Even though we’ve been celebrating our little soy bean all weekend, today is his actual birthday! It’s hard to believe that July 11, 2014 was two years ago.
I can’t be too sure what I’m celebrating. Am I celebrating my ornery little toddler or the fact I’ve managed to keep two kids simulteously alive for two years. I started planning for Sawyer’s arrival when Liam was fourteen months old. I knew two kids under two wouldn’t be an easy feat. I had the nursery ready, the meals in the freezer, and the crotch pads I made were also in the freezer.
I had a real traumatic birth when I had Liam. I didn’t understand the severity of my post partum hemmorage until I had Sawyer. In fact, I thought that was part of the traditional birthing experience and I was horrified to relive it. I bled for months after Liam was born, and pretty consistently felt like I would crumble over and die. I weighed 100 lbs, weeks after Liam was born and can now attribute that to having lost so much blood. Additionally, I had no help. We had just moved, and I knew only one person closely. No family showed up, and eventually my husband had to go back to work.
When Sawyer was born, the number of friends we had made the two years prior became very evident. The meals came, adorable baby outfits, visitors. Grandparents came to visit. The whole experience was wonderfully different.
Sawyer entered the world, with much more pain but a loss less drama. For the weeks leading up to his birth, I got many sympathetic looks from OB’s remarking on his “sunny side up” status. I refused to google the term; because I could tell from their expressions I didn’t want to know.
I was sent to the hospital to be induced, because our doctor was concerned about his size. He estimated he would be ten pounds, and wanted to spare me the possibility of a c section. When we arrived at the hospital, I started having contractions on my own. I proceeded to have contractions all night, and our ob broke my water that morning. As expected, the contractions got stronger and closer together. I was relieved by how much easier it felt than the piticon contractions I had experienced with Liam’s labor.
Unlike Liam’s contractions, Sawyer’s seem to be doing absolutely nothing to progress my labor on. I had been two centimeters dilated for hours. I finally surrendered my crusade for a natural birth, and got an epidural. Nurses were explaining that he was trying to turn himself around, and essentially said he would need to come out in the next few hours. Either the pioneer way or via a cesearan. At that point, I had been in labor for about 35 hours. When abruptly, I was five inches, then seven. Ten minutes after the seven cm check, I told my husband he needed to grab Sawyer. I was certain he was falling out. The nurse came in, lifted the blanket and said “don’t push, don’t laugh, don’t cough.” She scurried out of the room, and screamed down the hall for the doctor.
(During this time, in the next room, a woman was screaming her head off. Apparently, she had arrived at the hospital and could barely get her pants off. Her baby was a coming! Not gonna lie, it was not good for my anxiety!)
The doctor came in, took a one second glance, and asked how long I pushed with my first son. “15 minutes. MAYBE.” He said that he would have this baby in my arms in 1 half push. I pushed and boom. He was here, all 7 lbs and 2 oz of him. There was no cord wrapped around his neck, unlike Liam, he was screaming right away. I waited for the blood to start, but nothing. All was well. I had done a great job.
The adventure that began that day, wow. It takes my breath away. The complete family we became on this exact day two years ago. Me, a mama to two boys. Married to their dad, a strong, handsome, brilliant man. I didn’t feel as scared as I did the first time I held Liam. I felt like a confident mama bad ass.
Was the first year absolute exhaustion and challenge filled? Yes. Yes, it was. We will encounter so many more as we venture through life. It will be balanced with lighter, adventures, family, and joy.
Sawyer: you are turning two today, buddy. You are stern, cuddly, and adorable. You will definitely need work done on your teeth, though. Remember that time you knocked your tooth out? With every new word you learn or concept you explore, you restore something in me. You help me see I didn’t fail Liam as a mom, it’s just that all kids are different. While I’m sure hand me downs might get old, or tagging along to your brother’s activities can be lame and boring. The truth is, you’re the lucky one in so many ways. Liam was the test kid. I learned from so many mistakes as his mama. You get the fine tuned version of me. I am more patient. You are so smart. You’re also hateful. It’s important I tell you this, because someday what I call hateful – will you serve you as strong willed, passionate, and hard working. A lot like your dad, you are. You have the best laugh I’ve ever heard. You love animals, specifically your dog. You would follow your brother into hell. I get misty eyed, just thinking about the bond you two have. I’m jealous of it sometimes. I have brothers, but we might speak three times a year. You guys will wreak havoc on this world, but in the best way possible. As cliche as it might be, being your mom is the biggest blessing to me. I can’t wait to see what trouble we will stir up before you turn three.