Six weeks ago one of my college girlfriends called me. She was 22 weeks pregnant and had just been placed on emergency bedrest. She was terrified. Yesterday, she happily announced she had hit 28 weeks. The third trimester – it does exist! (I’m going to laugh when she ends up getting induced at 41 weeks. “Oh no, Mom. You successfully put the fear of the world in me. I’m staying put. No plastic incubator box for me, no sir!”)
I smiled when I realized the date. I was in the midst of planning a baby shower for my friend who is 32 weeks pregnant. She and her baby boy are doing well despite several pre-term stints in the L&D unit thanks to a klutzy step off a curb and a rather unfortunate bout with a food-borne illness (and the resulting intimate encounter with the United Airlines barf bag).
Another girlfriend, who I’ve known since I was 12, is pregnant with her second little one. (There must be something in the water.) She emailed me yesterday morning (the very same “Happy Third Trimester to my college girlfriend” morning). She is 27w5 days today. If she were in my shoes, her little pumpkin would already be a day old.
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since this roller coaster screamed its way down the first drop. Last year at this time, I was spending my days at a relatively new job trying not to arf on my boss. Today, I spent my day at my brand new job, trying to make sure I didn’t have baby arf on my shirt. I guess it’s not that different year-over-year…
But it seems a world away from 27w4d baby boys. Destroy had a bad day today. He woke up at 7 a.m. and decided his regular morning nap was unnecessary. And his afternoon nap – nah. Mary Poppins (nee Holly) even took the muppets for an hour long stroll beneath the springtime sunshine; Search snoozed, Destroy stared at his surroundings. I took them on another evening walk, hoping the steady rhythm would lull Destroy into dreamland. After two miles I peeked around the stroller – Search was contentedly curled up; Destroy stared expectantly back at me with his big brown eyes. “The wrong muppet fell asleep,” I informed the universe.
Search’s been sleeping much more because he’s been off exploring the world. Not content with merely crawling, Search has figured out how to pull himself up to a standing position. He can crawl up the step in our living room (yippee) and the standing trick is possible via the chair, his music table, the couch or the dog. Destroy is content to roll around the living room.
Despite being awake 12 hours straight, Destroy still did not want to sleep come bedtime. Search had rested up on plenty of beauty sleep so he didn’t want to end his day either. While Destroy screamed, Search babbled away to himself while pulling himself up to stand in his crib. I picked him up to lay him back down. He giggled and sat right back up. As I tried to soothe his exhausted brother, Search began to amuse himself by giving a play-by-play of how he was disassembling the wires of his video monitor. Sensing nothing good was going to come of this particular endeavor, I plunked him down in his brother’s crib and duct-taped that cord to the wall. It’s never coming off – the muppets will be packing for college and the monitor will be watching.
Finally, after an additional eight ounces of milk, Destroy passed out. I began to rock Search. He looked up at me, his blinks becoming longer with each passing iteration. He was fighting sleep, smiling and snuggling up against me.
As the Disney lullaby, “Feed the Birds” (Walt Disney’s favorite) calmed my little muppets and the quintessential springtime scent of jasmine filtered in through the open windows, both my boys slept soundly – subtle smirks brightening their faces as they no doubt dreamed about the mischief planned as tomorrow’s adventures.
Thinking back to the fear and trauma of the unknown, with the overwhelming emotions of seeing your miracles for the first time, I am happy that my friends’ little ones are safe and sound (or stomping on their mommy’s innards). Surprisingly, what I feel most of all – is relief.