My kids are different. (Well they are mine…which explains part of it) but they are different.
I don’t know how to articulate these complex feelings that I am feeling, but I didn’t know what I was missing until I had a second child.
All kids are different. I get that.
All kids develop different. I get that too.
But in the thick of things, with S – I knew she would develop differently given her prematurity and other assorted (though undiagnosed) issues.
But now with L, I see what might of been and I am aching and grieving for what we didn’t have with S. I’m not sure how to reconcile this.
But I just didn’t know...
Allow me to explain.
At 5 weeks, L began to smile and coo. He would respond to others smiling and smile back, squeal with delight and now “talks and coos” constantly.
S didn’t coo until she was eight months old. She rarely smiled. Rarely. In fact as an infant, she was such a serious child, she smiled just a handful of times.
While I marvel in the fact that she did smile and coo at all, and love her even more for her quirkiness, I do worry. I’m her mom. Its in my job description.
These worries go beyond just smiling.
And while I am giddy watching my son smile, it is tinged with this wave of sadness that we didn’t have this with S. I simply didn’t know how it was “supposed” to be and thankful that I didn’t so I could love and appreciate her for her.
But now – while joyful. I am sad too.
It was an exhausting morning. M came to get me to ask me to get S up while he was in the shower. I nodded and then promptly went back to sleep.
M was, ahem, less than pleased.
We raced around getting S ready for school. M ended up leaving a full 45 minutes late.
I actually said the fateful words, “Today would be a really bad day for B to go into labor.”
M had an important meeting for work.
My mom (who was going to watch S) was hosting a party at her house that night.
M drove away and then my phone rang. It was B calling.
The conversation went something like this….
“Hi N? This is B. Um…we’re going to the hospital. I’m in labor. You better pack your sh*t and get here as soon as possible. Okay? Bye” There might have been more to this conversation, but this is the information I remembered.
I called M who hadn’t made it further than the local Starbucks. He turned right around.
Within the next 20 minutes, I called my mom, booked our flight, our hotel, and called the agency.
The next flight left in an hour but the airport is AT LEAST 40 minutes away. No way.
I managed to find a direct flight into Indianapolis on Southwest CHEAP. It didn’t leave until 2:20. We thought we had time. It was her first baby…and labor the first time takes a while, right?
At 1:30pm we heard that she was dilated to 5cm (contractions started at midnight) and that they were just about to break her water.
At 1:50pm B got her coveted epidural.
At 2:50pm B was dialated fully and they called in the delivery team.
At 3:07pm she began to push. A few pushes later…
At 3:23pm was born. He weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 21.5 inches long.
We were in the plane somewhere over Alabama or Tennessee.
We landed at 5pm, found our wonderful contact at the agency (who had been watching our van) got in our car, and I got the following text message.
From B: Don’t worry if I don’t answer. Phone is dying. Everything went well. See you soon.
Um….what? Everything WENT well?
I responded with: Wait? He’s here? Details please!
They responded with: 7.15 21.5 inches long Beeeeaaaaautiful baby boy. That’s all you are going to get until you get here.
The hospital was almost 2 hours from the airport and we made it in record time. At 7pm, we were in the hospital parking lot when A called asking where we were.
We went straight to the room where she was supposed to be, only to find out that she had just been moved to the baby floor and out of Labor and Delivery.
We brought flowers. Turns out B has never received flowers before.
She looked pale but content. Both she and A’s faces lit up when they spoke of the baby and this would continue for the duration of our visit. We waited for a (slight inept) nurse to bring me a band that would allow me to have access to L in the nursery. After I got the band, we went down to the nursery.
I went in, M had to stay outside (you needed a band to get in). L had just finished being fed and the nurse handed him to me. He was so beautiful! I walked over to the window to let M see him when the nurse went to check with her supervisor to see if it would be okay for M to come in to the nursery to see him.
The nursing supervisor agreed and let M in! We went into a private corner and spend some time with our new son.
We took these pics with M’s iPhone.
It was definitely LOVE at first sight. We took him back to B’s room (although her adoption plan was clear that she didn’t want us all in the same room at the same time – she asked us to). We left little L in the room with B, stayed for a bit, but then said goodbye and left to grab some dinner and check into our hotel.
By now it was almost 10pm and we were STARVING!! We found a Taco
Hell Bell and I wanted to drive through. There was a long line in the drive through, so M wanted to go it. BIG MISTAKE (and I not so secretly was right!). It was the slowest.fast.food.experience.ever! We waited a half an hour for them to make 2 tacos. NO JOKE! But since it was the only place open so late in nowhereville Indiana, we stayed. An b*tched about the wait. EVERY SECOND OF IT!! :)
Then we headed to our hotel and crashed hard. We planned on heading back at 10 the next morning.