unexpected

Friday was my pre-admission appointment at the hospital for my delivery and stay with Charlie.

I was asked of any medical conditions besides my drug allergies and my postpartum depression.

I said anxiety.

And had to catch the sob in my throat.

*************

I asked Cort to bring up the itty bitty clothes because I couldn’t stand it anymore.

He did.

I opened three totes of memories.

And my hands and feet erupted in sweat.

*************

Saturday morning Cort picks up the twin-size mattress we bought for Eddie.

Eddie is so excited to sleep on it, I go out and buy sheets so he can use it for nap.

He sleeps like a champ.

And asks to sleep there at night.

And nap on Sunday.

And for the rest of his life.

I cry in an empty nursery.

************

As I search for ways to be productive around the house, flashbacks of the weeks postpartum fill my vision.

I am unable to do anything.

The difficulty of moving with an abdominal wound.

The help I needed but never asked for.

My head spins.

************

Because Eddie wants to sleep permanently in his new room, he and I moved all his clothes to his new dresser.

It will be easier for Cort in the mornings.

I also put his diapers and some wipes in his room.

And then walked around aimlessly all day in a haze.

************

As I pee, I see my idea of the near future.

Trying to take care of postpartum body wounds and “stuff”.

A crying baby.

A needy toddler who thinks he “can do his own self.”

A husband gone to class.

************

I took Eddie’s name off the nursery wall.

He looked at them on the floor and asked me to put them in his “own room”.

I said Ok.

He smiled.

I turned away so he wouldn’t see my tears.

*************

I knew it would be awesome if we transitioned before Charlie was here.

But part of me wasn’t rushing anything.

And then he went and transitioned himself.

Without considering if I was ready.

*************

He can suddenly climb into his booster at the table himself.

He can go get his own tissues and diapers and anything else.

He carries things for me.

He not-so-routinely pees and poos on the potty.

He is so proud.

I…am proud…and heartbroken.

*************

I wanted a happy toddler and a squishy newborn.

But I am terrified.

This is just how it should happen.

And not at all how I thought it would happen.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl…wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Change is always so hard, even when it’s good change. ::hugs::

  2. I remember feeling all panic-y before #2 came. It was short lived because once he got here I didn’t have time to panic. Or I needed to make an appointment to do it. #3 just turned four a month ago and I think I cry every time he walks into my sight line. Because I’ll never have another one, and he’s so big, and seriously, I have a 10 year old too. Seeing your kids grow up is hard and things are always changing. It’s normal that you feel the way you do right now. I still can’t deal with it and I’ve been at this mom thing for ages! Good luck!

  3. I have done that 2 times now with my boys. Each time I thought it would be easier and it was just as bittersweet. This too shall pass momma.. soon enough you will have a new little one that will pull the heart strings just as tightly as he grows and watching Eddie be your helper will melt your heart in new ways.

  4. Pass the tissues. I don’t even know you, but this post had me a bit teary, right along with you. Best to your family during this time of transition. 🙂

    -MM

  5. just wait til charlie is here. eddie becomes a GIANT. but that’s the way it should be. he’ll be your little helper, champion big brother.
    you CAN do this.
    keep telling yourself that. Again & again.

  6. So many changes. No way to know how you’re going to handle them. I think they’ll suit you well and you’re going to be awesome. Always so sad to see your little babies grow into big boys. My baby is 3 1/2. I miss the baby SO much, but I have to admit I’m having so much more fun with him now. FEEL WELL! Not long now.

  7. I recall some of these feelings. As I was nearing the end of my third very unexpected pregnancy. I had a 17month toddler I thought would be my baby forever and a 6 year old first-grader, a new job (which I started when I was unknowingly pregnant), a teenage sister who moved in with us again, permanently this time, and a mother who was crumbling in front of me from her own mental illness and addiction.

    My life was a disaster and yet it was all how it was supposed to be.

    Everything was an adjustment, a shift in how I thought things would and should be. But now, two years later, I look at my three children, my sister that I am so proud of and yet another new job 3,000kms from where I was two years ago and honestly I am happy – so very happy – and everything is how it is meant to be.

    Sending you hugs, words of encouragement, and a little bit of knowing how you feel right now.

    Can’t wait to see how your family grows into the joy and happiness a new little baby brings.

