Definitely a small moment for you, but totally necessary to share, since it was a big moment in our lives! Bringing one baby home makes you giddy, but when you know that you get to introduce another child to their sibling, it makes the moment so much more…fulfilling? Gosh, it’s hard to even come up with the proper word. There are layers of emotions tied to that moment. Especially since Hattie hadn’t come to the hospital. This was their first meeting, in their first home together, and the rest of their lives as best friends (I can totally hope, right?) began in that precious instant that their little souls became bound.
Our doc (have I mentioned he’s stellar?) reassured me that I would be 100% fine should I choose to go home the evening following Todd Anthony’s birth. The pediatrician on call was unsettled with this decision at first, but a handful of people convinced her that I had a medical background, was competent enough, and my labor and delivery were uneventful enough for me to be okay leaving the hospital before the normal 24 hour threshold. Honestly, had it been any day other than Christmas Eve, I would have stayed overnight, but I was antsy to get home to Hattie bug, and wake up and have Christmas morning with her and our new baby in our own home. Ben had insisted that Hattie stay home, instead of having her travel 45 minutes down the busy interstate in holiday traffic-under someone else’s care (we totally trust our family, it just made him more at ease to oversee her safety that day), so I was more than itching to see her. All of the “Ok’s” were finally acquired, and we were able to leave a mere 14 hours after his birth! As the nurse had me sign the last of my discharge papers, after I agreed to not chew tobacco while nursing or feed my newborn baby food-you gotta love those instructions- I felt a little panicky. Oh my gosh, we’re really leaving, what if I bleed out in the middle of the night, oh, wait, I’ll notice when I get up to nurse the baby, oh gosh, what if I don’t wake up, and Ben doesn’t wake up, and then no one hears him cry. Who am I kidding, I don’t sleep that hard. I’ve done this before, why am I panicking? Crap, I need to take a picture of him in his carseat for the first time. Are we really leaving? I miss Hattie. This is crazy. Am I crazy? Gosh, my upper chest and back is sore, probably because I just gave birth this morning, wow, I’m really thirsty. Oh man, I didn’t see the lactation consultant, what if he isn’t nursing right. Wait, you nursed a baby for over a year, you know what nursing right feels like. He’s fine, you’re fine. Everyone’s fine. Ask the nurse for a Xanax. Foreals. This was how my crazy hormonal postpartum mind was working. As they wheeled me down the hallway I laughed at the whirlwind of a day it had been. I still hadn’t slept, and it had been over 36 hours that I had been awake. The mother/baby ward seemed welcoming, and the nurses seemed kind. I was almost sad to leave, I felt like I’d just arrived. I spent so much time packing those damn hospital bags for an overnight stay…then it was over-just like that! Then I remembered Hattie, and I prayed that the elevator would move a little faster.
I remember waiting near the valet parking area while Ben raced to move the car-that he has warmed up for us prior to our departure-closer to the exit, and having a little toddler with snot running down her face run up to the carseat and stick her hand towards Todd Anthony. Before I could even react, my nurse panicked. I wish I had this moment on video tape. I’ve never seen someone redirect a child’s fingers so quickly-and with a bit of finesse I might add. I said a silent prayer that my child never reached for a baby when she has snot on her face. That has to be on the top 10 list of a mother’s worst fears….She probably has though. Thankfully Nurse No Touch was on duty this time.
We loaded up the SUV and headed home, and I had to belt out a chorus of “This Is How We Do It” mixed with a little victory dance. “You were made to have babies” my husband announced. “Yeah, your babies” I chimed back. Everything was going smooth-until it wasn’t. We totally had a tire blow out. I know right…terrible. I was pissed at the tire, and terrified for my husband-on the side of the interstate, in the dark, with holiday traffic whizzing by, changing the tire at the speed of light. This would be a lot more comical if you were informed about the tire problems we had encountered since we bought the vehicle in November-in preparation for baby #2, I might add. Multiple re-balancing, and a flat, then a patch, now a blowout. My husband swore the rest of the way home that he was putting all new tires on as soon as the tire shops reopened after the holidays. Actually he told me he was putting 20 ply tires on, which if you know anything about tires, they are the super duper mac daddies that you see on big super duper mac daddy trucks. He did put all new tires on too. Thankfully, not 20 ply ones however. Can you imagine….
My parents had taken Hattie to Christmas Eve mass at our church to sing carols, and we always have Christmas with them on Christmas Eve, so they headed to our house with pizza and presents, and our daughter. We had Todd Anthony in our bedroom hidden from Hattie’s sight, and we had her close her eyes with the promises that we were bringing her a surprise. I think that this next picture will be in my heart for all time. My sweet girl-about to have her world rocked!
She kept them closed too. Until we told her she could look
“My new baby!”
Oh, that moment was brilliant. It was sweet, and warm, and perfect, and I swear it even smelt good…???? A more accurate way of putting it would be to say that I think I relate all things wonderful and pleasant to that moment. A mom dreams of the instant where her two angels meet. It was everything I thought it would be. Watching as Hattie went from only child to sibling-it’s almost a concrete image, it literally happened before my eyes, as she took her brother in her arms. “Can I hold him?” she asked, and I let out a sigh of relief as I allowed her to do the one thing that I had spent the last 9 months praying and hoping she would want to do.
Uncle Chase got his Todd Anthony fill too
I’m pretty sure the following picture will always make my heart skip a little beat. My precious mom, with my precious daughter, and my precious baby. It gives me heart eyes. (Do you speak emoji?)
Our first family photo. You can bet your bottom dollar this one made its way into a frame quick, fast, and in a hurry. I want to always remember this moment.
You should prepare to melt now…
I know right….getting heart eyes again. I love Ben’s hands. I tell everyone this. They are strong and worn and calloused, and are such a tell tale part of who he is. The fact that they made their way into this photo, and even look gentle for a moment make the picture darling. To me at least.
We opened gifts, ate a little pizza, and literally fought to keep our eyes open. My parents took Hattie back home with them and Ben promised me that he would go get her first thing in the morning, just in case she woke during the night, we wouldn’t have to pacify two babes. We left gifts and hospital bags strewn across the house, and my mom snapped this photo just as she was leaving. It makes me laugh, because I instantly remember that feeling of sheer exhaustion when I see our limp bodies.
We slept well that night, in case you were wondering. Even with multiple nursing sessions, being in our own warm bed, in our own warm house, with our new baby safely here in our arms was so unbelievably comforting.
It was a magical Christmas morning indeed. I remember smiling as Hattie and Ben scooted around the living room floor opening presents while the babe snoozed on my chest and thought, “love lives here”.
Best Holiday Ever.
More of Todd Anthony to come! I promise!