In the relative quiet (well, the dishwasher is humming, the fridge is making that weird popping noise, the dryer is spinning and the new baby is stirring), I can see myself. C took our firstborn to breakfast so Baby T and I could hang out and catch up on some rest. As it is common with newborns, his day and nights are confused and nobody gets any rest when T wants to eat every two hours all night. But right now it is quiet and I can see myself.
There were a lot of fears that I had during this pregnancy that went unexpressed. Not here, not to C or a close friend, not to my mom and not even a whisper outloud in an empty house. Doctors kept saying "advanced maternal age". I'm 38. We declined any testing...it wasn't going to make us want the baby any less. Outwardly, I said happy and healthy. It was my mantra. Inwardly, I was scared to death.
We decided to induce a week early. I had been sick for 3 weeks at that point. Just miserable sinus, hacking cough, nobody sleeps kind of sick and as soon as the doctor gave us the go-ahead to induce, we went ahead and set the day.
It all sounded great until the night before and then I panicked. Who am I to decide when he is born?? What if he isn't ready? We had family coming in to care for N. Is not wanting to mess up their plans enough of a reason to literally go in and get my baby boy out? I was a mess of exhausted, sick and gigantically pregnant tears. It all spilled out to C. The same fears we both had all along.
We decided that we needed to have confidence in our doctor, in our own decision and be grateful that we live in a time when we have options. We slept as good as two people who were about to have a new baby could.
It was weird to go to the hospital on induction day. In my head we were driving there in a rush, pulling in to the emergency room. In reality, we had muffins and casually drove to the main entrance. We signed in. Paid the co-pay. Like a routine doctor visit. Weird. With moments of extreme boredom and then pain. The doctor said I had a bag of steel as she struggled to break my water. The contractions grew stronger and they needed to wait for the epidural because I ate that muffin and they didn't want me to throw up.
It was important to me that my doctor deliver both of our babies. Her shift ended at 5. By 4:35, I was finally ready to push. By 4:55, he was here. Perfect. Screaming. Hungry. With the dark hair I always pictured him having. Our fears melted into pure love. Tears of stress melted into tears of gratefulness and exhaustion. I don't think I have ever felt so grateful in my life. Amazed and grateful. To see my body do things that I thought weren't possible without an RE and a syringe. I had a healthier pregnancy, I exercised regularly until those final weeks.
Now, physically things feel like they are breaking down a bit. At least on me. That cold I had before T was born turned into a full blown sinus infection. T is latching and nursing like a champ, something I wasn't able to do with N, which of course comes with its own toe curling pain. That sinus infection made my teeth hurt and my ear hurt which makes me wonder if I'm actually having teeth problems (dentist next week). My tongue feels super weird, all might be part of the sinus infection but food doesn't taste right at all. I need a hair cut and color. I need a pedicure. I need to trim my fingernails, I need to pluck my chin hairs(!) and my eyebrows. I guess I need to focus a bit on me. Having all of this happen right between two major holidays added stress that I probably just pushed down. Maybe all these ailments are psychosomatic? I need to go to the eye doctor. I read Arrowroot as Appalacia on a sign yesterday. I don't feel like I've let myself go like I did after I had N, but there is a feeling of neglect. Going from 1 kid to 2 is a jump. Going from a table for 3 to 4 is a jump. Sharing my bed this morning with a nursing newborn, a snoring husband and a hungry preschooler feels like the jump I always dreamed I would make.