Today has been a much better day than yesterday. My boys let me sleep until around 9:30. I think that's the latest I've slept in in ages. I had a horrible headache, but thank God I didn't let that cause me to cancel my workout date with a girlfriend of mine because afterward, I felt reenergized. Funny how exerting energy can actually cause you to feel more energetic. I have got to get back into the routine.
Anyways. My boys have still be fighting like crazy today. Sometimes I really think my oldest gets a kick out of making the youngest upset. But they have also been playing together really well. Right now, they are literally handcuffed together (play handcuffs of course) and running through the house shooting at the bad guys with their nerf guns. Daddy even got in on the action by hiding behind the recliner and ambushing them. I live for these moments.
I often think of how different my boys are, and it completely amazing me seeing as how they have the same blood pumping through their veins. My oldest son has been very difficult from day one. I knew I was pregnant with him before ever taking a test because I was sick. Not vomiting, but literally wishing I could because I was so sick at my stomach ALL day, every day. I would even try to make myself get sick in hopes of a little relief. The first doctor's appointment I had was horrible. Looking back, I think the doctor was a quack, but I didn't know that then. She did an exam and freaked me out because I had some slight bleeding. She immediately told me she thought I was having a miscarriage and told sent me on my way to schedule a sonogram immediately. My mother was with me and wasn't too happy about me being pregnant anyway because my wedding was a short 2 months away. She wanted me to focus on one thing at a time, but I know she supported me regardless. When she came back into the exam room, I was crying hysterically. I wanted a baby. This baby was planned (just happened a little sooner than I thought it would). Now this doctor is telling me I might be losing the baby. Mom asked what was wrong, so I told her. She teared up but tried to remind me that if my body was miscarrying, it's usually because there is something wrong with the baby. I know what she was trying to do, and it did calm me a little, but I was still praying that God would not take this joy from me.
So, I had the internal sonogram and saw my baby and the little tiny heartbeat. I was in love and had to have prayed harder than ever that God let me hear and see this little heartbeat for at least 7 more months. Again, the quack doctor told me I'm not miscarrying but I am now high risk because I have a complete placenta previa. So, I was now fearing that I'd have to have a c-section, hemorrhaging etc etc.
I thought bed rest would be great. It's not. I got scolded for simply walking to go sit outside and enjoy fresh air. I couldn't go to work. I was constantly afraid of messing up and hurting my child. I was still constantly sick. Hot baths were the only reprieve and I wasn't supposed to be taking those either apparently. Anyway, long story short, my pregnancy was hard. I was in preterm labor starting around 7 months. I kept going in and having sonograms because my fluid level would drop dangerously low. If it kept up, I was going to HAVE to deliver early. Then the level would shoot back up mysteriously. It was weird and almost inexplicable. I kept going in with horrible contractions, got shots to stop them and was sent home. Finally, my new doctor (we now had been married and moved to a new town) told me I wasn't going to make it to term. She wanted me to have steroid injections to help develop my baby boy's lungs. I went in 3 times, 12 hours apart to have these done. And then my water broke when I was 35 weeks. I was actually glad. I regret that now, but I had prayer that this baby would hurry up and be born. I was miserable. I gained way too much weight, had gestational diabetes, was poking my finger 4 times and day, and was sick of these contractions. So, on November 12, 2008, I finally went into a labor that would not be stopped. It didn't hit me until they verified it was my water that broke and not just me having an accident on myself (yes, that happens when you are pregnant, and even afterward if you cough, sneeze, laugh, jump lol pretty much anything can cause it). Then panic set in. I really thought I was going to be sent home like every other time, but they assured me he was going to be born today. Labor was horrible. My epidural didn't work for some reason. And he was sunny side up. That makes labor even harder and more painful. Eventually, I gave up. I couldn't do this. I threw myself back and said I was done. My doctor gave me a heart to heart and let me know that his heart rate was dropping dangerously low. We had to get him out and we had to do it NOW. I cried. I was failing at being a mom before my child was even more. So, she helped with forceps. I would never agree to this now, but in that moment, I was willing to do whatever to get this child welcomed into this world. So he comes, all 6 pounds 7 ounces of him. And he's beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. He looks just like his daddy. He's crying, he's healthy, but he's a little skinny. So, they take him to NICU, my husband goes with him as they finish up with me. And I cry. My son was in NICU now and I felt it was all my fault. I rushed this. I prayed he'd be born early and he was. Now, I would go home while my baby stayed at the hospital.
For 6 days. 6. Long. Days.
It was my routine that every hour and a half, I made a trip up to the hospital for his 30 minute feedings. He was eating well. He was sleeping well. But he had to stay because he couldn't regulate his own body temperature. My heart ached for him to be home with me. I was exhausted from the constant trips. I was frustrated because I was having to bottle feed more than I wanted. But at least his lungs were healthy. He was breathing on his own from day one. He had 10 fingers and 10 toes, even a crooked little one just like me. His grey eyes and dark hair. Oh man I was in love more than I ever thought possible. I remember seeing my husband hold him for the first time with tears in his eyes. I remember how proud he was to be a dad, and how proud he was of the hard work I put in, even though I felt like I messed it all up. It was beautiful and my soul needed to see that from him.
As an infant, my oldest child was miserable. He didn't sleep well at home. Let me correct that, he slept beautifully during the day and was up all night. Until he was 8 months old. You want to talk about feeling like you're crazy. I remember sitting and holding this screaming child at night, rocking back and forth with me crying. Again, I felt like I messed up. New mommys "glow" and love being a mommy. I felt like I needed to be committed. Why, after all that we had been through, was this so hard?
Well, he was lactose intolerant. Problem one. Figured that out, fixed it, and it helped a bit. One he was 8 months old, I went back to work teaching. He went to day care. I think that helped wear him out. I remember the first night he slept 9 hours. I panicked when I woke up, fearful that something bad happened. I ran and checked on him. He was sleeping peacefully. That was moment to be savored.
After this, he became a wonderful toddler. He has temper tantrums occasionally, but overall, he was a good listener. He was an early walker, talker etc. By 9 months he was running and talking. He was wonderful. He's a little headstrong now, but I don't think I could really expect less considering both of his parents are also. He gets it honest.
And then there is the second child. Different from day one. But this post went on longer than planned. Seems like once my fingers get going, they don't want to stop (kinda like my mouth). I'll tell my second child's story tomorrow.
But what I'm focused on right now, is how very different my boys are and how I know that was done deliberately. I know that I can love each one and a VERY different, VERY real way without ANY fear of worrying that I love one more than the other. They both have so much to offer this world. They both bring so much to my life that I could never imagine feeling like I have a favorite. And I know this was God's doing. He knew what I needed and what these boys needed. I just hope I can be that for them as they are for me.