Saturday, August 6, 2016

What I Would Have Said

{photos taken an hour before my doctor's appointment. trying to soak in the last moments of the little bump.}

Just eleven short days ago I lay in bed knowing that our new baby might arrive the next day. So much of me wanted to get up to write down my thoughts and feelings, to commemorate the moment properly as it would likely be my last time in that position. But as it was already past midnight and I knew that I should try to conserve energy for the next day, I opted not to. (What followed was a horrible night of sleep with Sybil waking up, Tegan needing water, and a headache to boot, but how was I to know that!) Sadly, weighing things out is basically the story of this third pregnancy when there have been so many competing interests and needs at hand. But as regret is something that plagues me, especially fueled by the baby blues, before these thoughts leave my mind I thought I'd still try to get them down.

If I'd chosen to write to you, our sweet little babe, I would have said how excited we all are to meet you. How every day Declan was asking if the baby was coming today, and as I was dilated for weeks, we told him it could be any day now over and over and over again. They'd kiss my belly and say hi to you, letting you know that they couldn't wait to meet you either. Sybi would point to my belly button when asked where the baby was, then lift her shirt and say, "Me! Me too!".

I would have said that I was convinced you were a boy, and that we had a name already chosen just for you. I would have told you that I was so curious to see if you'd look like Declan or somehow mix it up; that having another baby boy to raise into a young man is such a privilege, especially in this day and age where the expectations of masculinity and how men should treat women are making a shift. To have the opportunity to help model for and mold a young man to accept these new ways is a gift.

I would have said that I was still mourning having a little girl as well, to see from the inside what having a sister is like and to watch Sybil be looked up to in a special way. I didn't want to pack away the girl clothes, to have fewer braids to braid and nails to paint in the future. But I also would have been relieved in some ways for Sybi, because as the middle child she'd have an extra special spot as the only girl. (She can stand up for her goofy little self pretty well though, so there isn't much worry there.) 

I would have said that not finding out your sex was the best thing we chose. That no matter what you are, we are on pins and needles waiting to find out. 

I would have said that I was scared of what was ahead, of rocking the boat and adding a third to the family. How will it change the dynamic? What will Declan and Sybil's relationship look like in a few years? Will someone always be left out or will they just naturally fall into play and alone time? Three was always a tough number for me as a child when it came to being with friends, so I hope that it won't be so for siblings as well. 

I would have asked if we were making the biggest mistake in adding the third, a mistake that I knew I'd be sure wasn't a mistake as soon as I saw your face. 

I would have wondered what the labor would be like, my first time trying without drugs. Would I be able to make it to the tub? How long would this labor last? Would I want it to drag on a bit to enjoy this final time or would I be begging to make it end? I had everything ready - the camera was charged, a playlist was made, the cheerleading team knew that it was happening the next day and were ready to go. I truly couldn't wait, because as crazy as it sounds, giving birth is my favorite experience in the world. 

I would have lamented on the fact that you are my last baby and wonder how in the world I'm going to handle that. I still find myself wondering. 

Finally, I would have let you know that deep down I'm sure there is no mistake, no worries on what sex you are or how you will fit in to the family; that even though I love having you tumbling about inside me I still couldn't wait to feel your tiny self filling my arms. I would have let you know that there was no doubt in my mind that you are meant to be with us and that despite loving being pregnant, I was completely ready to meet my final new baby.