It’s Tuesday and my surgery is scheduled for Friday morning. I’m so uncomfortable – sciatica, carpal tunnel, general hip pain, heartburn, frequent trips to the bathroom…but I’m so thrilled that I was able to make it this far. I recognize that I am blessed to even be able to complain. In hindsight – my “suffering” was nothing compared to others. I had to lie in bed and be bored. I was hospitalized and was hungry for a few days. I got little to no sleep for the week plus I was there. I’m not trivializing it. I didn’t forget. But I have perspective. Even so I think if the same thing happened – even with 20/20 hindsight I would still react the same way. It’s hard to be so helpless for so long. And the worry that we experienced was real – if not comparatively trivial to some. But who thinks in those terms when faced with the prospect of an unfavorable outcome? And really, the triviality is a direct product of that 20/20 hindsight- when faced with statistics and percentages that carry a threatening outcome – who cannot at least prepare themselves for the worst? We were worried about our baby and just a teeny tiny bit worried about my life, too.
For a short, VERY SHORT, time afterwards I thought my son would be an only child. That it wouldn’t be safe for us to have any more children and that has given me the empathy to look on to all of my friends who cannot – for one reason or another – have children of their own.
When we *did* decide to try and when we *did* find out that we were expecting Baby Number Two I was certain that we would be traveling a similar road. So certain that I packed bags and wrote lists in case I would have to be whisked away to the hospital again in the wee hours of the night. So certain that it makes these last few days even more (bitter)sweet.
Its for all the above reasons that I embrace sciatica and carpal tunnel and swollen feet. I embrace the waddling and welcome the attention it gets from family members and strangers alike. It means that I am heavy with a healthy, growing child who made it to term. Every night that I go to sleep and toss uncomfortably is another day that my child is given a chance to grow where he needs to and not in some isolette. (The babe that *did* grow in the isolette, by the way, grew in leaps and bounds and is now a 23 month old genius, in my humble O-pinion).
I cannot say that I will miss the hip pain but I will miss the sweet things about pregnancy – some I didn’t get to experience the first time – some I got a small taste of – that will fall away from me and behind before I would like. The baby moving is at the top of the list. Even when it takes my breath away – literally! – when I can watch him move from one side to the other, rolling or turning or doing whatever it is that they do. The hiccups and the tiny little jumps my tummy makes that I can see and feel. Something that I can share with others but also a little secret between me and baby that we can experience at any time.
I’ll miss the attention and the smiles. There’s something about a pregnant lady that makes other people happy – and I’m not too embarrassed to admit that there’s something about being smiled at that makes *me* happy.
Having things lifted for me.
I’ll miss life with just We Three. Even as I look forward to life with the Four of Us I briefly grieve the life we had – G4 being the center of our attention, only juggling one schedule, proudly learning Everything Baby from him…just as I lamented the end of Me and G3 and as lovely as the transition was.
The shape of my body and the weight that I’ve put on. Yep – believe it or not. It means I’m growing a person and I’m overjoyed to experience it.
Baby brain. (that’s a joke, folks)
My maternity clothes. I didn’t get to wear the few blouses I bought the first time and for a long time they hung on my door as a reminder of what might not be possible. This time I had a small cache of cute little blouses and some jeans that showed off my growing tummy. I’ll miss them. Because of what they symbolize but, also, because I really liked them, too! Oh! And don’t forget my cute maternity bathing suit that I only got to wear one season. So sad!
In a few days we’ll meet Baby Number Two, whose name we’ve pretty much decided on but could still be up for debate. He’ll be closer to 7 pounds (compared to his 3 pound older brother), he’ll come home with us right away (God willing), and perhaps he’ll nurse instead of being bottle fed pumped milk for his first year. We hope he’ll be smart and a good baby (he better be or we won’t love him as much…KIDDING! I KID!) but most of all we want him to be a happy baby/person and we hope just a little of that will come from something we’ve taught to him. We hope that he and G4 learn to grow up together loving each other, playing together and enjoying each other’s company the way siblings should. We look forward to all of these things – but I look behind and nod to all of the things I will miss, because, as I’ve said, I’ll never get these days back.