We interrupt the reminiscing for a moment to bring things full circle: Liz, Tammie, and Christina are having babies. Soon, especially Tammie, for whom we are praying everything goes well and her little one arrives safely.
Having a baby brings out the best and worst in other people. As the mom to four, I've heard all kinds of craziness: A little bourbon on the gums helps ease teething pain (and you should put some on the baby, too), picking up the baby will spoil her, you can't breastfeed if you have small boobs, just open up the door and let them out like the dogs and tell them to be home for dinner, never mind that lake at the bottom of the hill. Road trip? Give them a bunch of benadryl before you leave so they will sleep the whole way. Rest when the baby naps, never mind those other toddlers in the house, can't they take care of themselves? And these were just from family members.
You'll get all kinds of assvice coming your way (as I'm sure you already have), but I'm only going to offer this one bit of advice:
Mom's instincts trump all. Never mind what everyone thinks, says, or does with their kids, whether they have one or seventeen. You'll know in your gut what makes the most sense for you, your baby, and your family. Bottle, breast; co-sleep, crib; circumcise, or not; it doesn't matter what decision you make, you all already have the most important ingredient: love.
And it truly does go by in a flash. Last week I was bringing my brand new baby home, petrified that they left me alone with this person and I didn't have a clue what I was doing. This week, that baby is a first grader, and her brother is getting ready to start kindergarten, and our second girl is wreaking the havoc that three year olds wreak, and a new baby is scooting along the floor, finding his way, and I still don't have a clue what I'm doing.
But I love them, and I'm doing alright.
May all three of you have quick labors, healthy babies, and the grace to love in the moment, even when the moment is a poop painting at naptime (a little nip of that bourbon helps at these times).
Check out the virtual baby shower for all kinds of fun.