When you first find out that you are pregnant, everyone wants to know what gender you would prefer. First and foremost, we want healthy. I didn't really have a preference... but, a little bit I wanted another boy. For me, it was pragmatic. I have all boy things - 3 years worth of clothes and toys. 3 years worth of experience raising a little boy. I really didn't know how to have a girl. My Mom thought that was the most ridiculous thing she has ever heard. I have 3 sisters... and to point out the obvious, I am a girl. So, she was a bit confused. She would always say,
"a mom needs a little girl of her own."
I had names picked out for both the girls and boys. My girl names where far from girly - I wanted something that sounded tough and confident, or could be shortened into a 'boy-ish' name. Montgomery was my first choice, and I would call her Monty... needless to say, there was a lot of turned-up noses. I really had no reason to feel that way except it was just the world I was use to. The day came and we found out that we were having a girl, and I was excited. I stuck with my gender neutral names. I started buying clothes and picking out bedding. I even picked out less girl-y bed clothes, and let John make the final pick - he selected bright and pink, and I was fine with that too.
Finally, my due date arrived - it felt like I was pregnant for a lifetime. I wanted to be induced, just as I was with Brayden. I get huge, and I wanted nothing more then to be done being pregnant. It went very smooth, with the exception of some issues with my epidural not working during all of the contraction, but when it came time to push, it was smooth sailing. And then, at 4:34 pm, she entered the world - all 7 pounds 6 ounces of her - of pure perfection.
I instantly cried. I i knew that she was my perfect angel - my precious little girl. And, in that second I knew she didn't need to be toughened by some strong gender neutral name - Miranda Ann, soft and perfect. Our little girl. And from that moment, I was transformed. It amazing how we can meet the needs of total opposite human beings, Brayden the 4 year old boy of dinosaur land and Miranda the pretty in pink baby girl. I bought lace leggings, and ruffled butt everything, hair bows and barrettes.
The biggest change, was the shift in my concern for Brayden. I was mildly horrified about what this new baby would do to him. How would he respond to sharing his mom? How would he handle her crying? How would he learn to be patient with his needs? How would he learn about having to lower his voice during nap time? I focused so much I what he would be loosing, I really passed up the experiences from my own life - the additional love, joy, and comfort from having siblings. And Brayden, he is the best big brother - ever. Seriously.
And as Miranda has grown, they have become the centers of each other. The joy in their eyes when they are together, brings me so much happiness. The bond is indescribable, it can't be measured, only felt.
What I didn't anticipate was the pain of separation, how they would adjust to not being together. Brayden leaves every other weekend, and goes on extended trips with his Dad. I know it is hard on both of them, and it hurts me to see them miss each other so much. We make due with Facetime :)
My experience from Miranda was a lot different from Brayden as newborns - Brayden was really needy, and really fussy... colic? I didn't know. Miranda, she was an angel. She had some bouts of colic, but it was timed, so we were prepared, and we worked in shifts. Miranda is sweet and observant and just really really happy. As she is rounded the ripe age of 1, her frustrations to communicate and determination to have what she wants is really starting to shine through. And, although there are days when it is frustrating, I actually enjoy seeing her stubborn side - she wants what she wants, and that may be the one trait that she gets from her mom ;) The most interesting difference that I see between her and Bradyen, is that Brayden loves all things 'boy' and Miranda loves everything girly. She loves her baby dolls. No. I mean really loves them - she holds them and kisses them... and wants them near all the time. She loves her play purse, we have a morning routine where she plays in my make-up while I get ready. She wears my necklaces - for hours. She gets mad if you try to take them off. She is girl through and through, and I love every second.
And here we are, nearly a year later and she has outgrown many rounds of clothes. She will be walking any day. She loves all of her family and she has filled our home with a different type of air - full of giggles and pretty things. When I rock her, I can hard believe how much she has grown. And, how I never knew how much I needed this little girl.