The Night Watch

April 21, 2010 at 7:28 am | Posted in Bun | 26 Comments

In an uncanny coincidence (miracle of nature?), I went into labor at exactly 3:30 a.m. with both Lollipop and Giggles. I think there’s a decent chance this might happen again.

So, lately, every night before I fall asleep, I think, “This could be the night.”

This could be the night my water breaks. My contractions start. My labor begins. Bun arrives.

Making a List …
And if tonight’s the night, are we ready? Yes. And no.

Earlier this week, we reviewed the list of items to take to the hospital. My favorite blanket, check. Camera, check. Toiletries, check. Change for the vending machines so Husband can recharge his coaching batteries with a quick caffeine fix, check. Baby book …


The Tonight Show
If tonight’s the night? We will have no book for the nurse to stamp Bun’s tiny, wrinkly hands and feet into (after all that Apgar stuff, of course).

We will have the hospital admission forms, the chart wherein we must document his first pees and poops, the birth plan. We will have the itsy-bitsy onesies Lollipop and Giggles wore during their first few days. We will have the requisite list of family and friends to e-mail the good news. But we will not have a baby book.

The kid’s not even born yet, and we find ourselves there already. The third-child syndrome. Hand-me-downs and pre-loved stuffed animals. A dearth of photos capturing me pregnant with him. And nothing just for Bun, no little “something” all his own.

Truth or Consequences
Truth be told, our preparation (or lack thereof) doesn’t bother me. He will come when he’s ready. We will be eager to meet, hold, love him. We will find the time to get the things we don’t have, to resolve the lingering questions, to record the experience of celebrating a new life.

If tonight’s the night? We’ll be ready, even though we’re not.

And one day? We’ll buy a baby book.

How did your arrival preparations change with each child? Do you have any uncanny labor coincidences? What’s in your child’s baby book?



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  1. Uhm, I think you’re missing another important question – do you have a baby book? My answer would be no. And Little Miss is my firstborn. See, don’t you feel so much better already? 🙂 But now, thanks to mommy guilt, I’m thinking maybe I should put something together. Thankfully I have some time before she knows she’s missing one.

  2. Yeah, I’m super impressed that you have a baby book for the first two. I don’t have one for either of mine. I do make sure that we take as many pictures of both babies so that when they look back, it doesn’t look like we lost interest by the time the second one came along. Fortunately, I have a boy and a girl, so I was forced to have some things specific to each one – not entirely hand-me-downs.

    Baby book or no, Bun is a lucky little guy. Good luck!!

  3. I have such guilt about Miss M.’s baby book. It’s embarrassingly sparse. The curse of being the second child.

    I’m excited for you!

    • Sounds like Giggles’s. There is a book, though nothing’s written in it and papers/mementos are tucked inside to be lovingly trimmed and glued … one day.

  4. What’s not in my baby book? The little hand stamps. At least where I gave birth, they don’t do the hands anymore, just the feet.

  5. I had no preparation with Col, since he came 3 1/2 months early. But he has a kick ass baby book, full of the crazy lists of all his preemie meds and interventions, pictures of the knitted hats he wore on his softball-sized head, the tiniest feet-stamps you could imagine, letters that Dan and I wrote to him, progress charts tracking his growth in grams!
    Rose, the 2nd child, has nothing (except her awesome big bro.).

    My babies were both born on the 9th of different months, and had the same due date within 2 weeks (August must be a stimulating time for me and Dan)

  6. How exciting! I hope it’s soon and goes easy for you. And about the baby book–had one, hated using it. I hate paperwork. And no, I still haven’t done my taxes this year. Hate paperwork that much.

    Hand-me-downs are great. They have memories attached. A newborn never gets much use out of anything anyways, so previously used makes the most sense. And hey, they’ll never remember, right? Keep those memories adding up, and you’ll treasure those little onesies even more! =)

  7. I was so much more relaxed the second time around. I had an iPhone and a camera. I didn’t figure I needed much more than that. I also brought two sets of pajamas, newborn size, that I bought especially for the occasion. Guess what? She was so big (9 lbs.) that they barely fit.

    I’m wishing you a short and easy labor, a great experience, and all those great endorphins you get once you’ve pushed the baby out!

    (My kids were born within fifteen minutes of each other–12:15 and 12:34. One was a C-section, so he was pulled out, the other took her good old time.)

  8. Life kicks in whether we’re ready or not and we get through it. Whever it happens, you’ll be prepared as ever. It all seems easier than the first time when you really have no idea what to expect.

  9. Ahhhh….good luck!

  10. But see, with the 3rd child, they receive so much more in our parenting styles than the first ones had to suffer through. It is worth the missing baby books and fewer bits of memorabilia to have a mother who is relaxed and confident.

    Hope it’s tonight!!

