Monthly Archives: September 2013

Meet Baby S

Today, I got to meet my nephew. He is awesome. What a wonderful miracle new life is!!

The whole day, I was taking notes. My sister-in-law had a scheduled C-section at the same hospital that we will be visiting for a scheduled C-section come February. I showed up shortly after 8, armed with coffee for the troops and my laptop full of goodies to keep me entertained for what I assumed would be a lengthy wait.

Baby S was born at 8:13 am and my brother came upstairs to introduce us all to him around 8:40.

My notes on delivery time: That. Was. Fast.

We all ooh and ahh and cry and fawn and love on this squishy-faced, concerned-looking young man with a full head of black hair and pursed lips. It’s a wonderful family moment together. Except that my SIL was still downstairs getting stitched up, and had to wait in the operating room until she regained movement in her toes before she could come join the family. Which was like, 3 hours.

My notes on this: BRUTAL.

After some of the excitement dies down, I look around the recovery room and I think back to when Hudson was born and we were in this very same hospital for a while. I turn to my mom and ask “My room was way bigger than this, right?”

“No. This is the exact same room you were in.”

Floored.

My eyes had been drawn throughout the morning to the whiteboard in the room with the number 352, and I could not for the life of me figure out why. That clock had an eery pull for me as well. When my mom said those words – “…this is the room you were in” – I realized why. I stared at that clock and that whiteboard for an entire morning while I waited to be released and get to my daughter. Between morphine-induced naps and the occasional burst of tears at the helplessness of it all, the first 12 hours of my daughter’s life were spent with me trapped in this room, apart from my baby and uncertain about the future.

Suddenly, I didn’t really want to hang out in that room any longer.

I had been able to endure the familiar hall ways, walk past the Special Infant Care room, ignore the door to the delivery room where I pushed for almost 3 hours. This was my first time back in the hospital where my daughter was born and I thought I’d done pretty well. And then we were in the room where I saw my daughter for the first time, and I started to feel just a little bit uncomfortable.

A few days after my niece was born back in March, we drove down to visit and meet her. The Hubs had strained his back and had to take muscle relaxers, so I was forced to drive him, my MIL and SIL for 6+ hours to reach our destination. The drive was relatively uneventful, until my MIL started talking about the night that Baby CW was born earlier that week. The wait. The insistence of my SIL’s mom that Grandma Dub hold Baby CW first. The grainy cell phone pics, the phone being passed around the car for everybody to look at. I started to cry, my tears thankfully hidden behind my over-sized sunglasses.

I was so envious of these experiences that my family had together, and brokenhearted that I had not been able to provide them with these experiences at the birth of Hudson. There’s a picture of Grandma and Grandpa Dub holding Baby CW for the first time, and I almost can’t bear to look at it.

Flash back to today, and now my side of the family is having these missed-out-on experiences with Baby S. In the same room where we should have had these experiences with Hudson.

I first laid eyes on our beautiful daughter in room 352. Hudson was wheeled in by a team of medics for a few quick moments before she was flown to Sacred Heart. Today, my brother and his wife got to give their son a bath in this same room. I watched nurses issue routine medications to the little guy. His limbs were strong and wriggling, free of IVs. His mouth was either suckling my brother’s finger (he was pretty hungry) or pursed in a concerned manner, not hidden behind a breathing tube. I even got to watch my brother and his daughter dress the little guy for the first time… right there in room 352.

It’s easy to get hung up on these kinds of things, if you let yourself. In the privacy of my own home, or in musing aloud to my husband, sometimes I do let this stuff be about me, about us, about Hudson.

But when I take a hard look at things, I know that it’s not the healthiest way to live life… making everything about me, or about us, or about Hudson. We choose to take things like that personally. When we do, we head down a very dangerous road. When I remove the ME out of things, I can celebrate the life of my nephew wholeheartedly, cry tears of joy that aren’t even the slightest bit tinged with sadness, hold my sweet little brother’s baby boy and examine all his parts and not once get caught up on the idea that I never got to hold Hudson this way.

I can let myself be happy because I choose to let Hudson’s life only affect me in positive ways.

It’s all about what we choose.

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Countdown to baby

Tomorrow, my brother and his wife will meet their new son.

And I’ll meet my nephew!

It seems like not all that much time has passed since my brother came over here to tell me they were pregnant. It seems like two seconds since my brother called me the day they found out the gender to tell me “I’ll be getting a new golfing buddy.”

