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Thursday, August 27, 2009

And baby makes 3 (hours of sleep, that is)

BirthDay This blog officially transformed from Newlywed Blog to Mommy Blog on the coolest birth date ever – 07/08/09. Michael Thomas entered the world at 5:27 pm, weighing 7.5 pounds and measuring 20.75 inches. I’m a mommy! Can you believe it?

All mothers think that they have the most beautiful and special child to have ever graced this planet with their presence. They brag about every accomplishment, both real and imagined. After boring you with every minor detail of their child’s life, they confide in you that they are certain that their spawn is destined for greatness.

And I’m no different.

So let’s just get that out of the way, shall we?

My son is the most beautiful child to ever be born of woman. I know just from looking into his eyes that he is also the smartest. I feel certain that he’ll be walking by 3 months and speaking by 5 months. He will spend his first birthday putting the finishing touches on The Great American Novel, allowing him to focus on Broadway adaptations of various John Hughes movies. Sixteen Candles – The Musical will be his breakthrough endeavor. At 5 he will be the youngest member of the US Olympic team, competing in a minimum of three sports. By ten he will have been on the covers of every major magazine, but he won’t care because it would be too much of a distraction from his research into finding a cure for the common cold.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning…

Like most birth stories, Michael’s birth day was nothing like I imagined it would be. I thought for sure that Michael would come a month early and weigh 20 pounds. But his due date came and went without a peep from him. My body did not take well to pregnancy (major understatement), so we decided to induce labor as soon as possible, which was two days after the due date.

By 7 am, I’d been strapped in, induced, and had my water broken. The whole breaking of the water thing scared me, but I totally didn’t feel a thing other than the trickle of fluid. As a matter of fact, the most painful part of the first couple of hours was the blood pressure cuff on my arm that was intent on breaking a bone, or at the very least driving me to have words with the medical staff about their faulty equipment (mission accomplished). I am now convinced that it was part of a vast right (hospital) wing conspiracy to take the focus off of my labor pain for as long as possible.

Speaking of pain, the word of the day was Epidural. The doctor informed me that the magic number for the magic juice was 4 cm. I came into the hospital at 2 cm, so I thought, “No problem!” Well, after a couple of hours of ever-increasing pain, the nurse suggested that I take something for the pain because I was nowhere near getting the epidural.

After that dire statement you better believe that I said yes to her offer. And I regretted it. Whatever she gave me made me hazy and loopy well into the next day. It knocked me out for a little bit, but once I woke up I felt every contraction with the added problem of having trouble communicating. So for the next couple of hours I lay in bed moaning, “Oh God, no no no NO NOOOO…” without much awareness of anything going on around me. I was in my own little world of Pain.

(Side note: Contractions felt totally different than what I thought they would feel like. I expected sharp stabbing pains, but instead contractions felt like a dull-yet-extremely-intense ache. Kind of like food poisoning with rhythm.)

Once I did reach the goal of 4 cm, the anesthesiologists were too busy to get to me right away. Of course. I expected no less. Ninety minutes passed before one of them got to me. The good thing about the delay was that I continued to dilate, so most of my dilation occurred without an epidural.

Having the epidural administered was one of the most difficult parts of the day. I was desperate for an end to the pain, but I had to be completely still or the doctor wouldn’t continue. I had at least two contractions during the administration of the epidural. Keeping my body still during those contractions took every bit of my will power.

It should have been smooth sailing after the epidural, right? Well, not so much. Before I go into that, let me first say that my husband and I did not romanticize labor. We didn’t care one bit about it being a “beautiful” experience. Labor is called “labor” for a reason: it hurts, it takes a lot of work, it hurts, it’s physically and emotionally draining, and oh yeah, IT HURTS! All we cared about was seeing our beautiful baby.

We were prepared for the unexpected, and we got it – THE EPIDURAL WAS TOO INTENSE! My lower body became completely numb. I felt absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, my legs were so numb that it actually hurt. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but that’s the only way I know to describe it. I became completely paranoid that my legs would get into some sort of weird position and cut off the circulation, and I wouldn’t be able to feel it to do something about it. So instead of dealing with contractions, I was dealing with the beginnings of a panic attack.

Once it was time to push, my body started shaking like crazy. But I was completely useless. Since I couldn’t feel anything, I was not able to pinpoint how to push. From the reading I’d done about labor and epidurals, I knew this wasn’t right. Forty-five minutes of blood-vessel-popping pushing achieved nothing. They moved me into four different positions, but nothing worked. While the nurses whispered about a C-section, I somehow communicated to my family that THE EPIDURAL, IT NEEDED TO GO AWAY.

The anesthesiologist was called in to turn off the epidural. After about fifteen minutes, I was able to feel enough to properly push. My doctor arrived at around this time and determined that a C-section would not be necessary. So I started pushing.

One of the nurses offered to bring over a mirror so I could see the baby’s head. The mirror hadn’t interested me before, but I said sure, why not. It ended up being the turning point. Besides the awe of seeing my little boy’s head for the first time, I was able to see what pushes were productive. So twenty minutes after resuming pushing, my son was born!

My first thoughts after seeing Michael consisted of the following:

  • “Oh my goodness, that’s a real little person!”
  • “He’s so beautiful! I DIDN’T REALIZE HE’D BE SO BEAUTIFUL!!!”

Michael’s arrival was met with much yelling, laughing, crying, and rejoicing. Seeing the joy and pride on Garrett’s face was one of the best things about the day. Seeing my baby boy’s face for the first time was the other best thing. I’ve always thought that babies look so much alike, but I could have picked Michael out of a baby line-up after looking at him for ten seconds. It seemed like I’d known his face forever. Maybe that’s because he looks so much like his daddy!

I just love this kid.

P1010003His Abuelita is pretty crazy about him, too.

MomWithNewbornMichaelWhat mother wouldn’t love this face?

3776806410_5d5f86c195 Or this face?

3776352531_fdd8f460d4 Or especially this face?

3776356393_be99e3d425 Whether he’s sleeping…

ComingHome …or wide awake…

P1010080 …he’s my son, and I adore him.

I am truly blessed.