Apology to a second child

Community Mar 23, 2016 by Lela Davidson Metroland Media

Dearest Daughter,

This letter is long overdue. I have needed to send it since you were about eight and started asking the very appropriate question, “When can we watch the home movies with me in them?”

About that… You see, when your brother was a baby we had nothing better to do than watch his every move, notice the subtleties of his growth and development, and marvel at the wonder that we had created another human being. That is seriously fascinating—the first time.

Compounding our obsession with capturing your brother’s every coo and gurgle was the technological feat known as the Sony Handycam. At 13 pounds and the size of a Mini-Cooper, this personal movie camera was standard issue for over-archiving urban parents. And yes, we plead guilty to excessive documentation of your brother’s first years.

Contrast that with your early years. When you were a baby, we were busy being a family. There was a lot less time to take all those home movies. We didn’t have a camera in every phone. We had to plug the damn thing in. We had to buy cartridges. And frankly, even if we’d had cameras in our pockets, let’s be honest: We had been down Baby Lane. Don’t take this the wrong way—you have many fine qualities your brother will never possess—but by the time you were born, we realized that babies just aren’t that interesting. Your adorable noises, your crazy baby faces, your early attempts at “mama” and “baba” weren’t something we felt compelled to preserve for future generations.

It wasn’t you; it was us.

So, yes, your baby book is not quite as full as your brother’s, and your feature films are sparse. But there is one piece of your history that we didn’t skimp on. In fact, your brother doesn’t even have one of these, because he didn’t have a doula. And yours made you a very special photo album filled with all manner of thoughtfully captured visual mementos of my hours in labor.

Now, you may be wondering why you have never seen this very special album. That is because it is, shall we say, explicit. Doulas are shameless like that. But don’t worry, Sweetheart. You got cut out of me with a big knife and they didn’t allow cameras in the operating room.

The album is actually a really nice travelogue, if you will, of the day you journeyed into the land of fully formed humans. For example, there’s a great shot of me in the car with my trusty blue bowl, because nausea is a hazard of labour. And yes, if you’re wondering, it is supremely humbling to vomit in front anyone who is not your mother. (You may or may not experience this firsthand during your college years.) I’m counting your father as a friend here, even though he wasn’t too friendly toward me over the whole VBAC debacle. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t work!) You know what's worse than puking among friends? Lying naked in a hospital tub while moaning like a cow as your friends stand by and watch. That attractive look is also documented in your special book.

Feeling pretty superior to your brother now, aren’t you?

You see, I had a grand idea to labor in water, because I had a doula and because I lived in Seattle. So, very soon after arriving at the hospital—I’m sorry, birthing center—I lowered my girth into a tub of warm water and proceeded to engage in deep breathing. Your father was very helpful. He is a great breather. There are some photos in the album of him looking very patient.

I stayed in the water as long as I could before it got too cold, and then I moved to the bed, where your doula captured some lovely shots of me in all sorts of positions—all failed attempts to “get comfortable.” Those where I have that very pained look on my face are probably the times the nurse was trying to get you to turn around in my womb. I wished you would just turn around already and slide on out.

That was not going to happen.

Instead I spent many hours laboring before you finally came out by Cesarean section, or what I like to call “the easy way.” (Don’t get mad at me, crunchy Earth ladies and Jessica Alba. My hips were not made for baby-making and I married a man with a very large head.)

In the background of such dainty compositions as “Woman with Leg Askew” and “Man Trying to Comfort Moaning Wife,” you may notice the décor of the hospital room. I have no idea why they try to make those rooms look like “home,” but I don’t like it. Not that you asked. I wouldn’t want to have my appendix removed in a room that looked like a den, and it wasn’t great for having a baby either. Once I got in the car with a bowl, I wanted a medical environment, filled with people who could ease my pain and extract my baby. Not a needlepoint pillow and a cross-stitched platitude. If the look is supposed to be relaxing, they’re underestimating the discomfort that is labor. Do they think we’ll be so soothed we will forget why we’re there?

Oh, look, a love seat! Let’s kick back and watch American Idol.

In summary, I am sorry that there aren’t many pictures, and likely no movies, of you trying to find your mouth with a banana. But there is a beautiful image of you in the OR, just after the nurses massaged and prodded you into the world of the living. You are crying, which is a great sign in a newborn. Dad is stroking your head, which is huge. Picture a really big, soft, baby bobble-head doll.

And then there you are at my breast.

I’m crying. Because it hurts. But also because I am so excited that I have a baby girl. I hadn’t dared to wish for such luck.

After that, all the pictures are of you and your brother. You two have been inseparable ever since.

He must have pushed you out of frame when the camcorder started rolling.

Forgive us all,

Mother

Article originally published on CityParent.com on March 12, 2016.

