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I often think about how tiny each and every one of your features was, especially after being told you’d be on the “larger side.” That really made us laugh in the operating room. All of your clothes too big, me afraid your car seat lacked the support for your little head, and how you were practically enveloped by your boppy pillow during each feed.

You look so big to us now. A mixture of tears and happiness rush in each time I fold your once baggy clothes and place them in storage bins. With each piece, I wonder if another baby will wear that same fabric or if it will be made into a blanket square, each section tugging at the heartstrings as we think of all of our memories with you.

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You certainly fill your car seat, your head and neck strong, and your legs dangle over the boppy pillow. I don’t even know how that’s possibleit all happened (and is happening) so fast.

I’d have to hold you just right to be sure a proper latch. Feedings felt (and were) constantmy anxiety through the roof as I worried and worried about if you were getting enough milk.

The whole experience is different now, and I have so many emotions about it.

I will never regret the hours we spent together during feeds. You alternating between sleep and nursing, and me just staring down at you, in awe over how perfect you were. You’ve really taught me to slow down, and that’s something I’ll forever be thankful for. The leaps and spurts were some of our hardest nights, but they were still nights we spent togetheryou and me.

It hasn’t gotten easier, the whole nursing thing, but the guessing aspect of it has now vanished. I can’t help but smile each time you crawl toward me, say “ma ma ma ma ma” over and over again, or squeeze your hand into a fist to sign for milk when you’re ready. I can somewhat relax knowing you have ways to communicate what you need, but I sure do miss the moments of you snuggling still at times. You are just so cute. 

You’re not just growing out of your clothes, you’re growing and developing as your own person, and it’s really cool to see.

Our once 6-pounder whose sounds were rare and movements rigid is now what we like to refer to as “all over the place.” Each day you show us a little more of who “Nina” is. To say you light up our worlds is an understatement.

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No matter how quickly time robs us, you will always be our little girl, our light, the reason we put our best foot forward each and every day.

You’ve shown me to appreciate the little things, to be present, and to be thankful for all of the moments, whether good or bad. And for that, I promise to always be there for you to remind you of these things. When you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel or when a bad day makes you feel like it won’t ever get better, I’ll be there to shine the brightness for you as you have for me.

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Sarah Gerhardt

I’m a new mom of one, navigating working from home while also being present for my dear daughter, Nina Louise. I am very passionate about gentle parenting, work-life balance, and baby introduction to solids. You can follow me on Instagram at sarahbousger where I post our experiences with baby-led weaning and fun meals we make together as a family. 

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