Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's A Wonderful Life

Dear Baby,
 This is how we spent your last day in utero (in case you were wondering).

In typical fashion, your brother woke up and came into our room and climbed on my side of the bed asking me to read a book about dinosaurs to him.  However, as it was a coloring book, there wasn't much of a story line, so we talked about what we thought the dinos were doing in the pictures.  Actually, it was more of an activity book, than just a straight up coloring book, so there were dinos in mazes, dinos doing word puzzles, match-the-dino games, etc.  Your brother was treating it as a dino-business-as-usual day, but I was sitting across from him freaking out on the inside, knowing that after tonight, I wouldn't see him for a few days, and we haven't yet spent that much time apart, and when we come home, we'd no longer be a family of 3, and he'd kind of be losing his most-favorite-baby-status.  This little blond kid has been the center of my world for two years and five months.  He's my sunshine.  He's driven me crazy all week by not wanting to eat dinner, in fact I think yesterday his dinner consisted of a fortune cookie and 5 bites of pizza.  Yes, we had Italian and Chinese on the same day - this is the kind of 'I give up' kitchen I'm running here, but today was worse when we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and I think he ate 5 chips, then didn't touch his dinner, only to later find a chip off the floor and eat that, with a look on his face that said, 'aren't you glad I ate something (even if it was on the floor)'.  OMG the two year old is killing me and you, my little one, what ever it is that you are doing just below my left lung, PLEASE STOP.

Enough about your brother.  Most-Favorite-Baby has got to share the limelight.  I feel like I have been waiting for you to come into the world.  Since, like forever.  Well, it's really been 38 weeks and six days.  But those 38 weeks spanned over the 2013 holidays, the snow-pocolypse of the 2014 polar vortex and bitter cold winter, and a spring that really wasn't ready to start in full force either.  I was still wearing my winter wool coat in April, though I could barely button it closed, and praying it would warm up before you helped me pop out of it.  The timing just about worked out, and I made it into a much more forgiving spring fleece.  By May, I was just in sheer count-down mode until the weeks left fit on two hands, then one hand, then days remaining on two hands, then one hand.  Now I could count down the hours on two hands, though I hope by the time the hours left fit on one hand, I may actually get some sleep.  Not sleep like lying in bed rolling around, I mean one last, deep, drool on the pillow, REM mode sleep.  You see, due to your brother being a breech baby and being delivered via C-section, I'm a repeat scheduled C-section patient myself.  And you were breech for a good number of weeks yourself, so your fate has been sealed and we're scheduled for an 8AM eviction tomorrow morning, and the taxi is picking us up at Oh-Five-Hundred sharp.  You ready?

I'm ready and I'm not ready.  I'm done being pregnant.  It's a great feeling and at times, it's the worst feeling.  It was cool last week when I poked you and you poked me back, and this game went on for a few minutes, it was not cool when you made me want to yak for 3 months.  (And trust me, there was yak).  Pregnancy is like one big trade-off, the longer you progress into the pregnancy, the more viable the baby, the more physically challenging it becomes for the mom (and the more publicly noticeable it becomes for the mom - which can bring in all types of uninvited commentary).  So at 38  weeks, you are considered full term and can come out (whenever you like, or whenever you get evicted), but I'm done.  I'm even ready for all the nakedness among strangers (Drs, nurses) and medical professionals up in your business-end that's going to accompany tomorrow.  I took a shower and got extra clean.  People are going to be up in your naked business tomorrow, too.  But like your brother, you won't even know what's going on.  And this, my friend, is just the beginning.

There are many modern conveniences in this day and age that are not a pregnant woman's friend:  Speed bumps, subway turnstiles, revolving doors, potholes, skittish elevators, getting squished on elevators, express trains, bathrooms on express trains (well the bathroom is good to have, but the sloshing around is a bit rough), lack of bathrooms, long lines for bathrooms, excessive amounts of stairs (a few weeks ago at work, it was announced that due to some small 'electrical issue' - which was later blamed on ConEd - our bank of elevators were out of service, so I could sit in the office and piece together a lunch of 5-6 vending machine items or walk down seven flights of stairs, and in a 40-story building, that's not too bad.  But how would I make it up stairs?  Popcorn and Chex Mix it was for me, that day)  I've started favoring ramps and basically following wheelchair-favorable routes.  One can only waddle so much in public without feeling too ridiculous.
Last Friday was my last day at work.  I had finally come to a point where I felt like things were in good hands and at good stages and even cleaned out my desk, mostly because we will be moving offices soon, or possibly even during this leave, and left my nesting mark on my  little cube space.  On my last train ride into Manhattan I wanted to run up and down the cars high-fiveing everyone, like 'yay, I made it to the end of the week, no early delivery, no unfinished business', but I knew better than to make eye contact on mass transit, let alone invade people's personal space that early in the morning.  The prior day, Thursday, my work mates took me out for Indian food, which I was happy to report only required one Tums to counter-act.  But I couldn't get too close to the table, with my bump in the way, and all that sauce-savoring on naan, well, I left alot of that sauce (masala, paneer, chutneys) all over my shirt.  I mean all-over my shirt.  It required massive stain treatment that night.  But of course on the way back to the office we had another 'electrical issue' and the building's turnstiles didn't work so we all had to go past a security guard one at a time.  Like of all days to not need to be looked over while covered in my aromatic stained shirt, my wallet zipper snagged and it took me a small eternity to get my ID badge out, during which time, I'm sure people saw, smelled, and pieced together my lunch just off my shirt stains. (Hey, was that Darbar on East 55th?  You bet it was!)

