My Simply Complicated Life

Welcome to the blog of an ordinary mother who sometimes just might have something extraordinary to say

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where Would I Be Without My Little Sweet "P?"

It’s hard to believe that a year ago today, I woke up, spent some time with my then only child, R, before driving to the hospital to have a baby – a baby that I could never have imagined loving as much as I do.  R, my first born, was my everything!  I had a hard time feeling that immediate “over the moon” kind of love with R, most likely because I was a nervous first-time parent who was suffering from a wee bit of post partum depression; however, as soon as it hit me, I was love struck.  My world revolved around her and I couldn’t have been happier on “Planet R!” 
My husband and I knew we wanted another child in time.  We both grew up with two siblings so we knew how nice it was to have brothers or sisters to play with, look up to (or to be looked up at) and to become friends with as we transitioned to adults.  We weren’t sure exactly when to add that other child – we didn’t want to have two “babies” as we thought it would be too much of a struggle for us (huge kudos to my friends who have had children essentially back to back) and we also didn’t want our kids to be spaced too far apart as we wanted them to share common interests and keep each other company/entertained.  We were planning on waiting until R was about 2 ½ to start trying but a few weeks after her second birthday, I was struck with baby fever so we began trying in May (although baby fever did not coincide with my fertility schedule so really, June was the first month that counted). 
It was middle July and I can remember having a feeling but to my dismay, three pregnancy tests felt otherwise.  I was oddly disappointed even though we had only started the month before.  I just knew I was pregnant but Clear Blue had a different opinion.  I went to my primary care doctor’s office for a cold and mentioned that I had been “trying” so they took a urine sample and again – NOT PREGNANT!  There was blood in my urine, according to the nurse, who dismissed it as being the early signs of my period.  My cycle came and went, so after three days of nothing, I had one more pee stick left and thought – why not give it one more whirl!  My “ah ha!” moment came as my intuition was confirmed with two pink lines which equaled PREGNANT!  I was overjoyed and couldn’t wait to share the news with my husband.  I drove out to his office and gave him a “present” (which was the pregnancy test in a fancy pen giftbox).  We shared the news of a new baby Erickson with everyone else via a picture of R wearing a shirt that said “I’m Going to be a Big Sister!”  It was such a happy time!
Fast forward two or three weeks and I was starting to question what would have been wrong with leaving R as an only child.  Why?  This creature growing inside of me was sucking the life, appetite and gag reflex out of me!  Never have I felt so sick in my life (with no relief – tried ginger cookies/candy/ale, motion sickness bands, Preggo Pops, teas, peppermint, lemon, Zofran, you name it) and with what seemed like no light at the end of the tunnel.  Ok, there was light (obviously my baby was the light) but nine months seemed soooo far away!  Of course, I knew it would ALL be worthwhile but a small part of me had a little regret for “messing up a good thing” (our trio that had been working so well).  My concerns even played out into a poem that I wrote titled “Who’s Idea Was It?” in which I wondered out loud who’s bright idea it was to have a second child.  I thought it was selfish to not only take the attention away from R when her sister would arrive but also selfish because I was feeling so under the weather constantly which meant that I couldn’t be the best parent possible to R during those nine (looooong) months.  Shame on me for writing that nonsense poetry!  Now, in hindsight, I see that it would have been selfish of me not to provide R with a sister and her best friend for life, baby P! 
Thinking about having ANY regret now makes me angry with myself.  If I could go back, I would surely slap myself in the face for ever feeling anything short of elation even if I seemed like I had a 280-day stomach “bug.”  That “bug’ is now a one year old girl that melts my heart!  Because of how sick I felt day-in, day-out while pregnant with P, I was sure she was going to be a tough baby.  I was expecting a colicky, night owl but was pleasantly surprised with a snuggly, sleep-long-stretches-through-the-night, sweet baby girl.  Granted, she had me nervous a few nights while in the hospital when I let them take her to the nursery (yes, gasp, I let her out of my sight…with your second baby, you’re a little more liberal about these things…or at least I was) and they called me 20 minutes later to ask me to come get her, as she was keeping all of the other peaceful babies awake with her screams.  Thankfully, by the time we made it home, she decided to take it easy on her folks!  She actually slept for longer spurts then more so than she does now. 
So here we are – my infant is evolving into the toddler phase.  She still holds several traces of infancy that I intend to hold on to for as long as possible (fighting tooth and nail if I have to) – little cooing noises for example.  Just thinking about those sounds and her soft-as-satin skin takes my breath away and gives me goosebumps.  My heart hurts at the fact that she is already a year old when it feels like I have only started to enjoy her as a baby.  If her first year went this fast, it’s all downhill from here. 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to see what kind of person she will turn into.  I can definitely see indicators of who I think she will be.  She is playful and feisty, silly and smart, a beauty and a brute.  Sometimes (most times) she is a mommy’s girl, sometimes she is a daddy’s girl but she is always her big sister’s girl.  The way she lights up at the sight of R, lights me up like the evening sky.  I am intoxicated by my love for the two greatest children I could have ever been blessed with.  To take a line from wacky Charlie Sheen, I am on a drug and it’s called love for my wonderful family – hubby, R and P!
I guess I do have some regrets.  I regret thinking there wasn’t room in my heart to love another child.  There’s plenty of room in fact because your heart just doubles in size (and this time, it was instant love because I wasn’t a nervous wreck).  Although I think they are just the right age difference apart, I almost regret not giving R a sister sooner because P brings out the best in her.  They both certainly bring out the best in me and make me want to be a better person.  I can’t even remember what life was like before two – it just feels so natural and meant to be!  As she turns one today, I regret taking this precious time for granted and not soaking it in more.  It’s like waking up from the most wonderful dream and wishing you could go back to sleep so you can relive it again but sadly, you can hardly even remember it at all.
What started as a dynamic duo, turned into a terrific trio but pales in comparison to our fabulous foursome!  We are complete and completely overjoyed, overcome with love and perhaps even overly blessed (not that I’m complaining).  P, as one awesome friend put it, is truly the cherry on top of our sweet little family!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Baby Love

