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    “Baby” O.

    August 23, 2010 by Brandy Vencel

    Instead of putting the finishing touches on school plans yesterday, I threw a little birthday party at Great Gran’s house for Baby O. (Might I call him “Baby” just this one last time? He’ll always be my baby.) Usually, I do these things at home, but what use is an August birthday if you don’t have a pool party?

    And so we swam.

    But before I go on, I must confess that I cannot seem to celebrate this child’s birthday without thinking about his birth. I really am not the sort of woman who does this. For the most part, my nostalgia over the birthdays revolves around contemplating the past year and how much my child has grown. But this child, well, I suppose I won’t ever forget waiting three horrible minutes for him to start breathing, followed all too shortly by the revelation that we couldn’t have more children.

    Um. Can’t we make sure my child is really alive first, before throwing my fertility into the trashbin of history?

    I’m just saying.


    Anyhow, Baby O. turned out to be quite the fighter, and so the past two years have flown by happily.

    It’s a little ironic to me to think about my first view of him, his limp little purple arms and legs hanging down lifelessly, because he has more life in him than my other three children combined. If I can think of one word to describe this child, it is vibrant.

    Which, naturally, made the pool party extra fun. My other babies cried, whined, and complained about pools until they were three. They didn’t like the cold, nor the wet. They didn’t put much stock in swimming. I watched my cousin’s little ones floating around happily, while I grudgingly tugged around a toddler in a floaty, trying to make the crying stop.

    And then there is O.

    O., who has no use for my “help” in the pool. Donning a life vest and arm floaties (because the vest doesn’t quite keep him above the water line), he swims and kicks all over the pool, and if I try to sneak up on him to make sure he’s okay, he screams and swims away as fast as he can. He swam until well past his naptime yesterday, which meant that when he finally did get a nap, it was a good one.

    I love this little guy.

    So here we are. O. is two, and beginning to make his way in the world a little bit. It is still hard for me to believe that my little 4-pound baby has grown so fast–and so strong–so soon.

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  • Reply Mystie August 24, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I’ve had those same doubts, and I also fear a social-worker examination.

    Knox will be 6 months in 2 days. I feel like I blinked and missed my newborn and the spring & summer. This guy was born 2 months old, practically, and has always seemed older than he is.

  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts August 23, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Monica, SEVEN? Wow. I know it’ll fly by, but I still have only had one seven-year-old, so it seems so distant. I am so glad your story turned out okay, too!

    Mystie, I secretly hold out for the baby-on-the-doorstep. But then I doubt my ability to be an adoptive mom. I worry–would I love someone else’s child as much as my own? But I suppose if the Lord put a baby on my stoop, well, then I’d know His will. πŸ™‚

    I can’t believe Knox is crawling already. How many months is he? A. crawled at 4 months and I thought I was going to die and that she’d walk at 6, but thankfully, she crawled until 10 months. Apparently all she really wanted was the ability to be with her big brother. Crawling was enough. Isn’t that amazing, though? I thought he was supposed to be a floppy little newborn still!

  • Reply Mystie August 23, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Isn’t it amazing to watch them grow up into their own little people? I feel that way every day it seems with my 2 1/2 year old. It is a fun age.

    You never know what God might do. You can always hold out hope that a little baby will show up on your doorstep. Doesn’t that happen sometimes? πŸ™‚ Right now I’m thinking a baby without pregnancy and birth might be right up my alley — oh, and I’d like one that also sleeps through the night already, too, if you please. πŸ™‚

    My fourth baby is already crawling! He also seems “brighter” (in a sparkly way, but also developmentally) than my others. Perhaps it’s the extra stimulation he gets. πŸ™‚ None of mine moved until 10 months, and now he can already sit up , get himself to sitting, and move deliberately anywhere he wants to. I tell him, “Boy, if you’re going to be like this, you need to let me sleep so I can keep up with you!” πŸ™‚

  • Reply Monica August 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Hi Brandy,
    Just wanted to let you know that I understand how you feel about Baby O. My “baby” M turned 7 in June and JUST CANNOT BELIEVE THAT! He was my little 2 lb preemie that I almost lost and now he is, as you put it, “VIBRANT”! He has more energy than my other two put together and multiplied 10 times!!
    I was also told he was to be my last (as they stitched me up!). Go ahead and double my grief, thank you very much!!!
    Well, just wanted to share. Your blog is such a blessing to me!!

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