2013 has presented our family with so many blessings, even among the challenges. We are expecting our second child, due almost three years to the date from our first little L, and we recently moved into our first home. It has been a fun, if extremely busy ride, and this mama’s had a great time choosing furniture for the first time! Ah the joys of all the things we get to do “for the first time.”
And here I am, having my second child for the first (and only) time. And while little L is getting more independent he remains very clingy to mama and still likes to nuzzle up and cuddle me, so even with all the “you’re going to be a big brother” books we’ve been reading him I truly wonder how he will react to being the first of two. Will he be jealous of his little sis? Will he do something crazy to his siblings that I have heard of other children doing out of envy and lack of attention? Or will he be protective of his sis like I was protective of my little brother?
I so hope he has the latter reaction. While I can’t remember the details myself, I know by heart the photo where my mom brough home my little brother V and put him directly in my arms, and said, “R, this is your little brother.” Only a year and a half apart, V and I have been peas in pod ever since. If he accidentally wandered out of the house (which he was wan to do) I would be the first person to call attention to it. I would let him sleep on my lap in the car, although I would also get restless and shove him off when his head got too heavy. I really hope that little L and Baby #2 appreciate each other and grow up close.
One important mantra: I really want to make sure to give equally to both siblings. Coming from an Indian background my mother knew what it was like for the boys to be doted upon and the girls to get the short shrift. Not that she was mistreated, but the state of inequality between the sexes was inherent in her upbringing. She was the last person who would continue the tradition. To that end, she made sure that she treated V and I equally in every way – even now she continues the goals of treating children equally, even if I am elder.
But beyond all the confusion about what the second child will bring to our family – I just can’t believe it is all so close, and this time around this mama feels entirely unprepared. Last month I spent 1-2 hours discussing my first natural delivery with a mama-to-be who is planning a natural birth. It’s amazing how quickly things came back to my mind, but man, I really need to do some heavy reading! This includes going back to my original birth story and trying to remember how it all was.
This time around, I had tons of energy through Christmas time and was able to do lots of cooking and hosting of my in-laws. I even worked a full, if slow, day on Christmas Eve. Christmas was simply lovely and a wonderful time of family togetherness and I had fun keeping the house together and preparing meals as I could. All of a sudden during a morning walk to Longwood Gardens on December 26th – a most lovely time to visit the gardens since it was quiet and still decorated festively – I felt the looming of Week 37. By this I mean, oh Wow did I get an overwhelming sense of fatigue and did those Braxton-Hicks contractions hit me or what? I was afraid that I would go into labor that night. Yes, maybe it’s my own fault for buzzing around the house for all of Christmas week, but wow. The feeling of the last weeks of pregnancy escaped me with all the other amnestic features of post-baby-happiness. For the past three days the heaviness, intermittent terrible slowness and weight of the baby is all-consuming. I had truly forgotten that by the end of pregnancy mamas are VERY ready not to be pregnant anymore. And every day, now that I am term, I wonder if my body is going to set forth into labor.
Baby, couldn’t you tell me ahead of time what your exit strategy is going to be?
Gotta love the women who remind you that post-delivery, too, is not all sweetness.
Labor didn’t happen on Thursday night, thank goodness. We may be ready mentally but we could use a few weeks. Last pregnancy I had every duck in a row, all creams and bassinettes and wipes and diapers prepared and walls freshly painted with beautiful designs. This time around I am glad that I have a crib set up in the new nursery, which is neither specially painted nor decorated . . . at all. So this fortunately non-busy non-hosting weekend T and I have focused on playing up a storm with little L and bestowing on him as much attention as possible. While the two of the sleep I have had the time to write this actual blog post, which as you can see is much rarer than it used to be.
And while we are not doting on the little big brother, we are getting the house ready. This morning I fashioned together the Pack and Play. On its own it’s pretty easy but once you attach those accessories you decide you never want to have to dismantle the thing. Its a cute piece of work, all brown accented with pink paisley – T wanted to keep it in the middle of the room as a showpiece.
We had better indeed have a girl! And upstairs I yanked the cloth diapers out of their boxes, gave everything a good washing and T arranged them all. Creams are out and arranged though I’m still looking for random items I know we used to have at one point. Good times. So before the cherubs awaken from their nap I better go fold clothes and think of what else I want to do. At least the mommy brain has not escaped me. For the past three years when I find myself with time to myself, I have no idea what to do. I imagine that this effect of mother will continue indefinitely. Cheers and Happy Holidays, all. Here’s to hopefully writing some more frequent blog posts in the coming year!