Hired terrific doctor.
Ate ALL THE PIE.
Gave birth in under two hours.
Seriously though, that’s about how Brooks’ birth story goes. I had steeled myself for another lingering, drawn-out affair like Charlotte’s birth, but instead I barely made it to the hospital. (That I lived five blocks away from.) It was a little scary, a lot frantic, and I was laughing with the obstetrician when my son arrived red and squalling and ohhhhhhhh perfect.
I Should Send My Big Kid a Cookie Bouquet.
Brooks’ birth is a classic not-a-first-time-mom story: I had no birth plan, doula, or expectations about how any of it would go down except for the whole baby-at-the-end part. Who has time for that self-indulgent nonsense when they’re chasing a toddler? And thank GOD. Being pregnant when you have another child to care for is a gift because you have zero f**ks to give about every twinge or time to wonder why your baby measured the size of a kumquat instead of a key lime.
I Found the Right Doctor for My Brand of Crazy
Remember how last time I kind of blew that part? The second time around, I planned according to my control freak tendencies, choosing a solo practitioner who would be there to deliver my baby, PERIOD. When I heard that my obstetrician had arrived at the hospital that day, honest-to-goodness relief washed over me. And then she started cracking jokes. It was the best.
Modesty? Yeah, I Have No Idea What That is Any More.
Before Charlotte’s birth, I channeled all of my birth anxiety into irrational fears about family members seeing me in, ahem, disarray. Our families kept a respectful distance until I composed myself enough to receive them in my postpartum suite. The second time? My kid’s aunt and uncle were holding him in the delivery room within 30 minutes of his birth. I’m pretty sure I was marginally naked under some blankets and I really, truly, honestly could have cared less.
And One Regret: Saying Goodbye to My Big Kid.
Perhaps the one grand expectation of my second pregnancy was a special goodbye with Charlotte. Saying farewell to the life we’d had as a family of three felt…important. And I was going to do it in style, with dramatic hugs and sweeping words about how she and no other child had made me a mother. (I might have overdramatized it a bit.)
But ultimately, there was no time. As I braced myself for another contraction in the hallway of our flat, my two year-old daughter staring at me wide-eyed, my sister interrupted: “You’re SCARING her.” Aaaaaand she was totally right. My kid claims no recollection of this incident, which tells me she also wouldn’t have remembered my farewell speech. She does, however, remember that the doctors at the hospital gave her purple gloves and it was awesome. So there’s that.
It was a surprising, joyful day. Not everyone can think back on the birth of their child and laugh. You guys know how much “gratitude” rhetoric bugs me, but in this instance, I remain truly and sincerely grateful. (Even if my son is three now.)