I don't have a picture to share. Or, at least, not yet and probably not later either.
Today, people, Henry is one. I woke up around 5:30 AM to the sound of my oldest asking if it was waking-up-time. She told Nick she wanted to snuggle with Mom. I think he was trying to convince her otherwise, but she won. They both crawled into bed and I started a story...
Your dad and I, one year ago, are at the hospital right now, working very hard to bring out our second baby... we didn't know he was your brother yet...
The past two days, this has occupied my mind. It has been one year already. Where did my time with Henry go? I don't regret or have guilt about it, but it sure feels like I have missed something, somewhere, that time has taken something easily and I'm almost too busy to notice.
He is starting to walk. Five steps before he realizes what happening and crumples to crawl instead. Almost unintelligibly he says: "What's that?", "Maa", "Dada", and "Yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhh!" He has four teeth on the top and bottom. He needs yet another hair cut (third one!). His hugs makes your heart explode, and his habit of feeding the dog his dinner makes your BP rise. His smile infectious and his lashes a dream.
My second. My baby. My boy. You make me ugly cry with all the love and fear I have. You have grown and thrived by the support and care of so many. I am so grateful I am your mommy.
Nothing says hello like not saying anything for months on end. I have little room to feel guilt about that.
It is ten days until Christmas and I am running full speed towards the end of the year. I feel like we just got back from Disneyland yesterday (actually almost two weeks ago) and that we'll be leaving for Hawaii tomorrow (actually two weeks from now).
Trying to be ever-present when your ten month old (yes - ten months!) has decided to protest sleeping is pretty hard shit. I feel bad for Arri because I am so short with her because I have used up all my patience on Henry. I need to be a better mom to her.
Anyway, I literally don't have the time or energy to say much more, nor to do a picture-dump of all of Henry's monthly pictures. Poor second baby gets zero love. But here are a few from our Disneyland trip for good measure...
For the record - the pictures make it look like we had a lot of fun... I simply can't remember it. I am still having a hard time coming to grips with this trip. I simply hope whenever we go again, I can enjoy it more.
The days go by and you know your kids are growing, but then one day you put them in a shirt that was too big that now fits just right, pants that were too long are now too short, and they ask you fully formed questions that make you stop in your tracks.
Then you go to a pumpkin patch and watch her walk through the fields, talking about finding the pumpkin "made just for her", which she finds on her own accord (while ignoring all your polite suggestions). You take her picture, you buy your pumpkins, and it's just another day in your family life.
Henry is three months old. He is cooing and laughing and making all kinds of racket. He can roll from his tummy to his back, but not consistently. He can also roll from his back to his tummy, but that's a very recent and rare occurance. He sleeps through the night, in my book, but not in Nick's. Henry is usually in bed by 8 PM, wakes up somewhere between 2:30 and 6:30 AM, depending. I say that's nothing to be angry about considering he is only three months old! Aurelia is showing more and more affection to him, saying, "I love you, Henry," and giving him nose boops. I am surviving full-time work and pumping. I give myself full marks for sticking it out and making it half-way through my six month quest of supplying milk.
This is all well and good, but I realized today, while I was uploading pictures from my camera to my computer, that I had not actually imported any pictures of Henry until today. That's three months of neglect. It's not like I haven't picked up my camera, it's just that I haven't been sharing any pictures from it. My silly phone has become my go-to camera. That isn't necessarily bad (a picture is a picture, nonetheless), but I really only have to post once a month! Something about my new baby and something about how awesome it is we are surviving.
Anyway, because I am so bad at this this time around (though I am sure no one is surprised), here is two months worth of pictures.
TWO MONTH PICTURES:
THREE MONTH PICTURES:
ARRI AND HENRY THREE MONTH COMPARISON (not related at all...):
This is the last week of at-home help post baby number two. I have a stack of medical bills I need to review and pay. Spring has shown up and so have the spiders. I've been up since 4:30. We had to pay back the government for taxes. We are probably not going to Hawaii until the end of the year.
Simple things. Every day life. I am scared shitless of it.
Next week we have to fully fend for ourselves with two full-time jobs, two kids and a dog. And while it seems simple and every day life, it sounds horrifically impossible to me. And if you know me by any means, the fact that I think it sounds impossible is kinda a big deal because I make things happen. I make it go. What needs to be done? I'll get it done. That's my m.o. But I find myself standing in the kitchen, sitting at work, or staring at my breast pump and wondering how. How will I juggle mornings of pumping and the dog and getting the kids ready by 7, so I can be at work by 7:30? How will I balance my work hours so I stay at full-time and still take care of Henry's drop-offs and pick-ups? How will I come home and pump and take care of the dog and cook dinner and attend to Henry before the rest of the family gets home, where then I'll need to have enoughwits about me to give attention to Arri and do bedtimes? Oh, and maybe have an adult coversation with my husband? And then pump again before bed, contemplating if tonight I will give myself a full-night's rest without interruption, or should I set my alarm now for my mid-night pumping?
