Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hand Me Downs

The past few weeks my living room was covered with clothes from my friend's niece who sends her stuff on to Twig. After hours of sorting and two trips to Target for storage containers, everything is finally a bit more organized. My next project will be to wash and sort all of the baby boy clothes I have been given, and put them away as well. I have no issue taking hand-me downs. In fact, mostly all of the clothes that both of my kids will wear are passed on. This week though I got two bags from someone and it made me take pause.  My husband's ex-wife.

There is a longer story here but for the purpose of this blog I will keep it simple. She is remarried and has a baby. He will be six months older than ours and so she very generously offered his clothes. She also offered to drive them here to my house, that she once bought with my husband and lived in very briefly. I know, AWKWARD!  I am working backwards here. She and I have become friendly. We actually used to be friends years ago, when she and my husband were still married and even after they divorced. Time passed and she and I grew apart. Then a few years later my husband and I reconnected from a mutual friend. We dated, we told her (thinking maybe she would be happy for us) -- she wasn't though. Time passed and my husband and I got married. I actually ran into her a few times but chose flight over fight and took off unnoticed. Then my husband and I ran into her. He said she was behind me and I thought he was joking. I turned around and there she was. Suddenly it wasn't so awkward anymore. She is married to a great guy, and over the course of some emails we decided the four of us to have dinner. I thought that would be the first and last reunion, but things happened.

After a few miscarriages she got pregnant, and after I miscarried, having lived through that sad time herself sent over a care package to us. It was sweet, thoughtful and touching. I was going to reach out but we ran into her again a week later. Note to anyone out there who might be in the same situation one day, try to avoid running into your husband's pregnant ex-wife right after you have miscarried. It just doesn't feel good.  After that another few months went by and when she had her son, I dropped off some food and a gift. Note again to anyone out there in the same sitch, try to not get there twenty minutes after the ex-wife gets home from the hospital with her in-laws. Also feels kind of funny. A few months after that though and we have gone for walks together, out to breakfast and last week out to see a play. It is nice. It doesn't feel like we are picking up where we left off and yet there are things we know about each other that do feel really comfortable. We have talked about the elephant in the room very carefully and everything that we thought might be really akward hasn't.

So yes I have taken this woman's hand me downs. The clothes, that is. She and my husband made their own decisions and ended up where they are today. The house that I live in now is ours. We decorated it, made it our home, and have our family here, with no pet elephant anymore.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ready Or Not

In a about three weeks I am due to have a baby boy. This is exciting and terrifying to me. With Twig around I definitely don't feel that I have bonded with my baby the way I did when she was inside. I didn't know if she was a boy or girl until she came out, yet I was creating imaginative fairy tales in my head of how motherhood would be. This time I know the gender, I know not to buy ridiculously expensive baby crap, and I know the happy part of the mommy hood comes with a lot of tears. 

With Twig I was ten freaking days late and I pray that won't be the case this time. I had sciatic pain that felt like I put a piece of tin foil on a filling. Every few steps I got an electric shock down my leg and buckled down. This time it's back and if I go longer than my due date that is five more weeks of agony, and I want to throw up just thinking about that. Speaking of vomit, I did a lot of it all through labor and I am not hopeful that it won't happen again, but it wasn't pleasant. I also don't look forward to the car ride to the hospital with contractions. With Twig it was a beautiful day and I saw people outside at a Starbucks and had the strongest resentment to them. Didn't they know in that moment that someone was driving by them in terrible discomfort?  How rude! 

At the hospital, I felt like I surrendered to the amazing nurses and my midwife. I knew I was in good hands. My doctor came and broke my water, and in less than an hour our baby was out. I remember only being able to reach as far down as the umbilical cord would let me. I so wanted to kiss the head but I settled at staring at an ear. I stroked it in amazement that my body worked and made a person -- a person with an ear. A nurse with a Russian accent asked/told my husband, "What is it daddy, eeees boy?" Neither one of us knew who "daddy" was because this wasn't a term we were familiar with at this early moment in parenthood, but did she just tell us we had a boy? For that moment, we were surprised. We didn't know the gender, but we had secretly both wanted a girl. My husband peeked and said, "It's a girl!" to which we both shrieked with joy. It was an amazing surprise.

This pregnancy we decided to find out for several reasons, first of which were we knew Twig would have preferred a sister. She is thrilled now though. I have less of a birth plan then I did with her. I don't even have a midwife. I am kind of just hoping for the best. I am not new to being a mom, but I certainly have been up nights trying to figure out how I will get out the door with two. I know that the freedom that having Twig in preschool has given me has been very short lived, and I cherish my time alone with Twig before she stops being an only child. My husband and I were out with her the other night and I went home and cried because our time together as a triangle is limited now. My husband and I have enjoyed watching her grow and it has been a privilege to be with her. Things will be different and we know that. We are receiving another gift though. I know it will be an adjustment for my daughter but she is also getting a sibling, a life long friend, and someone who I hope she will share an emotional bond with. We are all very excited and have been waiting to meet this little person for a long time. I don't know if we are ready, but who is really ever ready?