But I miss feeling the little flutters and kicks inside of me. I miss the big belly and the glow and the miracle of it all. I miss my midwives and my birth center group and the check-ups. I miss hearing her heartbeat while she was floating safely inside of me. I miss the excitement and the planning and the nesting and the weekly fruit-size comparisons in my inbox.
I miss those first few days when Emily was a newborn and we would lay in bed together all day long. I miss those tiny newborn outfits and that cuddly baby all swaddled in blankets and nestled in my arms. I miss the 45 minute feedings and wish sometimes that Emily would nurse for more than 10 minutes so that I could hold her just a little bit longer.
I miss the meals that were brought to us. I miss Denny being home with Emily and I for those first few days. I miss how helpful he was with changing diapers back then. I miss it all.
I was sitting in Emily's closet last night with all of those thoughts running through my head. I was putting away her summer clothes - something that I have been dreading and putting off for weeks - and my mind totally got lost in the sadness of it all. She will never wear those clothes again. By next summer, she will not be my baby anymore. She will be my toddler. She might not be nursing then. She will be eating big girl food and she will be walking and talking.
And if I never have another baby girl, I will never get to dress another baby in those clothes.
But for right now, Emily is my baby girl. My teething baby girl who will not sleep in her crib but will only sleep in between Mommy and Daddy. She's my shadow who follows me everywhere I go (even into the shower).
And that's ok. I can sleep when she's a teenager. And I can change her clothes if they get wet. Because one day, she will be a teenager, and I won't be able to hold her or sleep with her or take baths with her anymore.