This is Olivia Katherine Grace. Born May 30th at 9:30 am, weighing in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 inches long. She has the cutest face that begs to be kissed a million times a day, and the most delicious little feet. She likes nursing, a lot, and snuggling on Daddy’s chest. She doesn’t like her crib, and she isn’t sure yet what she thinks of her brother, who keeps trying to feed her playdough.
She started out as Olivia Grace, the name her Daddy picked. Mommy wanted Katherine, had always wanted a Katherine, and had agreed to Olivia with the understanding that the next daughter would be Katie. And then by the time we went to name her, to fill out the paperwork, we knew there would not be any more daughters. We knew by then we were holding the only little girl we were going to have, and that if I wanted a Katherine, she was it.
So we gave her two middle names. We kept Grace because it was grace and grace alone that Olivia and I were okay. Had I gone into labor at home, like the doctor kept expecting and saying I was going to and not understanding why I hadn’t, there would not be an Olivia and a Mommy. Instead, I went into labor just hours before my scheduled c-section, and was already at the hospital waiting to be prepped for surgery when the contractions ripped my uterus apart.
And Olivia Katherine Grace was able to be born within minutes, and all was well.
Someday, I expect to look at a baby, or hear a pregnancy announcement, and wish for those ghost children I will never have. The ones I had planned on, hoped for, dreamt of–the ones that will never be. Right now, I’m too busy kissing tiny feet and dancing in the kitchen with my son. We are too busy enjoying each other and being thankful for what is, instead of dwelling on what can’t be.
But sometimes, I think about never feeling another child flutter inside. I think about never breathing in another newborn baby smell, or choosing a name, or finding out the gender. I hate pregnancy, but I love the babies, and sometimes I think about never having another one. I think that no matter how many children a woman has, or how old she is, when that realization finally comes that there are no more babies, there is always a moment of sadness.
Yet I have Joshua, and I have Olivia, and I believe–wholeheartedly–that they are my greatest gifts, and it is enough.