Apology to a second child

Community Mar 23, 2016 by Lela Davidson Metroland Media

Dearest Daughter,

This letter is long overdue. I have needed to send it since you were about eight and started asking the very appropriate question, “When can we watch the home movies with me in them?”

About that… You see, when your brother was a baby we had nothing better to do than watch his every move, notice the subtleties of his growth and development, and marvel at the wonder that we had created another human being. That is seriously fascinating—the first time.

Compounding our obsession with capturing your brother’s every coo and gurgle was the technological feat known as the Sony Handycam. At 13 pounds and the size of a Mini-Cooper, this personal movie camera was standard issue for over-archiving urban parents. And yes, we plead guilty to excessive documentation of your brother’s first years.

Contrast that with your early years. When you were a baby, we were busy being a family. There was a lot less time to take all those home movies. We didn’t have a camera in every phone. We had to plug the damn thing in. We had to buy cartridges. And frankly, even if we’d had cameras in our pockets, let’s be honest: We had been down Baby Lane. Don’t take this the wrong way—you have many fine qualities your brother will never possess—but by the time you were born, we realized that babies just aren’t that interesting. Your adorable noises, your crazy baby faces, your early attempts at “mama” and “baba” weren’t something we felt compelled to preserve for future generations.

It wasn’t you; it was us.

So, yes, your baby book is not quite as full as your brother’s, and your feature films are sparse. But there is one piece of your history that we didn’t skimp on. In fact, your brother doesn’t even have one of these, because he didn’t have a doula. And yours made you a very special photo album filled with all manner of thoughtfully captured visual mementos of my hours in labor.

Now, you may be wondering why you have never seen this very special album. That is because it is, shall we say, explicit. Doulas are shameless like that. But don’t worry, Sweetheart. You got cut out of me with a big knife and they didn’t allow cameras in the operating room.

The album is actually a really nice travelogue, if you will, of the day you journeyed into the land of fully formed humans. For example, there’s a great shot of me in the car with my trusty blue bowl, because nausea is a hazard of labour. And yes, if you’re wondering, it is supremely humbling to vomit in front anyone who is not your mother. (You may or may not experience this firsthand during your college years.) I’m counting your father as a friend here, even though he wasn’t too friendly toward me over the whole VBAC debacle. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t work!) You know what's worse than puking among friends? Lying naked in a hospital tub while moaning like a cow as your friends stand by and watch. That attractive look is also documented in your special book.

Feeling pretty superior to your brother now, aren’t you?

You see, I had a grand idea to labor in water, because I had a doula and because I lived in Seattle. So, very soon after arriving at the hospital—I’m sorry, birthing center—I lowered my girth into a tub of warm water and proceeded to engage in deep breathing. Your father was very helpful. He is a great breather. There are some photos in the album of him looking very patient.

I stayed in the water as long as I could before it got too cold, and then I moved to the bed, where your doula captured some lovely shots of me in all sorts of positions—all failed attempts to “get comfortable.” Those where I have that very pained look on my face are probably the times the nurse was trying to get you to turn around in my womb. I wished you would just turn around already and slide on out.

That was not going to happen.

Instead I spent many hours laboring before you finally came out by Cesarean section, or what I like to call “the easy way.” (Don’t get mad at me, crunchy Earth ladies and Jessica Alba. My hips were not made for baby-making and I married a man with a very large head.)

In the background of such dainty compositions as “Woman with Leg Askew” and “Man Trying to Comfort Moaning Wife,” you may notice the décor of the hospital room. I have no idea why they try to make those rooms look like “home,” but I don’t like it. Not that you asked. I wouldn’t want to have my appendix removed in a room that looked like a den, and it wasn’t great for having a baby either. Once I got in the car with a bowl, I wanted a medical environment, filled with people who could ease my pain and extract my baby. Not a needlepoint pillow and a cross-stitched platitude. If the look is supposed to be relaxing, they’re underestimating the discomfort that is labor. Do they think we’ll be so soothed we will forget why we’re there?

Oh, look, a love seat! Let’s kick back and watch American Idol.

In summary, I am sorry that there aren’t many pictures, and likely no movies, of you trying to find your mouth with a banana. But there is a beautiful image of you in the OR, just after the nurses massaged and prodded you into the world of the living. You are crying, which is a great sign in a newborn. Dad is stroking your head, which is huge. Picture a really big, soft, baby bobble-head doll.

And then there you are at my breast.

I’m crying. Because it hurts. But also because I am so excited that I have a baby girl. I hadn’t dared to wish for such luck.

After that, all the pictures are of you and your brother. You two have been inseparable ever since.

He must have pushed you out of frame when the camcorder started rolling.

Forgive us all,

Mother

Article originally published on CityParent.com on March 12, 2016.

