We would snuggle, read books, watch trashy day-time TV. We would dance around the front room. Splash in the bath. We would share our deepest thoughts, hopes, dreams. We would each stare at each other with wonder.
Oh, we had our battles and our struggles. But life was good. DJ was home from the hospital, fully recovered from the life-saving surgery he had at 10 days old. I was his mom and I was loving every moment of this new journey.
But the edges started to fray. Late afternoons, I had no energy. I became weepy and overly emotional. I became anxious. I wondered if I was a good mom. Did I have what it takes to be a good mom? Deep down, I knew it, but slowly I became a ball of emotions. I felt so helpless. Why did all these conflicting emotions seem to fester now? We had already been through hell - if I was going to have post partum depression, why did it wait till DJ was six months old? The long, hard, at times unbearable time in the NICU of the children's hospital was over. DJ was healthy. All was good. All was great. But, I was tired. So tired. I knew caring for an infant was tiring, but could it really be this tiring?
We read pages and pages on the internet. POST PARTUM DEPRESSION. It all fit...but at the same time, it did not fit. I seemed to have many of the symptoms, but at the same time, the diagnosis did not seem clear. We needed expert advice. A doctor's appointment was made - earliest appointment available, the following Thursday - eight days away.
A cloak of tiredness seemed to be wrapping around me. Smothering me. My emotions were high, unpredictable. But through it all, I offered wonderful care to my 6 month old babe. I loved being a mom.
My most wonderful husband could see the toll this was having on me. He offered to take Thursday and Friday off to be with me and DJ. We spent five days cocooned up in our house. My only job was to sleep, rest, pump and do light-mothering duties. David took care the rest.
Monday came quickly. David was a bit leery about going back to work. I assured him I was feeling so much better - much rested. It felt very June Cleaver-y: me holding the baby kissing Daddy as he headed to work. I felt refreshed. Reborn. Wonderful. Wonderful that is until my tummy turned.
David called home at noon to see how we were doing. I told him I was not as tired and everything was great, except that now I thought I was coming down with the stomach flu! I had gotten sick twice already.
David came home to an energized wife and a very happy baby. Life was good. Perhaps we were wrong to think PPD. Perhaps a little rest was all I needed.
Tuesday morning came alive to the hungry cries of the babe. I rolled out of bed, and as I passed the washroom door my stomach turned. Within seconds I was flung over the toilet bowl. David came into the washroom. Very lovingly, he pulled back my hair while balancing our little guy on his hip. In a calm voice he asked said, " Dear, I do not think you have post partum depression, or the flu...I think WE are pregnant!"
A solid blue line confirmed his speculation.
So, when the doctor entered the examination room with oodles of PPD pamphlets and resources we all shared a laugh. An ultrasound appointment was made.
As I laid on the table, with my husband holding our infant son, I wondered if I was ready for a second baby. The ultrasound technician asked when my last period had occurred. I laughed and replied, "Two Februaries ago!". We all had a chuckle. She then said," Well, moms usually have a feeling, how far along do you think you are?" Hmmmmm. Well, since I got morning sickness six weeks into my first pregnancy. "Maybe 6 weeks?" The technician begins her examination. She chuckles and says, " Nope, you are not 6 weeks along". I look over at her and cautiously ask, " 8 weeks?" And she turns the monitor so I can see and says, " No dear, look at the monitor and wave at your baby, you are 13 weeks and about 6 days!"
There in front of me was not a lima bean, but a real baby! OH MY GOD!
We left that appointment excited and nervous. As we got into the elevator a nice grey-haired woman commented that our son was very cute. I looked at this perfect stranger, waved the ultrasound photo at her and declared," And before he is one years old, he will be a big brother!"
Anderson, that is how we found out that we were expecting you. It seems like just yesterday! But, here we are, December 6, 2007...you are 3 years old today! WOW! Time has just flown by! On this day, and every day, I want you to know how much you are loved. You are an amazing little guy. So full of life. You are very energetic, happy, fearless, and wonderful. You are such a little boy - loving your cars, trucks and trains. You adore your big brother, your little sister and Bob The Builder and your Pepe. You are smart, funny, athletic and so cute: your big brown eyes could melt any one's heart! You are also very stubborn, a bit of a dare devil and very strong-willed. You are also very caring, empathetic and quick to offer hugs and kisses. There are days when you have me laughing and there are days when your behaviour is trying and frustrating for me as your Mommy. But, my little Ander Pander-Bear, the world is a much better place because you are in it. May all your dreams and hopes come true. And may I, as your mother, friend, supporter, cheerleader, and confidant, help prepare you to be all that you can be.