My Son is One Today.

Posted on | August 22, 2010 | 5 Comments

I wrote a birth story for J shortly after he was born. Rather than try and re-create how I felt right after his birth, I just put it up, verbatim. Only the names have been changed. I can’t believe my little boy is one. I can’t believe that this time last year, I was counting contractions. I can’t believe I lived at all before him. 

Let’s start with the basics…. J was born at 5:22 pm on Saturday, August 22, 2009. He weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20 inches long.

Now… for the whole story.

WARNING: If you have a c-section currently scheduled DO NOT READ FURTHER! 🙂

On Friday, August 21, I began having some contractions at work. I left the office shortly after lunchtime because I had a lot of things I wanted to do and Husband had the day off. He tried to convince me not to go to the grocery store until Saturday or Sunday but I was insistent that we make the trip on Friday. I went to bed really early on Friday night… maybe before 7pm.

On Saturday morning I woke up around 8 am, still having contractions. I thought to myself “the baby is coming today” but I didn’t want to say anything to anyone because I was afraid I was wrong and didn’t want to sound foolish. I took a shower, blow dried my hair, and put on my make-up before beginning my traditional Saturday cleaning. I dusted, I washed the counter tops and waited patiently for Husband to wake up. Around 9:30, I woke him up and asked him to please get up so we could vacuum the bedroom and bathroom. He asked me why and I decided he wouldn’t think I was silly so I told him I thought the baby was coming that day. That got him up! He got up, got dressed, and vacuumed the bedroom and bathroom. Around 10:30 we decided to start timing the contractions. At first, they were around 11 or 12 minutes apart. Not too concerning. Within two hours they were coming closer to 8 or 9 minutes apart and we decided since I had a scheduled c-section two weeks later, I should call my OB-GYN.

I called the office and left a message for the on-call doctor. Within ten minutes of leaving the message, Dr. L called me back. We chatted for a few minutes and he said if the contractions were different than the ones I had early in the week that I should go to labor and delivery just to get checked out. So off we went. I had gotten the bag fully packed earlier that morning so we had everything together. Husband drove us to the hospital and we got checked in and hooked up to the monitor. J’s little heart was racing and I tried to watch the monitor to see if what I thought were contractions were registering on the monitor. I couldn’t really tell but the nurse came in and said I was contracting and that they were getting closer together. Dr. L got to the hospital and told me that my contractions were about five minutes apart but that it looked like early labor and that could go on for a while. He said he’d check my cervix just to be safe. Lo and behold, I had dilated to 3 centimeters and he said, quite calmly, “well you’re at 3 centimeters and with your contractions so close together we’re going to go ahead and admit you today.”

It took a minute for those words to sink in and then he began asking if we’d like to try to manually flip the baby or just proceed with a c-section. Finally, after he explained everything for the third time, I said “so wait… I’m having this baby today? No matter what?” Yeah… it appeared that was the case. Dr. L gave Husband and I a few minutes to decide about the external version and the nurse hooked me up to an IV for fluids. We finally decided to try to flip the baby in the hopes that I might be able to have a normal delivery rather than a c-section. After making that decision, we began the process of calling everyone on our “must call” list to let them know that J was not going to wait until his scheduled arrival on August 31st.

An hour passed and then another before the anesthesiologist could get to the hospital for the external version. Apparently there are situations where the baby gets too agitated during the procedure and a c-section becomes immediately necessary. Dr. L came in and they got J on the ultrasound to monitor him during the procedure. They gave me a shot of something to stop my contractions so my uterus would be “soft” for the procedure.

Oh Holy hell. You wouldn’t think that two people pushing on your belly would feel like that, I can assure you. I didn’t know until that moment that it was possible to scream involuntarily. I was sobbing after the first two minutes. Poor Husband  was a basket case because I was moaning like someone was stabbing me with knives. It was a miserable experience. After what felt like an eternity but was probably closer to five minutes, Dr. L said he wasn’t going to push it anymore because I was in too much pain. I would just have to have the c-section.

Everything was moving WAY too fast for me. I had barely gotten over the external version and my heart was still racing like a crackhead from the shot they gave me when they handed Husband and I our scrubs and told us to put them on, hat and all. They walked me out of the room and down the hallway to the operating room. My in-laws were in the hallway and MIL ‘s eyes were red so I could tell she’d been crying a little with excitement. I would like to say I was all smiles but I think I probably looked at them like maybe they could save me from a terrible fate! I was shaking so bad I couldn’t believe I still had control of my legs. The thought of the c-section was a little scary, but I was mostly worried about the epidural. They had me sit on the operating table with a pillow clutched in my arms and my chin tucked to my chest. The anesthesiologist came in and tried to make small talk with me about the horrific country music they had playing in the OR. I kept asking them to please turn it off but they seemed to think I was just wanting to complain… seriously, it was horrible. Finally they turned it off but it didn’t stop them from trying to distract me with questions about Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood. If I hadn’t been told to stay still I would have hit someone.

