Peter was doing so well we were confident that starting Brunke Number Two was a good idea. I wanted to have my kiddies as close together as reasonably possible, but with Peter’s prematurity, we decided to wait a little bit. When he was 20 months old, presto, I was pregnant again. We were stunned by how easy conception was; we’d hardly winked at each other and I tossing my cookies.
This pregnancy was different from the first. Although I’d had nausea with Peter, my vomiting was infrequent. With Roger, I couldn’t keep water down and promptly lost 20 pounds. This was ok with me since I was still carrying surplus weight from Peter. Just about the time the nausea cleared up - four months into gestation - my OB/GYN advised me that I had already started to dilate. She had been keeping a much closer watch on this pregnancy for good reason. So I went on to limited activities.
This was no joy. Peter was two and wanting to dismantle the house. My husband was traveling up a storm with both his full time job as an engineer and his part-time gig in the Naval Reserves. There was really not a whole lot we could do to change things so I spent a lot of time amusing Peter in confined spaces so that I wouldn’t be running ALL the time. We hired neighborhood teens to come over and babysit in the afternoon hours so that I could rest and Peter could run ragged all over the house and yard, and some of my buddies would come over and play with Peter as well, so he wasn’t completely bored and pent up. It actually worked reasonably well.
The second pregnancy, and subsequent pregnancies I hear, slips by a person quickly. We hired someone to come in and help clean occasionally. This actually didn’t work out too well since the person we hired was a bit of a diva. We needed someone to help me clean and she complained when she had to move a chair so we could vacuum under it. In the end, maybe it wasn’t so important that the vacuuming was done on schedule, but it’s a waste of time, energy and money to hire a cleaning lady who ultimately doesn’t clean at all.
It occurred to me that if baby number 2 was difficult, a third pregnancy wouldn’t be any easier with two other small folk demanding attention. So during this pregnancy, I seriously considered limiting our family to two kidlets. The pregnancy stretched on into the eighth month, and my blood pressure kicked up. I also developed a heart murmur (a fancy way of saying that my heart made extra noise as it pumped blood). So into the last month of pregnancy, with a diagnosis of toxemia, we decided to induce early.
Once again, my free-floating guilt took control and I decided to try to give birth drug free. I almost made it, but pitocin, the drug given to expedite delivery, was a manfully strong stimulant. In the end, I opted for a painkiller in the last bit of delivery. What a blessing!
In 8.25 months of pregnancy, I initially lost 20, then gained 80 pounds, most of it in the last trimester. I sloshed around the house at 202 pounds the morning I gave birth and wondered where I’d put it all. When I pushed Roger out, I lost 7.5 pounds of baby and 15 pounds of water followed in the next few days.
This time around I was the one who wasn’t discharged in a timely fashion, but we’d started nursing already, so I was kept in the hospital an extra day and Rog was allowed to sleep-in. Another blessing - no separation of mom and babe just after birth.
When we were sent home, it was to a house where two bachelors had functioned in manly bliss for four days. And my husband’s bags were packed for another trip out of town. Remember, I was a hormonal woman recovering from child birth with a two year old and a 5 day old. There was only one avenue for me - I packed our bags and the boys and I headed off to my parents where I was able to snuggle and nurse to my heart’s content.
Thank God for Millies!