8 months of love, laughter, tears and incredible joy

Dear Millie,

Each month I promise myself I’ll write this note to you on time, and each month it pushes into the next month. Your birthday is the 21st, so you are 8 months and 11 days, which means I am again creeping closer to your 9th month than 8th. But, alas, the past week has been probably the hardest week of my life, which is why this note is late to you. It’s hard for me to even think about everything that happened during month eight because the last week took over every part of me. So we’ll start there, and then there’s far better and more fun news to share from that!

Last week started with an MRI with sedation for you. The previous week, one of your blood tests showed a tumor marker level that the doctors did not like to see rising. That meant an MRI was scheduled very quickly, and while I keep thinking I’m handling everything well, it broke me a little. I was scared. The kind of scared that consumed me no matter how hard I tried to push it out. The worst part was you having to be sedated and watching your little body on the big hospital bed being wheeled down to the MRI department. But you, my darling, handled it so well—like you always have. Every time I start to feel down, you give me strength. And most importantly, the MRI results came back clear! That call was probably the most relieved I’ve ever felt in my life.

And while I keep feeling like I handle everything so well, clearly I’m internalizing what’s going on. I wound up with the worst case of mastitis (Have any of you had it? This is my 6th time with Millie—clearly stress doesn’t bode well!) that landed me in the hospital not once, but twice. The pain was excruciating, the fever was insane, and all I could do was cry to the doctors, telling them I had to be okay so I could take care of you. I felt helpless and, honestly, a bit bad for myself because, on top of it, this all happened at the worst time. Your appointments in Cincinnati that we’ve been anxiously waiting on for two months had to be canceled and rescheduled. I cried about that too, obviously. I am making peace with the fact that it is what it is, but it doesn’t change how upset I am over it. It feels unfair, because it’s one thing if it just impacted me, but I felt like I was letting you down, and that’s the worst feeling in the world for me. But you have great doctors in Florida working with us, and we will get back in to Cincinnati before I know it.

Let’s move on, because so much else happened, and while last week wound up being so hard, there was so much good, too! You changed SO much this past month. Sometimes I look at you and realize you are no longer that baby that I wasn’t always quite sure what to do with. You are hitting milestones daily, and I can’t tell you how lucky I feel that I get to be here to see them all. I’ve always wanted to be a mom and be as hands-on as possible, and this job allows me to do so. I try to savor every single moment of every day with you, because something changes in the blink of an eye. A few weeks ago, you casually pulled yourself up on your toy and looked over at me like, “Yeah, I’m standing up holding on by myself, so what?!’

You are still so easygoing—happy to go out and about and make friends wherever you go. However, you don’t like men with beards, and tend to cry when they talk to you, but otherwise there is no stranger danger. You make people work for smiles, and your smile winds up as a mischievous smirk more times than not. You’re sitting in high chairs at restaurants, and while I try to keep you to a bit of a sleep schedule, you easily will stay up past your bed time so we can have dinner with friends and family and not have it be the early bird special every time. You happily play in your chair and babble to people who talk to you—as long as they don’t have a beard…no beards.

Your dada and I met as competitive swimmers in college, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to me that you love the water. You love baths, you love the pool, you love splashing. You have no problem with water in your face and you dunk your own face in the water, which I don’t even like doing! I’m going to start swim lessons for you soon since we live in Florida and are surrounded by water, but I don’t think you’ll protest much.

While you are little miss easy-going, you’re also little miss high-maintenance. But should I be surprised? We took you to Miami Beach for a weekend and you loved it, as much as a baby can. You like checking out everything around you and are incredibly aware of your surroundings, so much so that when we’re somewhere new, you don’t feel comfortable sleeping there. It’s like the minute I put you in that crib in the hotel room, even though you were fast asleep, you sensed you were somewhere different and sprang awake with a loud cry. It’s funny because the things that I would have thought would send me over the edge don’t at all. I just held you and told you “mama’s here” until you settled back in to sleep.

Millie, it’s hard to believe you’ve been here for 8 months! Sometimes the time feels as if it’s going so slow, but often I feel like it’s going so fast. I do the best that I can trying to live in the moment, not get ahead of myself and not overthink anything in the past, either. You continue to amaze me, and I suppose all babies do that to their parents. The love I have for you grows every single day, and just when I think I’ve reached the ultimate level of love for you, more of me opens up. I constantly tell your dada how lucky I feel that you are mine, and I will do anything to give you the best this life has to offer. Mama loves you, and I’m hoping month nine brings us some closure with your medical issues so we can move on to the next chapter!

Love,

Mama

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