Natural Childbirth From the Other Side

You may be wondering where I went. I’ve been on this great blogging two-three times a week kick lately and then last week I left you with a paltry one post. One is hardly enough to whet even half a whistle. My apologies.

I have a good excuse, though, trust me. Way better than a last minute doctor appointment, a dog eating my homework, or a flat tire on the way to work. Last week, my sister in law had a baby and I got to help her through her labor. She went into labor Tuesday night and had the baby Wednesday night, which means I was awake for thirty seven hours straight. By the time I got home, I was so tired I needed Wes’s help getting out of the car. It was warm and dark in the garage. Warm and dark and quiet and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Still, as exhausted as I was, it was worth it to be there. Natural childbirth is incredible in every way, though I will say it was a lot more fun being on this side of it. I got all the fun of the miracle of life and none of the sleepless nights with a newborn! Win!

It was interesting to watch the process, and different people’s reactions to what was going on. I was happy to see that, when the chips are down or something goes wrong or someone needs encouragement, I’m indefatigable (that means tireless, for those of you who don’t have a dictionary handy). When my sister in law needed me (or, on a few occasions, the other people in the birth party) I felt no fatigue at all and had a bottomless reserve of energy on which to draw.

If you were to ask me a week ago how I thought I was likely to fare after being awake for thirty seven hours, I would have told you I was likely to be a gibbering wreck. Now, though, I don’t know. I suspect years of writing thrillers has rubbed off on me and I’m now capable of Jack Bauer-esque feats of resilience.

Though, who knows? Maybe I just thought I was helping when in reality I was weeping softly in the corner and trying to take naps in hallways. I’ll allow that possibility.

Either way, I got to help my nephew into the world and I’m amazed by that. I’m amazed by the strength of his mother, the skill of her care providers, and the enchanting sound of a newborn baby voicing his first cry. I’ve heard it three times now and it astounds me every time. Truly, I’m humbled. If you ever want to hear what true love sounds like, listen to a new mother greet her just-born baby for the first time.


Fun With Future Baby: Week 22

I feel kind of bad. I was reading over my pregnancy archives from Aidan’s pregnancy and they’re so much longer and full of my observations about what it felt like to be pregnant. My observations from this pregnancy have been lackluster so far, in my opinion.

To be fair, I was warned this would happen. With all the busyness of running a household and chasing a toddler around, I simply have less time to reflect on what Little Girl’s doing in there.

There’s no denying she’s a mellower kid than her brother, though. She does her fair share of wiggles, but they’re so much gentler than Aidan’s ever were. I’m optimistic that this means she’ll be a cuddler, or at least hopefully the kind of baby who won’t mind napping. Not like her brother, who thinks naps are a personal affront and wants nothing to do with them.

It’s difficult to be pregnant while mothering a toddler. I’m tired a lot, sore a lot, and short on patience more than I’d like to admit. I’m just not at my best. It’s rough.

Not helping this is the fact that Aidan’s in a difficult place in his sweet young life. Defiant, stubborn, and exploratory, he’s more likely to leap first and ask questions later. I love that about him, but I also definitely wish he’d take it easy on me a bit more.

I keep trying to explain to him that Baby Sister’s in my belly, and soon she’ll come out and play with him, but he doesn’t care. If I ask him where the baby is, he continues to point to himself.

I’m trying to wean him off being held and carried everywhere, so hopefully that won’t come as too much of a shock when Little Girl’s here. I do, however, think it’s going to be rough when he realizes I can’t cater to his every whim immediately when there’s a whole new set of needs to address. I think we’re in for a lot of tantrums.

Regardless, I can’t wait for my daughter to get here. I can’t wait to snuffle her head and kiss her chubby little cheeks and hold her in my arms. My boobs feel like they’re already sore and filled with milk, and I’m actually excited to breastfeed again.

My insomnia seems to have let us this week THANK GOODNESS and my appetite is ferocious. My belly is plagued by twinges of round ligament pain and I can’t really tie my shoes anymore, plus I get out of breath just from walking around the block or going up the stairs, but it’s ok. It’s all in service to Little Girl, and the nice thing about your second pregnancy is you know the great reward that comes at the end of it all.