Saturday, December 13, 2014

November 12, 2014: Part Two

I wanted to wait until I could move my body better before the boys came to visit, so they didn't come to the hospital until the end of the day, around 6 PM. I was excited to see them. I couldn't wait to show them the sister that they'd been asking for for a year before I was even pregnant. I wanted them to meet their Sweetie Precious that they feel in love with before Eric and I knew we were having a daughter. I wanted to show them that our family was complete and better with her in it because they were here to help love her.  When we last saw them, Henrik said, "I'm happy that Sweetie picked today to have her birthday," and I hoped he shared the same excitement when he actually saw her.

When they came in the room, they looked around, I was sitting in my bed, I smiled, "Hi guys!!!!" I said excitedly. "Where's Sweetie?" They asked. There was no "Hi mom".  They actually walked right past her, she was in her hospital crib. I was hoping they'd be more excited to see me, but I understood the excitement of their sister, I mean, they had only been waiting a long 9 months to meet her and they saw me every day.  Eric intorduced them to Elinor. I loved seeing how excited they were. "Awww, she's so tiny", "Awwww, she's so cute" they kept saying. It was adorable how calm and careful they were as they looked in her bassinet. "Can I hold her?" Asked Theo. "Of course! Come sit next to me." He climbed up next to me with no worry or care even though Eric warned them before they came in the hospital that I had a big boo boo on my belly and that they had to be careful around me.

Meeting their sister! 
Here was Thornado, my wild, carefree, full of gusto child, sitting next to me taking his Big Brother job so seriously. He sat still, he used a calm voice, he touched gently. He smiled. He studied her up and down and loved every moment of her sitting on his lap. He couldn't get enough of it. The only reason he put her down was because Henrik noticed the Big Brother gifts from his sister and Theo wanted in on that action.

Henrik was more cautious, he of course wanted to hold her and he smiled a smile so big and said, "She's the best sister, ever". He was just so in love, but he didn't want to hold her as much as Theo did. He'd been a big brother before, and while this new baby was exciting, he's never seen me weak. As soon as he saw that I had an IV in my arm he didn't want to sit next to me. He opted to sit in a chair to hold his sister. When he saw that I had a catheter in, he looked under the bed and on my leg to see what was going on. He checked out all of the monitors, he looked around the room at all of the medical equipment and he asked to see my boo boo. It was covered in dressing, but I obliged and showed him the wrap. Because it was covered in gauze, it made my incision look much larger than it really was. He quietly asked, "does it hurt?" I answered "no" because I was pretty drugged up, I told him I just had to move slowly. He wasn't so sure I was telling the truth. He went back to looking at his sister with loving eyes and kept walking around the room to see what "the hospital" really meant.

At the end of the night, when they were about to go home I tried to hug and kiss the boys, but, they wouldn't come near me. Theo, of all people was scared, he didn't want to hurt me, Eric has pushed that pretty hard before they came into the room. Henrik just looked at me and said, "bye" it was like he wanted more but didn't know what to make of this mother that couldn't help him up on the bed, or bend over to give him a kiss. I was really hurt, but I completely understood. I just didn't like it. They said, "We'll see you tomorrow, mom". I corrected them, "actually guys, I'll be here at least three nights because I had to have a cut in my stomach". Henrik quickly replied, "But you said you'd just be here one night". "I know bud, but because Sweetie had to come out of my belly I am really hurt and I need to stay here so that the doctors can check on me and make sure I'm OK." Henrik just looked at me, Theo quickly replied, "Then we will take Sweetie home and you can stay here". "Well, honey, she has to stay with me so I can feed her, but we will be home soon, I promise". I could tell that my answers weren't good enough. I could tell I let them down, not that I did anything wrong, but because it wasn't what we were preparing them for.

Theo looked at the wall and saw the pain chart. Henrik saw it too. "What are those for?" they asked. "Those are so I can tell the doctor how much pain I'm in. I'm at a 0 right now. I'm feeling really great!" I answered, hoping that it would make them happier. Theo didn't like my answer, "But when are you gonna cry?" "Well, I hope I don't cry". "Yea, but when will you?" I didn't know what he was getting at. I think he was just as worried about me as Henrik was.

Once I came home from the hospital the boys were so excited.... to have their sister home. They made brownies, they made signs and colored pictures. They couldn't wait to take her on a tour of the house and to show her her room and toys, and their toys, and anything else they could think of. After they each got to hold her and love on her, I felt like things were going to settle down and get back to normal, but how could they? I was in pain, on day four, we came home and the pain really started to get to me. I couldn't move well and I was just exhausted. They wanted to sit with me, they wanted to play with me, they wanted to be with me, but I had to keep saying, no. It was the worst feeling in the world. I just wanted to pick up my boys and snuggle to watch a movie, but I couldn't. I just wanted to get on the floor and play cars or play hind and seek, but I couldn't. I wanted to sit at the table and have a family dinner with them, but I couldn't.

Reading his sister his favorite books
Giving her a bottle because he was dying to feed her
For days the boys kept asking me to snuggle them at bedtime and while I wanted to so badly, I also just wanted to sit and hold Elinor. I wanted to just enjoy a few minutes with this new baby that smelled good, snuggled right in to my body and made me feel whole. Here I was completely torn in half by my own children. I didn't know how to feel. For two weeks I tried to have a good attitude, but I felt horrible, was in pain and didn't know how to show the boys that I loved them while I also got what I needed and wanted out of Elinor.

Fortunately, after about a week and a half, I had stopped taking the pain killers and I was starting to move better and feel better. I was starting to feel like myself again. It was a huge relief. I was able to let the boys sit on my lap to watch a show or to read them a book. It became possible to hold all three of my babies in my lap so we could just enjoy one another. I was able to play cars, from my chair, and able to engage in their life a little more. My heart was finally starting to level out and I was able to feel like a good mom again. The boys' behavior started to become normal, the house started to regain order, and life was quickly feeling "right".

FINALLY! All my babes right where they belong! Theo even shared his blanket with her! 
It's been a month since Nora joined us, I have no doubt at all that having her was the best thing in the world. I'm still healing, but I'm able to go on outings with my boys and I'm able to hold them whenever they or I want as long as I don't pick them up. But the power of a mom hug means just as much to as it does them and we are doing well adjusting to the new life of three kids and a mom out of commission for four more weeks. The boys are asking for Dad more than me because they know that I'm either unable to do something for them due to injury or because their sister is eating. They don't show disdain towards her at all, and they just can't get enough of her. In fact, they get excited to see her every time they, or she, enters a room.
It doesn't matter what they are doing, they want her right by their side.
There is nothing more wonderful than having my whole family in my bed every morning while Nora nurses and the boys hang out. There is nothing better than seeing the smiles on their face when they see her every morning and there is nothing more important in the world than how much love there is in our house. Despite my internal setbacks, I can see that the whole time, I was a good mom. I was teaching them to be more independent, I was teaching them to love. I was teaching them to be open and caring and flexible. And I couldn't be more proud of the family that Eric and I have made. I am greatly looking forward to the next four weeks and, actually, the rest of our lives. These boys are going to be wonderful brothers and Nora is just an amazing baby. This is going to be a great ride.

Our whole family, complete.

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