Monday, February 7, 2011

The birth of "Elvis"

It was 9 years ago today my first child was born. He was 8lbs 1 oz, born 5 days late of his Groundhog day-estimated-due-date and would have waited longer had it not been for the beauty of Pitocin.  His name is Jackson Everett and he is a blessing and a joy to us..well, most days. :) We had tried for 6 months to conceive our first child and I was frustrated when it wasn't happening "quickly". I panicked at the thought that we may be one of those couples who struggle long term with having children because until it does finally happen..each month is a roller coaster of highs (hoping) and lows (seeing the dumb white stick seem to read "NO! YOU ARE STILL NOT PREGNANT!"). I had this insane idea that because my husband and I were both virgins when we got married that I would be a sperm sponge and the first second I was off birth control I would immediately start lactating or something like that. But being the control freak that I am, when it did not happen right away..I was scared. Now, looking back I realize how utterly ridiculous and impatient I was. And those of you who actually had or are currently having infertility problems I apologize and beg forgiveness for myself and any other control freak like myself, who ridiculously panicked at what was really not a long time to wait.

Anyhow after a wonderful, exciting and distracting vacation to Italy in April of that year..we saw that anticipated double blue line that declared "yes" we were pregnant. It wasn't a bad pregnancy as far as most go. Some nausea..a veracious and finicky appetite, weight gain (nuff said),...feeling like your body is a science experiment or like your body has been taken over by an alien and it had. We called the baby "Elvis" during those first 5 was sort of a private joke from some movie that I can't even recall now. But when we got the ultrasound and found out if was a boy, we already knew "Jack" would be his name. I wasn't really uncomfortable until that last month..and that month when your "nesting" or maternally psychotic, as I like to call it, is a funny one. You will never in your whole life look forward to a pelvic exam as you will in your last month of pregnancy because you are just SURE or really hoping you're dilated to 8 and you will be one of those rare individuals that "didn't even feel labor pains" and the baby practically slides out!! Shoot, I even tried to check my own laugh, but some of you did the same thing!! Like I said...maternally psychotic. But with each of those visits during those last four weeks the results revealed I was a mere 1, then 1.5 then 2...and then a 2 again. I was actually so glad when I did go in on Feb 6 of 2002 and saw that my blood pressure was up so they'd have to induce me...muahahaha. (As if I had planned it.)

The labor itself was 8 hrs start to finish. They started me on Pitocin, broke my water and the contractions started out light but a very consistent every two minutes. When it got pretty uncomfortable I opted for the epidural..I give kudos to those who go all natural but I figured "why hurt"...if my appendix was being taken out I wouldn't go "all natural" and it's not like he was going to be born with higher IQ points or I would get my deductible waived if I didn't get it. Anyway, it didn't work so well. My left leg was "all kinds of numb" but I could feel everywhere else...They had me change positions and gave me more boluses to no avail. When it was "time" I remember the nurse saying.."oh he's gotta big head! You're going to be pushing for at least an hour!" Couldn't she lie to me in that moment? Geez lady! Give a soon-to-be-first-time-mom a break! Anyway, it was just that hour later and I remember every contraction, every "burn" and when I finally birthed what felt like should have been a water buffalo..the pain that everyone says "goes away" after birth was still there.. and I recall my doctor inspecting the damage and feeling around and as they showed me my beautiful little big-headed slime ball. I touched his sweet face and smiled and so happy he was healthy but I couldn't help feeling distracted and  thinking, "HEY DOC,COULD YOU PLEASE GET YOUR HAND OUT OF MY VAGINA!" My poor husband and his stoicism was down "there" too watching and said.."so Doc, how bad is it?" and my doctor used me as a anatomical map to describe what small, worse and the worst tears look like. Glad I could be available for your educational purposes...anyone else wanna look?? Later he told me he was trying to remain calm but really he was thinking "HOLY CRAP! No wonder it hurts so much!!" Thanks, babe.

My left leg was numb for almost 24 hrs after delivery and when they finally got me up and showed me the peri-bottle, the tucks, and the creams that I could use for my "parts", I thought "no prob". I mean, I'm an RN, I am woman, hear me roar!..I've got this..but what I didn't expect was HOW swollen I was. I poked my head out of the bathroom door and whispered to my sleepy husband.."OH MY GOSH HONEY! I pushed so hard I grew testicles!!!!" He laughed at my dramatics but I then wondered if I'd ever go back to normal. Well, you least mostly normal. The best is when you get to go home with your sweet baby to your sweet home where you spent agonizing hours and hundreds of dollars getting the nursery ready for your little bundle.  Each mama's story is beautiful, some heart wrenching and some funny and a first lesson in humility and that control is an illusion. This baby has been teaching me humility for his whole life and I have a feeling it's far from over.. But happy birthday to my big-headed-once-slimy-water-buffalo-of-a-boy named Jack. I love you more than you can imagine. :)

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