Sunday, August 17, 2008

Their Day Is Almost here....!

With the boy's birthday coming next week, I thought I would try to write about both of their births. I've never really had the time to do more than jot a few things down, so I should before I forget it all. It was pretty gory, and I'm still rather shell-shocked and freaked out about how intense birth was, so if anyone is pregnant or thinking of having kids in the near future....maybe don't read this. I WILL say that it's worth it. Worth it, worth it, worth it. But I won't say it doesn't hurt like hell.

I wasn't sure if I just wet the bed because I thought having your water break felt more like...I don't know, SOMETHING. Something epic, not just...hmmmm...why am I laying in a puddle? I had been put on bed rest for a month because of preterm labor, so my whole body was sore, weak and totally messed up. On account of being insanely huge and uncomfortable, I hadn't got much sleep for a couple of days, so I was confused anyway. It was 10:20 on the night of August 25, 2004, and the contractions started hard and fast, so it was obvious after a few that I was in labor. The midwife on call said I could just hang out at home until they were five minutes apart, which was nuts because they were TWO minutes apart right from the start, so we picked up my sister Jen, and headed to the hospital. It hurt. The ride took a lifetime. The birthing center had a wonderful jacuzzi tub that I stayed in for several hours, it was the only thing that seemed to help. The pain is different when you are in water somehow. It's funny, because we had taken classes, and learned all kinds of pain management methods and every one of them just made me angry while in labor, if I even noticed them at all! We'd also made cheesy, inspirational cue cards with pictures of beautiful or distracting things and words of encouragement....The nurses all liked and read them, but I could have cared less! I don't remember much of the whole middle part, because they gave me something to help me rest in between contractions, since I was just beat. Jen says that I was weird about swearing, something I certainly have no problem with in normal life. She says I kept saying things like "Gosh, golly, gee-wilikers..." Interesting.... My regular midwife was on vacation so I got Kelly, and I guess I DID say some awful stuff to her. I hadn't planned on using any drugs for the delivery, but after what they gave me wore off, and it was time to push, I begged and BEGGED, but it was too late. Most people say that the contractions are the worst, and the pushing is a relief because it just feels like hard work. Feels like you have something you can focus on doing. I say, bullshit. I recall feeling like I was dying, and actually being totally fine, happy even, with that, because at least the pain would be gone. There are no words. Women's brains must have some sort of built-in device to distance themselves from the agony, because in between contractions, I felt surreal, floating, half asleep, someplace else, only to come screaming back into the present when another one hit. Kelly would tell me that I could do it, and in another push I could see my son...and I would tell her I didn't care...(in other choice words) and to please rip me open and take him out. It was taking forever. Laying down was awful, and I felt trapped, so I moved onto a birthing stool...(Which is an awesome idea, people DO THIS! Gravity lends a hand!) And at 10:22, August 26, over 12 hours of labor later, The Kid was born!!!!!! Pain instantly gone. He was quiet and calm, with his eyes wide open, looking right at us. As I held him, we tried to do the old counting-fingers-and-toes thing, but I was so tired that, although I COULD count to five, I wasn't sure if that was the correct number to actually have on a hand. He had a head of lovely black hair, giant feet, Justin's nose, and was simply perfect. 6 pounds, 13 oz. Luckily, they let you ogle your baby while they stitch you back up, because you don't feel a thing! He was here!!!! Later, I went into shock and passed out a couple of times from blood loss/anemia, but that was afterward, and I was too happy to put too much worry into it. Everyone in the world came to visit in the next few days, and The New Little Guy was incredibly good. He ate well and slept in the crook of my arm at night. I, myself, didn't sleep a wink the first night, because all I wanted to do was look at him, so peaceful and healthy, and darling. Plus, I was afraid something might happen to him, if I wasn't watching him every second. He smelled wonderful. It was amazing, but I kept repeating to myself...I'm NEVER doing that again.....are people OUT OF THEIR MINDS?! How could anyone possibly do THAT twice?!.....After millions of years, somebody should have come up with a better way to do this!!!! A zipper, SOMETHING. Holy crap.