Today was a special day for two friends of mine, as they each welcomed their first baby into the world.  The excitement, relief and instant bond formed as your little one exits from within your womb into your arms is like no other combination of emotions.  It is truly indescribable! 

For nine months, you become acquainted with the life form taking residence inside of you but nothing compares to finally meeting your child. Hearing their goat-like cry for the first time (which by the way is the most beautiful sound EVER!), counting 10 fingers and 10 toes to confirm appendage perfection or looking into their eyes as they wonder where they are and why they have been plucked from their comfort zone - all moments of pure bliss!

Any and all of the pain endured during your pregnancy (and labor - which I wouldn't really know about with two Cesarean sections under my belt) instantly washes away like the tide and is replaced by immediate unconditional love.  It is a beautiful thing!

I have been 110% confident that our family circle is now complete.  As soon as I rule out one more, I am engorged by that rush of feelings that takes you over as you meet your flesh and blood for the first time.  I imagine that moment when your heart gets bigger to make room for all of the joy and love for your new child and I become uncertain. 110% sure slowly shrinks little by little.  I probably stand at 103% as of now so as long as I avoid "A Baby Story" on TLC, home birth and newborn photo sessions (cough, Jessica and Kristin, cough) and pretty much any pregnant women in a 50 mile radius.  Thankfully, each temper tantrum my girls throw or fever of 101 that they run brings that number right back up and spares me of any wild idea to procreate again!

Naturally, my husband wants to try for a boy.  I'm not exactly sure why since in our situation, he is the King of the Castle.  He will have three women to dote over him, care for him, feel safe because of him; although I'm sure he sees it as three shopaholics with mood swings and menstruation!  Don't get me wrong, I love little boys.  The thought of a baby boy looking up at me like there is no greater woman to have ever walked this earth is endearing and even tempting but I am blessed enough to already have two girls who look at me that way.  They will grow up to be my little sidekicks.  I have an amazing opportunity to be a role model to them.  Alright so maybe I see why my hubby would want a son - someone he could watch Sunday football with or play a round of catch with, all while shaping and molding him into a strong young man and good person.  I certainly see the appeal, however, I'm just not convinced we would even have a boy (or that we could handle being outnumbered with a third rugrat). 

I think the best option for me will be to practice patience for the next thirty years at which time I will become an elated grandmother.  It will be the perfect arrangement - I'll be consumed with love for another baby that I will smother with so many hugs and kisses then give that beautiful pride and joy of mine right back to his or her mommy and daddy before the sun goes down!  I'm sure those of you reading this are thinking I am crazy for even bringing up the grandparent factor when my girls are only three and 11 months but if I don't think ahead like this, that 110% (or 103%) certainty will continue to dwindle to the point of peeing on a stick.  So please, humor me!

In conclusion, I would like to sincerely congratulate Stephanie and Teri on the births of their firstborns this morning.  Ladies, welcome to motherhood!!  It is everything it's cracked up to be...and so much more!