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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."


  1. Anonymous10:51 PM

    hi suzanne, sending good thoughts and prayers your way! baby out! baby out!

  2. hey ...

    well, i think you are pretty cool. i think your three year old son's pretty cool. i think FIC is pretty cool i think your giving a voice to your fears is pretty cool. so by sheer deductive reasoning, i think your new baby will be pretty cool no matter what shape, size, or color he comes in. :-)

    much love,

  3. i keep checking your blogs to see if there has been any BIRTHS
    Now i feel relieved I have not missed the initial announcement
    Dave and I are very excited for you
    and excited for Toddler in Chief to be a big brother. It will make your whole family stronger than you think
    Its gonna be a wonderful new experience that you can all share. Maybe the baby likes it too much in there. Its because you a good nurturer! Hugs to you Ken and Toddler in Chief!

    bring on the bebe!!!!!!!!!

    Marisa Peckham :)

  4. Having those fears is perfectly understandable. I had the same sorts of fears even though my children were all born healthy. I worried about the baby, about me, about the older sibling(s), and all the possible 'what-ifs'.

    Will be thinking of you in the days to come!

  5. Oh, I was overdue with both of mine. I hope you're in labor (or over it) now.

    Everything will be better once that baby is born. At least, that was my experience.

  6. I think you'll all be fine! This baby will be the blessing you've prayed for and be the best baby "something" for TIC! Happy and healthy baby vibes heading your way!