Friday, December 18, 2015

Second Verse, Definitely NOT the Same as the First

The birth of my first child was a long, hard labor. It was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I learned a lot about myself through that labor. The birth of my second child was a complete surprise. Even my midwife, who had cautioned me that second labors often go faster than first labors, said it was almost unheard of to have such a huge difference in length and difficulties of labors in the same mama. Our second child, AL, was born 2 days after his due date, after a 5ish hour labor, and exactly 2 pushes. BC slept through the whole thing. We called my mom, who was on deck to be with BC while I labored, at 5:02 AM. "Okay. Real labor has started so you should come over now." Not in a panic. Not even especially to rush her. Just, you know, it's time. She walked in at 5:18 AM to see my husband on the floor, holding me, holding our new son. The midwife missed the birth by about 10 minutes. I now have the distinction, and distinct honor, of having "caught" both of my children. In case you're wondering, yes, I feel like a badass.

AL was latched by the time he was 15 minutes old and nursed for a solid 2 hours. BC asked to "see the placenta" and was fascinated. He may want to be a midwife when he grows up. We are all settling in quite nicely.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

To My First Born

My dearest son,

Today I am 40 weeks pregnant with your sibling. I have been trying to write this note to you for several months but am just now finally getting my thoughts about the impending arrival out of my head and into the world. You have been my only child for the past three and a half years. These years have been the best of my life, because of you. You made me a mother. You are my first born; the first to teach me how to love unconditionally, the first to call me "Mama", the first to let me not live up to that title and love me anyway, the first to walk through the world by my side as my child, the first Great Mystery I will never solve. My love for you is beyond compare to anything I have ever known. You and I, we've created a special world for ourselves. We are buddies. We are Mother and Child. Your Papa is the third in our cozy tribe and together, the three of us, face the world head-on. Not loving every minute of it, but loving one another fiercely through it.

Right now my belly is round and large. You scarcely fit on my lap because of it. With every inch my belly has grown, with every loss of an inch on my lap for you to sit, I have felt this deep, nagging worry that I cannot ignore. Will you ever wonder, I wonder, why your Papa and I wanted to make our cozy tribe of three into four? Will you be heartbroken to learn that the baby being out of my belly does not mean my lap will be free for you to sit upon whenever you choose? Will you struggle with suddenly having a sibling, feeling that you were not enough?

Son, you are enough. Enough to be my first born. You are perfectly you and fit perfectly into my life. Another child in our family is one more person to love. Another child in our family means a sibling for you. It's a gift I am giving you. Siblings, my darling boy, are the relationships that outstretch all other relationships. As your parent, I will have the honor of walking with you through the beginning and middle of your life. Your partner will, eventually, have the honor of walking with you through the middle and end of your life. Your sibling will have the honor of walking with you throughout your entire life. Your sibling will be the one to know you as a child, a young adult, a middle-ager, and an old man. Your sibling will know how you got that scar, be able to hold entire conversations with you only using quotes from the favorite movie you share, fight with you both verbally and physically (but always make up), wonder with you at the mental status of your parents, share your joy and your sorrow, hold your past, celebrate your future, and call you Brother. All of that is what I want for you. I want you to know the richness of siblinghood.

You are enough. You will forever be my first born child, the one who first called me Mother, the one I first called Child. Now it is time for you to be called Brother.