We’re hunkering down into pre-baby mode, here, so this will probably be my last post before you are inundated with close-up shots of teeny-tiny fingers and toes (aaahhhh!) and my inevitable complaints about leaky boobs (aaahhh!). We are nervous (eek, the sleepless nights!), and excited, and anxious (David’s been honing his swaddling skills), and excited, and curious (boy or girl? Which sister will s/he resemble the most?), and, you guessed it, so, so SO excited. The baby is coming. THE BABY IS COMING.
My pregnancy with Saoirse took forever, as I suppose first pregnancies do, and she was only two days late. The Friday before I went into labor, I had off work, so spent a leisurely afternoon at a bookstore paging through fashion magazines and drinking decaf lattes (can you tell that it was our first child? Where did I have all this time??). I tacked the last of the wall decorations onto the nursery walls (because of course that wasn’t completed yet), and went out with David for Mexican food. I remember getting stuck in the restaurant booth between the seat and the table and nearly fainting from embarrassment. I remember David encouraging me to get the extra picante sauce to kick-start contractions. And I remember Saoirse’s beautiful new face.
(I also remember the OB putting my insides back together while emphatically telling us to not name our baby Saoirse, but nevermind that. This is a happy post, dagnabit).
With Quinn, I fretted about ruining Saoirse’s life. My hormones went completely wonky, and as excited as I was to meet this new baby, I was terrified SK would resent us, that adding a sibling to her easy world would be unfair, that our family dynamic would never be the same again. I was right. Quinn was born, and it wasn’t the same. This happy-go-lucky, incredibly vocal, spunky red-headed string bean of a child changed us all forever. Which I think is sort of the point.
It’s strange knowing the date and time I’m going to give birth. It’s strange to leave your house in the dark and cold, suitcase packed with comfortable, stretchy clothes and nursing tanks and the trusty Boppy, knowing that you’re going to return in a few days with an empty belly, a sore body, and a fuller car. I keep acting like these days are the end of an era, that we have to have special family moments and time to enjoy the girls, and David is teasing me–nothing’s changing, Leah, he says, except that we’re adding a person to the house. That’s it. Look how well it went with Saoirse and Quinn (well, after the first year, but we won’t focus on that. HAPPY POST). It’s not the end of the world, he implies. It’s the beginning of something better.
A couple of months ago, Saoirse was helping me tuck Quinn into her bed for Quinn’s nap (this is before Quinn decided “no covers!!” and began insisting on going to sleep wearing nothing but play clothes and bare feet in the middle of winter). I was walking out the door when I heard Quinn call out to her sister:
SK jumped onto the foot of the bed, smiling as she crawled up to the head.
“Sure. I’ll always give you a big kiss… I promise.”
“I love you,” Quinn said, softly, and Saoirse kissed her again.
I know. I needed a moment, too.
THE BABY IS COMING. David, as much as I ever dislike to admit it, is right: the baby is coming, and look at these amazing kids, and do you see this adventure we’re on? This is the beginning of something even better for our family.
Isn’t that the whole point?