It's amazing how completely different my temperament and outlook has been during this pregnancy versus the last ones. With Niall, it was pure excitement; everything was so new, thrilling and untainted (my thoughts of what both birth and raising a child would be like). Then, with Brendan, I was a girl on a mission: to have that VBAC. I was practically natural birth certified and nothing was going to stand in my way of avoiding another c-section (except for that 24 hour trial of labor which resulted in... shocker: no progress). Now, with baby #3, I am fully aware that this little guy is coming at 7:30 am Tuesday, October 21... and I am a ball of nerves.
You would think that I would be relieved I can arrange a babysitter, pack my bag at a leisurely pace, enjoy a delicious meal of my choosing Monday night, and (most importantly) the whole thing will be over in 20 minutes-- unlike the other two labors, which ranged between 1-2 full days of mind-blowing yet uneventful contractions. Unfortunately, 'relieved' is not quite what you could say I'm feeling.
I wrote a blog post a while back, entitled "If I die tomorrow," which was a complete joke about what would happen if my husband had to take the reigns and wondering if my kids would survive. He is actually a great dad, but I think every mom knows what it's like to have that uncontrollable urge to to make sure things are done her way (AKA 'the right way'). So imagine if you weren't there to micro-manage this whole child-rearing operation... there is no doubt in my mind that the 2 year old would be dressed in the 4 year old's clothes, the sippy cups wouldn't have their little plastic spill stoppers, and the old "we'll brush teeth tomorrow night" routine would become an every night occurrence.
So, naturally, I've been considering every little complication that could possibly come up on Tuesday morning and I'm tempted to leave a small instruction manual (especially for those tricky baby snap outfits and how to efficiently clean a newborn poop-up-the-neck-blow-out)... and while I'm at it, I should also probably pack away all the 6-12 month stuff in the basement so the poor kid doesn't look like he is drowning in a tent every day.
But all things considered, I am sure that everything will be fine and that Tuesday will be all of the wonderful things that I am too afraid to let myself dream it will be-- 2 big brothers doting over the newest addition to their clan, holding him and kissing him and forcefully jamming his paci back in his mouth whenever it falls out, everyone admiring his tiny little fingers and toes, and truly enjoying the quiet time I will have to bond with him when the family goes home and it's just me and my baby. I am so excited, it feels surreal for some reason; even though I've been through it twice before.
It's really strange the way I felt after I had Brendan; there was this guilt that I had left Niall confused and alone; that I had taken something away from him-- that I had taken a bit of me from him. I was gone for so long (almost a week at the hospital), he wouldn't even talk to me or look at Brendan when we came home. Those first 2 days were awful. But this time, I am so happy that Niall and Brendan have each other and I know those feelings will never come up this time around. Those 2 don't even remember what it was like to be the only kid (Brendan obviously never was). I just know that they will feel nothing but joy and excitement and happiness toward their new brother; there is no doubt in my mind. That will be the biggest relief for me this time around; knowing that I can snuggle my new little guy without ever feeling a tinge of guilt or worry.
And even though I know that everything will be fine in that department, I have really been trying to soak up the last few weeks of having what I like to call 'the limbs-to-kids ratio' (2 hands, 2 kids). Once your kids outnumber your arms, I imagine you are in trouble when it comes to leaving the house. At least that's my scientific observation. We will most likely be hunkered down for a little while until I get this whole 3 kids thing figured out, so I knew that we needed to have a few good excursions before the big day. And that's just what we did.
I have to say, although I would have been thrilled to welcome a girl into this super hero, pee and football-infested house, I am so happy for this band of brothers. What Niall and Brendan have is something that I will never be able to fully understand or remotely be a part of. They are brothers. When they are in their room laughing and talking at night, I'll never know what it is about or why it is so funny. When one looks out for the other and says "that's my brother," I will feel a tingle of pride but never really know what their loyalty toward each other feels like. And that's ok; that's the way it should be. It makes me happy to think that they have something so special in addition to and completely separate from what I have with them.
And now there will be 3 of them. The McCullough clan, my boys, my everything. I can't wait.