26 August 2010

Looking Back: Growing a Family

September 13, 2005: It's a Boy!

Lately I've been thinking about labor and delivery. A lot. Tom and I have seen several friends bring home new babies this year. Beautiful additions to their families. We have had three seasons ourselves to get used to the idea of a newbie in the house. Yet still, the reality of birthing another 8 pounder... it blows my mind.

In the weeks leading up to "D Day" I usually get busy, restless, nostalgic. Naturally. My nesting instincts go into overdrive, and I worry that we/the children/our home will never be truly ready. This time--not knowing the baby's sex in advance--it's all just amplified.

Our first two pregnancies were planned to the day. We had impeccable timing, and I LOVED that. Tom and I were married 4 1/2 years {together for 8} when it first occurred to us that we were "ready" for baby. The thought occurred almost simultaneously, which is awesome. But for us a baby meant big change: Moving out of the city, buying a house, slowing down. I was in my late 20s, career obsessed, in love with My Sweets and living it up. But suddenly I was noticing babies everywhere. They were cuter than I remembered. My clock was ticking. Baby was a must-have on the agenda. We kept this realization to ourselves, tightly under wraps, not knowing how long it would take.

I liked the idea of a September birth, so the goal was to ditch the pill {which I was so good at taking} in September '04 and get pregnant in mid December. It was very by the book of us to start prenatals and wait three months before officially trying. I circled the third week of December in our calendars as "baby week" and by Christmas we were knocked up. Hurray! I was with the man of my dreams doing what I loved in a city where I always wanted to be. Life couldn't get any sweeter.

During the first two trimesters I secretly hoped I was carrying a boy. It didn't matter, of course, but if we were only going to have one child, I kind of really wanted a son. And on September 13, 2005, he arrived. Healthy. Beautiful. It just was too easy.

Fast forward: We have a home in a lovely village in the country. My Sweets is commuting. I'm going back and forth between freelance and full time. On most days I'm pulling off my own version of Wonder Mom. Play dates, music classes, swimming, art projects, wilderness adventures. Buby and I were still spending most of our time together, and I was keeping my editing career afloat from home. I was exhausted but loving every single part of our day. I never compromised on what mattered to Tom and I.

In June 2007, three months before Buby's second birthday, we talked about getting pregnant again. I was about to resign from my Managing Editor post at an international design magazine and wanted to focus on growing our family. We liked the idea of shooting for an April baby. Springtime rocks! My Sweets was on board. I went off the pill, and we circled a week in July. We ended up getting pregnant on August 3rd, giving us an April 25th due date. Hurray again! And on April 27, 2008, she arrived. Life was goooood.

This time around there was no plan. No pill to go off. No calendars. No month to shoot for. Just a big old-fashioned surprise. Though it seemed we were constantly talking about babes in one form or another last winter {should we?/shouldn't we?}, three sounded like A LOT. After all,
I was still trying to wean Bleu from her nursing obsession and figure out how to put myself to bed before midnight. Our family may not have been finished growing, but it felt full to the brim.

And then one Wednesday in March we found out there was already a third in the mix... 7 weeks along. I'll admit I cried at first. Not because I wasn't ecstatic, but because I was in shock. 7 weeks is a long time to be pregnant and not know it. I knew on like day 4 with the others. This time I took prescriptions for my back, drank champagne on a few occasions, and had a series of lower abdominal x-rays. No idea I was with child. But eventually we heard the heart beating and saw the wee one kicking, and I let go of some of that guilt.

And here we are. 31 weeks in. I feel nothing like the Wonder Mom I did three years ago, but I do feel like we are already a family of 5. We aren't complete without this new baby to love. And I can't help but wonder how it'll all go down. I'm a mixed bag of scared out of my mind and can't wait to meet 'em and hold 'em in arms.

My labors + deliveries with Buby and Bleu were so different, except that both times I dropped and dilated very early and delivered past my due date. Buby's first-contraction-to-last-push was precisely 13 hours, and there was an epidural in the final act. My Sweets was an amazing coach, and I loved giving birth. Buby was a Tuesday night baby. The recovery was long. Some would say I am still recovering... but with a handsome little man cub to show for it.

Bleu's start-to-finish was less 2 hours, and there was no relief in any form. We were in the hospital less than 40 minutes when she pushed herself into the world. {Not surprising at all now that we know her.} I really thought I would die in that labor room, but I didn't. Bleu was a Sunday morning baby. The recovery was short.

With each arrival my heart swelled instantaneously. My love grew to the moon. With each one I felt blessed beyond measure. For my baby boy. For my baby girl. For my lover and best friend. For my health and my good fortune.

I'm nervous this one will appear early and without much notice... as that seems to be his/her pattern. My favorite OB offered to induce after 37 weeks so as to eliminate the likelihood that I will deliver in the driver's seat... on route to Buby's school 40 minutes away or the hospital 50 minutes in the other direction. My Sweets is 2 hours away M-F and our closest family member is 5. The good dr. said, "Remind me that I promised you that."

Oh. I will. If there is one teeny part of this arrival I can plan, count me in.

April 27, 2008: It's a Girl!


Anonymous said...

I love our family, I love our life!


Grandma DJ said...

can't wait to meet and hold baby!! still remember buby and bleu's bday .. truly blessed .. love you forever