Now that the drama has all died down and I have nothing else begging for my attention, I can write about my littlest baby Josie Kae.
I found out I was pregnant with Jo-Jo precisely two weeks after my bachelorette party (I guess it was a good night *wink*) and about 5 weeks before Jonny and I were set to get married. At our wedding I was 9 weeks pregnant.
The baby being my third child, naturally, the instant I had peed on a stick I gained 5 lbs of water weight and my abdominal muscles relaxed giving me a gut that Homer Simpson would envy.
Thank goodness for A-line dresses. If I hadn’t squished my arse into the dress my mom might actually have had the coronary she’d been threatening me with.
Being pregnant also meant, of course, that I couldn’t imbibe. That, I truly mourned. I was looking forward to waking up the day after my wedding in complete mortification over my antics the previous evening. Oh well!
<——-Josie is a tiny bean snuggled in my
beer belly uterus.
In April 2009, Josie was born after VBA2C. Vaginal Birth after 2 cesareans.
Just by being born, Josie healed an emotional wound so deeply buried that I never realized how much it had been like a black cloud following me around, affecting all my actions.
The c-sections after James and Julia’s labours left me feeling violated, angry with myself, angry with the health care system and worst of all, feelings of total inadequacy – with my body and with myself for not standing up to have the birth I wanted and for succumbing so easily to all the interventions that I knew would greatly increase my chances for needing those cesareans in the first place.
The thing is, I knew better. I was very well read on the subjects. I knew and understood when certain interventions were actually necessary and when the health care system was jumping the gun in order to mitigate their liability. I was angry with myself for letting the pain get in the way of my ability to reason and defend my rights (in my defense, the extreme back labour I had with the first two was mind-numbing). Of course, I realize my expectations of myself weren’t realistic.
During my pregnancy with my third child, Josie, I did the right thing – I delegated my care. I learned the hard way that hubby and I couldn’t provide all my labour support all by ourselves. I have long (l.o.n.g.) labours and hospitals don’t like that very much – but after doing this a few times, I know now that this is just normal for my body. Annoying, but normal. So we went with an amazing midwife, and I found an amazing doula, and it was a struggle – 30 hours without any interventions worth, but so incredibly worth it.
Josie was born the normal way, the way women have been birthing babies for thousands of years, and as my body healed from the trauma of my natural birth my confidence in myself was restored. I can now own that I feel a strong kinship with all those women of the past who birthed their babies without the help of modern technology. It’s a club I’m honored to be a part of.
Josie Kae was named after her great grandmother Kae (short for Kathleen) who very recently passed away (may she rest in peace). Kae was a maverick, and I think that Josie will wear her middle name proudly like a badge of honor.
Jo Jo, as we lovingly refer to her, is the clown of the family. She was born happy and she is still the happiest girl you’ll ever meet (except, of course, for her violent toddler fits). She is easy to smile, and when she smiles it’s contagious. Even the sourest of moods can be lifted when she gives you her trademark grin.
She loves to be right in the middle – in the spotlight – the one who everyone is looking at. She has no reservations (or sense of decency) and will strip herself naked (in under 3.5 seconds) and dances and sings as if no one is watching. She was born a joker and loves to get a rise out of anyone she meets.
She has a wicked little laugh and an evil glint in her eye. You can practically see the wheels in her head turning; her neurons firing and her little brain expanding with new information.
If Josie were a dog, she’d be a retriever – she wants to be with her “pack” always, never wandering far from her people; she’s playful and loving and never shys away from a good game of tug of war; she’s easily trained and follows directions and routine with glee and a singular focus; she eats all sorts of very mature foods with gusto and, like all my spawn, has copious amounts of energy to burn.
The seeds of hero worship have already been planted, and she wants to do everything with and for her big sister, Julia.
All in all, she’s the perfect addition to our family. She is our unexpected gift. She’s the one who was missing. Her personality is in perfect contrast with those of her siblings, and they all mesh together with an unanticipated compatibility.
Our children just can’t seem to argue with each other. They love, protect and comfort one another fiercely. They are a team. They each have strengths and weaknesses that are in perfect balance with each other, and I pray every day that their relationships will only mature and strengthen with age.