Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Birthday memories

I have told the story of the day E was born to many of my friends, family, E, and random aquaintances many times. It's one of the most traumatic, wonderful, scary, beautiful days of my life. I had more feelings wrapped up into one day than I knew what to do with. Anyway, I'm going to tell it one more time, just for nostalgia and to remember how drastically my life changed 3 years ago, this week.

I had a scheduled C-section (although I tried my best not to) because that big boy wasn't budging. Not the slightest bit of dialation, no dropping, nothing. He measured 8 1/2 lbs at 38 wks, according to my ultrasound, and so we conceded and booked it.

It was a Thursday morning, Oct 20th, and also my grandmother's birthday. Now, I did not want to have him on her birthday. I wanted him to have his own birthday. But, apparently, Virgie had more pull upstairs than I did. My doctor only delivered on Wednesdays, but the hospital was already booked up that day. He wouldn 't let me go past my due date b/c of his size, so they called me back with the Thursday date, and said Dr. Kennedy was going to come in on his day off. With that, I decided that it would be special for them to share the same birthdate and I figured I no longer had a choice.

I think I must have watched "Father of the Bride II" about a dozen times that summer. I pictured the exact same scenario for myself. My water would break in the middle of the night and I would wake R up. He would be running around just as panicky as Steve Martin did. We'd jump in the car and make a mad dash to Memphis. By the time we got to the hospital, my forehead would be glistening with sweat and I would be doing that breathing technique that I learned in my class. I would push just a few times and R would cut the cord. We'd all be one big happy family. Here's where the record scratch sound comes in!

Instead, I showed up starving and thirsty b/c I couldn't eat/drink anything after midnight and had to ride with R sipping his Starbucks all the way to this place where they were preparing to cut me open. I was taken to this little, scary room that looked like something out of a third world country (a little dramatic, I admit.) The wallpaper was peeling off and the floor was scuffed. It was about the size of my bathroom. I immediately began to cry when the nurse left. Upon her return, she assured me this was only a holding room where my iv would be started. Okay, I can do this, I thought. While starting my iv, R thought that I would somehow find humor in the situation if he commented on how the blood was squirting out everywhere. There was no blood, she did fine. I, however, felt completely sick. I wanted to throw him out, but I was too scared to ditch anyone.

I was rolled into a surgical room just like on Grey's. Here's the part I was really scared of. I thought that when it came time to have an epidural or spinal block, I would be in so much pain that I would want anything to relieve it. When you feel fine and just really want to come back and try another day, the last thing you want in your back is a 25 guage needle. Enough said. If I talk about it too much there may never be a 3rd child.

Surprisingly, the surgery wasn't so bad. It was over very quickly. It was the strangest thing to see this miniature person that really was living in my body for 9 full months. I was a little sad that I would no longer get to feel him kicking me or see his little bottom sticking out on one side of my stomach. All that was quickly replaced by this overwhelming feeling of awe at the miracle that life is. And, then followed by (I'll admit it) the fear of being responsible for another person 24 hours a day for the next 18 years!

I can't imagine my life without him now. I am amazed at the things he says and does and the thoughts he has. I am occasionally angry with him. I am often moved to tears by his kindness. And, like most mothers, find him to be the most brilliant and beautiful 3 year old in the world. I thank God for him and his little brother and thank my grandmother who got to share one birthday with E while she was still here with us. Happy Birthday, Grandma and happy birthday to my wonderful, big boy!


Allison McCool said...

Happy Birthday Ethan

nicole said...

I enjoyed reading your story of his birth. I can remember coming to the hospital with Baby Jonah to see your new baby boy! It seems like yesterday.

Elizabeth said...

Looks like you all had a fun birthday party! Great to hear from you-hope you all are doing well. Look forward to reading more about your boys and family.