Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Mixed Bag

I now have 8 weeks left until I am scheduled to have a C-section to deliver the newest addition to our family. I am a total emotional wreck most days, feeling like my hormones are taking me on a most unpleasant roller coaster ride to hell and back. I go back and forth from being excited to terrified, from feeling like I might actually have things under control to sobbing for 20 minutes because someone asked me how I am feeling. It is so frustrating not being in control of your own body, and never knowing what it is going to do to you on a certain day. Added to the hormone craziness is the fact that I have not gotten a solid night's sleep in over 2 months. I was never this physically uncomfortable during my previous two pregnancies, and it is really driving me up the wall. I have had terrible, and I am talking rotting out my insides terrible, heartburn and reflux. It is so bad that daily doses of Zantac and about 15 Tums doesn't even touch it. I also have hip pain that makes me feel like a 90 year old arthritic woman. I know that some women are so ill, need to be hospitalized, on bed rest, etc. I know that all in all I haven't had it that bad, but these two things, combined with all the usual discomforts of pregnancy and a kid that seems to want to box 10 rounds in my uterus the second I get ready to sleep, have driven me to a level of sleep deprivation that I have never visited before. I just hope I can manage a few good nights before the baby arrives and I am up all night feeding and rocking and changing him. I pray that this little boy makes an early entrance, so that maybe I only have 5 or 6 weeks left of all this. Still, in the midst of all of the complaining and discomfort, I am so excited to meet this little being that has been growing inside of me. I can't wait to hold and rock and feed a newborn again, even if it is at 3 AM!! I have started getting out the old baby clothes to wash, and I find myself smiling and giggling while deciding what he will wear home from the hospital. At the same time, I think about all the memories I have of my Noah in those little onesies and hats.

Which brings me to a whole other set of feelings about bringing a new little boy into our family. While rocking and singing to Noah at bedtime the other night, I found myself getting sad. Sitting here now in front of my computer, tears are coming to my eyes. With the birth of this baby, Noah is no longer my baby. And as much as he has been driving me insane the past few months, this little boy is just the sweetest, cuddliest, most adorable thing I have ever seen. I feel like I need to mourn the loss of his "baby-ness." I find myself giving him some extra cuddles during the day, and rocking him just a few more minutes before putting him in his crib at night.

I went through this with Georgia when Noah was born, too, but she had such a different personality. Georgia was always much more independent, quieter, and calmer than her brother is at the same age. She was not a super-cuddly kid, even at 22 months. At bedtime she was all business, preferring to get right in her crib after stories instead of cuddling for a few minutes in her rocker. She definitely had a rough time going from the only child to sharing the attention with her baby brother, but adjusted pretty quickly. I was also able to give her a lot of individual attention during the first couple of months, so I think that made a big difference. Noah still seeks out a lot of attention from us, and would gladly be held and cuddled all day long. He is very much the "baby" in our house, and I am dreading how he will handle giving up this role. My attention will be divided by three, and he will now be the middle child. I know I can still cuddle him and hold him and rock him at night, but I also know that I need to get him used to being more independent. And I know I am going to be even more tired than I am now, and so I may not have all the energy or time that I want to be able to give to each child.

It is so easy when you have the first one. You can devote as much time and attention as you want to that single, beautiful baby. You can hold them, and dote on them. You can sit and just stare at them while they sleep. There are only happy, welcoming, thoughts when that first baby is born. With every child that comes into a family after that first one, the emotions are split. The anticipation and excitement at meeting the new little one are still there, but they are tempered with a bit of sadness and loss. Your stable little family unit of three now has to take in a new member, and find a new equilibrium. You don't know what to expect anymore, at least for a few months until things calm down. And everyone has to adjust to their new roles, saying goodbye to the old ones.

We are at that point right now, just before jumping off the cliff again into the abyss of the unknown. I know that 6 months from now I will have no idea what it was like before I had three children, and my family will be wonderfully chaotic, yet stable again. As much as I want the next few weeks to fly by for my own comfort, I also want time to stand still. I want to take in every little moment of calm and quiet before the proverbial storm. I want to give and get as many cuddles as I can, and really enjoy my children and where and who they are right now. So tonight I will sing a few extra songs to Noah, and sit with him for a few minutes longer, knowing that I might not be able to do that very soon. And I will love him as my littlest baby for as long as I can, before he says goodbye to that title forever.


  1. I'm having the same feelings about the end of our time alone with Max. I want to cuddle with him more, but, like Georgia, he's not very snuggly. But I try anyway. Knowing this will be our last kid, Matt and I have already confessed to wanting to snuggle more this time than we did with Max (we were trying to make sure he wasn't too needy - guess it worked!). And we're hoping Max gets a little snugglier out of jealousy, but not too bad, just a little bit. :)

  2. It's 7:00 am and you have me crying into my coffee. Beautifully written and perfectly is a roller coaster. All will be well, but the anticipation is brutal. xoxo