Three years later, I find myself nine months pregnant with baby number two. This happened because my midwife, friends, and family all SWORE up and down that the second one is a piece of cake. Or way easier and quicker, anyhow. And yes, the actual pregnancy was better, other than the morning sickness that I managed to escape the first time around. This time there was no preterm labor or bed rest. I did bleed inexplicably for the entire second trimester, which was scary, but bi-weekly ultrasounds found no problems. I was worried also because I had gotten an MMR vaccination a month before conceiving. The pamphlet they give you when you get the shot says to wait three weeks before becoming pregnant. Later, reading pregnancy books and speaking to doctors about it, I found out you should wait three MONTHS. Typo. Yay. Looking at the baby's heart during ultrasounds showed that he was fine, thank goodness. When I was seven months along, I watched my sister Jen give birth to her daughter Avry, which started to get me nervous about doing it again. Av's birth was fast, but a tiny bit complicated and bloody, so apprehension set in. My baby's due date was set for a week after his big brother's birthday, and people kept talking about how odd that was. I knew I wouldn't last that long though, and I had my secret thoughts that they could indeed, be born on the same day. We had The Kid's party a couple weeks early, just in case. On the night of August 25, my clogging group had to dance at a function on the fair grounds. (Yeah, I totally had a dance performance the night I went into labor) Afterward, my family decided to go out for Chinese food. On the way to eat, a monster thunder storm came up. We couldn't see the highway through the rain, and the lightning was hitting the ledge all around our car. I have never, never, in all my life seen a storm like that one. I was petrified and crying. The poor Kid in the back seat must have been so scared too. We tried to pull over several times, but the lightning and thunder told us we were right smack dab in the middle of it. The 20 mile drive took over an hour and a half. Being tense must have made the contractions start, because by the time we made it through the storm and met up with the rest of my family, I had a feeling it was Time. I didn't eat anything, but kept silently timing contractions. (Another funny coincidence is that the Chinese place was the same one where we happened to tell everyone we were pregnant with the first baby. This restaurant is gross, by the way. Why we went there is beyond me.) After dinner, we went to my auntie Deb's house because she lives close to the hospital. I think my cousins were both afraid and hoping I'd give birth right there! At around midnight we moved to the hospital, called my parents to come back down to watch The Kid, and tried to reach my sister Myra who insisted it was her turn to watch a baby being born. It was, so far, less painful than last time and I was feeling confident that all would be well. The tub, again was nice. Mom and Dad were sleeping in the waiting room with The Kid, and I could even laugh at the fact that you could hear Dad snoring all the way to the nurses station. We were put in the exact same room as last time and several of the same nurses were on call. My regular midwife, Ellen, was actually NOT on vacation. Things were going very slowly, fine, just slowly. Nothing was too intense, but I wondered if I'd be in labor for days. They decided to break my water, and I opted for some pain medication because they vowed that the baby would come immediately afterward and the meds wouldn't wear off this time. Liars, all of them. Myra finally showed up from some party, and was acting like an obnoxious, irritating cheerleader, or so I thought. The pushing DID take less time than it had my first labor, but not soon enough for any drugs to help, and this time it hurt even WORSE than before, if that is possible. I guess it was a trade-off for the early labor being mild. For some reason, my midwife would not let me use the birthing stool, so I was stuck in bed, transformed into a caged, tortured animal. And you DO feel animalistic, I remember having a contraction wash over me and wanting to run away, claw my way through the hands holding me down, escape, get free of my body somehow. Again, I had the please-put-me-out-of-my-misery feeling. Honestly, it would be more delightful to have all your limbs cut of with a rusty butter knife. (Sorry, this is disgusting...I just REALLY want to remember, in case I ever get any stupid ideas...) 10:07 August 26th, 13 hours of labor...which is one hour LONGER than before, The Baby was born. He came out screaming and thrashing. I think he cried for an hour. He didn't look like a baby, he looked like a very angry, little old man. Curly brown hair, blue eyes, 7 pounds. Absolutely adorably funny, and super ticked off. Very droll, deeply offended about the whole thing. I kept trying to feed him, but I couldn't seem to stay awake. I felt like I was drifting away, I could hear people talking, but I wasn't listening. Later I found out that I had lost somewhere between a third to half the blood in my body, and they dealt with it all without me noticing, gave me some emergency shots in my thigh to keep me from hemorrhaging more. Again, I passed out several times and don't really know all that went on,, but at least this time around they knew what my body would do, and could deal with it. We stayed in the birthing center for several days. The Kid charmed all the nurses and The Baby charmed us all. Justin and The Kid slept crammed in a giant recliner, and The Baby in my arms. Easier to sleep this time, as I was less paranoid. And more exhausted. Our last night's traditional "Candle Light Dinner" (silly for two reasons. One: you're not allowed to actually light the candles, and Two: It's just the same cafeteria food they've been serving you all along, fancied up with a tablecloth, wine glasses and extra forks) gave us a taste of the future with The New One crying non-stop, The Kid dashing out the door every five seconds, both Justin and I trying to cut steak and eat it with only one hand, and every drink on the table being spilled.

So, the birth stories are terrible and gross, but the boys are the most rewarding, crazy-wonderful, gorgeous things in the world. I couldn't tell you how special they are if I had every blog on the planet to write in. I never knew it would be like this. I used to say I didn't even want kids. What bunk. I know better now. Every day they make me laugh, cry, love them even more, completely angry, and wish they could stay this age FOREVER. At this moment, The Kid is asleep with two chipped front teeth from his misadventures today, and The Baby is curled up snoozing like some sort of warm, fuzzy, wee critter on Justin's chest. About to turn FOUR and ONE. On the very same day next week. My life is the best. I have spelled pretty much every word wrong here, and this whole post is written poorly and fast... but it's eleven PM, and I'd rather be cuddling with tiny things, instead of this laptop. Goodnight!

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