Monday, September 19, 2011

This Family of Four

"I know my eyes already like you, baby you. I know that love is, love is found." ~ Sade

Surreal and so real. That's how life feels at this very moment. Hazy days fade into blurry nights and back again. Yet I am in it. I am a mother of two in our now family of four. T and I were talking about how good it feels to be here. To have our family complete. We believe we are done. Now I'm not saying this will never change, but I'm pretty sure that two kids fulfill us.  It's a beautiful feeling.

It's the next season for our family. And it's only the beginning. The first episode of the season, if you will. Z is just over a week old. T went back to work. Q is in preschool twice a week. And I am home trying to juggle my new motherhood. And I only have two wee ones to juggle, but it still seems daunting. I won't deny that I'm scared. That I wonder if I'll be able to handle this reality with grace. How do people do this every day?! But for now, I am managing.

Z's newborn scents have invaded the house -- fresh baby skin and sour milk spit-up intermingle with sandy shoes from the park and Q's favorite fruit snacks meld with Elroy's not-so-pretty kitty mishaps. They seem to go well together. It's far from perfect, but it works. This new aroma at Guido.

More than ever, I am grateful for our family and friends who are so generous with their time, with their donations of food, and with their love for us. We are beyond lucky. Every visit, every text, every Facebook post, every email means so much to me as I face this new frontier. It truly makes the transition from mama of one to mama of two that much easier, and I'm pretty sure T feels the same way on the daddy front. Life with a newborn can be so isolating, so I'm trying to hold on to this outpouring of love and remember that it takes a community to lift up this family of four.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Introducing Zoe Danielle

"Finally you've come along" ~ CeCe Peniston

She's finally here! We are fully in the newborn + toddler whirlwind, so just a brief update for now and a more detailed birth story later.

Zoe Danielle was born in the wee hours of 9/11/11 at 3:27 on an almost-full moon. She weighed a healthy 9 pounds and 4 ounces at 20.8 inches long. Already aiming high with a 9.9 APGAR and made her presence known immediately with lots of vocalization.

Q is fascinated by his baby sister and wants to pet her head all the time (gently, very gently). I'm recovering from pushing that monster of a baby out of me, but otherwise feeling pretty good all things considered. Zoe is such a doll and I just love to watch her sleep. I know, I know -- I should be resting, too. So, with that, nigh-nigh and see you all in a bit!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

My Scholarly Son

"Oh no, I gotta go back to school again." ~ Grease 2

Well, we made it. Q officially started his first day of preschool. He practically pushed me out of the door, telling me "Mama, go." I had a hunch that he wouldn't experience separation anxiety. There's just way too much to do at his new school. A ton of trucks and musical instruments and art projects. Endless outdoor entertainment. Even the baby dolls intrigued him. I was just in the way. So, after one last kiss and hug and Q almost to the point of rolling his eyes at me, I walked away. Other kids were crying and clinging to their parents, so I felt a mixture of pride and relief . . . . and then . . .

I've been so focused on this pregnancy and the any-minute-now arrival of LL that I forgot to anticipate how I would feel upon leaving him at school for the first time. My heart started racing and proceeded to drop to my stomach. I panicked. My baby boy is in school and I won't be there! What if they can't get him back inside for any of the more structured activities? What if he scratches his teachers like he's been doing to us when he's not ready to leave whatever he's doing?  What if he realizes later that I'm really not there and starts melting down? I had to remember that he's in good hands with experienced teachers who have seen it all. And that all of this will be good for him. He will learn so much. And so will I.

So, I got into my car and drove to the store, reminding myself that I wouldn't have many mornings like this in the near future. A couple of hours all to myself. Baby girl must have sensed my need to be there for Q's first day and the benefit of some alone time afterward. Thank you, little love dove. You're going to be a wonderful sister.

And to you, my big schoolboy Q, you make mama so very proud. Your curiosity and passion for life are inspiring. I know you will thrive in school. I'm incredibly excited for your new journey, the beginning of your education, the friends you will make, what you will bring home with you. This next step. The world is yours, Quincy Kye. Drive on.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

39 Weeks: Final Countdown

"Will things ever be the same again? It's the final countdown" ~ Europe

Patience, oh patience, wherefore art thou, patience?

This virtue is eluding me as I am well into my 39th week of this pregnancy. A place I have never been before. So, I guess I can look at this waiting period from a different perspective -- this baby girl is giving me a new experience. One in which I have to work on keeping myself in the moment and enjoying our family of 3 for a bit longer. But it's a challenge. Growing discomfort, fluctuating emotions, constant trips to the bathroom, intense pressure, a dwindling amount of clothing that covers this belly. And every Braxton Hicks raises my hopes that I'll be able to meet LL face to face in a few hours and give her a real name, only to be met with crushing defeat when they stop. T suggests we name her Braxton.

I'm in a constant battle between wanting to try different tricks to induce labor, from having my OB strip my membranes at my last appointment on Wednesday to talking walks, and attempting to just let myself relax and go with the flow. The walks are actually good for both bringing on more contractions and for making myself feel better. But I have to admit that I wake up every morning feeling a bit disappointed that another day has passed and true labor has yet to begin. And when I think of her possibly coming several days late, it seems like an eternity to wait. Perhaps there will be a time when I look back at this and laugh at myself for being in such a rush. Or want to smack myself.

When I think back to my attitude during the last weeks of Q's pregnancy, I wish I could recapture that ease and positivity. His coming 10 days early was such blessing, and he was a healthy 8 pounds 3 ounces, so he was obviously ready for the world. I hadn't become impatient and I was so excited to experience labor for the first time. Truly. I had very little fear. I wanted to meet him desperately, but I was enjoying my maternity leave. The day before I went into labor I had lunch followed by yummy ice cream at Fenton's with my parents and then went to a movie that night with my dear friend Autumn. So, of course we went to Fenton's last night for dinner. I then attempted to watch a movie On Demand while T dozed off, but I was too uncomfortable to really enjoy it. Or maybe it was the movie that sucked.


Maybe this girl needs a little more chub on her. She's not quite baked yet. Or maybe she'll be here tonight! I need to chant a mantra to myself. I need that easygoing way back again. Be in the moment. Be in the moment. Be in the moment. Be in the moment. Be in the moment . . .