On the evening of Nov. 3, 2014, I was having some pretty strong contractions. They were still 10 to 15 minutes apart, inconsistently, and your dad and I had quick chat about strategy.
“I can go for a walk and eat something spicy and really get this rolling and we’ll head to the hospital tonight,” I offered. “Or… I can drink some water, put my feet up, and we can both try to get a good night’s rest first.”
We decided on the latter.
I woke up after 10 glorious uninterrupted hours of sleep (something that hadn’t happened in months) and rolled out of bed to get your siblings ready for the day. Immediately, the contractions began again — this time more intense, and closer together. Your grandmother, dad and I made breakfast for the other kids, getting everyone dressed and ready for what would end up being a pretty big day. The adults kept to themselves what they already knew – that day, Nov. 4, was going to be your birthday.
Your dad took your oldest three siblings to school, and stopped to vote on the way home (you were born on election day that year). I had already voted early, just in case, so I sat with your 2.5.-year-old sister Erinn for a few moments, cuddling her close, telling her that today she was going to spend some time with grandma and that mom and dad would be home later. I held her tight, knowing that the next time I saw her, I would have you too.
When your dad got home, he loaded up my purple rolling suitcase and we headed for the hospital. I was in pain by then but at peace. I knew we had a little time.
We checked into the hospital around 10 a.m. You were born at 1:30 p.m. after a few hours of contractions and two pushes. Your dad remarked, “I guess I could go pick up the other kids from school in an hour.” He did – and got there early enough to run a mile first. Your delivery was just a blip in our day – one that was otherwise normal and routine.
The convenience of your delivery that date is indicative of how life has been since you arrived, Teagan. You just fit right in. You fit into our schedules. You are a character, like the rest of us. You go with the flow — whether we’re heading to a theater rehearsal or to sell ice pops at the older kids’ school on Fridays. Bringing you home required very little adjustment in our family. Life went on as normal, with this new, wonderful person to enjoy it beside.
One of my favorite memories from when you were a newborn is the day you and I basically camped out on the couch for 24 hours straight. It was about a week after your delivery and I was feeling fatigued. I pulled your bassinet next to the couch in the living room on a Saturday morning, and you and I spent the next 24 hours sleeping, nursing, watching DVR’d “NCIS” episodes, snuggling, and interacting with your siblings and dad (though they tried to let us be, mostly). I felt like I came out of a fog after that date and that even though you were still so small, I knew you.
As we celebrate four years with you today, I can’t help but feel a little sadness that this time has gone by so quickly. I’ve so enjoyed being a mom to you in these early years and have never wished that you would be even a second older. You’re growing up, just the same, and the child you are is one that delights me on a daily basis. You’re so different from me — but the perfect combination of a little bit of each of your siblings. In you, I see each of them clearly and so do they. You are SO loved.
As I say “goodbye” to age 3 for you, I am saying goodbye to this phase in our family’s life and in mine as a mom. No more potty training. No more “stop putting that in your mouth” (though I caught you eating a leaf yesterday so idk). No more calling your sister “Errrrrrnnnnn” and no more saying “attainer” (instead of “container”). Next year you’ll be in Pre-K and then you’ll start school the year after that. For 10+ years I’ve had a little one at home with me and while I’m ready for the next phase for myself and your dad, I’ll miss the years I had little ones by my side all day. Thank you for making those last few years of that life phase so enjoyable. You’re my assistant, my boss, my comedian and my straight-shooter. You tell it like it is, Teagan, and I’m sure you’ll continue to have plenty to say as you grow older.
Happy Birthday, Teagan Maureen Hope. You make life so wonderful.
Tags: 4th birthday