A year ago at this very hour we were settling in for the night with Fiona. We were about to find out just how different she was than her brother ... she actually slept through the night for the first four months of her life. And then all hell broke loose when we removed the princess from her throne (the car seat she had become accustomed to sleeping in). I spent the next five months up every two to five hours every night with a voracious nurser who was trying to suck enough calories from me to fuel her rapid physical development. Hmmm ... that wasn't a very meaningful sentiment, was it? Let's try that again ...
A year ago at this very hour (around 10 p.m.) we were settling down for the night at home as a family of four for the first time. Just 24 hours prior, I was in labor, about to deliver our child in our own home in a birth pool - a long-held dream of mine. I had just taken an herbal sleep aide, gone upstairs to my own bedroom to tuck my childhood security blanket under my chin and a warm rice sock around my back and take a rest. A few hours later, the midwives arrived with bags of gear that landed with a reassuring thud on our bedroom floor. The sounds of the pool filling up, the midwives whispering in the hallway, the ocean waves from my sound machine filling the bedroom, my classical piano music that I'd listened to during Danny's labor all created a relaxing atmosphere. Fiona was born in the most peaceful manner I could imagine. She emerged from the water silently, breathing easily and taking in her surroundings before uttering a sound. I had pushed for a mere seven minutes and she gently made her way into the world after a short, intense yet not terribly difficult labor.
In hindsight, her manner of arrival and first moments were a hint of her personality - mellow, yet fierce; observant, yet eager to participate; physically strong, yet not aggressive. For the first few weeks of her life, she was silent, rarely crying, always watching. She was three days old when my best friend stopped by with her two children. Fiona stayed wide awake in her swing silently watching the kids for 45 minutes. My mother called her the cloud of silence.
And then Fiona woke up. Jim noted early on that he could already tell she would want to do and get into everything. He was right. She consistently tracked two months ahead developmentally. We joke that since she arrived two weeks late, it's as if she came out a little older. She sat up at 4.5 months, crawled a week before she turned 6 months, could stand on her own by 8 months and started walking a day shy of 10 months. Now she totters around the house about as fast as Danny did at 15 months. She doesn't like to be left out and howls whenever she sees me giving Danny food or when Danny is doing crafts at a table she can't reach.
We celebrated her birthday this snowy weekend with a meal of her favorite foods ... ham, mac and cheese, green beans and cookies. Oh, yes, she knows about cookies. She even comprehends the pig Latin word for cookies (so our child is bilingual at age one!). After dinner, she gets a fig newton just like her brother and her Daddy. In fact, when she's finished with her meal, she stares down daddy. We call it the cookie stare - she glances at him, then at the shelf where the cookies are. The other day Jim found her climbing the pantry shelves. And she had her first bit of cake tonight. She ate it like such a little lady, didn't get a speck of it on her clothes.
Here are some photos from our weekend:
|Fiona's First Birthday|