Life with Two

Saturday, January 24

Alternate Title: Why it takes forever to go anywhere.

My tiny alarm clock named Henry goes off at 6:00AM.  He is ready for his breakfast, or final meal of the night, depending on how you look at it.  I roll over and pick him up.  Put him next to me in bed and nurse him until we both fall back asleep.  Around 7:00, I start hearing stirrings from the monitor in Clark's room.  By 7:15, he is wide awake and demanding that someone come get him.  I lay Henry back in his co-sleeper, and go get Clark, bring him back to my room, and stick him in my bed.  I then turn a Baby Einstein episode on the iPad, just so that I can lay there and snuggle Clark for a few minutes...enjoy the fact that he isn't in motion.  You know, sniff his head and scratch his back and all that.  I silently think through my day, and decide I will work out later in the afternoon, which means I don't need to shower this morning.  CHECK. About ten minutes into the movie, he decides it's time to sit on top of his still sleeping brother, so that's that. We move into the kitchen.

I turn on the Today Show, which, sadly enough, is now my primary source of news and world events.  I crack two eggs and start scrambling them for Clark while he runs laps around the house.  Literally.  Pumping his arms and running in circles.  I finally put his breakfast on the table, pour my Raisin Bran and coffee, and sit down next to him to eat.  I finish before him and decide to take advantage of the fact that he is still eating, and unload the dishwasher.  No go. Suddenly he doesn't want to eat.  I quickly realize that he will only eat if I continue sitting next to him.

So I spend the next 20 minutes sitting at the table drinking coffee while Clark thoughtfully chews each piece of egg, quietly inspects every single blueberry, and plays a few games with his toast before deciding to actually ingest it.  Finally. He's done and I can unload the dishwasher.  Except now this five minute job just became 15, because Clark wants to help.  And it's so sweet and endearing that I am not going to tell him no. So he unloads everything.  Each and every item, ONE BY ONE. And then I re-organize it all.  He breaks a wine glass.  I clean it up.  I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and he unloads those too.  So I load it again.  Finally, I close the door and re-direct him to the bedroom so I can get him dressed.

I lay him on the bed, and he starts to fight me, as toddlers love to do.   So I use my left arm to pin him to the bed while using my right arm to attempt a diaper change.  I get as far as the diaper and the shirt when I start to lose the power struggle, so I take a break.  Henry is fussing.  I pick him up and nurse him a little more.  Burp him.  Clark helps me get him dressed in real clothes, and we lay him back down.  In the two minutes I turn my back, Clark tips all the laundry baskets over and now there are dirty clothes all over the floor.  I realize that maybe this is a sign that I should do laundry, so I ask Clark to help me, and we head to the laundry room.

On our way there, I notice dog pee on my new dining room carpet and decide to ignore it for the next ten minutes because if I try to clean it, rage will well up inside me and I will yell at the dogs.  Seriously.  WHAT'S THEIR FREAKING PROBLEM?  Once we get to the laundry room, I falter for a minute.  There are clean clothes in the dryer, which means if I start doing laundry right this moment, I will have to put the clean clothes on my bed, and they will stare at me all day until I fold them.  I briefly consider taking the dirty clothes back to my room where they will at least be contained in baskets, but ultimately decide on laundry.  Before we can even get the washer going, Henry is crying.

We go back in the room and I pick Henry up to nurse him again.  Turns out, hunger is not the problem.  He spits up all over both of us.  I silently pat myself on the back for not being dressed yet.  I remove my shirt, and Henry is still crying, so I decide I don't quite have time yet to put a new shirt on.  I change Henry's clothes.  Get him settled.  Suddenly I smell poop.  Clark needs changed.  I silently pat myself on the back that he wasn't wearing pants yet.  I change his diaper.  Wrestle some pants, socks and shoes on him.  Henry is crying again.  He's hungry this time, so I feed him again.  But this time I'm not taking any chances, so I walk around the house with one boob hanging out and still no shirt on, following Clark around.  I watch him cleverly try to push the chair up to the counter four times so that he can eat sugar out of the sugar bin and remove sharp knives from the drawer. Poor Henry has to stop eating every time because, as talented as I may be, I can't keep a baby on the boob while simultaneously picking up a 28 pound toddler from the counter.  I silently remind myself for the millionth time to check our budget and see if we can afford to order those fancy magnetic drawer locks.  Then I reprimand myself because does safety really have a price?  I don't want Clark to get hurt.  I realize there's no time for arbitrary arguments with myself, and forget about it completely.

