None Of This Makes Any Sense: Notes from Thirty Seven Weeks

It is May, but it’s cloudy or rainy every day.  There are brief breaks in the weather, and whenever it’s sunny, we take slow walks through the neighborhood, and I follow close behind his little blond head, and marvel that it’s been three years and I still can’t take my eyes off that perfect swirl on the back of his head.   I take him to the park even though I hate the park and we hold hands across the scary jouncy bridge, over and over, and then later the whole swing shakes, he is laughing so hard, and at night even though I do own all those books that tell me this is a terrible horrible no good way to have healthy sleep habits and a happy child I let him fall asleep next to me, curled into my arms, and we make chocolate chip cookies and he eats half the batter and through it all, as I walk behind him, as I toss and turn next to him with fitful dreams, I ask myself, over and over, “What have I done?”

I know, without a doubt, that I do not deserve more than this, and I wonder what my punishment will be for daring to ask for it.

Certain days I have signs of early labor or false labor or I hang up tiny pink dresses or I remember that new baby smell or I read birth stories late at night on my laptop and on those days it comes in flashes of excitement – we’re having a BABY.  A real life actual Baby Girl, and all of a sudden, I can’t wait.  And then other days I wake up with the nausea thick around me again, clogging everything, and I don’t care about babies,  I don’t care about dresses, or anything, I send emails all day saying “I can’t do this anymore” and tell people I have forgotten what it’s like to live a normal life free from endless deep breathing and gagging at the IDEA of peanut butter.

Sometimes I am not sure when it’s worse – the good days, or the bad days.  The bad days are the days I know I can’t do it, that two children will be the death of me and there’s not enough anti depressants in the world.  The good days are the days I have time to think about how it’s JUST NOW that being a mom got fun, and to wonder at how I had the audacity to chance all of that for MORE.

You read over and over again about people who say “I didn’t think I could love another one this much and then my heart just expanded” but for some reason I am not at all concerned about having enough love.  I’m just worried that I’m about to wreck this life that just finally started to get amazing.  I’m worried I’m selfish.  I stop Eli a hundred times a day and I say “I want you to know I’ll never ever ever love anyone more than I love you” and I have to turn away so he won’t see me cry because I’m scared he won’t know this, even though they are the truest words I’ve ever spoken.

I sit Eli down and I tell him that when Lightning Bacon comes out, that she’ll need a new name, that Lightning Bacon is her tummy name and that he has to help me think of a real name for her, a name for a baby girl, and he thinks for a minute, looks straight at me, and says “Harold. Harold Blockface.”

And I think “really? You needed MORE than this?”.

There’s only one thing that helps all this, and it’s this:   I think of my brother.  How I’d be lost without him.  How we lived our childhood so close  together and how no one else in this world knows what quite what I’ve been through, and the thought of my life without him makes my breath catch and seems utterly impossible to fathom.  I think how for me there’s just no one else in the world quite like my brother, and in those moments, it makes me hope that in the end, maybe, just maybe, I am not ruining my son’s life.  Maybe I am, after all, giving him a gift.

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17 Responses

  1. You are one amazing mother, that much is clear. A gift indeed.

  2. You can pack a few paragraphs with so much emotion it comes spilling down my cheeks.

    As a sister with a brother, I agree – you are giving your little one the best gift possible.

    Harold Blockface… Oh my heart.

    I hope you get ten thousand times the happiness you have today.

  3. It’s a special kind of fear that you have those last couple of weeks before you become a mom of two. If it helps, all of my fears were totally unfounded. It just gets better… which is so hard to comprehend and also so terrifying.

  4. I love my little brother more than anything and I can’t imagine not having him around. Eli is amazing and LB/HB will be, too. And I know how much you love, what you’re capable of, and it’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait to see it all unfold.

    Also, about a million times a day, I laugh about Harold Blockface.

  5. Harold Blockface? I love Mr. Pants.

    And about the last paragraph – you killed me dead with that. As a woman with six older brothers, I can assure you most firmly that you are doing something wonderful. For both of your children. I read a quote once that said “Our children are living messages we send to a time and place we will never see.” You are giving your son someone to share his life with. It is a tremendous treasure.

