It was the most comforting position for both of us. Now, I can’t hold her like that without tilting my head up. And even if I do that, her head will rest on my neck and not my chest.

I used to hold her in my arms for more than an hour, even with a healing C-section. Now, I feel my muscles straining when I’m rocking her to sleep for her afternoon nap.

When I suddenly feel an amount of sadness over the things that used to be, I look at her and she looks back with her tiny brown eyes. And then she gives me this huge gummy smile and extends her arms as if wanting a hug (which often leads to her arms hugging my neck). Instantly, the sadness is gone and replaced by overflowing feelings of joy and pride and gratitude.

This little baby is slowly growing into her own self. I’m still seesawing between feelings of joy and nostalgia, but this gummy and playful girl will always be that tiny baby I carried in my arms for the first time in that brightly-lit hospital room.

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