Henry is now fed.  He's in his swing.  Clark wants a snack.  I give it to him.  He spills applesauce on his shirt and I decide it's not worth the effort to change it quite yet.  I look at the clock.  It's now 9:30.  We are out of bananas and milk, and I need to go to the store.  I need to be there by 10 to avoid any potential meltdowns due to impending nap time.  I look in the mirror.  Realize I still have no shirt on. My eyes drift down to my belly and I decide today is the day that I need to really get serious about losing these last few pounds.  Pull on jeans and a shirt and a pair of flats.  Pull my hair back and tease the roots so that maybe people will think I'm intentionally going for the messy look.  A tiny bit of makeup and then I start the car loading process. First Clark needs a jacket.  CHECK.  Then Henry needs strapped into his seat.  CHECK.  Now Clark has removed his shoes.  CRAP.  Put his shoes back on.  Now Henry is crying.  Give him the paci.  Put a blanket around him.  Tell Clark to bid the dogs goodbye.  I notice the pee on the carpet again but now that we are walking out the door, it's going to have to wait. Again.  

We go to the car.  Clark cries because he wants to drive.  I force him into his seat.  Get Henry in.  Turn the car on, and go back into the house to get my diaper bag.  Come back out and remember that I forgot a snack.  Go back in for a snack.  Come back out.  Realize I forgot my water. Decide to hell with it, we are going to the store now and I don't care what I do or don't have in my diaper bag anymore. 

We get to HEB.  Someone in a two person convertible is parked in the CUSTOMERS WITH CHILDREN Parking.  Say a swear word under my breath, because SERIOUSLY?  I park the car elsewhere. Get a buggy.  Get Henry out.  Go around to the other side, and get Clark out.  Finally we can shop.  Once we get in there, Clark suddenly is dying of thirst and keeps telling me "WA-WA". We make a detour down the water aisle so that I can give him a bottle to drink.  A man gives me a look and I tell him DON'T WORRY I WILL PAY FOR IT.  When I'm in the milk aisle, I discover that in the ten seconds I looked away, Clark opened a banana and ate half of it.  I actually CAN'T pay for something he already ate, since it's charged by weight.  I hold out hope that the cashier has a solution for this dilemma.  As I'm walking by the bakery, I realize they have sour cream donuts.  THEY NEVER HAVE SOUR CREAM DONUTS.  I put three in a bag. I split one with Clark right there in the aisle, because...WHATEVER. 

We pay for the groceries (including our already eaten donut).  I get two scratch offs on my way out, because I'M FEELING LUCKY TODAY! We get home.  It's five trips to get back in the house.  One with Henry.  One with Clark.  One with my diaper bag and miscellaneous sippy cups I find under the seats. And two with groceries.  By now Henry is crying again.  Clark is hungry.  I make Clark a ham sandwich and sit down to feed Henry.  Clark doesn't want his ham sandwich.  He is standing at the counter crying and signing "PLEASE" and pointing at a can of green beans.  I open them and pour some in a bowl.  He eats and eats until he's eaten the entire can of green beans.  I put Henry in his swing.  It's now 11:30.  The groceries aren't going to put themselves away, so I do that.

Clark disappears in the middle of this.  I go to find him.  He's standing at the toilet in the spare bathroom sticking his fingers in the toilet water and licking the water off.  His pants and one sock are now missing.  I decide it's time for nap, so I find him new socks.  I turn up the amp on Henry's swing.  Eat an entire donut in two bites in the kitchen, completely forgetting about my earlier vow to start my diet today, and head back to Clarks room to get him put down.  He's sleepy and he goes down quickly.