Apology to a second child

Community Mar 23, 2016 by Lela Davidson Metroland Media

Dearest Daughter,

This letter is long overdue. I have needed to send it since you were about eight and started asking the very appropriate question, “When can we watch the home movies with me in them?”

About that… You see, when your brother was a baby we had nothing better to do than watch his every move, notice the subtleties of his growth and development, and marvel at the wonder that we had created another human being. That is seriously fascinating—the first time.

Compounding our obsession with capturing your brother’s every coo and gurgle was the technological feat known as the Sony Handycam. At 13 pounds and the size of a Mini-Cooper, this personal movie camera was standard issue for over-archiving urban parents. And yes, we plead guilty to excessive documentation of your brother’s first years.

Contrast that with your early years. When you were a baby, we were busy being a family. There was a lot less time to take all those home movies. We didn’t have a camera in every phone. We had to plug the damn thing in. We had to buy cartridges. And frankly, even if we’d had cameras in our pockets, let’s be honest: We had been down Baby Lane. Don’t take this the wrong way—you have many fine qualities your brother will never possess—but by the time you were born, we realized that babies just aren’t that interesting. Your adorable noises, your crazy baby faces, your early attempts at “mama” and “baba” weren’t something we felt compelled to preserve for future generations.

It wasn’t you; it was us.

So, yes, your baby book is not quite as full as your brother’s, and your feature films are sparse. But there is one piece of your history that we didn’t skimp on. In fact, your brother doesn’t even have one of these, because he didn’t have a doula. And yours made you a very special photo album filled with all manner of thoughtfully captured visual mementos of my hours in labor.

Now, you may be wondering why you have never seen this very special album. That is because it is, shall we say, explicit. Doulas are shameless like that. But don’t worry, Sweetheart. You got cut out of me with a big knife and they didn’t allow cameras in the operating room.

The album is actually a really nice travelogue, if you will, of the day you journeyed into the land of fully formed humans. For example, there’s a great shot of me in the car with my trusty blue bowl, because nausea is a hazard of labour. And yes, if you’re wondering, it is supremely humbling to vomit in front anyone who is not your mother. (You may or may not experience this firsthand during your college years.) I’m counting your father as a friend here, even though he wasn’t too friendly toward me over the whole VBAC debacle. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t work!) You know what's worse than puking among friends? Lying naked in a hospital tub while moaning like a cow as your friends stand by and watch. That attractive look is also documented in your special book.

Feeling pretty superior to your brother now, aren’t you?

You see, I had a grand idea to labor in water, because I had a doula and because I lived in Seattle. So, very soon after arriving at the hospital—I’m sorry, birthing center—I lowered my girth into a tub of warm water and proceeded to engage in deep breathing. Your father was very helpful. He is a great breather. There are some photos in the album of him looking very patient.

I stayed in the water as long as I could before it got too cold, and then I moved to the bed, where your doula captured some lovely shots of me in all sorts of positions—all failed attempts to “get comfortable.” Those where I have that very pained look on my face are probably the times the nurse was trying to get you to turn around in my womb. I wished you would just turn around already and slide on out.

That was not going to happen.

Instead I spent many hours laboring before you finally came out by Cesarean section, or what I like to call “the easy way.” (Don’t get mad at me, crunchy Earth ladies and Jessica Alba. My hips were not made for baby-making and I married a man with a very large head.)

In the background of such dainty compositions as “Woman with Leg Askew” and “Man Trying to Comfort Moaning Wife,” you may notice the décor of the hospital room. I have no idea why they try to make those rooms look like “home,” but I don’t like it. Not that you asked. I wouldn’t want to have my appendix removed in a room that looked like a den, and it wasn’t great for having a baby either. Once I got in the car with a bowl, I wanted a medical environment, filled with people who could ease my pain and extract my baby. Not a needlepoint pillow and a cross-stitched platitude. If the look is supposed to be relaxing, they’re underestimating the discomfort that is labor. Do they think we’ll be so soothed we will forget why we’re there?

Oh, look, a love seat! Let’s kick back and watch American Idol.

In summary, I am sorry that there aren’t many pictures, and likely no movies, of you trying to find your mouth with a banana. But there is a beautiful image of you in the OR, just after the nurses massaged and prodded you into the world of the living. You are crying, which is a great sign in a newborn. Dad is stroking your head, which is huge. Picture a really big, soft, baby bobble-head doll.

And then there you are at my breast.

I’m crying. Because it hurts. But also because I am so excited that I have a baby girl. I hadn’t dared to wish for such luck.

After that, all the pictures are of you and your brother. You two have been inseparable ever since.

He must have pushed you out of frame when the camcorder started rolling.

Forgive us all,

Mother

Article originally published on CityParent.com on March 12, 2016.