Sunday, February 16, 2014

on the new, the known, and the terrifying

It all started with, oh perhaps, never mind and some details later, the pregnancy test that confirmed what I already knew.  Baby #3 was on the way.  And of course, all the people were like, oh, hey there’s totally no morning sickness the third time around, and I never believed them for a second.  Turns out, I was right. 

But, as the quality time with my old pals nausea and vomiting seems to be winding down, allowing me to return to something nearly human, I’m struck by the difference of time number three.   Is it because I already have one boy and one girl? Is it because we saved everything in the attic?  Is it a universal third time ease? I don’t know.  But, what I do know is that a handful of my friends are pregnant with baby number one and when I sit in a room with them, I see this great energy oozing out of them. This new, wonderful experience of waiting nine months for what will forever change them.  The excitement of making preparations, pondering just how different it will really be.  It’s a beautiful, powerful force, this energy.

And then, that thing called energy, it’s not a descriptive word I would use for myself, because while I am delighted at the idea of adding another life to our family, mostly I want to take a nap.  But, naps make me nauseous, which is totally unfair, because a girl needs sleep.  I am not lying when I say I was drinking coffee the other day and falling asleep at the same time.  Is this the picture of a mother of two, expecting her third miracle?  Anything resembling energy is distributed to the ones already born and any option to sit and rest, you take it, because this time you know a truth.  It’s all incredibly, amazing hard work, and somehow, you survive the sickness and discomfort and forget it in one glimpse, you lose sleep, you lose your mind, you’re happy and delirious, you give and there’s enough of whatever you need. Babies grow. Love grows. Children grow. There is enough.

As I was talking to a friend who had her third last year about this time, we laughed about spending twenty minutes picking out clothes for the first and how the same pajamas days in a row are good enough for the rest.  We talked of the energy that consumes a new mother and sustains the rest.  And then, with a trembling uncertainty, we talked about the next stage in which we find ourselves.  It turns out, five year olds go to school, and school, well, that’s a whole new game. 

We got the letter saying H had a spot in one of the magnet schools we wanted and the rest of the day I was something of shaken mess.  I mean, sure I knew he’d go to school, but all of a sudden, one stupid piece of paper and the marvel of a boy who I want to grow up to be brave, adventurous, kind, smart, and confident was again a fragile, new creature that I wasn’t ready to share, in the first baby kind of way. 

Today we read books and watched the Olympics and at bedtime, he said, mama, will you rock me and sing me songs?  Oh, I would.  More than anything in the world, I would. His giant legs spilled off my lap, but his head rested near my heart and in a way, it was like it had always been, since the beginning of us.  In the dark, I sang all the words to our favorite bedtime songs, you’re skin and bones, turned into something beautiful,  and the winds of change are blowing wild and free, and old dream maker, you heart-breaker, where ever you’re going, I’m going your way.  With his eyes closed, he said, okay, I’m ready for bed. 

Oh, my heart. 


At the end of that phone call, my dear friend suggested that maybe by the time the third kid starts school, we’ll feel the same ease in which we now talk about pregnancy.  

I don’t know though, suddenly August feels like tomorrow.


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