After over a week of "false alarms", at first I dismissed another bout of contractions on the second Friday after my due date. I had dinner, and they didn't go away. I had a bath, and they didn't go away. But they didn't get any stronger either, so I grumbled and knitted and eventually took myself off to bed at about 11pm, convinced I would wake up in the morning still pregnant. Still grumpy.
I think I slept for all of 90 minutes; In the dead of night my waters broke, and I had a cup of tea. By 4am I figured I'd probably best call the hospital. We arrived just as the sun was beginning to rise. At 6:45am we said hello to our second baby boy.
Our, in my totally biased opinion, perfect baby boy.
To celebrate, the hospital gave us tea and coffee, and big open faced sandwiches. They came with flutes of non-alcoholic champagne and a wee Swedish flag on a stick and made us howl. One night in the hospital, and then it was off into the world with our new treasure.
I thought it would take a while, to fall in love, but it hasn't. His soft black hair (so much hair!), his squishy cheeks, the snuffing and mewling and utter devotion to The Boob. I could sit, marvelling, for hours. Right from day one.
Much harder to deal with has been the time warp I feel I'm stuck in with the Bean. His baby brother looks so like him, but there he is, standing a tall and boisterous 4 years old. So big, yet so little. So tender towards his new brother, yet so angry with me. So mature and independent in some ways, yet so scared and needing in others. All the while, I'm mostly unavailable and very torn. He has broken my heart umpteen times in these first days.
It is true what they say: never worry about how you could love any child as much as your first, for the heart just expands indefinitely. It is also true that change sucks when you're 4 (or the parent of said 4-year-old), the messy bits of post-partum hormones are really very messy, and nothing can soften the pain of just. zero. sleep.
But still. Look at those little old man jowls.