This. All of that. How do I make that go and not become a zombie? How do I do this and not revert to not-that-good-for-you instant meals? How do I juggle the responsibilities of being a working parent and wanting my children's lives to include me? I hear myself saying, "My kids don't see much of each other... or us, for that matter." And so many red flags and warning signs start to flash and scream in my head. This is not how it should be, right? I feel like I shouldn't see my co-workers more than my family, but I do. And I'm not in any way saying I want to be a stay-at-home mom because I was not built for that. But I want that balance where I work and have two kids and a dog, and not feel like it's impossible. That should not be impossible!
It's 6... time to go back to working on the impossible.
And now, here we are! Henry has slipped into our lives, adding new sounds and joys, annoyances and amazements. While it has only been a month, it feels quite shorter and extremely longer. I will go into detail about the rest of my postpartum experience later, but for now... here he is:
The baby has decided that it really loves my uterus, and thus we are being induced tomorrow. I had hoped that my body would get as exhausted as my mind and emotions, and evicted this little being... but alas, here we are, 41 weeks and some pregnant. Thanks, or something.
I put the co-sleeper on my side of the bed. I have washed most of the things. Baby carseats at the ready in both cars. Camera battery is being charged. Diapers and wipes stocked. With all these things, I feel more prepared than I did with Aurelia, but at the same time, completely inept. How did we do it the first time? I know instincts are a part of it, they have to be, but isn't there more? Isn't there some level of knowledge I should have glemmed from the first time? I find myself wondering how Aurelia is even alive today. I must have done something right because there she is! But don't even remotely ask me how I did it. There is just blank space in my memory in the months after she was born. I have monthly pictures, moments on Nick's facebook that remind me of her crazy hair, but really... ::shrug:: I rub my baby-tummy and tell it hopefully, "I will do my best... please love me anyway when I suck."
Considering the above, it might surprise you that I feel nonchalant about tomorrow. I'm going to go through one of the toughest physical experiences and all I can think about is the sushi I will enjoy afterwards. Give me all your salmon nigri and no one gets hurt. Though, that's not completely truthful. I have had my Lifetime movie concerns that the baby will go into distress and I'll have to have a C-section... or the baby will leave this Earth quicker than it ever should... or it will come out with some massive medical issue... or perhaps something horrific will happen to me. And while this happens, and to people I know, every fiber in my body hopes it doesn't happen to me. But the world owes me nothing. What will be, will be. So I tell myself that my life wasn't written with such dramatic situations and go blow my nose.
So, "D" day. Here we come. It's been days, weeks, months since I've wanted to meet this little baby. Let's go.
My due date was January 29 and here I am – still pregnant. Nick and I believe I will be induced on Thursday after my next doctor’s appointment, because my BP has been slowly creeping up. However, if like last week – it is within normal range, then February 5th is our current induction date. But I could push this out any time that following week, if I wanted to wait. If, if, if. I keep hoping that my body will simply get the eviction notice and start its engine to bring our new little person into the world. I really don’t want an augmented labor. I know what will be, will be, but I can hope, right?
Amidst all this happiness, I am watching my country go through turmoil. Since President Trump (cannot believe I wrote that) took office, executive order after executive order has rocked the USA into confusion and anger. Lines are being crossed, boundaries tested and I hear the roar from the public and from Democratic leaders, but very little from the Republicans. I guess I should say “my version” of the USA. There are people who support, even love, all the things the POTUS is doing, and I wonder if living in my West Coast bubble has somehow blinded me. Is there some small town community in Nebraska that feels constantly threaten that an immigrant or refugee is going to come take a manufacturing job that doesn’t exist? A family in Yakima that feels so strongly that the government has lost sight of them and their plight, that all must feel the wrath, even the most innocent and defenseless? I wish I had the time and patience to listen to their side, to understand. But all I can think is - how can I listen and understand hate?
I feel lost and bewildered. I want to shut off the outside world and focus on my family, but I can’t. I am waiting to bring another person into this world, into this country, and wondering how do I raise this baby and our three year old daughter in an atmosphere of chaos and discourse? I know they won’t understand it and they might not even see it, but all of this will shape their future.
In both cases of my baby and my country, I keep questioning when it will all break free.