The Long View

I can say with absolute, perfect confidence that I like being a second-time mother MUCH better than I liked being a first-time mom. When Aidan was born, I felt like I was broken down and rebuilt from the ground up as an entirely new person.

My life looked completely different. My routine was turned on its head, my body looked unfamiliar, and I had to adjust to life as a stay at home mom.

This time around, this is all old hat. My life already revolved around attending to the needs of a tiny human when Lily was born, so there hasn’t been much of an adjustment. I must say, it’s a lot more fun to have a baby when everything isn’t new!

That said, I’m so freaking tired. So. Freaking. Tired. Like, I can barely even string words together because my poor groggy brain refuses to come up with them fast enough to keep up with my typing fingers.

Lily is pretty easy-going, but she’s still a newborn so that means I’m up most of the night. Even when she’s sleeping, she’s making all kinds of dinosaur noises that keep me up. After months of pregnancy insomnia, I think it’s entirely likely I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since Christmas.

CHRISTMAS.

The nice thing is, I know this passes. The long view of the situation is that this is our last baby and in a few months Lily will be sleeping through the night and I’ll start feeling human again. Maybe even human enough to get my flabby body back to the gym!

Until then, I’ll just keep stumbling through each day with a cup of decaf in one hand and the tremulous hope of an afternoon nap in the other. So long as everyone ends up fed and dressed at the end of each day, I figure I’m doing pretty well.

Another Guest Post!

My guest post on The Writers Vineyard last week got kind of forgotten in the excitement of bringing a whole ‘nother person into the world, but I figured it was better late than never. I wrote another guest post for The Writers Vineyard, this time talking about the process of meeting my characters.

If you’ve got some spare time and feel like reading my musings on meeting my protagonists, click over and check out my post. It’s a short, though hopefully entertaining, read. Enjoy!

Surrender Is Maybe Not So Futile

So recovery from major abdominal surgery is fun. I kid, of course. It’s a tortuous (not torturous, mind you. Tortuous.) process, full of cringey faces and tiny little baby steps toward back-on-your-feetness, but I can confidently say that at 11 days post-op I’m feeling pretty darn good.

I’m thinking I might even be able to tie my own shoes in a few weeks! I kid, of course. Tying shoes is for quitters, sandals all the way! Even when it’s raining!

From my recovery haze of nursing the baby, resting, and napping, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the events of the last few weeks. Everything, from the surprise discovery of Lily’s breech presentation at the 38 week ultrasound all the way up to the moment I walked into the operating room, has been rattling around inside my head.

I’m not gonna lie, the whole 180 degree change from an unmedicated birth center birth to a planned c-section was a head trip. I mean, you just can’t get more opposite than that. I definitely went through a period of mourning the birth I wouldn’t be able to give Lily, and then I stopped looking back and just relaxed into it.

I surrendered all control over the process, in so doing enabling me to see the beauty in Lily’s birth. Even though the majority of the work I did to bring her into the world was to lay there and breathe, it was a truly beautiful birth.

There was so much love in that operating room, and I’ll never, ever forget the feeling of holding her on my chest and feeling her sweet little breath on my cheek while she cried for the first time. It was a completely different birth experience than my son’s, but it was in some ways better.

There was no screaming or swearing, there were only smiles and tears and a full head of luscious baby hair. It wasn’t the birth we’d planned, but it was Lily’s story all along, we just didn’t know it at the time.

And now, 11 days later, I’m feeling upbeat and positive and I have two amazingly beautiful children and a husband who’s been through the wars with me and we’re this blissed-out family and I don’t really care that Lily’s birth happened in a hospital courtesy of a scalpel. Because she’s here and she’s exactly what was missing from our little family.

I’ll just take my battle wounds and move on, because in the immortal words of Tyler Durden, “I don’t want to die without any scars.”

See? Fight Club dialogue is the gift that just keeps on giving.

Our daughter is here!

On Thursday afternoon, Wes and I welcomed our daughter Lillian into the world! It was a smooth delivery and Lily and I are now home and resting. She’s pretty comfortable in our arms most of the time, I am considerably less comfy recovering from surgery.

Still, we’re ecstatic and healthy and looking forward to spending many sleepless nights watching her sweet face. Posting may be light for awhile as my whole world revolves around recovering and keeping up with my kids, but all is well.

So well!!!

Way Too Much Excitement

Oh my gosh, last week. LAST WEEK. When I took my belly photo on Wednesday morning, I had absolutely no idea what kind of day I was going to have. I figured I’d go to my midwife appointment and then lunch with Wes’s parents and that would be that.

Well, I did go to my prenatal appointment, where my midwife revealed that she still STILL wasn’t confident that Little Girl was head down. Between her and my other midwife’s uncertainty, Wes and I decided to heed their recommendation and schedule an ultrasound for later that afternoon.

After lunch, I headed to my ultrasound certain it was a waste of time and money. Ha ha, the joke was on me!

Baby Girl most certainly WAS breech. Breech breech breech. I saw her perfect fingers covering her chubby cheeks, and her fat little toes kicking up near her face, and felt my entire world shift on its axis.

This changed everything. EVERYTHING! I knew it was probably too late for an external cephalic version (where a doctor attempts to flip the baby head-down by moving her through your belly) to be effective, but I scheduled one for the next morning anyway. I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to prevent a c-section if it was in any way preventable.

And then I cried. I made a dozen phone calls on the way home and cried my way through most of them.

The next morning, Wes and I headed to my ECV bright and early. It was our very first visit to the Labor & Delivery ward and we were in jolly spirits. We had no idea what we were in for.

The ECV was painful. Excruciating, really. Horrible, horrible pain that was ultimately pointless because Little Girl would not be budged. After two attempts to flip her around, we all agreed there was no point putting me through a third attempt.

We went home. I scheduled a c-section for the next week. I cried some more.

I’ve been in complete, perfect shock for almost a week now. In the last few days I’ve started grieving the loss of the opportunity to bring my daughter into the world the way I’d planned, but I’m also trying to stay positive and see the upside to the whole situation.

My emotions are a huge, bubbling wreck and I alternate between excited and terrified on an hourly basis. I take comfort in my friends and family’s assurances that I’ll bounce back from my c-section faster than I would have thought possible. I take comfort in knowing that my Little Girl is going to be coming into the world safely courtesy of skilled hands.

But most of all I take comfort in knowing my daughter will be born July 5, after which I’ll never ever be pregnant again. This pregnancy has been way too exciting for my taste and I can’t wait to get my body back for good.

T-minus three days until I get to meet my daughter. I can’t wait.