Part 22: A slight case of insomnia
It's true that all is well - and yet, Kathy is anxious.
She writes in her diary that she's been having bad dreams and scary thoughts - "thoughts that the baby is going to die, something bad is going to happen to the baby. I keep envisioning the baby in the crib and SIDS death occurring. I told Joe that I want a cart to put by our bed so that I can make sure he/she is breathing.
"He said, 'Kathy, you're not going to do that. We'll just put the baby in between us in bed.' That's an example of why I love Joe so much."
Kathy also feels better when, after confiding her fears to her mother, Louise tells her that they are normal, that she'd had similar worries before each of her five children was born: It just goes along with motherhood.
There's so much to think about, so much to plan, so much to do.
She finished her Christmas shopping by the end of July, so she won't have that to deal with while tending to her newborn.
She's also timed how long it takes to get dressed and made-up in the morning - 15 minutes - and has been trying to trim that down to 10. She figures that any time she saves she can devote to the baby.
"It's 2 a.m.," Kathy writes on Aug. 18, "and Joe just told me he thinks I have a slight case of insomnia. I guess it's because I just woke him and asked him if he wanted to take the dog for a brisk walk . . .
"He said, 'Not tonight,' so here I am, writing."
During another bout of insomnia, she spends four hours cleaning the basement.
* * *
Wendy, by contrast, is dragging.
She can't muster any enthusiasm to go out walking anymore, and instead stays cooped up in the house with the air conditioner on, barely moving from chair to chair.
"I canceled out the world for four days," she tells the midwife, Christine Pfeiffer, at her next appointment. "Andy says I was like a vampire."
Christine is not surprised by this. In her hands, she holds the results of Wendy's hemoglobin test, and it tells the whole story:
She is anemic.
She needs more red meat, chicken, fish, spinach, molasses, kale, Raisin Bran, says Christine - "anything that says extra iron on the package."
Those foods not only will help get her energy up, says Christine, but will prevent her from feeling "horrid" due to loss of blood during delivery. Christine taps the white wall behind her - "You'll look this color, and have no energy at all."
"Okay," declares Kathy, relieved to hear this simple explanation for Wendy's lethargy. "We'll go out for steaks."
And they do - that very night.
They drive straight to Bugaboo Creek, where Wendy makes short work of a 12-ounce prime rib.
* * *
Having gotten this physical matter well in hand, Andy and Wendy do an impromptu test of their emotions.
It is early September, and a friend has left her infant daughter with the couple for a few hours. There the little bundle sleeps on the couch - so sweet and beautiful.
Pick her up, Wendy tells Andy, so he does. Well? she asks. What do you think? Do you feel like one?
No, he says.
Now Wendy takes the baby and holds her.
How about you? says Andy.
No, says Wendy, then asks, isn't this weird?
No, says her husband. We're done.
We finally don't want one, says Wendy. Is that rotten?
No. Nicole's grown up. Rachel's in third grade. What in the world do we want a baby for? It's our time. We want our time.
It's a good feeling, knowing that, says Wendy. That we don't.
Your life's gonna be back, says Andy. It's almost over.