Harper Grace Anderson
It’s interesting to remember back to my second pregnancy and the birth of my second child, Harper Grace Anderson. You might think I’d have it all figured out having already experienced the first pregnancy and birth. That would be silly. Although I will say during both there was at minimum a sense of understanding of what was happening and that feeling of the complete and utter unknown did not exist. That in itself was a relief.
When Lennon was about 19 months old (and wiser than her year +) we talked about the idea of maybe possibly trying for baby number two. Not sure why we were surprised when we took a pregnancy test after the first month of trying and received a positive result. Remember, we were the lucky ones! I could tell my husband was slightly saddened by the notion that we’d be done “practicing” but we were over the moon excited that we’d be having a June baby in the year 2008.
My pregnancy was pretty smooth except for the sheer fatigue I felt chasing after a very willful, busy and bossy toddler, working full time and hustling with life in general. Holy moly….fatigue is real. I remember lying in bed each night and even though I’m not a religious person I would say a little prayer that Lennon would NOT wake up in the night because it was such a game changer to my sleep/rest as a pregnant woman. Beside fatigue, I also experienced the general amount of “morning sickness” but the difference this time was that I planned ahead. I would literally get right out of bed and go to the kitchen, pour myself a bowl of cereal with milk and walk straight back into bed to eat it. This seemed to settle my hungry belly and kept the super intense nausea away.
A difference in my second pregnancy was heartburn. Holy moly! I guess I had never actually experienced heartburn because when i finally did i literally thought i was dying. Kevin explained to me that it was probably heartburn but I had to know from my doctor. It felt like an elephant (or some other large item) was pressing on my chest and I couldn’t seem to get enough air when i tried to breathe. She quickly confirmed Kevin’s diagnosis and told me what to do. The OTC medicine didn’t work right away but eventually the feeling subsided. I was shocked by how badly heartburn feels. LOL.
The pregnancy rolled along nicely until the last few weeks. When I was had what was probably my 36 week appt with the midwife, she found that I was dilated about 3 cm. This was a surprise to us both but she wasn’t overly concerned since there were no other signs of early labor or issues. She did tell me to chill out a bit and move slowly for the remaining weeks. And then wouldn’t you know it, 12 days before my due date (just like Lennon) I woke up at 7 am in early labor. This time i felt it. Kevin dropped Lennon off at daycare and it was a sad strange little goodbye we had that day….knowing that our mommy/daughter relationship was going to be forever changed later the day/evening by the arrival of her little sister. Everyone says two children is exponentially more than one. This settled on me in a huge way that morning and I remember feeling quite sad and confused (and even a little scared, which isn’t and emotion II typically feel too often).
We arrived at Mt. Auburn hospital in Cambridge, MA at about 8:30 AM and the tub was being filled in our private birthing room because this time I had decided I’d like to labor (and maybe deliver) in water. I told you I’m a hippy in my heart. The tub felt amazing and Kevin was kneeling behind me holding me during the fairly intense contractions over the next few hours. At about 1:33 PM I felt the overwhelming urge to push but couldn’t quite get a grip (on all fours) in the tub. I yelled, kind of in a panic, to please help me out of the tub. The midwife, nurse and Kevin quickly got me out one awkward leg at a time and as soon as I was placed on the bed (still on all fours) I pushed and Harper was born at 1:36. She had blond hair, creamy pale skin and greenish/blue eyes. Now we had a kid that looked exactly like Kevin and one that looked like me. It’s so funny the way genetics works out. Our little family unit was complete and again, within 24 hours we were home and resting. My anxiety around having a newborn was not nearly as high or intense as it was with Lennon, probably (and most commonly) because I had a confidence in knowing what I knew! I had already done this. So, when I took Harper in a Baby Bjorn to a Red Sox game in the middle of July with some girlfriends I didn’t think I was crazy. But then she spit up (or maybe threw up) all over me as soon as I finished nursing her (yes, in a Red Sox stadium seat) and I felt like my decision was a little aggressive. Live and learn and keep moving on.