I go back.  Get Henry.  Look around my house at the mess and all that needs done.  Calculate how many more days until the cleaning lady comes.  Decide most of the serious cleaning can wait, and walk Henry into my room.  I pull back the covers, and get in bed with him for some snuggling and a nap. It's not even noon and I'm beat.   And as I'm laying there, I start to think about the blessing of my life.  How lucky I am to have it so good.  How much fun I've already had this morning.  I think about what a good boy Clark is.  How sweet and helpful and fun he is to be around.  He is such a complete joy.  And Henry.  He's so sweet and snuggly and smells like delicious baby.  And then I think, TWO UNDER TWO.  It's not so bad.  I remind myself again about how much easier the second baby is than the first.  And it's true.  Henry is a breeze.  I feel more confident with him.  Less stressed. More prepared.  I think I can keep doing this. I'm enjoying every single moment.   

The Story of Henry

Sunday, January 4

It's a boy! Henry Crawford Wilson entered this world at 11:01AM on Monday, December 1, measuring 8lb 10oz and 20 1/2 inches long. Hooray!

And yes, I realize that it's been an entire one month and three days since he was born..that's how old my baby is today.  And while so far, having two kids doesn't feel very hard at all, the fact that it's taken this long to write out Henry's birth story should tell you something about the state of my "free time" these days.  Or, rather, how I choose to spend my free time.  I feel like it was just yesterday that I went into the hospital.  I feel like it was just hours ago that we came home and settled in here.  I felt like the time went fast with Clark, and if that was true, then time is moving at lightening speed with Henry.  And now, because I don't want time to dull the details, here is how it happened. 

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I went in for what would be my last OB appointment.  I was 38 weeks along, and everything looked great. I got on the scale backwards, as usual. Got my blood pressure taken. Everything looked great. Baby's heartrate looked good, and I was measuring about 2.5cm and 60%. Not bad. I was expecting a baby in about a week-ish.  

Also, it should be noted that up until that day, I had been going to the park every day and walking 2.5 miles on a bumpy trail in hopes of dislodging this little love muffin.  On the occasions that Jared came with me, he would make me do squats every quarter mile, which, when you are nine months pregnant, looks a lot like some perverse pregnant twerking. Don't worry. It was my immense pleasure to provide the entertainment for the patrons of my local park. In any case, thus far it had not been working. But I was more than ready.   

The next day, Wednesday, was the day before Thanksgiving.  Clark and I got up and got ready for the day, and then headed to the airport to get my in-laws.  It was around that time that I started having some contractions that felt a little stronger than the Braxton Hicks I had been having since about 15 weeks.  (SERIOUSLY.)  They didn't hurt...but they felt different.  That night, we headed out to dinner, and while we were there, they got strong enough that I had to stop walking through them and just sit.  They were sort-of hurting.  And so we timed them. They were about six minutes apart.  They continued on all evening, but weren't terrible.  Around 10:00, I headed to bed.  I took a Benadryl to help me sleep, and that was that. 

I woke up the next morning and NOTHING.  They stopped, so I figured it was a false alarm. But by the time we ate our Thanksgiving dinner later that day, the contractions had picked up again.  Perhaps my dinner table twerking performance helped? (I'm kidding but let's be honest-I probably would have gladly done it if I knew for sure it would speed things up. Pregnant women are desperate I tell you.) And now, I won't bore you with a play-by-play of each day, but from Thursday until that Sunday, I had contractions constantly.  They were consistently about five minutes apart and a minute long, for FOR FOUR DAYS. Stronger than a Braxton Hicks, but never actually painful.  SO.  That was four days of me constantly asking Jared, "Should I go in?" and him saying, "Yes, probably." and then me saying, "But they don't hurt so they will probably just send me home."  I'm sure my in-laws were sick of hearing us debate the entire issue.

Finally, Sunday night, Jared convinced me to just go in.  It WAS strange to have been contracting that long...right?  Even if it didn't hurt?  So we put Clark to bed, and headed out.  Now, when I had Clark, I refused to get anything to eat on the way to the hospital, convinced we would be back home in an hour or two, and I ended up spending my entire labor STARVING TO DEATH.  I remember laying there with an oxygen mask on my face and nurses holding my legs up in the air, and in between every single push, I kept saying, "I'M SO HUNGRY."  Poor me!  And even though I was convinced we would be headed home in a few hours again this time, I did request to go through the Whataburger drive thru on the way...just in case, because I will NEVER make that mistake again.  A double cheeseburger, large fries and chocolate milkshake later, we were on our way...