  6. I cried when Daniel and I left to go to the hospital for my c-section when Vivian was born- and I was 100% crying for Ethan, since I knew that I was walking out the door as his mom, and I would be coming home as a mom to him and a baby sister. He loves her so much though- even though they fight and steal toys constantly.
    Yes, the transition is hard on everyone, but it’s so worth it in the end. Your son will love his baby sister and being a big brother and you will all be fine. And we’re here for you for the hard days.
    Anxiously waiting to hear the good news of baby girl’s arrival!

  7. You are a brave woman. I love your eloquence. Some days I’d like to think about having another child, but I do worry about having enough love and patience. But it really is a gift to have and be a sibling. You are so right.

  8. I second April. Those last few weeks were so hard; I felt like I was doing something awful to the first kid. Disrupting his life, taking away all the time with his parents… but the truth is, the baby came and it was hard, but (and this is sadder) Asher kept growing up and needing us less anyway. That is so depressing to think about.

    I think you’re doing great. I was worried about you but didn’t want to be the six thousandth person to email and say, “Still sick? Any baby yet?” So. If you don’t mind those emails, I’d be happy to resume them.

  9. Just found your blog by way of Better Now (congrats on the awesomeness that is the Clarisonic brush!), and this is the first post I’ve read by you. I just wanted to tell you how absolutely love it is. Made me tear up a bit, I must admit. I don’t have any children, but as the youngest of three, I can totally relate to that feeling you’re having. I can’t even imagine my childhood (not to mention adulthood, even though we’re not as close anymore) without my bro and sis.

    Good luck, my dear!

  10. Usually just a lurker, but had to add my comment today.
    I have the very same fear as you do. I’m at 32 weeks with my second son, and I have no idea how it’s going to affect my oldest, who is just 13 months old right now. I’m hoping he’s too young to be “upset” by a new addition, but old enough to know I couldn’t love anyone more. I’m so sad that he’ll think I won’t have any time to snuggle/hold/rock him anymore, because it’s just not true.
    It still doesn’t keep me from crying myself to sleep every night. I”m excited for our new baby, but worried for our first baby at the same time.
    I hear every word you’re saying. 🙂

  11. I am in tears. While a few things you talk about here are different than mine I feel the same way. I’m so terrified of two- of changing the amazing person that Nathan is- of who I am with him and of changing into someone he wont know because of another baby. I want to be the same, I want him to know he is the center of our universe despite the brother- and not only know it but to still feel it. I hope I can do it all- god I hope so hard.

  12. Harold Blockhead

    OMG that kid is amazing!

  13. oh, it makes sense.
    yes, it does.

    this:

    I’m just worried that I’m about to wreck this life that just finally started to get amazing.

    makes 1000% sense, even at 33 weeks.

  14. Oh! Yes! I keep thinking that to myself, that in about four months or so I’m going to RUIN this life-with-small-kids gig that I am just FINALLY getting the hang of. Neither has to be carried everywhere anymore, Eli’s showing signs of being potty trained, Addy can dress herself, they can both climb into their car seats unassisted, they play together quietly sometimes for an HOUR at a time (!!!) and our house is no longer full of swings and bouncers and play yards and high chairs…. My breasts are still my own, and so is my sleep. What am I DOING here?
    And then I remember growing up with both my sisters, and how much my husband loves his little brother and his big sister, and I know that I really DO want at least three kids. I love big families, and I want it for us, and it’s worth upsetting the balance for awhile. But you can bet I plan on soaking up this summer, still baby-free, and I totally understand how you feel. You can love and welcome your baby and still grieve for the life you’re leaving behind.

  15. Thank you for this! You put into words so many of my thoughts.

  16. I think you’ll be shocked to find that once the baby is born, you no longer even LIKE your son. I was so ashamed of feeling that way, but I honestly COULD NOT STAND my twins once baby #3 came… I thought, well, this is normal for a day or two, but it was WEEKS before I liked them again.

    If you experience that too, know that it is common and normal and that you will fall back in love with your first born. It just takes some time.

  17. I have tears in my eyes because you just summed up so beautifully why I know I will have another baby one day.

    Blesses to you all!

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