Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How Soon We Forget...

Yesterday I took a few minutes to scroll through the blog posts from the last couple weeks of my pregnancy.  It blows my mind that it was a year ago already.  One year ago today I took a day off of work to be home as Carter's room got painted a lovely little boy blue.  I folded baby clothes and rested on the couch, trying to relieve the crazy discomfort I was experiencing.  I put up the pack and play, and it seemed so early at the time...but it turns out I was only a little more than 10 days away from having a baby to put in it! 

It was really apparent to me how debilitating it was to be as uncomfortable as I was.  It was scary to even walk from my office to my car, or to go to Wegmans.  I was seriously worried about my water breaking.  Turns out, I guess, that all that worrying wasn't for naught, as I did end up having that very thing happen while sitting at my desk, three weeks ahead of schedule.  I spent a good month walking on eggshells prior, and I guess I could just tell that things were brewing up a little quicker than we'd have anticipated.

The flurry of preparations those last couple weeks were crazy, but I had forgotten about a few of the biggest concerns of those final weeks until I read the posts.  I had forgotten that a) Jacob had a stomach bug; b) Craig was out of town twice the weekend before I delivered; c) we had a major snowstorm; and d) those things all happened pretty much simultaneously.  Jacob got a stomach bug the night before Craig was on his way out of town.  That same day we got a foot of snow.  I was nervous enough about Craig being gone, let alone catching Jacob's illness and how we were going to get out of the house when I couldn't shovel snow!  The thought of going into labor in the midst of that scared me to death.  It's a wonder I didn't go into labor from the stress of it alone!

In the end it all worked out.  Jacob recovered quickly.  Craig's trip to Philly was a little harrowing but he got back at 3am.  He left later that day for Buffalo, but I figured having him that close was much safer than Philly.  The snow was bad but with Jacob sick we really didn't have to go anywhere, and the neighbor helped out a bit with clearing it.  I remember being so relieved when we made it through that weekend, but the following week was very had for me physically, culminating in a Valentine's Day where I was so uncomfortable that I could barely sit through Jacob's soccer practice and our oh-so-romantic family dinner at Friendly's.  I felt better the next morning and got a ton of work done...until I felt a little something funny, took a couple trips to the ladies' room, and realized things were happening.

One of the other things that stood out to me from those last couple weeks of posts was our ongoing concern of how Jacob would adjust.  Turns out those concerns were valid...and then some.  Here we are a year later, and he still doesn't accept that Carter is here to stay.  He doesn't like him, doesn't want to be touched by him, and is generally just angry with him.  Sometimes I wonder what we could have done better to transition him, but I have no idea how we could have truly made it any easier for him.  He had us to himself for over four years, so there's no way this new little person wouldn't have rocked the boat a lot.  Add in the fact that Jacob's not your typical "wanting to be helpful" kid most of the time, and there's not a lot of options for us to involve him that he'd be up for.  It's a challenge, for sure.  It kills me that the one thing that saved me from utter despair when I found out Carter was a boy was that Jacob would have a brother...and now he doesn't appreciate it one bit.  Maybe someday, but we've been saying that for months and it hasn't gotten any better.  In fact, it's gotten worse--he went from ignoring him to actively hating him.

This year has flown by faster than any year in my life.  It has also been the worst year of my life with the exception of the ridiculously happy baby that brings dozens of smiles to my day.  We've just had one challenge after another, Carter included.  In his short life we've had to deal with his milk protein intolerance (and having to stop breastfeeding) and the rice intolerance, along with his reflux and chronic congestion.  But he's so happy that it's hard to be anything but happy when you're around him.  Now if we could just do something about his ridiculously painful shrieking that he's picked up in the last couple weeks...

I know I've already talked about it a lot, but I tend to get nostalgic when big anniversaries come up and I can pinpoint exactly where I was one year earlier.  This time of year (and especially with a storm coming overnight tonight) I'm definitely taken back to a dizzying last couple of weeks as a family of three.  I knew one day I'd look back at that time and marvel at its simplicity, even though at the time it seemed crazy.  Sure enough, one kid seems so simple now.  I wouldn't change a thing about Carter, of course, but yeah, life is a lot more complicated these days.  More than we ever imagined.  So pardon me for getting a little nostalgic for a simpler time.  These two weeks one year ago were the last moments of our old normal, which it turns out never really made a comeback.  So, yeah, they were more special than we ever could have imagined.

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