Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I'm assuming will be part one of two

So, little Lochlan... your birth has not happened yet, but I think we're getting close. I've been dilated to 2 cm for at least three weeks, and I've been having irregular, short contractions off and on for weeks as well. I was so sure you were going to be early! But here we are on your due date, September 3rd, still a family of three.

I have been off work for two days, which feels strange. It is the first time in 15 years that I haven't begun the school year with my students. I have been getting some things done around the house and some errands and such, but I feel restless and ready.

Today, I went to see Dr. Seaver, and he said I was dilated to 4 centimeters (which I wasn't until the hospital with Zadie), 70% effaced (less than with Z), and at -2 station (the same, actually). He asked if I wanted to get things going, and first I asked if there were any adverse effects. He said, "Just starting labor." So I said, "Do it!" He stripped my membrane, and now I'm home again, having eaten dinner with your sister and dad (we had Corti Brothers sandwiches, a Wednesday night tradition around here).

I'm not sure when things will get going, but the doctor seemed pretty sure it would be soon. So I'm off to go get some dessert before I can't, and then I'll draw Z a bath and soon after, likely put her to bed.

When are you coming, baby? I am looking so forward to holding you and seeing your face.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Only child no more

Dear Zadie,

For the last six years (you keep telling people you're six-and-a-half, but not quite yet!), you've been my only child. And you are a delight. And a pain. I can't pretend that raising you is easy -- every day brings challenges that, sometimes, I wish would ease up. Like, I asked you to clean your room,this afternoon, and before you actually got to picking up those few things on your floor, you had negotiated, argued semantics, feigned incompetence, asserted your self-determination, and made terroristic threats, and ultimately I told you you could come out when it was clean. What should have taken five minutes took an hour. It's a struggle, baby.

On the other hand, I feel so lucky to have had all this one-on-one time with you. People talk about spacing between babies a lot. Like, whether it's better for your sibling relationship to be closer, or farther, but not too far. They talk about practical matters like diapers (is it better to deal with two in diapers at once?). They talk about sibling rivalry and school. And of course I've thought of all those things. This 6 (and a half!) year difference wasn't entirely intentional -- partly, it took us a long time to decide, and partly, it took us a long time to conceive. But I am glad for the space. Because having had the last six years with you as an only child meant we got to have some really special times. We went to Harbin and walked the labyrinth together. We snuggled under blankets in the winter. We played Butterfly Bingo. We pretended (SO MUCH). We took walks holding hands. We threw rocks into the river. We made muffins. And I didn't have to divide my attention between two of you, or respond to a baby when he cried.

I will, now, you know. I am looking forward to meeting your brother, and I know I'm going to love him every bit as much as I love you. But I'll never have with him the special years I had with you, just you alone. And I feel grateful for those years, because even though you are a pain sometimes, and I lose my temper more often than I'd like, I am glad we got so much time together. You're a special kid, brilliant, creative, funny, passionate, and goofy. I can't wait to see what you're like as a big sister, and I'm thrilled that Lochlan will have you to look up to.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy (belated) 6th birthday, Azadeh!

Her birthday dinner.

At karate.

Playing with a bubble toy she got for her birthday. 

Skate camp.

Reading in the bath.

Baking "strawberry hide-and-seek muffins."

The sweatshirt she saw and loved. 

Making an ant for a school project.

Her brand-new sparring gear for karate.

Reading about how to calm her baby brother. 

If someone had asked me six years ago what I was hoping my daughter would be like, I wouldn't have known exactly what to say. Happy. Balanced. Whatever she wanted to be. And if that person had said they could see into the future, and that my daughter would love to skate, to do karate, to draw, to bake, to read,  and to dress up fancy, well, I'd have been delighted! 

And now here I am in the middle of it, and that's who she is. That's not to say that she isn't sometimes argumentative, mouthy, loud, and extremely energetic. But underneath it all, she seems to know that we love her and we accept her just how she is. And I think she feels supported in whatever she wants to try. Not everything is on the table -- she sometimes asks to re-join soccer or ballet, and I discourage her. I don't want to be the parent who schedules our whole lives around driving to various lessons. But overall, I think we allow her to express herself and try out her various interests, and I couldn't be happier with the adventurous, risk-taking, fearless, sweet, curious, smart, loving child she is.