where do our babies go?

She started out like this.

As my doula pointed out, she joined us peacefully and without hesitation. I will never forget the power behind her birth, nor the intensity of the pain, nor the completeness and immediacy of my love for her. The doctor handed her over and I thought, “this is her? This is the tiny person we’ve been waiting for all these months? Of course it is. This is her. This is my baby. Now how do I feed her?” Even though I’d been up since 4:30 am (when my water broke), and I’d completed the marathon that is giving birth, I didn’t sleep again until a day or two later. I couldn’t. Especially not the first night. All I could do was watch her, and nurse her, and kiss her.

Two years later, she looks like this. She is busy and curious and full of life.

image via colleendishy.smugmug.com

She doesn’t fit into my arms quite so comfortably any more. But she still fits.

image via colleendishy.smugmug.com

How do they get so big so fast? Where do our babies go?

Are they still in there somewhere? Are there little, squishy and helpless beings contained in those busy, wily toddlers? What about the adults, so complex and damaged and wise? What happens to our infant self? Is she gone forever or do we carry her with us every where we go, into every thing we embark upon?

I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that there is an innocent, tiny babe deep within each of us, living only off of our mother’s unwavering love.


  1. Sniff…and a huge sigh…
    They do grow so fast. I never believed it when people would tell me that.
    They were so right.
    She’s adorable.
    No matter how old she gets, she will ALWAYS be your baby.


    1. Someone told me that when little boys get married, they are no longer their mothers’ babies (hopefully), but that little girls will always be their mothers’ babies. I feel this is at least true for my husband and I.


    2. But then again…it could be opposite. I think a lot of mothers of boys might argue that they are even tighter with their grown boys than their daughters, and maybe this relationship does not always interfere with their son’s marriage, if it is done right, with enough respect for the daughter in law. Who knows. Your baby will also always be your baby, boy or girl…


    3. Can you tell I am clueless? Only speculating 🙂 We’re just lucky to have babies NOW. I think when mine hits 3 or 4, I’ll want another.


  2. ok, this made me tear up! whenever i look through baby pictures of parker it’s like i don’t even know that little one! it’s like missing a little person who isn’t here anymore but loving the little toddler that replaced them so so so so much 🙂


    1. And isn’t it crazy how we have been with them every day of their young lives, and they changed right before our eyes…yet we barely know the babies they once were. The change is somehow gradual and sudden at the same time.


    1. You will survive!! I was so out of it at her birthday party…I always think the parties will be fun for me, and then I vow to stress less the next year. Here’s to a relaxing birthday for you 😉 It’s our day too!


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