UPDATE- TUESDAY, JULY 21ST: ELIJAH ARRIVED AT 11PM LAST NIGHT AND A CUTE COMEDIAN STORY, AS WELL AS PICS OF THE BABE ARE AT THE OTHER BLOG. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS AND WELL WISHES. MOMMA AND BABY ARE FINE, TIRED - BUT FINE.
Emma wasn't just my firstborn. She was the first grandchild on both sides.
One year, one month later my nephew was born.
I was ambivalent about the birth. I was jealous. I was simultaneously happy, incandesced, angry, excited, nervous and anxious to meet him.
It just so happened I was spending the night at my friend's house because our evening class had run late. The phone rang, "Hey babe" Jer said, "Just thought you'd want to know that she had the baby and...it's a boy." I had hoped, no - prayed and begged for that. Somehow it will make it less painful...I told myself.
After hanging up the phone I was engulfed in a tidal wave of tears. The wracking, full-body-reaction kind of sobbing that makes a puppet out of you. My puppeteer, a rocking chair, seemingly moving of its own accord: back and forth, back and forth, back and forth; if only to remind me that I still exisited. Through it all my friend said all the right words, stroking my hand, allowing my emotions.
Not one's typical reaction to the miracle of birth.
It could have been that his birth was so close to her first birthday.
It might have been that I, even though I wasn't exactly 'trying' on account of my general state of puddle-on-the-floor-mushiness I'd existed in for the last year, wished it were me giving birth; suffering through painful contractions with the end in sight -- a live baby.
It could have been the flashbacks it brought on, the new wave on intense longing for my baby girl, or the fact that this baby was fawned over while mine was invisible, and consequently -- rarely spoken of.
I suppose it was all of the above. Whatever the emotional cocktail, the result was I spent little time with my nephew in his younger years. I wonder if, without intending to, I resented him for re-taking the 'top spot'.
After that, my sister and law and I took turns, annually having a baby so that the school system has reason to raise their eyebrows each year and say, "Another from the Tyrrell-clan starting this year?"
Today*, my second nephew is making his way into the world.
The four cousins slept together last night, a perfectly content ladder of children ages 7,6,5 and 4. By days end, the last of the T-clan will have pushed his way into our family.
Today I am excited, anxious, jump every time the phone rings, in love with idea of another, grateful to have these kids in my home, and filled with an indescribable kind of peace every time our family's second-first born looks into my eyes and calls me, "Aunt Cara".
He remembers nothing of my ambivalence. He only knows I love him and his sister, and - of course - the little boy we hope to meet before the sun sets.
A perfect moment to be sure. Click back for all the rest.
*- And, on his actual due-date. How rare is that?