We got to the hospital, and I walked in like a completely normal person that's not in labor.  I felt like an idiot as I told the nurse, "Um, well, I think I MIGHT be in labor, so I'm really sorry, but can someone just, um, check me maybe?"  She probably thought I was yet another idiot pregnant woman coming into the hospital way too soon.  BUT! She took me to a bed and hooked me up to the monitors.  Then she checked me, looked at me funny, and announced that I was actually five cm dialated. Which is apparently enough to keep you.  I was shocked, since I was still not in any pain. They then moved me into a room, hooked me up to the monitor again, and the doctor told me that they would just keep me overnight and see what happened.  In the morning, she said she would break my water if I hadn't progressed.

Then they gave me a sleeping pill, and that was it.  I fell into a beautiful sleep. At about 4:30AM, the doctor came in wielding what looked to be a gigantic crochet needle, and announced that she would break my water.  I've heard horror stories about how painful this is, so I braced myself, and felt...nothing.  It didn't hurt at all.  Honestly, it was nothing.  She said she would give it an hour to see if things picked up, and if not, they would start Pitocin.

I never got my pitocin, because at 5:30AM, my contractions started on their own.  Like, the real ones. The kind that hurt.  And hey guys, good news.  It turns out that the steroids my doctor put me on brought my blood numbers up BARELY enough to get an epidural.


So at 5:30AM when the pain started, I paged the nurse and requested my epidural.  While she was in there, I started telling her about my most amazing, life changing experience with the Anesthesiologist I had last year, and I asked if he was working.  She laughed and said NO WAY.  She said there were about 40 doctors in that practice, and it was unlikely he was even working that day. Then she walked out in the hallway to page the doctor on call.  THEN, she walked back in and said, "You'll never believe this, but he IS going to be here at 6:30AM, so you can wait for him if you want."

You guys.  I almost cried with joy.  I LOVE THAT MAN.  He is amazing.  And so, for the next hour, I endured unmedicated labor (don't laugh at me, it was terrible), all in the name of getting the doctor of my dreams.  And he didn't disappoint.  At 6:30 on the dot, he walked in and said he heard someone was waiting for him.  I told him I spent the last year and a half of my life singing his praises and re-living my fabulous experience with him, which is completely true.  And I have no idea if that perhaps made him happy and he gave me even more drugs than strictly neccesary, but I can tell you this: with Clark, I felt basically no pain.  THIS TIME WAS EVEN BETTER.

Within seconds of getting my epidural placed, I had that familiar tingly feeling all down my spine, and within moments the pain was gone.  Oh, and IT WAS MAGICAL!  And then, I fell asleep.  You guys.  I slept, like SERIOUSLY SLEPT, from 6:30AM until 10:30AM.  I woke up occasionally, and only briefly, as the the nurse checked me and rolled me over.  It was amazing.  I didn't feel pressure.  I didn't feel pain.  I felt NOTHING except the sweet sensation of a nap. At 10:30AM, I was awaken by my sweet nurse shaking my shoulder and whispering, "Okay Meghann.  You're ten centimeters now.  It's time to get ready to push."


I roused myself.  The doctor came in.  It was her and one nurse for me, one nurse for the baby.  Everyone was relaxed and happy.  The doctor told me to push and it was very brief, and again, completely painless.  I felt absolutely nothing.  No pressure.  No pain.  NOTHING.  After about five pushes, that was it.  The doctor pulled him out, held him up, and proclaimed, "IT'S A BOY."  And felt good.  Jared and I kept looking at each other and I kept saying, "Can you believe it?!  We have two boys!"  I was overjoyed.  And then the doctor said, "Good grief, he's really big!"  And then the nurse weighed him and she said something similar.  And the comments continued throughout my hospital stay.

Henry Crawford Wilson.  My boy! (His middle name is my Grandma's maiden name.)

She put him on my belly and I got to see him up close right away.  The nurse took him and cleaned him.  Sucked his lungs out, swaddled him up, and gave him back to me. And then I got to nurse him. Like ten minutes after I had him!  And he ate like a champ. Then the nurse casually asked me if I'd like lunch, so I ordered a ham sandwich, and she said it would be up soon.  The doctor finished up her business, and that was it.  They all left us on our own.  I ate and nursed and stared at my new baby. It was so different than when I had Clark.  Jared and I couldn't stop asking each other if this was normal.  Jared kept saying, "This must be what it's like for everyone that has a healthy baby."  It was so surreal.  So easy.  So peaceful.

