Questions greet the arrival of a baby

?What are you doing, Mommy?? ?What do you see, Mommy?? ?What?s that, Mommy?? Life with my toddler, Gracelyn, brings about all sorts of inquisition?all day, every day.

But life with our newest addition, a 1-month-old daughter named Jemma, brings about another line of questioning?resulting in multiple, individual conversations that follow a very similar pattern.

First, the obligatory congratulations, followed by, ?And how are you doing?? ?Fine,? I reply. At least for the most part. I don?t feel like I?m walking around in as much fog as I did with my first, so if that?s any measurement, the second has been a little easier.

Sleep deprivation is still an issue, but I?m more practiced at dealing with it this time around. If you recall, my first wasn?t much of a sleeper, so I?ve had some experience.

Next, people tend to ask how big Jemma was when she was born. That?s an easy one?6 pounds, 14 ounces, and 19.25 inches long. But I can only guess at what she weighs now. She?s already popping the snaps on her newborn clothes and her cheeks are nice and plump.

And, ?Who does she look like?? Neither of our girls looks exactly like my husband or me. But they look very similar to each other. At least when comparing newborn photos. Jemma has a few pounds on Gracelyn at the same age, though.

Only time will tell if they continue to look like each other. And, only time will tell whether Jemma will keep her dark hair, or if she?ll turn blonde like her big sister.

?Was she born on time?? people ask. Actually, Jemma was born six days early. After discovering my belly was measuring four centimeters small for 39 weeks, my doctor scheduled an induction for the next day. It was quite a surprise, but worth it when I held my newborn daughter.

Some want to know how labor went. It was smooth and uneventful. At least during labor. A mere 45 minutes after Jemma?s birth, Newton went under tornado warning No. 1. And 30 minutes later, all patients were moved to the hallways in light of tornado warning No. 2.

Considering my legs were still numb, the nurses unplugged my bed and wheeled me into the safe zone. Among the refugees were an assortment of nurses, another woman on bedrest, three newborns, three sets of new parents, my mom, mother-in-law and Gracelyn.

Gracelyn lightened the moment with her exuberant singing. She has yet to find her ?church? voice, but the others didn?t seem to mind.

And then, questions are directed toward Gracelyn to wrap up our conversation. ?Do you like your little sister?? they ask. That?s always a scary question. So far, she says yes.

Gracelyn is handling the transition well, considering her whole world has been turned upside down. Her favorite thing to do is tell onlookers how tiny Jemma is. She also speaks in a high-pitched, tiny voice to add a little cuteness to her observations.

People also ask Gracelyn, ?How are you?? ?I?m 2,? she replies. ?Like this,? holding up two fingers. Really, she is doing well right now. She had a blood transfusion when Jemma was 3 days old. The transfusion raised Gracelyn?s hemoglobin to a normal level for the first time since we started testing. More than likely, it won?t stay that way, but for now, we?re relishing in the lack of doctor?s appointments.

And after the inquisition is over, and adult conversation has ceased, I return to answering, ?What are you doing, Mommy?? ?What do you see, Mommy?? ?What?s that, Mommy??

Ahh. The questions of life.