Theodore Wolf Sklar was born at 6:48 am on July 22, 2009, 21 1/2 inches and nine pounds, ten ounces. I will always remember the nurse exclaiming “A moose, an absolute moose!” as she handed my son to me.
My pregnancy experience with Teddy was much different than what I had with Johanna. We did opt for genetic testing. After all the shock and trauma surrounding Johanna’s birth, we wanted to be prepared. We learned at 13 weeks that we were having a boy. I remember being nervous at my 32 week ultrasound–after all, this was the same ultrasound where I had learned that Johanna had possible health complications. But this time around, it was completely uneventful (except for the news that the baby was already six pounds).
My birth experience the second time around was bittersweet. After Johanna was born part of me had felt cheated that I had never had the typical birth experience so many of my other friends had. I got it, with Teddy. The mood in the delivery room was loud and festive, the doctor cracking jokes to the residents. It was such a sharp contrast to the strained silence that filled the room after Johanna was born. An hour after Johanna’s birth, as soon as my epidural had worn off, I was racing down the hallway to the NICU to see her. But with Teddy, a half hour after delivery I was wheeled upstairs to maternity, my newborn in my arms.Over the next 48 hours, I ate sushi and talked on the phone and nursed my son and fought with the nighttime nurses who wanted to give Teddy formula—an experience which, after all that I had gone through with Johanna, seemed surreal in its normalcy.
Johanna and Teddy are 17 months apart. Needless to say, the last year has been a little crazed. Teddy was what Dr Sears would kindly call a “high needs” baby–always wanting to nurse, always wanting to be held, always wanting to be entertained. I spent the first four months of his life sleeping with him latched onto me. But now, he’s mellowed out into a gregarious toddler with a shock of blondish brown hair and hazel eyes. He loves his “Yo Yo”, as he calls her, and she tolerates him, except when he tries to play with her collection of Corolle dolls or god, forbid, Elmo.
I was a little nervous about having a boy–I’ve always been somewhat of a girly girl. Tea parties and dolls I could handle; Legos and Tommy the Truck? Not so much. But being the mother of Teddy Bear has been great. Besides a couple times getting peed on during diaper changes, having a son is amazing.