Over the weekend, was my birthday.  It was nice and pretty much low key.  My little one, our birthdays will be only 5 days apart, and don't worry, I've already checked out all the celebrities and dodgy-infamous types born on your birthday.  You're safe.  We can have joint parties going forward.  When you get older you will understand this is a great time of year for a birthday.  Today was a bit humid for my liking, but otherwise, it's good beach weather.

Monday rolled around and I didn't have to go to work, which was good because I had more Dr. appointments and Sonograms and such.  They think you are 7.5 lbs.  I'd guess that's your absolute maximum weight.  You seem to have alot more room to roll around and kick and punch than your brother did at this point, so I'd bet you're coming in smaller than he was at birth (8 lbs 3 oz), even if you're my second uterine tenant and quarters have already been stretched out for you.That's my wager.  The sonogram put you in heads-down position, out of breech, so if you want to come on your own, you've got 72 hours.

Tuesday would make you 38 weeks and 5 days, that is when your brother was born.  So I thought maybe you'd come on Tuesday.  Wednesday is Wednesday, the Twenty-Fifth, and your brother was born on a Wednesday the Twenty-Fifth, so I thought maybe you'd come today.  But you've been pretty calm, even though I still feel kicks and punches and stretches and this weird feeling just under my left lung, and a sinking feeling in my pelvis, but I'm not in any pain, so I guess I'm not in any labor.  I feel kind of silly that I have two kids but have never been in labor.  But I know all about dinosaurs doing word puzzles and mazes, and trying to get a toddler to eat off his plate and not off the floor, so I've earned my Mommy stripes.

Last night and again today, realizing you are probably coming on your scheduled eviction date and not on your own, I felt compelled that I should be doing 'something'.  Though I have no idea what this 'something' is.  I did a practice run with your Grandma today to the hospital, I barked at Daddy to do laundry, I gave your brother a bath, I rearranged the kitchen counter-top appliances, because, at some point in the universe, that matters the day before your child is born, we assembled bottles, I've been OCD on the house and the laundry and the toy room (even though you are too young for 99.9% of those toys) and re-organizing your room, I made like 100 ounces of decaffeinated sun-tea (which I am now drinking), I'm contemplating having  a snack because I can't eat after midnight, I watched too much day-time television today while OCD-ing the house, which you know consists of too many advertisements for disability and malpractice lawsuits. I'm like, hey, I'm on disability!  But nobody should be listening to advertisements for pharmaceuticals or malpractice lawyers the day before going into the hospital.  I'm kind of avoiding my phone, getting messages from people who 'will pray for me' tomorrow.  Like, Lord Jesus, it is a surgery, and I did sign a statement of understanding or something like that, because death is a possible outcome of surgery.  Maybe I should be more afraid.  Or more prayerful myself.  Maybe I should have written out a will.  Maybe I should remind Rob about the life insurance.

No, I should be doing 'something', and not preparing for my own demise, which hopefully, comes much later (like 50 years later).  I didn't want to spend my last night infant-free watching another episode of Orange is the New Black.  I like this show, but a prison show doesn't seem so baby-friendly.  And I'm not ready to lose all track of time and space to another Baby Einstein marathon, not just yet (spinning top, spinning top, rolling marbles, rolling marbles, scary puppets, scary puppets....).  I put Nick to bed, like any other day, but I won't be there when he wakes up.  I made 100 ounces of caffeinated tea for my mom.  My suitcase is packed.  I've made 100 lists for everyone.  But what am I supposed to be doing?

Yes, to keep busy I decided to write a blog post as both real-time life documentation and catharsis.

What I have been doing, little one, is thinking about what I want for you, besides an exit from the uterus, in a safe and reasonable manner, is to be healthy and happy.  I want you to have everything, and I don't mean in a material sense, and I'm too cheap a person to give you that, but I want for you is to know you are loved, and that you have been loved since before your were born.  And you have been anticipated, and waited for and prepared for.  And I want to see what you look like, even if you're going to look like every other wrinkly baby in the hospital nursery, at least for starters.  And I want to touch your skin and smell your head, and I want to look you in the face and meet you, even if we kind of already know each other, and now it's your chance to meet everyone else.  And I want you to know, that you are loved.  And I've said it before and I'll say it again.  You are loved.  You are beautiful.  You are a gift.  And I want you to have a wonderful life.

And here we go.