We moved the futon/couch out of the “guest” room and into Brody’s room. My mom - who I am happy to report insisted on coming as early as possible - is coming on December 7, and she is sleeping on it – with Brody – in his room. (Brody says he and Oma are sleeping on it, and I can sleep in the race car bed).
Now the “guest” room has been transformed back into a baby’s room (it was Brody’s baby room when he was a bubba). I saved the bedding from Brody because I couldn’t stand the thought of giving it up (It's puppy-themed). The crib, changing table, glider, diaper champ, lamp, bouncy seat, boppy,and toys are all in that room. Jeremy and I stood in there on Sunday once we had figured the configuration of the furniture and …. soaked in the surreal moment of silence. How can the same things look so different?
I’m 36 weeks. The doctor said if I go into labor, they won’t stop it. The baby measured 5 lbs, 1 oz two weeks ago. I keep thinking of the phrase, “It takes a village…” Not only have friends completely stepped up and given us 90% of the baby gear we need (stroller, bumbo, boppy, swing, crib, hundreds of pieces of clothes and toys), but I feel the remnants of Brody’s birth experience, too.
For example, a few weeks ago at work a tragedy occurred. The kind of thing that resulted in grief counselors coming to see us. One day in the midst of the aftermath, it was quiet. I mean, eerily quiet, in the normally loud and bustling office. My coworker said, “It hasn’t been this quiet since Brody was born.” I asked her to explain, thinking she meant that I was out on leave. She relayed to me that my coworkers were terrified and heartbroken when he was born because no one knew if he would live or not. (We didn’t know until he was born about his medical issues). For example, a male coworker who is in his late 40s, single, with no kids, apparently was crying, saying "What happened?" And no one talked except in hushed tones to hear the latest test results, silent in their worry for us. I had no idea.
Then there’s our neighborhood. We live on a close knit cul de sac. Half the people are original owners who moved into their houses in the 1960’s, and are now grandparents with children our age, and half the people are our age and younger having children. We wave to each other coming and going, and collect each others’ mail when we’re out of town. I only realized recently the impact of Brody's birth, and his brother's, because so many of them are asking, with sweet and serious upturned brows, “How are you doing? How’s the little one?” And the smiles I get when I say I’m doing well are so oddly genuine..... We’ve had many offers that if we go into labor in the middle of the night, please knock on their door, they’ll come over and watch Brody.…It makes my heart flip flop.
Then there are the doctors. My obgyn’s first name is Honey, and I think she is younger than me, but she is exactly her name. She is lovely and sweet. My non stress test is good, my blood pressure is good, and the labs they run on my blood show that my liver and kidneys are still functioning (symptom of preeclampsia). She grins wider and wider each time she sees me. It's infectious. I still can't wrap my head around our good fortune, and the doctor is beaming at me.
And then there are the moments when Brody spontaneously comes over to me, and wraps his arms around my stomach and says, "I'm hugging my brudder, mommy."
I feel blessed beyond words and beyond measure. Not only do we get to fill that crib once, but twice, and we get to experience the saturation of love from all the parts of our life: family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and doctors.
This weekend I also dug out the red Christmas stocking, the 40 year old stocking that I came home in, the one he’ll come home in.
And it dawned on me that this might be the happiest December of my life.