Pregnancy and pandemic: 1 week postpartum

So, it’s actually closer to two weeks postpartum, but life is a little more hectic the last 11 days so let’s just pretend it’s still a week.

We brought #TheTrilogy home less than 48 hours after delivery which seems insane to me considering her arrival on earth. My recovery is going well though, but I really wish I could help more with the boys; especially #TheSequel. He’s still too little to understand what’s going on and doesn’t get why Mommy can’t scoop him up for snuggles, or put him in his chair for snacks, or get him down when he’s finished. That’s been really hard.

Also not being his bedtime buddy – that’s harder than I thought it would be, too. I’ve put him to bed (nearly) every night of his life and now I can’t even walk up the steps to at least be part of the routine. It’ll get better, I know that. And I’ll heal and be able to go back to picking him up and snuggling him before bed, but I wasn’t ready for recovery to take those things away from me.

But, that’s sort of par for the course these last five to seven weeks. Not a single thing has gone according to plan. Nothing. For a person who schedules, plans and coordinates things for a living, not being able to control the outcome of my own daily existence is maddening. I’d be lying if I said it isn’t affecting me. I’ve cried a lot over the last 11 days.

Today marks day 44 of my quarantine. In case you’re curious, day 42 was my breaking point. It’s the day I cried the most and the hardest at the loss of normalcy. At the loss of physical connection. The loss of control. But I’ve given myself permission to feel all the feelings. To recognize they are valid. But I’ve also given myself permission to not live in those feelings. And to find some peace and comfort in the loneliness of having a newborn that requires 100 percent of your time and attention.

One moment of peace and comfort came just a few days ago as Brett was putting #TheSequel to bed. Every night we sing a bedtime song indicating it’s time to go upstairs for bed. It goes:

Night night Baby (insert baby’s name)

Night night Baby

Night night baby

It’s time to go to bed

I don’t know the tune of the song we use, it’s something we modified from our swim class. If you take lessons through Emler Swim School, it’s their bye bye song for the littlest swimmers. Anyway, we sing that to him so he knows it’s time to go upstairs. And when we start singing it, he waves his little hand and says “bye bye” and walks towards the steps. Wednesday night as he was walking to the stairs I said “good night, buddy; I love you!” And he responded “I love you” and that’s the very first time he’s said that and my hormonal, emotional, quarantine weary mama heart couldn’t handle it and I cried all over #TheTrilogy’s head. Sorry ‘bout that, Sis.

But those are the moments I’m trying to remember. The ones that are surprising and new. The funny ones. The silly moments that make me belly laugh (even though it hurts to do so). #BabySuddreth has been particularly threenagey lately and I know this quarantine is a large reason why, but tonight I played him a video of the Happily Ever After fireworks display from Disney World and he was mesmerized. He shouted excitedly as he saw characters he recognized “MOANA! WRECK IT RALPH! LIGHTNING MCQUEEN!” And he pretended that he was the person making the fireworks appear in the sky. It was magical.

So postpartum life in quarantine isn’t exactly what I had planned, but it’s also creating some pretty incredible moments I might not have gotten otherwise.

Party of four

As we counted down the days until we became a family of four, I sat reflecting on this pregnancy and everything that had gone in to it.

This entire year seems like a whirlwind; Brett left a job to run his own agency full-time; five minutes later we discovered I was pregnant! Throw in a major house renovation and a toddler and it all adds up to a chaotic, messy nine months.

It’s been a (mostly) beautiful mess. During the last nine months I’ve watched my husband grow and support a business; something he’s wanted to do for a long time. I’ve watched my son grow and thrive in ways that catch me off guard and take my breath away. I’ve watched the relationship between him and his dad evolve, strengthen and deepen. It’s such a beautiful thing and I’m eternally grateful to witness it.

I’m forever grateful for the opportunity, because there were times when I thought I’d never get to see it.

We have been pretty open about our journey toward starting a family and the struggle we endured. Henry is our miracle; fearfully and wonderfully made. It took a long time and a lot of tears to get him here. What most people don’t know is that the journey to get his brother here has been equally as difficult.

After Henry was born, we knew pretty quickly we wanted to grow our family. And since we didn’t know if we would experience the same challenges, we started trying as soon as we could. And we gave it time, and no expectations. And were met with the same challenges. Month after month. It was hard to walk through the battle of infertility a second time.

But then, last July, after nearly a year of struggle, I had a positive pregnancy test! We were elated. We did the calculations and discovered that we’d be having a St. Patrick’s Day baby – how fun!

But, the pregnancy didn’t stick. I was home by myself with Henry. I called Brett at work, sobbing. I could barely get out a sentence. “I need you to come home.” I choked out. And he did. And we sat together and cried at our loss. Wondered if our house would be full of kids like we had imagined. I felt guilty for my sadness since we have Henry and he’s perfect.

It took nearly another half of a year, but eventually I received another positive test! I was ecstatic. And terrified. And anxious. I told Brett and we cried happy tears and worried together; every day. Until we heard his heart beat. It was beautiful and perfect. We cried more happy tears. We worried some more. Until the fetal scan that showed us how strong our son was growing. We cried more happy tears.

When March arrived, I told Brett “I think the timing of this pregnancy is not an accident. I think the universe knew that March was going to be a hard month for us, so while we fight through the grief of not holding a baby like we expected back in July, we have a new joy in this pregnancy to help us through that.”

