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!