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Friday, July 21, 2006

Just showing us who's boss

Thirteen days after my due date, I was finally induced at 10am on Saturday. The pitocin was discontinued a couple of hours later and Carter MacLeod Norton was born at 5:12pm. The serious contractions really didn't kick in until noon so things went very quickly (I was in labor for 20 hours with Toddler in Chief). TIC had an opportunity to meet his baby brother before bedtime!

We were discharged just 18 hours later. Our family has gained some valuable hospital management skills. Here are the first pictures.

Now for some rest!

P.S. for those who've asked, MacLeod is a family name - Carter's paternal great-great-great grandmother was Lydia Ann MacLeod. She was born to Scottish immigrants in Prince Edward Island in 1864, joining most of Carter's paternal ancestors who had already been in America since the early 1600s. Carter's maternal side would arrive years later from Germany, Ireland and Italy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

And the days go on

I'm still pregnant--just nine days past due is all. I had a non-stress test today and my doctor said she could let me go until the 16th. My amniotic fluid is borderline...something about me having seven millimeters (whatever that means) and five is the cut-off or something, but the baby is fine for now. Anyway, unfortunately, July 16 is a Sunday and they don't induce on the weekends, so it will have to be Friday or Monday.

I originally said Monday, but we get into problems with airports, etc., with family leaving and arriving on Tuesday. And it would be really sad for Grammy to have been here for three weeks and not ever get to see baby brother or only see him for an hour before leaving, since induction can take 24 hours or so. That said, I guess if I don't go into labor by Friday, I'll have them induce me, which is really frustrating. I just hate the idea of being given and IV and being pumped full of pitocin, which means really intense contractions and the likelihood of an epidural or C-section.

I know it's silly, but having a little bit of control or at least the illusion of control is important to me. After having no control over anything with Toddler in Chief's birth, I want to be in charge of something. I want my body to work like it's supposed to and I want to birth my baby--my way. I know the most important thing is that baby comes out healthy, but I hate feeling like I'm losing control of the situation before I even get into things.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What lies ahead...

As the inevitable approaches--I'm four days past my due date--I try to remember the joys and stresses of having a new baby. I try to remember everything that I have forgotten. Only the odds suggest that our experience first time around will be avoided. So in many ways, this birth will provide many firsts. I don't know the weight of my brand new baby against the top of my stomach. I don't know what it's like to hold my baby and nurse him when he is new. I don't know what a belly button stump looks like, or how to clean one. I never changed a meconium-filled diaper. Many of the firsts we'll experience this time will be firsts indeed, even though this is our second baby.

Then there is a big part of me that is terrified that other things will be wrong. It's like my brain is trying to shield itself from the inevitable pain by convincing myself ahead of time that things are going to be bad. Don't be optimistic. Don't be hopeful. Don't take anything for granted. I'm afraid to have this baby because I'm afraid of having a regular baby. I'm afraid of having a regular baby, only to find out later that he has so many problems. I'm afraid of having a sick baby because I've already been through that and I can't go through that again. Father in Chief says if our baby is sick again, we'll get through it--just like we've gotten through it with Toddler in Chief. I wish I felt that optimistic. I think all of my strength has been used up. I just don't feel capable of doing it again. In some ways I feel bad for this new baby. It's as if all of my energy, all of my hope, all of my optimism is gone. And if I need to pull some of that strength for the challenges that inevitably lie ahead--the challenges of a perfectly healthy, normal baby--it won't be there.

I can only hope that when he is born, all of my fears will disappear because he will be real. He will be perfectly healthy and normal. And I will fall into the rhythms and ebbs and flows of being a parent, of having a newborn, and finding myself in a new and wonderful "normal."