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Fairy Tales, Do Come True

September 06, 2004 | Category: Mother to the First Power

This is the story we tell every year on this day. The picture (yes! a Bear picture!) is from his 3rd day of life.

Once upon a time....

After 120 days of bedrest, we went in for a second Level 2 sonogram. 30 days earlier, we'd discovered you were a boy and that you were not thriving quite the way all those nice people in white coats would have liked.

The same technician again, measuring and computing. Finally, we asked "How is he?" She told us you were "Perfect. And very adorable." (well, of course!)

"How are his lungs and his weight?" I wanted to know. Your lungs were hard to measure, but your weight was about 1lb, 13 oz.

"Is that good?" we asked.

The technician smiled and told us that you were now in the 53rd percentile - 3% larger than the average fetus of your gestational age. She was telling us that you had come from behind to the middle of the pack.

She could have told us you also had won a special congressional medal of honor for kicking so good and we wouldn't have been happier.

At 128 days of bedrest, we were back in the emergency room. They triaged me pretty quickly - after all, we were frequent fliers - and did a fast sonogram. Your heart rate was fine.

I was the sick one.

I had a virus, and like everything else - moving, eating, filing my nails - it had set off a spike of high blood pressure and contractions.

Another visit to Labor and Delivery. We were really scared this time, because they started saying that it might be time to let you finish your great escape.

How would you ever survive?

Your dad and I sat in silence, and Bear - we prayed. We prayed so awfully hard.

And they dripped me full of stuff, and after a few days your dad sprung us - you still safe and sound in your mommy-shaped home.

By 236 days of bedrest, the nice people in the white coats decided that it was time, really time, for you to be born.

So we called everyone, packed up the car, and then dawdled at home for a long hour discussing the day ahead. It was our last moments as a family of two.

They induced at 5PM and from then on the Pitocin contractions never let up.

By 9PM, the gang was in place - your dad was excited, your nana arrived from Boston, your Aunt Dee was there, and even El. They were cheering, I was huffing through the pain and walking in circles, and you were tucked in for the long haul.

At 1AM, we took a long hot shower. It didn't help. But it was worth it to see your dad looking silly in wet clothes.

At 3AM, I was given a narcotic and it knocked me out. Your dad and Aunt Dee would giggle as I would wake up and shout "ow ow ow" with each contraction and then fall back asleep.

At 9AM I got an epidural. I turned human again just as it was time to push.

At 11AM, I was told I was pushing wrong.

At 11:15AM the doctor told us your head was turned the wrong way to be born and manually worked you around to the right position. Your dad was able to see the head the next time I pushed.

At 1PM the doctor said "great pushing but Bear hasn't turned all the way and was well and truly stuck."

2PM, and you were jammed in my pelvis. In case you've forgotten, let me remind you: Neither of us liked you there.

At 3PM, the emergency C-section began. It took 52 more minutes to free you. That epidural? Not so effective. I would slurringly announce things like "Gee that knife is sharp. Could you stop hurting my right side like that?"

That didn't make the doctors very happy. Didn't make my body happy either. My blood pressure was 220/160 despite the medication.

Almost simultaneously, you were born and they knocked me out.

As they took you out of my tummy by your feet, you stretched out into the world. The doctor turned you right side up and you surprised her by lifting your head. Then you reached out and grabbed her around the neck. (Yes, Bear, like a hug) She had your handprint there for hours.

Your dad cut your cord and they harvested your stem cells to be donated for someone who needed them - because you didn't anymore. (You see? From the very start, your birth was a blessing.)

The people in white coats rubbed you, measured you, and wrapped you cozy in a blanket. Then your dad grabbed you up. I was almost able to register your birth before falling into the black place. Your dad held you militantly at my side.

The hovering white coats, eager to finish their protocols, just had to wait until I was stable before your dad consented to leave my side. Because, he was never about to leave yours.

Hours later, when I woke up in Recovery, your dad brought you to me again.

Finally, we met.

I smelled you and touched you and memorized your face. It was primal, instinct, necessary. We imprinted on each other. For a long, long time the three of us rested on that bed together quietly, the way we still do so often, as a family.

It was the beginning.

Happy 4th Birthday, Bear

Jenny said...

Oh, you made me cry. What a birthday for both of you. Happy birthday to you both.

Kate said...

What a touching story. *Sniffle*


Anonymous said...

A lovely, but a little scary, story. That was quite a pregnancy you had, E.


Anonymous said...

What an amazing story, thank you for sharing. Happy Birthday!


Sexy Soccamom said...

A wonderful and touching story. Happy birthday to you both. {{hugs}}

7:00:45 PM

Tammy said...

Little tears for you and Bear! I just discovered your blog, I'll me back to read more later, when my own 2 terrors are sleeping.

4:42:32 PM

Anonymous said...

Oy, I am bawling. Happy birthday, Bear.

3:48:44 PM

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Tagged: Baby, Story, Birth, Son, Redhead, Pitocin, Cesarean, Emergency, Parent, Birthday, Bedrest, Mom Corporate, Mommy, Life