Before the sun rose this time last year, I knew this day would be life altering. I knew full well a baby would be born before the evening fell but for some odd reason, I felt inclined to deny it up and down. Still two weeks away from the “due date” I brushed it off as braxton hicks and took a shower. My first boy, so small he had only been walking for mere months, so small he could only say 3 distinct words; mama, dada, and bus, so small he just weaned less than a week prior. Oh I had no idea what was in store.
funniest picture to date. signing for more.
We headed to the YMCA where I quietly battled obvious contractions. Home again, my dear friend and I took the walk to end all walks up the most gigantic hill in north-west PA (which most certainly moved things along). She left with no more knowledge than I let on that in just a few short hours we would be welcoming our second child. I managed to get Miles to sleep for an afternoon nap and decided to time a few of those mind-blowing, side swiping, knock you off your feet contractions that I STILL would not admit were labor. They were five minutes apart. Nothing to be alarmed about. Right? So, I took another long shower, swaying to the internal rhythm that only a laboring woman knows the beat to.
Miles awoke and I knew I could no longer care for him with out some help. I called my sweet man up and he came tearing home immediately. Meanwhile my little man was my doula. “Mommy is going to make a cow sound. Can you make a cow sound with me?” and “Mommy is going to pretend she is a horse and crawl around, want to join me?” were the afternoon activities. He was so sweet. A slight tinge of nervousness would fall over his face and I can tell you with most certainty he was more gentle and kind to his mama than I could have imagined a little child could be. I have never been more proud.
When Lee arrived (what felt like several hours later was really less than one), we rushed Miles up town to drop him off at a friend’s house. Being cooped up in a car and forced to endure many many contractions I finally admitted, yes, I am absolutely in labor. We made it to the midwives office where she promptly adorned herself in the proper medical costume (giant rubber gloves, green paper boots up to her knees, and a mask around her neck… so odd) and got into the car with us. Gangway to the hospital! It turned out I was a mere half a centimeter away from that life defining moment. Somehow, still feeling quite calm, I remembered I forgot my container to take my placenta home and I insisted we go get it. So we did. There I said it. And I don’t regret doing it or saying it out loud. It was worth it absolutely. If you think its insane, for goodness sake, let us never ever talk about it then. If you think its awesome and want to know more, ask me. I would love to tell you.
We arrived at the hospital and a few wild minutes whirled by and we welcomed our black-haired, rolly-polly plump, eight pound baby boy onto this earth. Rowan Cletis. The lights were never even turned on. No one even questioned an IV. No one bothered me at all as a matter of fact. It was a home birth away from home as far as I can see. I even had the privilege to be the first birth my doula’s daughter, who hoped to follow in her mothers footsteps, was present for. My doula is the most fantastic woman but sadly she barely made it due to my denial of the whole situation. It was an honor to see those tears of joy streaming down her face. Although I must admit, I felt sort of bad about my last few moments of mumbling profanity she had to witness as well. Needless to say, it was just three hours later Lee was able to scoop up a very worried little boy from our dear friends house, take him home, tuck him in and enjoy the last night of rest for a very, very, long time.
I can not imagine one year from now. I can try. But, it is so fuzzy I can hardly come up with a thing.
Truth be told, I can hardly remember one year ago from this day. I remember the bits and pieces of it all. I remember the temperature of the day. I can recall the joy and giddiness of the whole thing. But as soon as I stepped foot back into our home, the full truth is my life was in such utter chaos I can barely remember the early days of Rowans existence on this earth. When faced with the question, as I often am, of “What is it like to have two so close in age?” I can only respond with a smile and a non committal answer along the lines of, “Every age difference has their challenges.” While this is most likely true, this is so incredibly lame. It is so far from the real raw truth I know exists when having two children a year and a half apart. But, because the asker is typically holding a sweet little calm babe in her arms with a swollen tummy so clear and obviously holding another inside, I cannot reveal my experience to them.
Of course I wouldn’t change anything. Or at least I don’t think I would. But sometimes I can’t help but wonder if we had waited just a little longer, would it have been any easier? I know the pay off for them will be huge in the long run. Having a brother to play with rather than near for life will be good right? As adults they will go through a lot of lifes changes together and they will be thankful they are so close in age? Please someone tell me this is so. Because honestly, for me, it was very tricky on those colicky nights with two boys needing me so. Their age difference presents a few challenges I have yet to conquer. And I can only imagine the ones to come…
Oh but the cup is still half full. I see glimmers of hope that the deep friendship that is brotherhood is growing in my boys already. While they do snag each others toys and occasionally each others noses, there is not much out there that I find more satisfying than to sit back and observe the two of them interacting. Their laughter is my fuel.
There isn’t a baby in existence, that is more loving and cuddly than our Rowan, I am sure of this. He hugs and kisses almost constantly. When he rests his head on your cheek it is impossible not to close your eyes and take a deep breath. Holding him is instantly calming. I love him with all my heart and soul and even more than that. He is the toothy grin that melts me completely. He is the forecast of our day. He is my rowan tree.
happy birthday little man. we love you more than roses love the sun.