Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Oh hello, Sprog no. 2

Walder pregnant no. 2

He came as a surprise; we were totally unprepared. A week before my admission into hospital, I gathered some items from my newborn clothing stock from nearly five years ago. We didn’t buy anything, not a single vest or babygrow. Even with no. 1 we were sensible enough to buy neutral ones before but they were 0-3, not newborn clothes, and were still baggy even for her that time. We didn’t have time to transform the spare bedroom into a nursery. The idea was, if we had another girl, they should share the attic as it would be unfair to the younger one if the big sister would have a bigger room. We were bent on turning the spare room into a family room and lose the hallway as it had been originally during Victorian times.


It’s a long journey from this, to the hopes that he’ll be conceived in my beloved Ireland late last summer (nearly happened), to his beginnings and full cooperation whilst we drove 3065 miles across some parts of North America in autumn. The big sister wanted twins; I said I would have wanted twins the first time, certain that if it were up to me I would want only two. Not that we make twins. The only thing I know is when we did this before, during those sleepless nights, we knew we said, “what have we gotten ourselves into?” A few years later, somehow, like the others before us, we found that we got amnesia and would like to do this all over again.

We were given two dates and chose the earlier one, May 19th. On the 14th, at my pre-op, my blood pressure was unusually high. I told the midwife that it was the book that did it, the elective caesarean book they ask the patients to read right before the appointment. With my emergency c-section before with sprog no. 1, after trying everything during labour except the pushing, we just went for it, no discussion of anything. Somehow, a supposedly relaxed environment I found a little bit more fussy because of how organised it was. Everything was described in the book in detail, along with pictures. Something like, “Let the team know what you want. You might like for the doctor to lower the screen a little bit and raise your newborn so you and your partner could see the gender.” That first time, it was all frantic and when I first heard my little girl’s cry, even if we knew what we were having I had to confirm two times, “is it a girl? Is it a girl?” The surgeon was probably too busy stitching me up but finally he said, “yes, it is,” with a smile in his voice. (Nothing like a Filipino film when the doctors announce "It's a healthy baby girl!")

The surgeon raised the baby for us to see. “It’s a boy!” I said. I saw that Mike got teary-eyed that I started to cry, too. My tears were probably out of sadness for this little boy and all the model engineering and train shows his father would drag him to.

During my first pregnancy I went out for walks almost everyday and exercised greatly to prepare for a natural birth. This time around I became irresponsible and knew I’d be in trouble should I go into labour before May 19th.  I literally held the baby in till the last minute. I was surprised I lasted for 39 weeks, with the big sister my waters broke at 37 weeks but that was also full term. The service at the postnatal ward that first time was a traumatic experience for me. There were things I wasn’t pleased about this second time but they were mostly about waiting – I was ready to be discharged 24 hours after my operation but nobody did the necessary checkups till the afternoon. Fortunately, we managed to go home that same afternoon of the 20th. I want to remember the nice and funny things. Before the operation, an assistant undid the stopper on the cannula on my arm that all the ‘anaesthetic’ blood was everywhere, on the sheets, pillows, on her scrubs. I didn’t faint and thought it was a bit funny. And then there was beautiful Charlotte who was so sweet and kind and whose energy just didn’t waver. One would think she was being nice just to make her job easier but when we came back to the hospital a week later to have our little boy’s jaundice checked, we saw her again and she remembered both our children’s names. She is genuinely kind. Charlotte, I doubt you’ll ever read this but thank you for looking after me at the post-op ward.

Walder pregnant no. 2 pic 2

Up to a few days ago I was mostly in our bedroom on the first floor. Mike brought all my meals upstairs and attended to my every need. I thought he only had two weeks paternity leave so I was really pleasantly surprised when he said he took two more weeks off, as I guess we wouldn’t be going anywhere this year anyway, with the baby and all. “When are you going downstairs?” He asked days after I came back. “When breakfast is ready,” I said. He rushed downstairs, saying, “I better start vacuuming then.” From the start, one of my worries was what state my kitchen would be in when I returned from hospital.

Just some random stuff: I was told they used dissolving sutures for my stitches. And the husband and I had the time to joke about never, ever using dissolving sutures for a heart operation (referring to one of our favourite Columbo episodes wherein the murderer was played by Spock, err, Leonard Nimoy)***Nothing could ever prepare you for a newborn boy’s wee, you think you have everything under control, but once that little squirt comes, it’s everywhere (whatever happened to that protective spray on the Parker Knoll? The wee didn’t run off, instead soaked through the floral design, I even remember which flower it was)***All housework is set aside; our garden is now starting to look like a little meadow.***The pregnancy felt so long as it seemed everybody kept asking Mike if the baby has arrived yet, from our postman to some people I know at the nursery.***The classic: Big sister asked, “why does the baby have red teeth, mummy?”

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