And so, we got moved into a room and spent the rest of the day staring at sweet baby Henry.  My in-laws brought Clark that night, and everyone got to meet him.  Clark only cared about Henry for a brief moment before he became obsessed with the phone in my room.  But it's okay, because to have both of my boys on my lap together, even momentarily, was one of the happiest moments of my life. (And he really loves his brother now!)

The next day, we went home.  We were in the hospital less 48 hours, which was again, something Jared and I felt so strangely about.  We were in for nine days when I had Clark.  So leaving so soon felt strangely wonderful.  And a little scary.

But now we are home.  We have a healthy baby boy--TWO healthy boys.  And life has been good.  It's been more than good.  This past one month and three days have been some of the happiest of my life.  

I was thinking about Mary

Sunday, November 23

The other day, when I went to put Clark down for his nap, he surprised me. I closed his blinds and turned on his sound machine. I sang "Jesus Loves Clark," his favorite song, and I told him to tell the doggies goodnight because it was naptime. Then, instead of trying to escape out of his baby gate, or handing me twenty five books to stall the inevitable, he climbed on my lap, snuggled deep into my chest, put his fingers in his mouth, and fell asleep. Within two minutes, he was out cold. Breathing deeply, his forehead just a little sweaty and his little curls tickling my arm. 

And I sat in his chair and rocked him for a good twenty minutes just taking it all in and smelling him and looking at him. And then I was rubbing his back and I started thinking how small he is. And suddenly I had a vision of my baby as a grown man. Or, rather, I suddenly pictured him as a young adult, leaving our house for college. I have no idea where it came from. (Perhaps hormones?) And I've always known that YES, my baby will someday fly the nest, of course, but for some reason in that particular moment, it seemed so very real, and I got panicked. And then I started to cry. Yes, cry.  Like a dummy. I sat there and allowed myself to imagine the profound sadness I might feel someday when my baby isn't a baby anymore. When he doesn't want to cuddle up on me or kiss me or have me rock him to sleep. When he goes to sleep every night in a different house, probably a different zip code. And I know my time with my child is fleeting, but that moment, I really felt it, and I had a profound feeling of sadness that I couldn't shake. 

And then, I don't know, I guess because it's almost Christmas and I keep listening to Christmas music, I started thinking about baby Jesus and Mary. And please bear with me because this is about to get profoundly dumb, but it's where my thoughts went next. I started thinking about how Mary used to hold her own baby, all those years ago, and surely she had these same moments, right? Moments where she just wanted to freeze time and keep her baby little forever. Moments where she rocked him and pictured his future, separate from her.  Except her son was the son of God, and I just can't even fathom her thought process. 

Recently our pastor spoke at our MOPS group, and when talking about Mary, he made the point that she was just an average woman. But more than that...she was likely a lot more simple than we imagine. He made the point that in today's world, we know so much more- understand so much more about the world and life and people and things-than Mary could ever have. There was no internet. She hadn't traveled the world or met people from different places. Her perspective was likely very small. And unlike me, she didn't already have history to rely on. She was making it, so her perspective I guess you could say. 

And so now, when I hear the lyrics in the song that say, "Mary, did you know...the sleeping child you're holding, is the Great, I Am" I can't help but think NO, of course she didn't.  I guess she knew in a way, but no, I don't think she could have ever fathomed the enormity of what she was doing. It's hard for me to fathom...and I know how history plays out. I don't believe when Mary held baby Jesus and stroked his face and kissed his little forehead she could ever understand really. Because the enormity of her son's future would be too much.  I think it would be too much to really, truly understand the future of baby Jesus and still love him with a mothers love.  And I think that's probably the way it was supposed to be...maybe for all of us?

I was thinking that maybe I need to spend less time thinking about Clark's year, five years, twenty years down the road. I should probably stop trying to understand or grasp the enormity of raising a human, and focus more on the toddler that I'm raising today. And just accept that God already has it all worked out, right? I don't want the weight of the future to steal my joy today.  

And in my mind, with my (probably very flawed) logic, Mary is an example for me to follow.