  11. Hi, glad you’re feeling better and ready! Christian was a c-section baby after hours of labor it took for his heart rate to drop for them to do a c-section and now he’s my big boy, my love. I have everything you named in his baby book including the test i took at the hospital, saving bonds, drawings from daycare,& hair from his first haircut. God bless you! Happy laboring. Sarina

  12. Such an exciting time! It is funny how much more relaxed you get after the first one.

    Good luck and fingers crossed.

  13. So exciting 🙂 I get chills thinking about it, waiting for a post…

    Fynn was born 2 1/2 weeks early… water breaking at 2:30am, he arrived by 7:30 I think (funny how the details get fuzzy as time goes on…) Paige was only a few days before her due date, but I had been told for about three weeks that she would be here any day. I walked around dilated to 3cm for two weeks. I was impatient 🙂 But the Olympics were on, and I remember timing contractions to swimming times and it was intense! I woke up to contractions and she was born a few short hours later.
    (also funny how any time anyone talks about late pregnancy I need to talk about my own late pregnancies and deliveries! Oy… I am that woman who said she would never do that…)
    Thinking of you, and sending lots of positive thoughts 🙂

    • Wow! They came fast! I am a sloooooow laborer (34 hours with Lollipop and 12 with Giggles, but who’s counting??). I’m expecting it will take a while with Bun, too, but maybe he’ll surprise me. =>

  14. I have a baby book that is completely empty. And I only have one child. All of the memories and milestones have gone into my blog.

    I didn’t pack a bag until after my water broke. Talk about not prepared. As it was I used almost none of what I brought anyways, so next time (if there is one) I’m not taking anything.

  15. So, does a mom blog with photos count as a baby book?
    I’ve taken a hundred million pictures, and on two computers and in several small journals, I’ve taken a hundred million notes. But they aren’t consolidated in one place. I have probably five baby books, all gifts, but none were “us,” none were Jack.
    So hey – I guess I’m just trying to parent consistently! Check that off the list of things his future siblings will resent me for. 🙂

  16. I was in denial right up to the moment of Mr3’s birth. I had lost two babies before him, and was subconsciously determined not to get attached. But somehow I knew he was coming, one week early.
    I remember saying to my husband at 6pm “I won’t have dinner tonight, I’m going into labour”. Not a contracton, mind you. His reaction: “Best eat heaps then – it took 36 hours last time, remember?”.
    Two hours later I had my first contraction. Five hours later, he was born.
    Somehow, you know, don’t you?
    Good luck with number three.

  17. Guilty about no baby books but I guess I’m not feeling so badly about it now that the other moms have admitted the same thing! Like another commenter said, I also had a preemie the first time out so we started off having a kind of 3D memory box with his preemie diapers and nasal canulas and his incubator mementos!

  18. None of my kids have baby books. They have their own website, with all their pictures, and that’s like they’re scrapbook. Then there’s my site and all those stories.

    All of my kids were right on time. My first was 1 day late, my 2nd was 1 day early. My daughter, they say, was almost a week early but I never trusted their due date and I actually think she was more late or right on time than anything. My water broke for my last 2, with a literal bang and jump with my daughter.

    I saw your comment up there. My first labor was 29 hours. My 2nd was 6 and from the time my water broke with my daughter, she was out in 2 hours. We barely made it to a hospital room in time, let alone get any sort of drugs. So you might want to be prepared.

  19. You don’t want to know about my labors. You just don’t. They were each challenging in different ways. But two times, I got healthy baby girls out of them, and that’s what I focus on.

    And what’s a baby book? Seriously? I don’t have a baby book for either one. Mama of the year, right here. (in truth, it doesn’t bother me though. I am really good at letting myself off the hook!)

  20. So exciting!!
    And I wasn’t great about the first baby book. So by #2? well, it’s pretty sparse… And we never did the inky hands and feet in the book (although our hospital does a pretty sheet with them and some baby info… perhaps for us lazy parents?)
    My husband is the third & youngest and I’m the oldest. We have lots of similar and different stories about growing up, but the only thing that I made sure of with #2 is that there are pictures of JUST HER. My husband has his brothers in almost EVERY picture. Otherwise, he turned out fine, sparse baby book and all.

  21. Really exciting. I am envious. You are about to bring a new baby into the world. Who cares about Baby Books–you get to hold and kiss him. You get to stare at him and wonder about the possibilities.

    Enjoy. Breathe. And then Breathe again.

  22. My second was a surprise. We bought NOTHING for her. She is here and wonderful and perfect and we are amazed at how little she needed. Love, just love!

  23. For the ten days leading up to my induction, every night I thought my water would break in the middle of the night (as it had for the first two) and I’d stress out the evening before trying to make sure all the i’s were dotted for the next day. Then, nothing happened!

    P.S. — What’s a baby book?

  24. I don’t have baby books for either of my kids. I had grand plans…but they never materialized. But I take a lot of pictures. If that counts for something?

    I was induced for the Wonderboy, not fun. And long. With the Pixie they were on the verge of sending me back home when my water broke. She was out in about 3 hours and I felt SO much more at ease. Such a difference between the nerves of the first!

    Hoping everything goes smoothly when the time comes!

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