I was a new mom. While many are enjoying their Fourth of July festivities, I was on the natural high of being a new mom. My son was born on July 4, 2012 and today is his first birthday. I am still pinching myself that it is even possible that he is a year old…I know that “they” say time flies, but holy hell…it really does.
So, for my own benefit (and maybe one day J’s), I thought I would write about one of the most amazing days of my life. On July 3, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. I left work for the last time for maternity leave. J wasn’t set to make his appearance until the 10th, so I was looking forward to a little time to do the last minute preparations. Jeez, I hadn’t even purchased a nursing bra at that point! Plus, we had Alyx’s birthday party to get ready for (her birthday is the 8th). But…at 8 p.m. I went into labor.
I just thought it was Braxton Hicks. I had been having what I thought were these false labor pains for a couple of weeks, so when the tightness returned, I wasn’t startled. Husband was out with friends, so I took the opportunity to watch crap TV that he doesn’t like. Well, at 8 p.m. when there was a sort of deep pain with each tightening, I started to write the time and how long on the back of an envelope. Husband came home around 9ish, saw my notes and realized I was in labor. At this point, I was in denial…it wasn’t time yet. He said, “I think we should go pack your hospital bag,” (yes, I know, this is normally done BEFORE you are in labor….but oh well). Again, still in denial, I said there was no need to because I wasn’t in labor. He essentially dragged me upstairs to get our bag packed (really, me sitting on the bed and he threw items in a bag). As the night progressed, the pressure was more frequent and lasting longer. By 10:30, my contractions were around 6 minutes apart. He called the hospital and they advised waiting at home until closer to 3 minutes apart. Husband was a champ. I laid in bed trying to rest and he rubbed my back and held my hand and kept time. I guess I was in denial because the pain wasn’t what I was expecting…I don’t even know if I’d classify it as pain…more of an annoyance.
Finally, we left for the hospital at 2:30 a.m. We didn’t call any family because I didn’t want anyone to get too excited about this if I was just going to be discharged. Well, by the time I got to a room (around 3 a.m.) I was already 4cm. I was hooked up to the machines and was able to watch J’s heart rate. At this point, they ordered the epidural (yes!). I commend women that go au natural, but it just wasn’t for me. But I’ll tell you, it wasn’t the most pleasant experience getting it. OUCH. Plus, the guy wasn’t the most gentle…but it was 3:30 in the morning. The next few hours were pretty uneventful. I was freezing because of the IVs so I had extra blankets to keep me warm. We called the parents and we waited. My water broke naturally (now that was an odd sensation), and finally at 7 a.m., after 11 hrs. of labor, I was ready to push. Unfortunately, there was meconium present when my water broke so I had to have the NICU team in the delivery room. I was scared but was confident that they would take care of me and my little man. My doctor was on vacation during this week because of the holiday (I told him that just because he was on vacation J would come early), but the doctor I had was great! She didn’t like how things were slowing down in between each contraction so I got pitocin. I had a very full room for J’s arrival: the doctor, a few nurses, Husband, and then three from the NICU team. This was not a very large room and one of the interns from the NICU team looked like he was about to pass out. Ha! Things sped up after the pitocin and J made his grand entrance at 8:29 a.m. He was absolutely perfect…all 7 lbs. 8 oz. of him!
I can’t complain. I had a great pregnancy and a great labor/delivery process…plus, I have the best partner and couldn’t have done it without him. I had the Billy Joel Pandora station playing while we waited for things to progress. The strangest experience was that before J was born, “Hey Jude” played. Then, when the doctor gave me the go-ahead to push, Queen’s “Under Pressure” began. We all laughed..it was absolutely bizarre. Then, the exact moment that he came into the world, “Your Song” by Elton John was on and he was singing the line, “how wonderful life is now you’re in the world.” And then finally, as Husband was holding him for the first time, “Hey Jude” came on again…it was the only song that repeated the entire time we were there.
It has been a crazy, amazing year. I cannot imagine life without my little man and even through all of our sleepless nights and tears, the giggles, the hugs, the kisses, and watching him grow and learn is something I cannot fathom living without.
I love you J. Thank you for choosing me to be your mom. Happy Birthday.