Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Safe but Sleepless

Your brother is here, safe and whole and alive. He's so beautiful, I find I can spend hours just watching the tiny flickers of expression that cross his face while he sleeps. It's overwhelming. He was born on October 29th, all 8 lbs 9 oz of him. It was a very difficult labor and birth, but I've been recovering very well--we even left the hospital a day early (which, after a cesarean, is pretty impressive I guess? People sure are shocked anyway).

Having him here is hard but joyous; the lack of sleep sometimes gets to one or the other of us (mostly around the time we're trading off naps). The hardest part for me though is that I obsessively check his breathing while he sleeps. I think more than is normal for a fretful new parent; I find myself leaping up to check him every few minutes when he's sleeping. The only time I can let down and sleep is when Daddy is awake with him. As long as someone is standing guard I can relax.

I am hoping I can learn to trust that he will really stay now that he's here...he's been perfectly healthy so there's no reason to worry so very much. It's me, I know; I know what it was like losing you, and I can't imagine how I'd survive if something happened to him too. The panic level overall has gone down now that I can check his breathing, at least there's that.

And, contrary to what people told me--although the sleep deprivation is very hard, it is actually NOT harder having him on the outside than on the inside. I feel healthier now (even though I suspect I might be catching a cold) than I did through the entire pregnancy. I think that's why the recovery seems so easy; yes, there's pain around the incision and I'm sore and exhausted, but I can take painkillers for that. I'm not nauseous, my entire body doesn't ache, and I can stand and walk without awful pain in my hips and back. And I can buy moment after moment free of fear for him by watching that little chest rise and fall.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I guess this is what normal looks like

I've been terribly neglectful towards you lately. And I really have no excuse; I got pulled off of work a month ago for rising blood pressure (which, magically, lowered when I was no longer stressed out and running around on my feet 8-9 hours a day). I'm on "modified bed rest" which just means staying off my feet as much as possible. It is terrifically boring at times, although it's nice to just rest when I'm tired (which is most of the time).

Your brother is going to be here within the next two weeks; the doctor is going to schedule an induction at our next appointment (tomorrow!) unless I spontaneously go into labor tonight. I doubt that. He doesn't really seem inclined to leave, although I have definitely reached a point where I want him out.

I'm increasingly terrified of the birth. Your actual birth was overall surprisingly easy. You were already gone, so pain relief for me was unlimited. They put the epidural in before they even started the induction, since there wasn't any particular rush to get you out, and I didn't need to dilate fully anyway since you were so tiny. There was a several-hour period where the epidural came out and I felt every horrible contraction, but I didn't have fear of that before it happened. I didn't have any real fear of the birth, because I expected no pain. And because the concept of pushing your tiny 1lb 7oz self out wasn't particularly daunting.

Your brother is over 7.5lbs and still growing. And I've been having off and on contractions for two weeks--they aren't that painful and they aren't getting closer together or a whole lot stronger (dammit) but whether I am induced or just go on my own, I will be feeling the contractions for the first half of the labor...and there's distinctly more terror in how big he is.

I don't like to tell people I'm afraid because a lot of people actually will laugh when you tell them that. Or tell you horror stories. And the flipside--saying how tired and sore and miserable I am still being pregnant (particularly since the terror that, now that we're actually so close, that something will happen to him), they laugh and tell you how much easier it is being pregnant than having a new baby.

So I just don't talk about much of any of it except to the small handful of people I trust not to laugh. I just can't bear that good-natured teasing right now.

Even though I'm terrified (more each day) of the labor, I really just want it to start so we can get on with things.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This sucks.

I miss you so much today.

I got diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes today, which doesn't surprise me. My pregnancy with your brother has been endlessly difficult; from Hyperemesis Gravidarum to early Braxton Hicks to the pain in my hips and back, not to even mention all the fear and pain and anxiety that he'd be with you instead of with us. That's still there actually.

I try so hard to be bright and cheery about it; a lot of the time I fool even myself. Maybe I'm not fooling myself; maybe most of the time I am that glowing, bright pregnant lady.

Today I just feel like I'm slumped. I want to be on the other end of this. I want to stop feeling nauseous, worried, fretful, aching, sore, tired...I don't want your brother to come early or anything, but I sure wouldn't be all that unhappy if I wasn't able to work anymore--at least then I'd be off my aching, miserable feet.

This is one of those days where I feel the unfairness of having to go through an entire second pregnancy. I should already be done with this. I should be holding you, soothing you while you're cutting teeth, seeing you laugh.

And I'm so scared, so almost paralyzingly afraid that we'll lose your brother even this late, both because I can't bear the thought of losing another son and because the thought of yet another pregnancy makes me feel beyond hopeless.

I wish I could hold you. I wish this was over so I could hold your brother.

I wish.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I just noticed that all of the bookmark buttons across the top of my internet window have shifted. For the past year, they've been an assortment of support sites, blogs and message boards. Now, there's a mix of news blogs and baby- and birth-related links.

I don't really know how I feel about you being farther and farther from me. We've scheduled our hospital tour, we're filling out birth plans, the maternity leave paperwork has been mailed, and no doubt within a month the bag will be packed. All things we never made it to with you.

Should I be sad? Glad? Grateful? Mostly I'm just bewildered.

And tired.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Altered Perceptions

I found this Google ad, and it's so cute and sweet it made me tear up the whole time. Happy tears. But then it gave me the creeps.

It's the way the babies stop crying and there's silence and then the dad types "How soon can we try again?"

I know it's just supposed to be sweet and happy, and that having these babies makes him so happy he just wants more. I know, I get it.

But seriously, the first time I saw it I thought the babies died.

This shit kind of stays with you, doesn't it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Birthdays and Honeymoons.

So I feel like a terrible mother to you. I didn't have anything to write on your birthday. I haven't had anything to write since then either. It isn't like I don't think of you, or don't care. It's just...I don't even know what to say. Your brother is taking up more and more space in my body, and the farther along we get with him, the more he is moving to the center of our world.

And I feel vaguely like I'm failing you, even though I know that my time mothering you has past already. You feel farther and farther away...I can't think about where I was a year ago right now. That horrible empty ache that was my constant companion.

Your brother has been with me longer than you were. He is big enough now to distort the (increasingly enormous) roundness of my belly. Strong enough now that the impact of his kicks can be painful as well as startling. He kicks in places you never could reach. His presence is constant now.

Daddy and I took our honeymoon last week. I kind of expected to have moments of really missing you--I mean, we were meant to take almost this exact trip exactly one year ago. And yet...though you came up in conversation and certainly were not forgotten, it was like this trip was just for your daddy and brother and me.

I guess that's how life is supposed to go on. You stay the same and we keep walking. But it's hard to grasp. I feel at least as though I should feel more upset by it.

Time can be kind.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I still miss you, blackbird.