Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Birthday boy

This morning at 6:49 my baby boy officially turned 4 years old. I can hardly believe it. In honor of his birthday, I will share his birth story.

Most first-time expectant moms will ask their friends or other moms “How will I know I’m really in labor?” The number one answer I received was “Trust me, you’ll just know.” I had my aha moment on the morning of Thursday, February 21, 2002 at 9:00am when I woke up to pains that were decidedly different than the contractions one normally has throughout a pregnancy. I tried to relax and take it easy most of the day, but I did manage to get a few things done around the house. Then I made sure my bag was packed for the hospital, and took a shower and shaved my legs (because really, who wants to show off hairy legs in those stirrups at the hospital?) and waited for my husband to get home from work. He came home early in the afternoon when the contractions were still very manageable, but getting a little harder, so we started keeping a log of how many minutes passed from one contraction to the next. We were told not to go to the hospital until the contractions were 5 minutes apart so we were waiting for that magic number to appear. The only problem was my contractions never regulated that way. We would jump from 5 to 10 to 4 to 8 to 3 minutes apart. Around 10:00pm they were starting to get more intense and painful, but still not regulated, so I called the hospital and spoke to the nurse on duty who told me to take a bath and then try to get some sleep because it would be a while. The bitch… I took a bath and all that did was make them more intense and we saw a few 2 minute intervals interspersed among the 8’s and 6’s and 10’s. When I could absolutely take it no more, I told my husband, “Let’s go. I want some drugs.”

We arrived at the hospital at 1:00am and as soon as the nurse hooked up the monitor around my waist, my water broke. Yes! No way they would send me back home now! She checked me and I believe I was at a 7, so she asked me if I was ready for an epidural. “Absolutely!” Along with the epidural I also received a lovely IV of magnesium sulfate because my blood pressure went sky high. The next 5 ¾ hours were relatively pain free, although my epidural wasn’t quite working the way it was supposed to. I wasn’t in pain, but I could still feel the contractions and I could feel when I needed to pee. I didn’t really mind at all, but the nurse kept calling the anesthesiologist back to my room to push various substances into the epidural IV. Towards the end I was so stoned it’s not even funny (seriously, my aunt took a picture so I could fully appreciate it later). Then there were the scary little episodes where the baby’s heart beat would go way down, and the doctor asked me if our number one goal was a healthy baby (I’m assuming she was preparing me for a c-section). She checked me one more time and said, “I think I feel an ear.” I thought, “That’s good. I want my baby to have ears.” Then she explained that the baby was looking sideways in the birth canal and could not come out that way. She wanted to page one of her colleagues who was excellent at turning babies. No problem – if that would save me from a c-section, by all means try it. He got there at probably 6:45am, did the episiotomy, grabbed the giant salad tongs, pushed my baby backwards, turned him a ¼ turn, and then delivered his head and stepped back and let my doctor do the rest. Oddly enough, I have no memory of this because whatever drug the anesthesiologist had just given me had me completely stoned, but my husband tells me it was extremely quick. I do remember them saying, “It’s a boy” and I remember a nurse telling us his APGAR scores were 9 and 9, but due to being up for almost 24 hours and being stoned, most of the actual delivery is a complete blur. However, I do remember with extreme clarity the moment they put him on my stomach. I would love to say that I had that magical moment where I was weeping and felt an overwhelming love for my newborn, but honestly, all I could think of at the time was “Ewww, he’s all bloody and icky.” Again, I was tired and stoned. After he had a bath and was given back to me (and the medication started wearing off), the love poured out, along with my first healthy dose of mother’s guilt.

My husband was completely wonderful through the entire delivery experience. He took great care of me through the labor and delivery portion, he gave Braden his first bath and weighed him (6 lbs, 3 oz), he changed all the diapers in the hospital and amazed me with how loving and tender he was towards both of us.

And that is Braden’s birth story. Happy birthday, big boy! We love you!!!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Moments that I want to remember forever

Sweet Moments:
The other morning my son woke me up around 5:30 and said, “Mommy, I want to snuggle.” He does this nearly every morning, but sometimes it is MUCH earlier and sometimes he just silently crawls in bed with us. I made room for him in the middle of the bed and we went back to sleep snuggling. When I finally woke up at 6:30 and got in the shower, I noticed a perfect imprint of his little ear in the skin in the crook of my arm and the sweet feeling it invoked almost made me cry. If I could have preserved that little imprint, I would have. It was just one of those moments that I wanted to capture and keep forever. When he was a baby we co-slept because I nursed him in the middle of the night, but the co-sleeping continued long after he weaned around his first birthday. In fact, he was probably 3 years old before he finally started sleeping in his own bed. And after many months of struggling to get him to sleep in his own bed, you would think that his daily snuggle sessions or his creeping into bed with us would be frustrating or make us feel like failures as parents. But to tell the truth, I actually enjoy snuggling with him. I know the day is coming when he will be too big and won’t want to snuggle anymore, and that will break my heart. So I will hang on to our little morning snuggle moments for as long as I can (especially on weekend mornings when we sleep in late while snuggling). It may be a little challenging once the baby gets here, but we’ll manage. I just hope she likes to snuggle as much as the boy does.

Funny Moments:
Last week we were waiting in line at the drive thru of McDonald’s (I know – don’t judge me) and after I paid for our food, a little voice from the back seat yelled “COME ON, PEOPLE!” Apparently he was hungry. And I need to be really careful what I yell at people in traffic.

Knitting news:
I have finished knitting the Spiderman socks, but there is a problem. My plan was to knit the socks in plain red and blue and then duplicate stitch the spider web pattern. I tried and it looks like crap. Actually it was worse than crappy. So I ripped out the duplicate stitch that I started and tried embroidering. One would think this would be easy for me to do seeing as how I made this:

But no, the embroidery looked craptastic also. My option now is to reknit the socks and actually knit the spider web pattern in a sort of fair isle design. I’ve never done fair isle before and although it doesn’t look like it would be too difficult only using 2 colors on a small sock, I am intimidated. So I have decided to set these aside and start working on the Batman socks. Instead of fair isle, these will have a very small intarsia patch on the sides, which sounds much less intimidating. Wish me luck.