Thursday, November 8, 2012

Party of Four

Oh my. Would you believe me if I told you it had been five weeks since our second daughter was born? FIVE WEEKS? It's one of those crazy things where I sometimes stop and say to myself, "Wow, these weeks have flown by!" and I sometimes say, "Wow, only five weeks? It feels like she's been here forever." (That's possibly the lack of sleep talking - dozing in two hour stretches can sometimes make your brain do funny things.)

And so it goes.

I don't really want to bore you with all the minute details of Amelia's birth, but there are a few key points I'd like to highlight and remember. The first one being, clearly, that I really don't recommend spending your last baby-free night sleeping in a tent out in your backyard. It obviously wasn't planned that way - my due date was still over a week away - but I can remember sleepily thinking to myself as I was peeing in the yard for the third time that I would be really pissed if I wasted my last precious night of uninterrupted slumber in a sleeping bag in the freezing cold with a toddler who kept stealing my blanket and a husband who snored through it all. Wouldn't you know it, my water broke the next afternoon.

Waking up to this pretty much made it all worth it, though.

Amelia knew what she was doing, however. In fact, her timing couldn't have been better. Almost my entire pregnancy, my father-in-law joked that September 30th would be a perfect day for her arrival - his birthday, too. And since we never got it together to send him a present, our new daughter knew just how to make us look like the best gift givers in the history of ever. I think the lady from the birth records department came to our room no less than five times, only to be turned away because we hadn't made a final name decision. After consulting many, many people (including all of our nurses and the poor birth records lady), the choice was clear. Amelia and her Opa (Albert Jacob Arends) share initials, and her middle name, Jacoba, is from her great-grandmother on his side. We've been calling her Mia more often than not, and Anna still sometimes throws in a Joey - what she called the baby all throughout my pregnancy.

It also worked out that my sister and brother-in-law were in town. Without being too graphic, let me just say that when your water breaks and your sister arrives minutes later with adult diapers in hand, you know some kind of fate was involved. All kidding aside, having them and my parents here was incredible. I was an emotional wreck, trying to bake cookies and snuggle with Anna and pack my hospital bag, and they were here answering my questions and cleaning my kitchen and letting Mike and I have some quiet time before we left for the hospital. My sister might want to seriously consider a side career as a doula...

And then she was here. And all those things people say about your heart growing even bigger than you imagined it could proved to be true. For me, I am finding it so much easier to just enjoy Amelia because I've experience first hand how quickly it goes by. Yes, I was exhausted when they placed her in my arms for the first time. Yes, she didn't want to be put down, preferring to snuggle against one of our chests. But those things will change. We will eventually sleep. Soon enough she will be a toddler whose idea of cuddling lasts about 3.2 seconds. With Anna, it wasn't always easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I see it now, and if the tunnel lasts a little bit longer it wouldn't be such a bad thing.

We're settling in. We're adjusting. Our first night home from the hospital our poor dog got locked out of the house all night. And on our first outing as a foursome we drove away from the gas pump without paying - luckily the nice policeman who knocked on our door was very understanding (And in all fairness, Mike did swipe the card. The machine didn't read it. Swearsies.).

We're taking it one day at a time and basically just doing what all other parents try to do - get both kids to nap at the same time. (Victory is mine today! Hooray!)

Baby "Joey" on Halloween

Welcome to the world, Amelia. We are so very, very glad that you are here.