Corner view is a weekly Wednesday gathering, originally hosted by Jane, now by Francesca. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it photographic or writerly in form, from around the world. Come see the world’s corner view via the links on the sidebar!
“Do you think the Quail understands that you’re having another baby?” The teacher asks doubtfully as she eyes my obviously pregnant belly on my way into pick up the girls after work. She isn’t the first to wonder this and even though we haven’t hidden the coming household changes from her I had to wonder myself what the Quail would think about no longer being the baby of the household. Pondering about these familial shifts while being oh-so hormonally pregnant had never gone well for me. I distinctly remember crying to my own mother over the phone when I was newly pregnant with the Quail over Zuzu’s impending fall from grace- her change from the one and only to the elder. From being the center of all our attention to now being part of a set. Now the Quail would shift her role as our fawned over baby to the middle child. Now we would meet a new little person who while, so very similar to ourselves and our girls would in equal parts be her own little individual self. Her future self unknown to us. The discussion of this upcoming baby was a daily event. Plans were made for what we would call her, where she would sleep, what she would eat, what toys the girls felt willing to share, where she would go to school. Zuzu talked endlessly about her coming baby sister while the Quail listened on to these discussions, unable to actually put words to her own thoughts on the matter. The Quail, she learned quickly to sign and say baby, to pat my belly along with her sister, to whimper and bear witness to her Momma’s morning sickness as it morphed once again into all-day sickness. And then one day, a mere week from my impending induction it occurred to me that more important than the upcoming introduction to this little one was the notice that Momma & Daddy would be gone for a couple of days while Gramma took over. As far as the Quail new, the talk of Gramma’s visit meant an extra person to pour the kefir and read Chicka-Chicka Boom, Boom; not two less.
As we sat on the bathroom floor in the evening light, brushing her teeth I started to say the words that I dreaded, that in a little less than a week, Momma & Daddy would be going to the hospital to get this baby out and bring her home to keep. How Gramma would be staying here with her and her sister just like she did when we went to the hospital to bring her home and again when she had surgery on her belly. The Quail, as I talked, her bottom lip took its signature position pushed out from the top as her eyes welled up and she reached her arms around my neck tight. Then just as quickly she leaned back, patted my belly and signed baby. Finished with our discussion she hurried around me to her room pulling her duck-duck lovies behind her, ready to sleep.
The next week we finished our Easter Bunny cake decorating and went to the living room to start Barney. As we loaded our bags into the car Gramma sat with one girl on each side. Assuring us that all would be fine.
Later that night in the hospital room I laid on my side feeling Sugarplum, kick, kick, kick her way around my belly as the monitors recorded her sweet heart and my contracting middle. I wiped away a tear knowing that this letting go and growing was just part of life. Our life, as a family. That these moments of tears would wipe clean the space where another heart was to live. That our family would be complete with the arrival of dear Sugarplum, at last, but not least.