Ben keeps giving me hard time because he swears that this baby is my favorite baby. That's not true, of course, but I am having some of the good hormones this time around, the ones that make me burst into tears because I just love him so much (like Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona) instead of the ones that make my eyes burn red lasers into everyone. I think it's because I am caffeine free and have been since September 9th. I am way more chill than usual (which is still way less chill than most normal people). I feel like I could actually board a plane or ride an elevator, and I have occasionally taken short calls on my cell phone without speaker phone or my headset, and I haven't been paralyzed with thoughts of brain cancer. Progress, people. Baby steps.
Part of why I am so into this grunty little baby, though, is because he's it. The last one. I know I said that after Jack but that was only because Ben was done having kids, and I figured the best way to make sure we had another was to not act like I wanted a another (persuasion FTW!-- it's all about audience analysis). But this time? Done for real. (Although we do have enough bedrooms for everyone to have his own even with one more baby-- even this fact does not persuade me, and I'll tell you why).
I never want to go through labor and delivery ever again. Pregnancy was fine-- a little shitty there at the interminable end, but fine. Fun, even, because having a giant belly cracks me up and lots of maternity clothes are adorable these days.
But actual childbirth? Gah. And the thing is, Cooper's L&D was PERFECT. Because I was 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I didn't have to wear a monitor (but I would have at 41 weeks, so I barely dodged that bullet), and I got the completely intervention-free delivery I have always wanted. 10 minutes before I started pushing, I was outside my room walking the halls and drinking a Sierra Mist (no HFCS-- pretty cool). Pushing only took 26 minutes. I was in the shower right after he was born and felt 100% fine 2 hours later. I had NO recovery pain-- a few cramps while nursing that Motrin fixed. When he rounded the day after Cooper was born and asked me about my pain, I told my OB I had been pain free since the placenta came out. He wanted to discharge me after 24 hours, but I was like OMG no way I have 2 kids at home and am staying here in this quiet room until Sunday. Labor was my dream experience. Contractions were AGONIZING, but it was a clean pain-- the minute the contraction was over, I felt completely fine and 100% normal. (Except when the baby's head was crowning. Jesus.) It was truly the labor I have always wanted. But it was still horribly painful and grueling and even though I have done it before, there was some time around 9 centimeters until he was out that I was really panicked, was unable to ride the waves of pain, thought-- really believed-- that I was going to die. And really, I just never want to do it again, but I also wouldn't want to do it any other way, if that makes sense.
My only regret is that Harry was the only baby I got to hold on my chest right after birth still connected, and I didn't appreciate that magical moment. (I blame the super strong epidural and the fact that I had been left to "labor down" so long that my contraction stopped, and pushing him out was weird and rough and numb). Jack was blue and whisked away immediately, and Cooper was covered with meconium and needed to be suctioned by the NICU team. Both Cooper and Jack were returned within minutes and tucked neatly under my hospital gown, which was lovely, but still. That iconic moment where the doctor flops the baby onto my chest-- I would have liked that more than once when all was said and done. But if that is my only complaint? I need to accept my blessings and move on.
So, this baby. He's so small and he sleeps so loudly (another thing I forgot about infants)
His brothers LOVE him (Jack looks subdued here because I didn't have the flash on, so I told him he needed to be perfectly still. Apparently, he has to make a Precious Moment face to accomplish that feat.
I am sure the good hormones are going to ebb away, and I will be all tired and bitchy and anxious again before I know it, but until then, isn't he sweet?