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!