Well, we did it, J and I are now the happy owners of two little boys. In something of a whirlwind (I went in for an amnio, got told I was having a baby instead), we went from the controlled chaos of a single toddler to the sheer pandemonium of a toddler and an infant. Now, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, both of my boys have been better behaved than I expected, but there is certainly an added element of stress to everything that goes on in the house.
I won’t go into the gory details of the birth story, I was induced, it sucked, but I will talk a little bit about the minutes after. J had been calling throughout the day since he had received the “hey, having a baby” email in the morning. He was super supportive every time he called and really wanted to be as involved in the process as possible. At my lowest moments, he told me all the right things to make me feel better and help me through the labor. He called shortly before I began pushing and encouraged me and promised to call back soon to help me through the last bit. Well, due to a very short time of pre-pushing (they told me at least 30 minutes until he would be low enough, it was more like 5) and only 5 pushes, J wasn’t on the phone when the baby was actually born. He called about 20 minutes later. I was elated that he was only the phone congratulating me and speaking to his newborn son, but, at the same time, I couldn’t help but cry for all the things that he had already missed and would continue to miss for the next 80 odd days.
I felt very sorry for him in that moment. You could hear the strain in his voice as he told his son how sorry he was that he couldn’t be there and how much he loved him. I know that he has shed many tears thinking about how his boys don’t really know him and how he fears they will be afraid of him when he returns. I know how hard he works to stay connected to his family and how it doesn’t always feel like it works.
I wish there was some way I could bottle up these next few months and save all of the wonderful newness about being a parent again so that he could experience it too, but, alas, no such magic exists and pictures and videos can only get you so far. I know that my husband is doing important work and that he is doing the right thing, but I still can’t help but wish he was home to see and hold his new little boy.