Friday, February 28, 2014

And then we were four.

It's funny, the last minute things you think to do before you go to the hospital for an induction. Things like brushing the cat and flossing my teeth, things I knew I would never have time to do once the baby was here.

And, indeed, the cat and my teeth have hardly been remembered since we left for the hospital Monday morning.

Story Rose was born on Monday, February 24th, at 8:44 pm. Her labor and birth were completely different from Collin's in just about every way, and she's sticking to that theme. She's the most mellow presence in the house right now, calm and quiet. So long as she has a boob to nurse, Story is content. Is this a second baby thing? Because I remember feeling a lot more haggard and stressed when Collin was a newborn.

Ironically, all the things that were the hardest to get used to the first time I became a mom, i.e. the non-stop nursing, are the things I treasure most this time around. All I want to do is snuggle in bed and nurse the baby. It's unfortunately not as easy as that this time, as I feel I'm constantly having to shield her from her big brother's enthusiasm. Collin, as I figured he would, LOVES Story. He loves her so much, he wants to smush her and pounce her and slobber all over her. It's sweet and endearing, but a little bit  terrifying.

Collin, despite all his energetic craziness, does love his baby sister so very much. When he came to see her for the first time, I wanted everything to be perfect. Mike went and got him and brought him to the hospital. I kept Story occupied in the bassinet until they arrived because I wanted my arms to be free to hug Collin. Collin was so excited to see the baby that he clamored onto my bed to get a look at her, cooed over her in wide-eyed amazement, then said, "Where's Mommy?"

Um, right here? You're in my lap, Collin.

Everyone is in love with Story. She's kind of hard not to love. She's just a tiny bundle of newborn with deep, dark eyes and jet black hair. I can't figure out who she looks like. She came here looking like herself, I guess.

The hardest part of my post pardom period so far has been leaving the hospital. The reality of having an infant and a toddler hit me as we were walking out the door, and Story was crying in her car seat as Collin ran amuck, completely ignoring everything we said to him. It was pouring rain outside, and I stood there with all my stuff and watched blankly out the doors and cried. A kind orderly told me how hard it was so for her to take home her second baby. I cried the whole car ride home. "But we don't have any ice at home! I really like ice."

Husband went to the pharmacy and got my prescriptions, and two bags of ice. He hasn't sat down since. He has been cooking, cleaning, diapering, potty training, rocking, and wrangling. He has been doing it all, and insisting that I do nothing. I feel like I've won the husband lottery. When he goes back to work, my plan for survival is to find a hole to crawl into and hope for the best.

That will work, right?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

'Twas the night before induction..

There's something hugely relieving and joyful about knowing there is a good chance tomorrow will be the day you meet your baby. I'm going to the hospital to try what I'm wording as, " A gentle induction."  We're going to try a medication that will (hopefully) induce labor. If it works, great. If it doesn't, I take it as a sign that she's not ready, and I go home to wait some more.

Though, honestly, at ten days late and almost three centimeters dilated, I'm finding it hard to believe she's not ready.

When I thought about induction, nothing positive came up for me. So it's really a surprise that I'm feeling totally stoked right now. Or, maybe it's not a surprise. I'm ready. Husband is ready. Collin is ready. Our family is ready to be complete. I want my daughter in my arms more than anything in the world. I want to labor alongside my husband and my doula, to feel that silent transformation that happens when you give birth. The bond that is created, and strengthened, when you birth with loving support by your side. I'm ready.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Didn't think you'd show your face around here, due date.

So, happy Valentine's Day. Today is my favorite holiday, and coincidentally, my due date. Considering how dead certain I was that this baby was going to be an early arrival, I had mixed feelings about this day. Truthfully, I kind of figured it was going to suck a little. I'm in that prenatal sinkhole right now, where you feel like birth is so imminent, and your phone is blowing up with people wanting cervical updates, and your husband is already on paternity leave as you watch his time off tick by. Your due date approaches, and you think, " I can't believe I'm still pregnant! Surely, I will go into labor within the next ten minutes." Then, you watch your due date come and go, smiling and waving as it skips away. Now, you're officially post date, and officially DONE being pregnant. The pressure is on, because if you don't go into labor naturally, they'll force it, and that ain't pretty.

So, back to today, Valentine's Day, my due date. I went to bed last night in a state of resigned gloom. Surely, I'm going to be pregnant forever. This baby is never coming out. I woke up that way, too, only then I remembered, "Hey! It's Valentine's Day!" And, suddenly, everything was ok.

We all snuggled in bed for a long time before getting up.
We ate chocolate oatmeal, our Valentine's breakfast.
We played together all day.
Collin actually went down for a nap peacefully.
In the evening, we took a long walk along the ocean and watched the full moon rise.
We gorged on Indian food and chocolate.
At one point, it occurred to me that this was the best Valentine's Day I've ever had, just me and my boys. So take that, due date.

Now, I'll be back soon, writing about what it's like to be pregnant and menopausal at the same time, because surely I'm going to be pregnant forever.