early December

It’s December, start of my beloved winter season. My thoughts are too scattered and my time too short for a coherent post, but I want to write anyway, so here, in snippets of emotion and interspersed images, is a little update. Sweet December to all of you.

I am in love with this creature, who refers to himself almost exclusively right now as Diver Bram. The scuba gear was a gift from my genius cousin, and B is a big, big fan. He swims around the room on his belly wearing it and finding “fish,” which is to say lint or food or anything that wouldn’t be there if I were the housekeeper I was before parenthood. I can’t wait to write a whole update of the stuff this kiddo is up to. He is a shining light. The other day, he pointed to my rings and said, “wedding rings.” I said, “right, Bug. What does that mean?,” and Bram said, “married.” “Yep. Who am I married to?” “Pomo.” “Do you want to get married one day?” “Um hmm.” “Who do you want to marry?” Thinking for a good little stretch… “Mama, too.” Little stealer of hearts, our child.

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I am so grateful for family. My mom, grandma, Aunt Nancy, and Cousin Linzie came over for Thanksgiving, and it was just a joy to keep company with them. Just a joy. My mom came on Wednesday to help, and listening to her play with the boy while I cooked was a gift. My Cousin Linzie made Bram that box-robot, which: new Thanksgiving tradition for sure. And my Aunt Nancy recently recommended a novel to me that I think some of you might love, and which I’d love to discuss in terms of NGParenthood. It’s Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Anyone?

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I am in awe of this nearly-twenty-three-weeks along Dragon, pictured here at our follow-up ultrasound last week. I’ve been saying (and thinking) lately that this poor kid is getting the short end because, truly, it won’t be possible to love another being the way I love Bram. Right? I mean: not possible. Y’all are lying when you say it can be done. Bram has stolen my whole heart and I don’t even want it back. But then I was holding him (we took him to this ultrasound, having had the other one all to ourselves) and we were playing peekaboo with the images of his little brother, and I felt the weight of Bram in my arms and could see my younger son stretching and moving and heart-beating inside of my wife and the love I felt for him almost knocked me down.

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I want to kiss the immensely talented tech who got us this photo of Dragon.  She gave us pretty much enough photos for a whole album, but there’s something about this one that makes him feel super real. Bone and muscle and blood. Our child. Our coming-to-us child. Ours.

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I was terrified when, on Saturday night, I heard J yell out from the front yard, obviously in pain. She’d fallen while carrying in a box, and she skinned up her leg pretty bad and fell with her left breast into a low fence post (seriously). Though she didn’t fall on her belly, we still went in to hear the baby and check for placental abruption. Protocol is four hours of monitoring, and at the end, all was fine. [Thank you, universe.] But at 8:30pm, this found us somehow back in the room we labored with Bram in for so long, the room pictured below (though clearly this was then and not now). Being back in that space was so surreal. It was lovely and sweet because: our boy took his first breath there. And it really brought home the fact that we’re about to do it all again, which I loved. But for me, it was also deeply PTSD-inducing. This wasn’t so for J: there may be something to those postpartum hormones. But I didn’t get them, so my nostalgia bordered on panic. All those dark hours came flooding back. I know this labor will be different. We are different. J’s body is different. Dragon is different. And I know we’ve got this, I really do. Still, I think we’ll ask for a different room.

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And I’m alternately overwhelmed, despondent, and deeply ambivalent about the job search. I’m thirty applications in and ready to do almost anything else with my life. More on this in its own post soon. Anyway, no one wants to see a photo of that nonsense, so instead, I’ll close with this: how I get through that nonsense, and everything else for that matter. The goofy reason I’m the luckiest mama in the world. My nearly TWO YEARS OLD Rabbit River, less Rabbit and way more big-hearted boy.

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4 thoughts on “early December

  1. We are looking at other hospitals, at least partly so S doesn’t have to go back to where E was born. I think it is so much more traumatic to experience as an NGP. The scuba gear is so adorable! And I just keep thinking of the grinch– our hearts will just expand so many times to let in love for the next ones, and it won’t feel like sharing at all.

  2. My thoughts are too scattered and my time too short for a coherent response, but
    Babies growing into toddlers –YES!
    Family –YES!
    Smaller babies –YES!
    Birth PTSD and Job-Search Exhaustion –A much less enthusiastic, yes.
    Be well, friend.

  3. Aren’t those little people amazing? Even almost six years in, I still marvel. If you change your mind about the job search, you could always come and write (inclusive, highly adaptable, responsive, active, engaged) homeschool curriculum with me. The work is the most enjoyable I have ever done and the hours are perfect, but the pay is lousy (for now, at least).

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