Another Beginning’s End

It was actually a fluke that I ended up being the one who dropped off Rex this morning at daycare, his last morning in the Infant Room.  Since the daycare facility is located at Mr. X’s place of employment, he usually is the one to take Rex in while I (shhh) secretly go back to bed for a few or more minutes of shut eye before beginning the day.  But, last week, we learned that Mr. X was needed out of town all of this week and so very early and not so brightly Monday morning he was off. I have been on day care run duty all week, the Transition Week.

We’ve known for a few weeks now that Rex was going to be transitioning at the end of July to the Toddler Room from his current homebase of Infant Room. This week has been spent on the actual transition process.  Monday he spent a few hours in the new classroom, Tuesday a few more and by yesterday (Thursday), he was still in the Toddler Room when I picked him up at the end of the day.  But, each day he has still started off in the Infant Room with his beloved Miss R, with today being his last day with her.

I was very aware as I dropped him off that this was the last day of donning the booties over my shoes and washing my hands before I touch anything in the classroom.  It was the last day of seeing smaller babies who aren’t able to feed themselves yet and cribs.  In a way, it was the last day of Rex’s official infancy.  I remember so well the first day that we dropped him off when he was 7 weeks old. That day, we brought him in his car seat with a pack of bottles already pre-filled with forumla. Today, he walked in and sat down at the table for breakfast.  He even tried to use the spoon.  We have all come so far.

Rex is ready to move on, though. There have been numerous reports this week of how fanatastically he has taken to the new room and how when he is back in the Infant Room, he climbs onto the tables and stands on them.  I know he’s ready and we’re ready for that next stage of development. But, we were all very close to Miss R.  She was such a comfort last summer when we felt like we were in over our heads – she knew that we were doing the best possible job and told us so.  She gave us much needed reassurance that our kid was perfectly normal, even when he was screaming and we were at our wit’s end.  This morning, she and I both got a little verklempt at our parting and her parting from Rex, one her favorites.  Rex, for his part, was way more interested in his breakfast and getting as much of it as possible on his face and clothes.

As I was leaving the campus heading back home, I remembered that earlier this week as I was driving Rex in, “Closing Time” came on the radio. This was a favorite of mine in college because, hello, closing bars was one of those Bucket List – College Edition things you just had to do (although, in truth, it’s hard to close one in New Orleans, because the bars never close. Seriously. I think my closings were elsewhere on vacation or spring breaks.) But, a lyric that I didn’t really pay much attention to in college, stood out to me this particular morning that seemed to sum up the situation perfectly:

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. Yeah.

Almost. ALMOST.

I sent an email to my parents earlier this week telling them that the schedule has  been set for Rex to graduate from the infant room to the Toddler Room at day care.  Huge news, probably as big as when he started to walk, and worthy of much celebration.  In that email, I confided to them that I was sad by this development – my baby is growing up and moving on, the first of many transitions from babyhood to adult.  And, I shared with them what Mr. X and I had been saying to each other for a few months now: it almost makes me want to have another one. Almost.

Mr. X has been pretty consistent about his desire to have another child.  It’s understandable – he has a brother who was born when he was 2 1/2 so he has no memory of life without a sibling.  But, he recognizes very well that I will be the one who bears the brunt of a second child.  There’s the whole pregnancy thing, the whole post-partum thing and the loss of my income, not to mention the whole infant and toddler at the same time juggling act.  This alone has given me great pause.

That being said, I know why I have been having these twinges of desire for another baby.  It’s because I feel like I missed out on so much the first time around with Rex.  I did not enjoy pregnancy in the conventional sense – I refused to have a baby shower because I was convinced that I would have it and I would lose the baby.  The same reasoning applied to the nursery.  I grudgingly allowed to have it painted and agreed to pick out a crib telling myself the entire time that we could always get rid of it if something terrible happened.  I didn’t shop for baby clothes or let myself get too invested in the emotional side of things.  I was on edge for the entire nine months.  Looking back now, I see that I was probably depressed even then. I chalked it up at the time to wonky pregnancy hormones.

When Rex arrived, of course, it was a whole other level of depression that took me a while to get out of.  During that time, I was adamant that I would not be having another baby.   That stance has softened somewhat.  I don’t recoil from infants anymore, although I do still look at their sleep deprived parents and silently thank the heavens that I am not there anymore.

I haven’t let myself begin to think about whether another baby would be a different experience.  Mr. X and I already know that we would not use heroic measures a second time around.  We’re even still on track to donate our remaining embryo.  So, a lot of the pressure that was there with Rex’s pregnancy wouldn’t be there this time. Still, will the old fears of miscarriage and terrible things happening come back?  Would I be able to get excited and enjoy the pregnancy? Hard to say.

We’ve put the cabosh on any discussions of a second child until Rex is at least 2.  So, as long as the birth control pills hold out, that leaves me eight months of further casual contemplation and enjoyment of the deliciousness that is Rex in all of his only glory.