Now, baby Boy S will be here in less than 24 hours, and I can’t wait.

Of course, it seems like the development of my nephew has flown by. Meanwhile, the 10 days left until we find out that Bullet is a boy (because I’m 100% sure) is dragging on in agonizing fashion.

It’s amazing how quickly and slowly time can go by.

I found out today that an acquaintance of mine from the “Babyloss Community” (UGH, I hate that terminology but I’m using it for lack of a better term) is also expecting, due just a week before us. Her daughter passed away shortly before Hudson was born and died. When I think of them having a baby, I think “Oh good, they didn’t have to wait that long.” Yet it feels like the 11 months between Hudson’s death and the discovery of Bullet were years, lifetimes, eternities.

I try to be better about the countdown, not rushing through the pregnancy. I remind myself often that I’ll never again be 18 weeks pregnant with this child, I force myself to slow down and live in the present, awesome moment. And you know what?

It helps the time go faster.

I can’t believe that we are almost halfway there.

I know this is a recurring theme in my writing – the passing of time, living in the moment, being present, appreciating now. I keep coming back to it because it is so very important, and it is really, really difficult for human beings to do.

We think constantly about what we want next, instead of being thankful for what we have now. We beat ourselves up for things we haven’t done, instead of being proud of all we’ve accomplished thus far. We countdown days and weeks and months. We make the anticipation bigger than the payoff.

Bullet has been my singular goal and focus for the last year and change. Not Bullet specifically, not the whole time, but getting pregnant again, growing our family. The anticipation can never be bigger than the payoff, though, no matter how much I’m counting down and planning and dreaming and looking forward. Every day with Bullet is precious, now, before I can see his (sorry, can’t help it) squishy awesome face, and later, when he’s born, and later still, when he’s pooping on me or taking his first steps or going to his first day of school or staying out past his curfew for the first time.

This ridiculous life insurance commercial came on today that I had to make fun of so I wouldn’t cry. It’s a bunch of people my age watching some college football, sharing some snacks and rambunctiously cheering at a play. There’s a voice-over of this dude watching his wife cheering for their favorite college team, and she stands up to give him a celebratory hug and you see that she’s pregnant and her shirt says “FUTURE FAN” over the baby bump (*barf*). To push it over the top, the voice-over goes “And now I’m realizing that the most important person in my life is somebody I haven’t even met yet.”

*double barf, I know*

But it’s totally true. I am so in love with Bullet. I can’t wait for every surprise of his life outside of me, sure, but I’m not overlooking these precious moments together as he grows and develops inside me.

Right now, every day that passes is a day with my baby, and a day closer to my baby, and I’m gross about how much I love it.

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Show Off

Last night, I definitely felt Bullet kicking from the outside.

I was lying in bed reading my latest book in The Hangmans’ Daughter series, resting my hand on my recently coconut-buttered belly. It was faint and fluttery, no where near the emphatic kicks that our very active daughter would give me towards the end of our pregnancy with her, but hey, we’re 18 weeks.

“I’m pretty sure I just felt Bullet kick from the outside!” I exclaim to the Hubs, who is reading in bed beside me, probably some wartime conflict novel.

He immediately reaches over to get a piece of the action, resting his strong hand on my belly.

Hudson used to freeze when the Hubs would try to feel her kicking and moving. It was kind of amusing, like maybe she thought she was in trouble. How could she tell it was her father’s hand and not my touch?

So we half-anticipated that Bullet would be the same – frozen under the disciplinary hand of his (I’m sure its a boy) father.

*Kick*

“Did you feel that?” I ask, hopeful.

“Was it right up here?” the Hubs asks, putting a little more pressure with his thumb, where the kick had landed.

“Uh-huh!” I laugh, because this is awesome. Sharing this with my husband is priceless, a memory I don’t want to forget.

He pokes a little harder with his thumb, trying to get a reaction from the Bullet.

*Kick*

This time in the middle of his palm. As if to say “Oh… you gotta be quicker than that, Dad!”

We laugh together, and my eyes well up with tears, because I’m thinking of how precious this memory is right now, and also about how precious these moments were with our daughter. I think to myself, “I need to be sure and write about this, make a note of the date that we first felt the Bullet move from the outside,” milestones and mental keepsakes that I am thankful I can never misplace.

Documented here for the Bullet’s lifetime.

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