Saturday, September 05, 2009

When did I become Richard Gere?

So until recently my lovely sister #2 has been looking a bit like this.



Lovely, round and full of new life. We are sisters and it has fed the joy and anticipation of her daughter having her own little sister.

After the super scary drama of Bean's birth much time and thought was spent on the preparation of this birth plan. #2 was hoping and working for an intervention free delivery and it was impressive watching her conquer her own fears and reservations in the process.

She asked me to be there to photograph the birth and I was geared and ready to give her something like this to memorialize the day. We discussed the prohibition of migrating too far down the table. No objection here. We sat up late one night scrapbooking (you have no idea how far behind I am on my kid's baby books) and we got to talking. I think I might have snarfed something when she said "I have had an epidural before, even I think I am crazy for trying this". She established the 3 times rule. If I ask for pain medication 3 times then I really do want it. If I just bitch and complain don't you dare offer medication.

She called me from work on Friday with a stream of consciousness rant something along the lines of GeeshwhatamIdoing Iwas upallnight contracting andnowIamatwork. Youdon'tthinkthiscouldgoonfordayslikeBean'sdoyou? My answer fell somewhere in the lines of #2 you can't do this tonight, Hero Husband is at the fire station, Melissa (my kid sitting go-to) is in Missouri and Nana (my awesome suegra) is having a dinner party tonight. For the love of Pete you can't have this baby tonight. Okay so that at least made her laugh and we agreed that if she called I would find a way to be there and it would work out.

Then the Back Cracker called at midnight, Crap. I hadn't gone to sleep yet so I rationalized that the it was still early enough for me to schelp the kids up to #2's house and put them back to sleep there (where Bean was sleeping too) and there was bound to be qualified overnight kids sleeping there is nothing you actually have to do kind of supervision to be had.

My kids are angels that will never end up in therapy regardless of the crazy things I put them through. They were excited to go and promptly fell back to sleep in #2's big bed when I tucked them in. Good kids I say. Remind me of this when you break curfew the first time, you just earned a pass. I hopped in the car with a frantic Back Cracker and a grunting non verbal #2. I should have known something was up when she started laughing at my jokes as we were driving. She was checked in and was dilated to a 4. I vaguely recall her bargaining with the midwife for a higher number. A debate was had on the merits of checking in and staying for the duration or going home to labor some more. It was decided to stay and see if she would progress. This was pretty optimistic in part because she was full on conversational and her contractions were spacing out and not doing much to the monitoring machine.

Then the call came. Bean is awake, she is dressed, she had breakfast and I need you to come back (to hang with the still sleeping Super Son & Miss Thing) so I can bring her to the hospital.

I looked at my watch. Laughed. Repeated what had been said (as #2 began to curse) and handed the phone to the Back Cracker. It was 2 AM. Did I mention that Bean is 2 years old. It was 2 in the morning.

A few more hours of watching and waiting as labor came to a screeching halt. I packed it up to go check on my kids, obtain food for the Back Cracker and get a few hours of sleep. When I woke up at 6 my beautiful sleeping kids were still out and I went downstairs to call the hospital and see if my comatose state might have facilitated a few additional centimeters. No such luck, but 4 hours later Bean was still awake and watching Diego cartoon. Bodies were strewn throughout the house. Bean elected to join me on a taco run and we talked about how hard her Mommy was working to give her a baby sister. She is such a sweet and smart little thing. Tacos delivered, my kids ate breakfast with Bean and hung out with their grandparents while I ran a few of the tacos back to the hospital.

#2 was so not in labor anymore and didn't have a single contraction (until she signed the discharge paperwork of course). She was completely exhausted and I drove them home. Bleh.

The kid maelstrom was already underway when we arrived. I got my kids dressed as I watched my exhausted baby sister get a little glassy eyed on the stairs. The words flew out of my mouth before I could claim them and I left their house with my kids plus Bean and a promise of the bouncy house place so#2 and the Back Cracker could get some sleep.

So what do a set of Irish twin cousins do with a bright sunny day of play ahead of them? Get Naked! and play in the sprinkler



Have you ever had a Rockstar energy drink? I have. In large quantities. I have never been more grateful for caffeine than I was then and I was only slightly more grateful when I got all of the kids to sleep for a nap. Praise God. At this point Bean had been up since 2am and was getting a bit punchy.

We won't talk about how punchy I was getting because I was supposedly the adult in charge.

The bliss that is naptime only lasted an hour, but with promises of the undiscovered bouncy house (read only a few kids there and lots of room for my brood to go crazy in) place I was able to attain a vertical status.

So we bounced and played. The kids ran off all of the possible excess energy they could muster and we called it a day. Hero Husband made them an awesome dinner and then we began to scrub the grime off of them. Back Cracker called at some point and we talked about the merits of Bean staying the night or going to the hospital. A few contractions later the decision was made. Bean was exhausted and would stay with us. Unless a baby arrived before bedtime Bean would stay put until morning.

It wasn't much longer until they were headed back to the hospital. I was promised a status check once the midwife had arrived and I dove headfirst into baths, stories, tucking in and soothing a frustrated and exhausted Bean who wanted her Mom.

I got a few phone calls checking when I would be leaving or arriving. The words changed slightly but the question and the flow of information remained the same.

Kids tucked in I changed my clothes, kissed my husband, and grabbed my camera bag.

As I rounded the corner I was greeted with "You have a niece"

When I made it to #2's side she cried and asked where had I been, why wasn't I there and by some insane force of will I was able to stopper my tears and not point fingers and scream.

She had done it. She had an intervention free, midwife assisted delivery. She was the pinnacle of life and feminity and I missed it all.

No where in my never ending, Bean soothing, caffeine addled exhausting day had anyone said "she's at a 7" or "she's pushing, you should come now"

But they were all there and I wasn't

I cared for her most precious treasure, I fixed the craptastic mess that had been caused the night before by waking a 2 year old up at 2 am and I wasn't there for "my person".

After Bean was born #2 and I talked through the details of the day a thousand times. I helped her to remember, validated her fears and her choices and stood by her as the years soothed it all away.

She already wants clarity on the moments as they happened and I will never be able to share that memory with her.

She was the first person to hold both of my children (after me and Hero Husband of course), she is my touchstone, my tribe, my person and I will never be able to give her this .

And so I am like Richard Gere (or at least his character Edward Lewis)

"I am angry"

It didn't cost me ten thousand dollars in therapy to get there, nor did I need a prostitute to help me with my clarity, although Hero Husband might have thought that was more interesting than my crying all the time.

"I am angry"

I needed some time and now I am done with it.

My new niece KatyDid is beautiful and she lets me hold her and get my baby fix. My husband's awesomeness knows no bounds. My children are loving having a baby around. My sister is an exceptional Mom. I got to know and love Bean in a new way. And now that I am done being angry I will share with you my newest little treasure. Meet KatyDid

Isn't she lovely



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