So I just realized I don't have J's coming home photos here. I love the coming home photos because they're so very similar from child to child. Including the duck butt outfit. Although we rarely get a picture of the actual duck butt. (Here are Lou's. Here are Belle's.)
I don't think I've ever wanted to leave a hospital after a baby like I did with J. I just wanted to be home with my girls and my little family and out of that awful, uncomfortable hospital bed. I had residual cholestasis issues that very few nurses (or some doctors) even understand, so I was still a little miserable, and I really just wanted to be out of there.
But here's the strange thing - almost from the first day he was out, I missed being pregnant. To hear me say that is practically blasphemous. But I did. I missed his squirming body, the movements I knew so perfectly. I feel like I knew J while he was in my belly better than I did the girls. And I think that is mostly because of London. In London I relied solely on my gut and what the baby inside was doing. I had to listen so hard and find quiet nights, the train rattling outside our window, to make sure my baby was okay. I prayed a lot that this baby would be okay while in London, that I wouldn't have cause to worry. And that if I needed to worry, could it happen in the States? With my family and help and a doctor close by?
Little did I know, while I wouldn't ever worry in London, I would practically implode upon my return. My health took a plummeting dip, and it was miserable. But I think those London weeks were such a blessing - I learned to know the baby so well, and I knew he was okay, even during the misery.
The test results that finally sent me to the hospital didn't come in til the middle of the night. And of course because I rarely slept, I was up. I saw the number and knew that I'd be having a baby the next day. (I was in the high risk zone - of miscarriage. I know. I prefer to not think about it.) So I did some laundry, cleaned the bathroom, ate a snack (Jess used to call me his "little bison" - I'd roam around and graze all night), and then laid down on the couch with my hand on my belly, in the spot I knew he knew. And I felt him nudge me until the morning.
Perhaps it was London, perhaps it was just the waiting I did for this boy, but I miss him in my belly. I miss how familiar he was there. That said, I love him out even more. And those little (big) kicks and jabs on the outside are just as familiar as they were on the inside. Only now I get to cuddle that wriggly baby and tell him how very glad I am that we made it.
So glad we made it.
We made it.