Meanwhile, I’m still shaking so bad that my teeth are starting to chatter in my head. I just can’t grasp the concept that I am ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY. It’s starting to put me in a panic. I just keep thinking that once the epidural starts working everything will be better. Wrong. The epidural doesn’t exactly do anything for nerves and mine were shot. The anesthesiologist is teaching a paramedic student how to insert the epidural which means I am having to listen to everything they are doing behind my back. Finally they get the epidural started and my feet and legs start to go numb. It’s a strange feeling and I tried to crack a joke about feeling like Lieutenant Dan, but no one really paid much attention.

Dr. L started pinching my abdomen to see how far along the epidural was. There was a spot on my abdomen just below my belly button that seemed immune so they gave me a local shot to numb that area. Meanwhile, they have a blue sheet over the lower half of my body and it’s so high up that it felt like I was the headless horseman. I was panicked and starting to get claustrophobic on top of all that. Once the epidural appeared satisfactory, Dr. L let Husband  in the room. I felt a lot better once he was sitting next to me, but I could still hear them rattling off what they were doing for the benefit of the paramedic student. For a while everything was fine and I was tuning them out and focusing on Husband holding my hand. Then something changed and my stomach felt like it was on fire. I felt like someone was inside my body poking and prodding me with something sharp and I had my second bout of involuntary pain noises. They immediately stopped and tried to up the epidural. I heard Dr. L say he was about to cut into the uterus and didn’t want to do that until they got everything fixed.

Hearing someone say they are about to cut your uterus does nothing for nerves, let me tell you. I experienced my second full-on panic attack of my life. I was hyperventilating and crying simultaneously. They tried to get me to breathe in some type of gas but I couldn’t catch my breath in order to slow it down. The next thing I knew, they were telling Husband he had to leave and that they were going to put me under entirely.
Good night, folks. Don’t remember anything else until I woke up in recovery with Husband and asked if J was okay. The nurse told me her shift was ending and joked that she would be going to the ER to have the bones in her hand re-set from my vice grip. I think I laughed… who knows.
I hate that I didn’t get to see J the minute he came out and for the first few hours I felt a little like a maternal failure for not being able to make it through the c-section. I was also a little upset that Husband  and his parents got to see J before I did… after all, I had carried him for nine months and it seemed only fair that I got the first peek. Only Husband got to actually be with him before I saw him; his parents just got to watch through the nursery window while J got his first bath. Again, I was a little upset for a while about that… but that all ended when I got to see J. He was so tiny and perfect and I just loved him from the minute I saw him. That first night is vague. I wish I hadn’t been so doped up because I want to remember what it was like to hold my son for the first time and to look in his eyes that very first time. I don’t remember those very clearly at all. I remember that feeling of falling in love, but can’t acurately picture his face in the first moment.

What I do remember is the look in his eyes the first time they brought him in from the nursery on Saturday night. They didn’t let him room in with us but brought him in everytime he woke up for nursing. I remember they knocked on the door and wheeled him in. He was swaddled up tight in a receiving blanket and had a hat over his head. Only his face was visable and his big blue eyes were open as wide as possible. He looked like he was trying to take in absolutely everything and when they picked him up and brought him to me, I remember thinking “I will never love anyone this much ever again in my whole life.”

He’s perfect. Really. And having him here is the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. I love everything about him… even the fact that when he cries I can feel my heart shatter into a million pieces. I just want to scoop him up and hold him really really close to my heart for the rest of his life to make sure that no one ever hurts him in any way.

Okay… I’m crying again. That’s a post-partum perk for you! I cry at EVERYTHING. Not because I’m sad… because I’m just so overwhelmed. It’s been such a roller coaster of a week. Yeah, J is one week old today. *sigh* I just want to freeze time everytime he looks at me and hold that image in my head forever.

Sorry… this is probably very sappy but like I said… hormones.

Welcome to the world, J. You are so well loved.

I wrote that when he was one week old. And now he’s a year old. And walking. And currently playing with balloons and saying “ahhhhh…” every time they come down in his hands. I am the mother of a little boy. Can someone tell me how that happened?Happy Birthday, J… may you have many, many, MANY more. 


5 Responses to “My Son is One Today.”

  1. Anne
    August 22nd, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Happy Birthday to J!

  2. Jessica Warrick
    August 22nd, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

    I have a blog award for you over on my blog.

  3. Jessica Warrick
    August 22nd, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

    Oh yeah happy birthday to your little one.

  4. The Empress
    August 22nd, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    And as horrific as that Labor and Delivery story is, I know you'd do it all over again.

    We all would.

    Happy Birthday, sweet baby.

  5. HarmSkills
    August 23rd, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    wow i dont think i have ever read a detailed c section birth story! thanks for sharing and congrats on surviving year one!

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