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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Three of the Best Years Yet!

I can't really explain where I've been lately, because it's all been a blur, and quite frankly I don't remember anyway.

BUT...I do know that since my last post we have put up the Christmas tree, a specimen that is more attractive than last year's, I have baked some Christmas cookies with the wee ones, and we have celebrated my second born's third birthday. And yet, if I thought the past several months have been a blur, I can't even begin to explain what happened to the past three years.

On the eve of my second born's birthday anniversary I reminisced the hellish experience of nine months of pregnancy during which my body packed on an extra 50 pounds, I got an average of two hours of sleep per night, and I sweated non-stop like a fat man in a sauna (even when it was 10 degrees outside). I also experienced the typical flashback memories of the three days of excruciating labor pain and three sleepless nights I endured followed by the final decision of my doc at 2:30 in the morning that my boy-child must be born via the "slice and dice" method after all. Turns out his nine pound 23 inch body was too big to enter the world the way nature intended. I began to have PTSD reactions in memory of my first c-section experience as I was wheeled down the hall to the OR. Both my husband and my mother had been at my side for every minute, but now I was alone as the ceiling tiles whizzed past me overhead. They would join me again shortly dressed in OR garbs complete with funny shower cap looking hats and shoe booties. Then I overheard my doc talking with my mom (who is a labor and delivery nurse in the same hospital) about perhaps knocking me out with a general anesthetic as there may not be time to numb me up well enough for surgery. We were waiting on the anesthesiologist to arrive, but couldn't wait any longer. My son needed to enter the world quickly.

The anesthesiologist arrived just in time and drugged me up nicely for surgery. He was attentive to my anxiety and gave me an extra little "cocktail" in my IV to help manage that. Meanwhile, I was trying to hum myself into oblivion, but it wasn't working. I couldn't remember how any tunes went, so it was just random humming fueled by nervous energy. My son came out squealing and the medical staff squealed with him with cries of how big he was. The process of stitching me back up was long one punctuated with narration from my doc about nicking my bladder during the surgery and adding another stitch to manage that, and how the scar tissue from the previous c-section slowed the stitching process. Then the flipping and twisting and turning of my body while I was numb to my neck and unable to move. I remember being turned and left a few minutes to stare at the bucket of blood that was apparently suctioned from my body. It was a nice final touch to the whole ordeal.

Then to recovery. Alone. Dear Husband went home to take a nap and tend to Dear Daughter, who was 2 1/2 at the time, and I waited for the screaming bundle to be returned to me following his bath so that I could try to forget the fact that I had been sliced across my middle an hour previously and that my body was still numb from the chest down and I still could not move my legs. The exhaustion was so intense that that alone gave me the urge to have to throw up. Somehow I had to nurse my newborn and change his runny diapers despite my own misery.

I then traversed some memories of the lasting pregnancy battle scars that are my forever evidence of what I endured to give this child of mine life. These include the extra ten pounds that have never come off, probably due at least in part to the hypothyroidism this pregnancy also left me with, and the other ongoing hormonal imbalances of too little progesterone and too much prolactin. The only good news as far as physical scars go, is that I escaped it all without a single stretch mark. Not that I'm sexy enough to sport a bikini or anything like that, so it's not much to brag on.

But the best evidence of this whole experience is the sweet boy-child that I have the privilege of holding in my arms every day. The child who tells me sweetly how beautiful he thinks I am and who tells me, "Mommy, I love you!" and offers me kisses for no particular reason. The child whose impish chubby face I wake up to every morning because he still insists on climbing into our bed in the wee hours every morning. The child whom I can't imagine my world existing without, and the child who was worth every bit of the challenge and trauma I endured to get him here. He is healthy and happy, and I'm blessed beyond words. He is infatuated with superheros (especially Spiderman and Ironman) and guns and robots. He is all boy and makes a great contrast to his Princess of a big sister.

I don't know if my wee-est child still qualifies as a "baby," but I've a feeling he'll remain my "baby" even as he turns thirty someday. He pined for a Darth Vader birthday party this year because he developed a mysterious infatuation with the character several weeks ago. And so we indulged him. We enjoyed having Grandpa and Grandma H and Great Uncle Ron and Great Aunt Pat help make it special. While we wish we could have included Grandpa and Grandma M and my children's cousins, whom they've never met, we are well aware that Oregon is a very long way away.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy! Thanks for being mine!


CaraBee said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet boy! They say you forget the pain, but you don't. I think they just say that as a way to get you to join the parent club. I haven't forgotten.

Riahli said...

That was such a sweet post. My oldest son turned three in September and I also took a trip down memory lane.

I had to have a C-section with him too, and it was horrible. But he was almost 11 lbs and breach, so there was no alternative. I am thankful that I wasn't in labor for days first though.

It doesn't matter what we had to go through does it, just to have them here, that makes it all worth it.

My son tell me he is not a baby any more, and I tell him that he will always be my baby, even when he is all grown up, that's just the way it is.

smiles4u said...

This is so beautiful...I love reading of others journeys with their children. He will alway be your baby...mine just came home for a week and he is 19 and he will always be my baby!

Maternal Mirth said...

Your little Darth isn't as scary as he is ADORABLE :) Not quite ready to scare the Jedi...

Zip n Tizzy said...

Oh wow!
You described it so well. My little Zip turned 3 on Thursday, and I've been, these last weeks, I think where you've been.
I escaped your birth story by having him in a whirlwind 5 hours, your story is what I was most afraid of, also having a 2 year old at home.
Other than that, it's all so familiar. Having just discovered darth vadar as well, we are woken up each morning to a boy and his "shooting stick" (a foam pipe insulator.)
For our guy, his other hero is batman.
Happy Birthday to your little one. You're right. They're no longer babies, but they will always be our babies!

MGM said...

Thanks for all the sweet comments. Riahli, I think an 11 pound baby would have literally popped me like a balloon that is just TOO FULL! Wow!
M&M, yeah...his cuteness sorta takes the power out of the "dark side."
Zip n Tizzy, Happy b-day to your little one! My boy calls his light saber a "stick" as well. And he was very clear that he needed to have a "stick" and "globes" (gloves) with his "Darth Bader costume" "....PLEEEEEEEEZE!" Dear God, WHY does he have to grow up? Can't I just freeze frame the days and hold onto them forever?

Anonymous said...

Hey there, my little boy was a huge Star Wars fan also. still is and he turned 31 in November. he is now teaching his little boy about Star Wars and is certain they have to watch the movies in the correct order. Your dear son is adorable and I LOVE his dimples!!! still can't figure why you got the blonde kids??
Uncle R and I are anxious to meet our new babies,,N&L in April,,L&A in July.
Our family is growing fast!!
Aunt D