Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Last Precious Day

How quickly eight weeks have passed! It seems like yesterday Chi was pestering me with "How many more days until Baby Brudder is born?" and I was scrambling to count the final weeks in my head.

I remember trying to pack my hospital bags of everything I knew I'd need - like the makeup I wouldn't get to wear during his delivery, but had to have for the plethora of hospital photos. I packed several outfits and a nightgown. Turns out I went home in what I came in (though it was much roomier) and I never touched the book or beauty products I brought. Instead, my hospital experience was spent with a television stuck on TBS (and no channel changer!) across my room. The one nearest me (my room was designed as a double) had a short and turned itself off every five minutes. For two of my three days after birth, I was strapped into the bed by an oxygen mask and IV. I spent much of that time begging all who would listen to bring me some contribane food since the nurses wouldn't feed me (though one snuck me saltines) and the cafeteria room service was under doctor's orders for my room - first no food or drinks at all, then only liquids. Excuse me?

The whole experience was new to me. It was as though I'd never done it before. Honestly, I spent the two weeks after Chi's birth in a near-comatose stupor and didn't get to do things that mothers take for granted - like holding their new babies, sleeping with them against their chests, telling them how much they love them. I remember little of the events surrounding her birth aside from, "Miss Jones, we're going to have to go to a c-section, your baby is in distress." I remember the bright lights of the OR and clutching mom's hand as I complained about pressure. I don't remember her first cries. I don't think I was conscious when they held her up for me to see. And I couldn't stay awake on the rare occassions they brought her from the nursery to progressive care unit to visit me. Chi went home with my parents, and I stayed in the hospital. She was dangerously close to being given to social services and we had to fight to make my parents her temporary guardians. It would be 14 days of touch and go for me before I got to be a mommy, which was the only thing in my life I desperately wanted. I think it was the possiblility of not getting to raise the baby I obsessed over for nine months that pulled me out of whatever health issues I was having.

Now fast forward to Ya's birth. Flawless. Scheduled. Exactly according to plan. Wow. I relished in the ability to breast feed - the most natural thing a mother does. I cried when it seemed my milk wouldn't come in - probably because I wasn't eating. I demanded that his crib-thing stay in my room and stayed up whenever the nurses took him to the nursery for tests, check-ups, and whatever else they do in that room. I noticed a draft over the left side of my room, so Ya slept in my hospital bed with me. I cried for hours when they told me he was Jaundice and feared that it was something I had caused. And then they cleared us to go home. I strapped him into his car seat. I rode out in a wheel chair with him in my lap.

And Chi, my simply amazing baby girl, displaying not one twinge of jealousy. She accepted without a complaint that Mommy was going to have time - lots of it - with baby. And she welcomed her little "brudder" with pride and satisfaction. Everyone knows he's hers, he's "zero" years old, and he's what she asked for.

I'm on my last precious day with my second angel baby. The daycare has his personal crib ready, we've dropped off diapers and a bottle. In a few hours, I'll type up the "What you must know about Yadon" list. I'll probably do it through tears... I've willed myself to get sick and am suffering from a terrible sore throat. I've had that persistent shooting pain in my right side near my incision which I am certain indicates I need at least a week more of recovery time. And now I think Ya is sick, too. Surely I should call in.

In the back of my mind I keep thinking he'll forget me. He's too young to remember who mommy is and he'll forget how to breast feed because he'll have bottles all day. Will they keep him awake so I have a sleepy little man by the time I pick him up? Will I miss his increasing coos and smiles? Does he know how much I adore him, how even when he cries I cherish him?

I'm going to avoid staying after school as much as possible. Surely I cannot conference about students I've never met? I hope the stress of this transition won't cause my time with my kids to be strained. I arranged with a colleague for me to pump in her office during the day - to build up my food supply for Ya (and avoid to painful and embarrassing engorement and leaking from fewer feedings).

In a perfect world, I'd have more time. I'd be able to live it up as a stay at home mommy and still keep my bills paid. I'd have more time to document my babies' every moment - their landmarks, triumphs, dreams. My utopia is being with my kids. It's spending a carefree day taking Chi to the pool. It's going to the pottery painting shop or the movies or the park. It's cuddling Ya and soothing his tears away. It's kissing his chubby cheeks, his forhead, his ears. It's enjoying the two precious gifts God has given me, my two beautiful babies.

It's the last precious day with Yadon before the real world invades my sanctuary.

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