read part 1 of will’s birth story here.
One of the things I was most looking forward to when we had Will was Beck meeting him for the first time. Our night in the birth center was short and sweet-ish but exhausting, so we packed up early and came home. Since Will was born before 10pm we could have stayed all night (usually you stay 6-8 hours after birth as long as everything is OK), but as long as you’re in the care of the nurses you have to have vitals done every 2 hours. AND, because vitals take awhile they start them at the 90 minute mark, which means we got about 85-minute stretches of sleep. Jay snored loudly during this time (he is currently shaking his head as if I lie about this all the time), I stared at Will and contemplated things that were achy or burny, and Will snorted as if competing with his father.
Our vitals came back normal each time, so at 4am I got antsy and asked if we could go home since I was hardly sleeping. We put Will in his first-ever little outfit (that I got on my last solo trip to NYC at the Monica and Andy store, and I adore it so much because the trip was so much fun), I slowly got dressed in my super stretchy going-home outfit, and we buckled Will into his car seat, one of the only new things we got for him. We drove home slowly and carefully, chatting about the night and what we wanted to do for our first day as a family of four (I mentioned donuts several times, and no one has procured me a donut at nearly 2 weeks postpartum), and got home around 5:30am.
At this point we dropped Will in the Uppababy Vista bassinet we had carefully set up by our bed, slept for three straight hours, just the three of us, and it was the last time I slept for three hours straight. No joke.
When we woke up (11 hours after Will was born at this point) my dad and Beck had gotten up and were finishing breakfast and planning to head over. The rest of our parents were out of town for all different reasons, and we were so excited to see Beck and show off Will, especially after what we’d put my dad through the day before with a lot of “this might not be real labor.” I guess at some point he told Beck that I’d had the baby, but we didn’t know what to expect in terms of her reaction to him.
When they pulled in the driveway Jay went outside to see Beck (everything was weird with a new kid, she felt like the normal and familiar part of the equation, and we were both so excited to see her) and she gave him a big hug and ran inside. In the span of 30 seconds she yelled “oh there’s my little brother, he’s so cute!” She put her Baby, another member of the family, right next to him, I guess to share, and it was one of the best moments of my entire life so far. I’ve never heard her refer to anything as cute, so that was hilarious and grown up and so sweet. She gave him a little kiss and immediately threw a massive tantrum because….I forgot, she throws so many damn tantrums these days. Jay had to haul her out of the house howling to get us some food which involved him driving around town until she hushed, at which point she dictated that they go to two places for varying things, but she was better when they got home.
Beck has since referred to Will as “my baby,” “my baby brother,” “my brother,” or some variation thereof. We didn’t necessarily train her on this, and it is so sweet to hear her use words to take ownership of him in that way. I know she doesn’t understand the gravity or importance of siblinghood yet, but I’m so glad that she’s claiming him as her own. It is the most wonderful thing to witness, even when so shortly followed by a meltdown of epic proportions. Every. Single. Time.
The rest of the day was a hazy blur. I was a little shaky and my whole pelvic area was throbbing, hurt to sit or to stand, that sort of thing. We changed Will’s diaper, tried to sleep while Beck took her nap, and nursed a ton, at this point still waiting for milk to come in so Will could pack on some pounds. My sister and parents came over that evening and we stared at the kids, dealt with Beck’s various moods, and ate a frozen noodle casserole that I can’t wait to tell you about in the coming weeks.
Jay and I have since talked about the difference between the first birth and the second, and there are differences but huge benefits to each. With Beck everything was Weird and The First and Unknown. That provides a certain amount of excitement but also fear and uncertainty. With Will we knew what to expect, our excitement was a little more simple, and I think we have eased into things somewhat more seamlessly than last time even though we also have a toddler to contend with. Jay said he feels guilty for not being as wowed by Will’s birth, but in fact I think we were both able to be more present for it because we were swamped by the newness of it all. Truthfully, I was more excited this entire pregnancy because now I know what this love feels like, how special parenting is, how wonderful babies and kids can be. I don’t know if we’ll have more kids, but there’s something very complete-feeling about the two pregnancies and births we have been lucky to experience together.
Complete in that I don’t know if my old-ass pelvis can take any more.