The baby's umbilical stump is mocking me. I know it's only supposed to hang out for 1-2 weeks but we are already at the ten day mark and it's still there. Everyone says how great it looks. It will surely fall off anytime now. And yet, there it still sits. Preventing me from using all the cute onesie/pants combos that are washed and hanging, waiting uselessly in the closet and the drawers. Keeping me from rolling out the tummy play mat to help my daughter work on her head and neck muscles as well as getting those air bubbles out of her tummy.
But you know the weird thing about the stump? I almost don't want her to lose it. Because she's that much bigger the day it falls off than she was the day before that. I am tired. I have been up every night for at least a couple of hours and sometimes for more than half the night. I get frustrated and cranky but I am in no hurry for the sleepless nights to be over. Because the day they are - she is that much older and grown that much more.
You see, I am pretty sure she is our last baby. We have a girl and a boy. What more could you ask for? Not to mention that being pregnant is kind of hard. Delivery and recuperation is even harder. Having a child who is sleeping through the night, able to do all sorts of cool activities, and becoming a fully functioning little kid and then having to hit the "reset button" to go back to the start with a new little one is one of the toughest parts. I am glad to have the opportunity to have all of these experiences a second time around but not sure I could swing it for a third or fourth time. Not physically, not financially, and probably not emotionally.
So, that means this is our last umbilical stump. Our last time to wake in the night and nurse and snuggle. My last time to see a baby roll over for the first time or catch her first smile or hear her first laugh. Every single moment feels meaningful and important and something to be savored rather than pushed past or wished away. So, Mr. Stump, you can stay for as long as you need to.