And I can’t wait.
As if you didn’t know, the Sprout is here. She’s been here for over a month already and on the one hand, I can’t believe it’s been that long and I can’t believe it hasn’t been longer. It seems like she’s always been a part of our family. We’re getting used to having a newborn again, but since it wasn’t that long ago since we had the first one, it’s not that hard. The hardest thing has been losing the little free time that we worked so hard to establish. The Ladybug has a firm 7(ish) pm bedtime. After bath, books, and bed, mom and dad get to relax. Well, the Sprout does not seem to have gotten the memo about that. In fact, she thinks that 7pm is the time to wake up for the day! We’re working to remedy this- yesterday I woke her up at about 4pm and kept her awake, on and off, until bedtime. It worked! She fell asleep on her daddy at 8pm and slept until it was time for her night time feeding. Yay Sprout!
Since having the baby in Bahrain, people, especially IN Bahrain, keep being shocked that I had her here. I’d be more understanding if people at home were surprised- I know that friends and family still visualize “living in the desert” as living IN the desert… which is not true! This is a completely modernized country with stores, roads, and even hospitals! None of which are in tents 🙂 And to be honest, our birth experience was fantastic! Here is a recap of the Sprout’s journey into the world (rated G for all viewing audiences):
We had an appointment on Saturday, September 15, which was a day after my due date. Nothing was happening- the Sprout hadn’t even dropped and my maternity leave had officially started. I asked the doctor if it was possible to do an induction because I was tired of being pregnant and I didn’t want to lose any of my leave just waiting. I was ready… but not as ready as I thought! At the word ‘induction,’ the doctor had me swept back to the maternity ward and had given me a pill to start the process! Dave and I both freaked out a bit- we weren’t ready RIGHT THEN! I thought the doctor would tell me to come back the next day or something, not start that minute! I didn’t have my hospital bag, we didn’t have anyone lined up to watch the Ladybug or feed the dogs. Basically, it was not time. But I was caught up in the flurry of activity and took the pill. The contractions started but they were mild and far apart. I stayed in the hospital for a few hours and then they came to give me the second dose of the pill and I said no. I told them why I wasn’t ready and they were fine with it. So we went home with the expectation that we would go back the next day for the 2nd round of whatever the little pill was.
We got everything situated. We spent what was supposed to be our last night together as a family of three, hugging and kissing on the Ladybug, promising her lots of love and attention. It was nice.
The next morning saw us back in the hospital with a packed bag, a Ladybug under the care of the nanny and the dogs fed. We were ready.
The Sprout was not. Four hours later, we headed home with the expectation that we would come back when the contractions got stronger. They didn’t. They stopped.
I stayed home on Monday, mostly because I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. I called the doctor and she said, “Come in whenever and we’ll try again.” So we got a sub for Dave and headed back on Tuesday. I casually asked if it was worth it to start an induction- was the baby in the right place for it to even be effective? The doctor- a very no-nonsense, busy woman- looked at me and said, “What do want to do?” Tentatively, I said, “C-section?”
I will stop here and say that I know there are a lot of people who are against planned c-sections for no real reason. I didn’t want to have a c-section for the Sprout. But by this point, I was just ready. So no judging.
Back to the story.
The doctor looked at her watch, made a phone call and said, “Have her ready in 10 minutes!” And she was gone. I was swept out of the office and down the hall where my prep team (I’ve been reading The Hunger Games) started taking blood, getting me changed, and doing all of the things that needed to be done for me to have surgery in 10 minutes. It was very reminiscent of the Clown Car-ness of my c-section with the Ladybug, and I tried to stay calm. Before I knew it, I was whisked into the operating room where Dave was NOT allowed to be. Probably some part of him was really relieved not to have to see my guys again this time, but his absence made me more anxious.
I won’t bore you with the details but let me mention that I do not do well with anesthesia. I felt panicked the moment that my legs went numb. And, even though I couldn’t feel them, I wanted to move them. I could feel them cleaning my stomach and kept yelling at the doctor, “I can feel that! Don’t start cutting! I can still feel that!” I’d had coffee around 8am, not anticipating that I would be in surgery 2 hours later and so I felt nauseous almost immediately. I also couldn’t breathe. They kept telling me it would be over in two minutes. They were liars.
Finally, though, I heard that beautiful little scream and they brought around my gorgeous little Sprout. I was sort of in and out of it for a while but I was able to give her some kisses before they whisked us both away.
The rest of my hospital stay was like being in a 5-star hotel with a strange bed and people helping me to the bathroom (and standing around in there with me to make sure I didn’t fall off the toilet and die). It was really fantastic and the care was unbelievable. I also healed a lot faster this time, which was really my biggest fear- how do you care for a newborn AND a squirrely toddler when you can barely move? Luckily, like I said, the healing process was a lot faster and, after a couple of extra days taking it easy at home, I was moving like a slow champ.
And now, we’re all getting used to each other. The Ladybug likes to touch (read: poke and hit) the Sprout a lot so I feel like I’m mostly just running interference when they’re in the same room. The Ladybug is a little more clingy but doesn’t seem too bothered by this new little alien. Pip, our dog, has revised her role as Protector of the Baby by laying next to the bouncy seat whenever the Sprout is in it (actually I think she just thinks that’s where she will get the most attention, but I’m going to pretend she’s a noble steed, looking out for her charges). And Dave and I are figuring out the teamwork involved in two little wiggly worms.
While I’m not wishing away this stage or wanting them to grow up too quickly, I do love looking at my children and wondering who they will become. I can’t wait for them to start to play together. I know the Ladybug will be a great big sister and I’m so excited to watch them grow. Everyone I know who has a brothers or sisters this close in age has said the same thing- we were and still are best friends. I really hope that’s true for my girls too!