Baby Dos, as we call this little lady, is at 31 weeks as of today and I am excited and nervous and excited and overwhelmed. When you're waiting 40 weeks for something, 9 weeks is a drop in the bucket and every day her arrival gets more and more real. That life will change again and we'll find a new normal with two little ones.
It has made me reflect quite a bit on Quinn's birth, the unexpected surgery, the month in the NICU, learning of cystic fibrosis. While there is a 25% statistical possibility of Baby Dos having CF, I'm not anxious which is a miracle. In some ways, I know better what to do if she does have CF then if she doesn't. We will do another big ultrasound on July 20th up at OHSU to see if there is any blockage in her intestines like Quinn had. 10% of kids with CF present in this way--if it is there, then we'll deliver at OHSU and know that surgery will need to happen to remove it. If there is no blockage then we'll deliver in Newberg, come home, and eventually do a sweat test with her to determine if she does have CF.
As we've made plans for her arrival, I can hear in the back of my head the cautious, "We'll do this when she comes home...if she comes home right away." Embracing her arrival but still realizing that my reference point is Quinn's delivery and experience. Like, I'm not really sure what to do with a newborn. Or, will we be able to nurse because I pumped with Quinn for 9 months and never nursed because he needed added calories to his milk. Or, will we be able to have our friends and family visit right away or will we be washing our hands at the entrance of some double doors, allowing two people in at a time to see a little one. Or, will we have a simple pediatrician visit or start writing down our questions for experts and clinic teams?
And at Quinn's arrival, our lives were changing in so many other ways that my heart and head were on overload. It is a big change to go from no kids to one...bigger than going from one to two. I was no longer a full-time employee or part of a work community I could spend everyday with. We moved off campus. Quinn's arrival had us all in crisis mode. And, as I've looked back on the start of that journey, I can see where post-partum depression made a quick appearance. Dealing with anxiety, taking new medications, working through what it meant to be a mom when I didn't feel "mom-ish", and not understanding who I was in the middle of all this "stuff" was overwhelming.
I know that moms who experience PPD the first time, may (though not always) experience it again so part of planning for the arrival of Baby Dos is to consider how I will be healthy. Setting up a plan now in case my head is too fuzzy or my emotions don't make sense to be able to make a plan for my own health. And recognizing that many of the other transition/changes that were taking place as we had Quinn are settled and really the only major change taking place in September is her arrival. Baby Dos gets the spotlight...
Quinn has been drawing Baby Dos pictures and showing them to my belly. He suggested that we get her bike. He tells me how he will be able to hold her...by himself. And when I tell him that she is moving in my tummy he asks if she is giggling. I think Baby Dos and Quinn will be quite the pair.
Nine weeks...63 days...one baby = family of four.