And now, nearly two and a half years after Henry made us parents, we are finally a family of four!

I am so looking forward to watching Brett and Henry grow closer, and I’m equally excited to watch him bond with our new son. I can’t wait to see Henry as a big brother; I think he’s going to be amazing.

I sit in awe at the absolute miracle that life is. And while my path to creating it has been anything but smooth, I am so grateful for the opportunity and blessing. I hope I teach and show my sons that they are precious and loved. And I hope they understand that if I seem like I over-worry about them it’s because I made them from scratch and they are the best things I’ve ever created.

You’ll Never Remember

You’ll never remember the two and a half years you spent as an only child.

You’ll never remember life before your little brother; before you were promoted and given the title Big Brother.

You’ll never remember a time you didn’t have an upstairs bedroom and that your brother’s room was once yours.

You’ll never remember that two days before your brother was born I made us take this picture.

That this is the last picture we have of you as an only child; our last picture as a family of three.

You’ll never remember that I hugged you extra hard as you left for school the Friday before you became a big brother. That I sobbed as you walked out our front door saying “bye, Mommy.” for the last time as an only child.

You’ll never remember that you went to bed on a Saturday night as our only baby and that when you woke up on Sunday we weren’t there because your brother was being born.

But I will.

I’ll remember all of those things. I’ll remember the two and a half years where my time and energy weren’t divided; where my sole focus was you and your every need.

But, I’ll also remember the look on your face when you came to visit us at the hospital to meet your baby brother. How you beamed the best, most proud smile I’ve ever seen. How you immediately knew to be soft and gentle with your brother.

I’ll remember your sweet voice saying “hello” and “I love you.” And how you gave soft kisses on his head.

I’ll remember that you were very concerned about all the people looking at your brother and you instructed the nurse “don’t hurt my baby brudder.”

I’ll remember how excited you were when we came home with your brother and how you just wanted to sit next to him and hold his hand.

You’ll never remember any of that. But I will.

And I’ll get to witness every single day of you as a big brother.

Happy Birthday, #BabySuddreth

You are officially 48 hours old. So I guess, technically, it’s not your birthday anymore.

We are lying in bed at the hospital, in the middle of the night, and I am just staring at you through the dim light I have in the room.


You’re beautiful and perfect and I am so in love with you.

Becoming your mom created a piece of my heart I didn’t even realize I was missing; so thank you for that.
I guess in a way today is my “birth”day, too. It’s the day I gave birth to my new role in life…Mom. I like the sound of that.

I like the way you fit in my arms so naturally and so perfect – like you have always been meant to fit there; like you’re the missing part of a puzzle piece.

I like your soft little whimpers and the way you nuzzle your head against my chest. And I like the way your tiny hand wraps around my finger and holds on as tightly as possible. Like you’re holding on for dear life and asking me to never let go.

The last thing I wrote before you were born was about things I hoped to teach you. This time, I’m telling you don’t worry; I’m not letting go.

I’ll give you space and freedom to explore and fail, but I’ll always be here. To help you back up. To help you find the lesson. To show you how to keep going.

That’s my birthday present to you. Never letting go.

A Letter to My Unborn Son

Dear Son,

I’ve been awake for the last three hours. That happens a lot these days; being awake. But, I’m not really complaining. I’m tired and uncomfortable, but that’s okay.

It’s okay because I know that all of the sleepless nights and backaches (and swollen feet) are going to be worth it.

Currently, I’m laying in bed feeling you move around. It’s such an amazing feeling; odd, but amazing. I’ve been in awe of you since I found out you existed. Since I learned that your father and I created a miracle from scratch. You are such a blessing and an answered prayer. And in 12 days, you’ll be here and I’ll get to meet you face to face.

I wanted to take a moment to let you know how loved you are. How happy I was when I found out you were coming. How overjoyed your dad was when I got to tell him our family was growing. How your grandparents screamed with joy when they learned they were getting a(nother) grandchild. How excited all of your cousins are for a new cousin to play with. And how happy all of our friends were when we told them that you were coming. You are so loved, Son.

I want to tell you those things, because I know that sometimes, the days will be really long and we’ll call those “bad days.” There will be days where we just won’t know how to communicate with each other, and we’ll both cry; probably a lot. I know that when we take you home from the hospital they don’t send us with an instruction book on what to do with a new person. And that means we’ll just have to make things up as we go.

Which means I’ll have to be very patient, something I struggle with right now. But please know that I am trying. But, I’m going to fail. Probably everyday. But, I’ll try again and again and again to make you happy. To make sure you’re healthy. To ensure that you have everything you need, and some of the things you want.

Your Dad is going to teach you how to do things; things like take care of the yard, and how to fish. He’s going to teach you the meaning of hard work and why it’s important. He’ll teach you how to play baseball, and my heart will swell and I’ll probably cry. He’ll show you so much love and patience and that will help me be more patient, too.

I hope to teach you that kindness, compassion and empathy are not bad things. In fact, they are the greatest tools you can possess and will make you stronger than anything you’ll ever face. I hope that I teach you that being silly isn’t a bad thing, and that life is a beautiful miracle worth celebrating every day. Even the days that are yucky have good moments, if you remember to look for them.

Most of all, I hope that you always know how loved you already are. How loved you were before you were even created and how loved you will always be. If I can show you that, then I will know that I have succeeded in this world as a person, but more importantly as the person chosen to be your mom.