A Tale of Two Weeks

Where to begin?

First of all, pumpkin is a complete and total joy. He’s a typical second child: completely laid back, hardly fusses, sleeps through the mayhem that is his older brother playing. He has a repertoire of faces from Buddha baby to the old man look to the sleepy smiles as he drifts off in your arms. I think he looks completely different from his older brother, although many of our friends say he looks just like him. He nurses like a champ, gaining four ounces overnight when we had to go in for a second weigh-in at the pediatrician’s office. He’s got the most adorable triple chin and the skinniest little legs. He hates diaper changes and gas. He loves the swaddle and sucking as a soother. He makes a lot of squeaking noises that make peanut laugh every time. He has insane neck control for a two week old. He’s a serious snuggler. I even think his new crop of baby acne is cute.

I’m completely and utterly smitten.

And then, in the midst of our newborn bliss this week, I landed in the emergency room with a heart arrhythmia. I was rushed back before the hubby could get back to me after dropping off the babes with a neighbor. I was alone and hooked up to monitors, IVs, oxygen. Drugs were administered. A crash cart was wheeled into my room and stared at me for hours, “just in case.” Tears were shed as all I could think of was my boys. My little men who I realized I hadn’t kissed good bye in the midst of my fear and rush to get to the hospital.

Thankfully, the drugs worked. Thankfully, my neighbors are the best and shuttled my children from one house to another to the dinner table to bed until the hubby could pick them up later that night. Thankfully, the hubby is a strong man who managed to support me, care for our children and never question or doubt what he needed to do to care for our family. Thankfully, our family was supportive from afar and all gassing up their cars and mentally packing their bags to make a last minute trip from NC if we said go. Thankfully, I was home the next afternoon. Thankfully pumpkin took the bottles of formula offered him without a problem while I was at the hospital and for the 24 hours following as the drugs I was filled with metabolized in my system and were pumped and dumped. Thankfully, he returned to nursing with no problems. Thankfully, Dr. U, Dr. K and nurses Kathy, Catherine, Meredith, Whitney, Kurt, Chrissie and Felicia were attentive, caring and supportive. Thankfully, the diagnosis is more of a lifetime annoyance than a serious problem.

But God help me, those 24 hours alone in a hospital hearing words from a cardiologist that made no sense to me in the moment while being physically separated from my children were the worst 24 hours of my life. I have never felt so helpless. I have never felt more like a mother who just wanted to protect her cubs and was powerless to do so.

As scary as the whole experience was, it does shine a light on the blessings in my life. I am married to a wonderful man who took action, who has held me, who has wiped the tears that continue to spring up, who is a strong and steady father to pumpkin and peanut. I have two beautiful children, the oldest of which jumped into my arms and kissed my face “to make it better” when I was released from the hospital. I have fabulous friends who rushed over dinners this week when they heard the news. I have salt of the earth neighbors who I can’t even begin to repay. I have enjoyed the most delicious moments snuggled in bed with the hubby and the boys each morning.

These are all blessings I was aware of and thankful for before this moment, but somehow, the harsh lights of the Emergency Room have turned them all technicolor for me.

Lastly, I am thankful to have this space to simply write it down, get it out of my head and begin the process of mothering in forward motion. Something I have to start tomorrow when the hubby’s paternity leave ends and he heads back to work.

That reminds me of one more thing to be thankful for: my first week of solo daytime parenting is only three days long thanks to the holiday! Here’s to an uneventful week three!

Home

Pumpkin was born Thursday, November 5th at 5:30pm after a pretty easy induction. Easy being relative to labor, of course! He weighed in at 8lbs, 2oz and 19 inches long. He’s eating like a champ, sleeping more than I ever remember peanut sleeping and overall just about the most adorable thing ever.

We came home yesterday and are settling into home life.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say in the days/weeks to come as we recover, sleep and get to know our newest little family member.

Three

After two days of 5:30AM wake ups, thanks to the time change, peanut actually slept until 7:15 yesterday morning. The hubby was already up, I was awake, but still in bed after a night of inconsistent, intense, almost more than Braxton-Hicks contractions. Peanut came running in our room, scurried onto the bed and burrowed next to me pulling the covers up to his chin. His eyes still sleepy, his breath stale from sleep, his arms warm around my neck as he buried his head into my shoulder. We called for the hubby and snuggled in for a few sweet, satisfying moments as our little family of three.

We decided with the midwife this week that if pumpkin doesn’t make an appearance before, we will be induced on Thursday. It’s strange to be so ready for pumpkin to arrive and yet be suddenly so apprehensive knowing the time I have with my little peanut is limited.

As much as his being sick recently has been a worry and a stress, it’s also been a selfishly satisfying time for mama. He’s been much more snugly and needy in an emotional way than he has in a long time. We had great fun reading stories and watching videos while he cuddled in my lap, or at least what’s left of it. There was something sweet and reminiscent of his infant days knowing that sometimes, when he is tired and cranky and not feeling well, he just needs to be held by his mama to feel comfort.

Now that he’s better and back to his old, active ways, I feel like I should take him to the zoo or the children’s museum or the park to spend some good quality time with him before pumpkin’s arrival. Unfortunately, every day past my due date has been exponentially more uncomfortable making it difficult to get to the bathroom, which is a necessity with an 8lb bowling ball sitting on my bladder, not to mention a full circuit of the zoo chasing a three year old, which I would define as “optional.” Add in the anxiety of suddenly KNOWING labor is around the corner and wondering if I am really prepared for this time around. Add in the attempt to sort of straighten up the house before Grandma and Grandpa arrive this afternoon. Add in my hormonal roller coaster…

Instead of feeling guilty for what I can’t do, I’m relishing in the small moments. The cuddle in the playroom chair discussing what peanut thinks pumpkin will look like. The rest on the bench in the park watching the leaves fall from the trees as peanut tries to guess which color leaf will reach the ground first. The silly moments that abound with this kid around (“I think he’s going to be a lizard baby;” “Do you have issues, mommy?” “I can’t bend over, daddy, pumpkin’s in my belly;” “I wish I could be a teacher after I’m a truck after I’m a doctor…”). The jokes he’s been making up that make absolutely no sense but send him into fits of laughter. The spontaneous hugs when he can see that I’m struggling.

As much as I’m looking forward to finally meeting and holding this little fellow who is currently causing me such physical angst, I’m almost more excited about the moment peanut meets him and our little family of three truly becomes a family of four.

And it looks like that moment is finally going to be upon us in the next 24 to 48 hours. Wish us luck!

30 Days of Thanks

First order of business: Yes, I’m still pregnant. Due November 1st. Today is November 2nd. I think we can all do the math on that one. Appointment tomorrow to see what’s what. I gotta say, I’m really ready to meet this little dude, but, apparently, I give good uterus.

Now that that’s done…

Last year, I embarked on a post-a-day in November that I titled 30 Days of Thanks. Obviously, this November was not the November to go for a repeat since, theoretically, a new baby will be coming soon with all of his new demands and sleep interruptions and, oh yeah, the three-year-old will still need some attention as well as that guy I’m married to and at some point I might get to pee.

Imagine my surprise when a friend posted yesterday on her own blog that she’d be taking up the torch? I was truly touched and excited. Particularly excited when I noticed that two other blogs (blogs that are new to me) read my friend’s blog and also decided to join the party.

YAY!

So, if you want to join the fun, simply try a post a day for the month of November that highlight those big and little things you’re thankful for, like new babies or buy one get one ice cream at the supermarket when you’re overdue and figure what the heck, what’s another gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream at this point?

I look forward to reading them.