    (((HUGS)))

  8. I use to cry every year my oldest turned a year older. I still get teary eyed. After having my youngest and going through all of his surgeries and medical problems though (him not growing and such) I praise my babies getting older each year now. I am happy they are here with me healthy and growing more and more each day. Another thing… I celebrated the day my last was out of diapers. Went through 3 in diapers and have changed diapers from the day my oldest was born to YEARS later when my youngest got out of them. That was 6 – 7 years of having to buy and change those things!

    You will find the little things to praise and things will go forward. This right now is just the hormones. We all cry when we are pregnant and having to deal with the smallest things. I cried, because the hospital wouldn’t give me a bowl of raisin bran one time when I was pregnant with my middle son. Then got mad the next day, because they told me I couldn’t have all I wanted to eat.

  9. If I try to say too much here, I will turn into a puddle because YES! All of this! I know I’m miles away, but I’m here for you, babe.

  10. We’ll be here on the other side. There’s really nothing I can say to make you feel better, but you WILL have support.

  11. Quiety crying a i read this at work…I have anxiety about my two year old growing up and I’m not even pregnant with the younger sibling I hope to give her one day. She wants to do things on her own and it’s so bittersweet. I feel like her childhood is slipping through my fingers and I wasn’t able to memorize enough of it to cling to. Glad you wrote this. Helps me not feel like a crazy mom.

  12. Oh, love, so much change! It’s very overwhelming, indeed. Everything you are feeling is right and normal. Please know that. And know that you have a huge network of friends standing behind you ready to catch when and if needed. Sending you a big hug.

  13. Sending hugs. Change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we have to be on board right away. xoxo

  14. I love new chapters of my life after a few pages have been written. I bet you will too.

  15. It’s scary. I know how scary it is. I bawled, sobbed so hard when I left for the hospital to deliver #2 that I scared my oldest half to death. But I was so scared for all the changes. And there were many – some painful.

    But overall? Oh, so good. We’ll be here to hold your hand, Katie.

  16. Oh, those final weeks of a second pregnancy are so hard. It’s so hard to see the one who was once your tiny little baby grow up. The impending arrival of a tiny, new life makes the first born seem so… so much bigger, and you feel yourself losing your grasp on them a little bit. You have to loosen to make room to grab onto that new life you will have to love and care for. It’s so scary to let go, even just a tiny bit, to give into the independence, to know that they HAVE to be independent in some ways when the new baby comes. You feel like once you let go they’ll slip away from you so quickly. I know, I know 🙁 It’s hard. Hang in there, momma. He won’t get too far from you. He still needs you.

  17. This made me very anxious and sad reading this. I don’t know what to say Katie. I really don’t. Just know that it will be better this time. You know what to do. You have a dream team lined up to step in and help. You can do this.
    I know you can.
    xoxo

  18. I hear this loud and clear.

    When I was pregnant with Karly, we bought a bunk bed for Jack that we imagined he’d end up using eventually but we were in no hurry to get him out of his crib.

    The bed was HUGE after all. And he’d be allowed on only the bottom level for six years.
    We grown-ups felt no sense of urgency.

    I figured the new baby would be in a pack in play for a long time.
    And she wasn’t even due for five months.

    But.

    The night the bed was delivered, he wanted to sleep in it.
    And he never looked back at the crib.

    He was 19 months old.
    I cried hard.

    It wasn’t the last time, either.
    Instead, it was practice for all the wonderful milestones I’ve watched him reach.

    So much joy with a twinge of sadness.
    (Sometimes more than a twinge.)

    I’m hugging you with my whole heart right now.
    Just so you know.

  19. Katie, I understand this. By reaching out and talking abour your anxiety, it will make this easier. I feel like part of my struggle with PPD and PPA came from not talking as much about all the anxiety that I was feeling during the pregnancy and with how I was going to manage the transition from one to two. Huge hugs. Keep reaching out and talking about it.

  20. Oh, Katie…I understand. I think Eddie is giving you a gift here: the gift of letting you know that he’s capable and big and ready. To help you to focus on yourself, and on Charlie. Things can be so very different this time, sweet friend. Hugs to you…

  21. Eddie is ready. You are ready. You are. Even when you feel you’re not. Change IS scary, even when it’s good. Hang on in there, you’re going to do great.