(written late Saturday night)
Reaching his hands to the top of my belly, Henry attempts to seize open my stomach.
"Come out! Come out Baby Sister!" His command is gentle, yet firm. He remains steadfast as his fingers delve deeper for round two. (Careful buddy! Your fingers could get lost in that mass of skin!)
"What are you doing, Henry?" Ignoring my laughter his serious eyes lock on mine. With a heartfelt plea he urges,
"Get baby sister OUT, Mom!" He has no idea how deeply I share in his desire. However, he did make it clear that:
A. He understands that his sister is inside of me.
B. He is clueless (as.he.should.be) as to how she'll make her exit.
C. She is running late for their first play-date.Bless his empathic little heart.
Earlier this morning, I became uncharacteristically weepy while conversing with my Mom on the telephone. Please understand that I do my best to stave off that type of emotion when my kids are nearby and am disappointed that he clued into my mood. The touch of his hand stops me mid-sentence. My matter of fact child asks,
"Mom. What is your problem?!" If there hadn't been a tender tone to the question, I would have assumed, by his choice of verbiage, that his future teenage self had been the one to ask the question. Like his Father, Henry has no problem being direct.
Eliza, on the other hand, is a bit more calculating.
"Mom? Are you in the mood for something?" I sense that she's about to ask for a treat. Charmed by her, I play along.
"No. I don't think so." I pause. "Are you in the mood for something, Eliza?" Delighting me, she unexpectedly replies,
"Not really. I'm just in the mood for snuggles."
These are the interactions that I live for. It's what I need to focus on when I feel myself giving into the temptation of self-pity.
(Commence the launch of virtual tomatoes now.
I will be the first to say that I have nothing to complain about.)
Honestly, I am thrilled that I'm about to have another baby! When it comes to meeting your children, the anticipation never dims. There is an inescapable charge of excitement that's accompanied by an overwhelming desire that all will be well.
Based on a few choice exchanges, it would seem that for the rest of the world, the birth of a subsequent child may seem less significant considering you already parent two kids. Not to mention you have your boy and your girl,
"So, what do you need another one for?" At a doctor's appointment, you're asked (at the age of 26) if you'll be having your tubes tied. After all,
"This is your third." Your hairstylist, who is super talented, requests,
"Just promise y'all won't go all Duggar family on me." Which makes you laugh. The fanfare that a first time mom receives (which is totally deserved) may not ever be replicated. And while you feel that the arrival of each child is deserving of a celebration involving fruit plates and crepe paper, you realize that you have the things that matter most.
So who cares , right? The blessings of a healthy pregnancy is reason enough to do the happy dance; however things got better last Monday when the doctor informed me of my progress.
Last Monday, I was:
36 weeks and 1 day.
2 cm dilated
Keeping in mind that Henry was born at 37 weeks, 5 days; I carry an expectation that she'll be early too. Motherhood has taught me that expectations are foolish (usually) which is why she'll probably be two weeks late.
My point is that the excitement upon receiving progress reports, the worry attached to the "what-if" scenarios, the anticipation of how her story will unfold, putting my plans of preparation into action (a.k.a. nesting), the concern of what to do with Eliza and Henry, are feelings I'm grateful to be experiencing.
(That was a mouthful. I suddenly feel the need to go rinse out my mouth and start over on that paragraph.)
As I packed my hospital bag today, I marveled at how miniature newborn sized diapers are. Do bums really come that small? I was reminded of the unspoken hardships that will soon be my reality as I packed up my stool softener and lanolin cream. Returning to something more fun, I delicately folded and re-folded the two outfits chosen for her to wear home and wondered how my future self will decide between them.
*Cue annoying voice in my brain:
"Seriously, Ali (ahem, and Andrew!)! Who cares about what outfit she'll wear home when she STILL doesn't have a name!" Curses.
What I want to escape (returning to the conversation shared with my Mom) is the loneliness that comes from experiencing something of this magnitude away from the people that she'll mean the most too. The idea that she may not get a single visitor at the hospital rips me in half. I tell myself that my love and excitement will compensate for the void that she'll be oblivious too. Not to mention, she has the love and excitement of two older siblings that will probably help my over sensitive heart the most.
I blame my dear spouse for this post's existence. He is out of town. This is what happens when I'm left alone with my precious keyboard. Now that I've had my fill of writing, I am left to debate with my future self. She, being the wiser, is encouraging me to go to sleep. SLEEP WHILE YOU CAN! My present self (am I freaking you out yet?) is making the argument that I should relish the mental break because I'm about to enter "survival mode" and will temporarily give up the luxury of having mental timeouts. The one thing we all agree on is how grateful I am for two kids who sleep well. I pray that nameless, yet loved, child number three won't be the exception.