Saturday, June 22, 2013

18 Years Ago Today....

Eighteen years ago, as I was getting pregnanter and pregnanter with my first child, I attended childbirthing classes with my husband. Oh, I read up on them  first. And then I chose the Bradley method of childbirth, because the only other option available was Lamaze, and, as I have stated before, I am not a woo girl and knew I wouldn't be comfortable with all that "hoo hoo hee" crap.  The Bradley method stresses nutrition and relaxation and avoidance of all drugs. I was just SURE this was going to be the thing for me.

But as it got closer and closer to my due date, and closer and closer to the end of the childbirthing classes, we were shown the childbirth videos. And everyone around me was oohing and ahhing over this miracle of childbirth without use of drugs (even my husband, although he drew the line at cutting the cord, sure that it would make him pass out). See how RELAXED and CALM the birth mother is? See how she is controlling the pain with her breathing and other relaxation techniques? 

And all I could think of was the laws of physics that told me the disproportionate difference in size between the baby's head and my hoo haw would render such an act completely impossible.

I spent the next few weeks with a slight sense of panic that hovered just under the surface of my being. 

On June 20, which happened to be a Tuesday, if you'd care to know, I had an appointment with my ob/gyn (Dr. Rubino, ob/gyn to the rock stars' wives/girlfriends, and a delightful man). Had an ultrasound to measure the baby, who had grown pretty darn big in the last month. Then Dr. Rubino sat down with us in his office.

The measurements he made during the ultrasound indicated the baby was quite likely going to be over 10 pounds *gasp*

And I had a narrow pelvis (who knew?).

And a 10+ pound baby trying to exit through a narrow pelvis often got stuck, requiring an emergency c-section. 

Best case scenario would be that the baby would make it out on its own, but the baby's collar bone would break in the process. His recommendation was to schedule a c-section.

Sweet baby Jesus, the answer to my prayers!

My husband, on the other hand, got all concerned about the potential complications for me from the c-section. I kicked him and hissed, "Shut up!"

THIS WAS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS HOPING WOULD HAPPEN!

I wanted to schedule it for the next day, because it would be Summer Solstice, and the baby's birthday would be on the longest day of the year. Alas, the doctor was unavailable that day, so we scheduled the c-section for the day after, which was June 22.

The next thing that happened was ALL DR. RUBINO'S FAULT, because if he had been available to do the c-section the very next day, I wouldn't have walked into a random beauty salon and asked for a haircut like Kathie Lee Gifford's. I left with a haircut that did not belong to Kathie Lee, nor did it belong on any head in the history of ever.



My c-section was scheduled for 2:00 the next day. I had to be at the hospital by noon, with no food or liquid after midnight the day before. Now, it's hard enough to do that when you have an early morning surgery, but when the surgery isn't until afternoon, it's just plain brutal. I was STARVING.

I was one of only a couple scheduled c-sections for that day, which was fairly typical. However, another 20+ babies decided this was the day they were going to make their entrance the old-fashioned way.  The nursing staff couldn't have been kinder, but they certainly were crazy-busy.  Even when my husband dropped his scrub shirt in the toilet when he was changing, and the nurse had to go in search of another one in his size, although that was probably pushing it. 

At long last, I was wheeled to the operating room, then had to stop in the hallway in a holding pattern until the room was free. Dr. Rubino and my husband talked shop about my husband's publishing clients and the music business in general while I lied there, bored. 

Then it was my turn. And in a matter of moments, I was hooked up to IV's and prepped for surgery. And shortly before 3:00, Dr. Rubino opened up the trap door and pulled a baby out. "It's a boy!" he announced, as my son came into the world and proceeded to pee all over the doctor. 

My husband was still sitting next to me, until someone asked him if he wanted to cut the cord, at which time he made a complete about-face from his proclamation that it would make him faint, jumped up and cut it.

And, untethered, that baby boy was ours to keep and nurture and raise the best we possibly could.

Today, he is 18. We made it!




And now, killing two birds with one stone, I am combining my birthday tribute to my son with this week's 10 Things of Thankful, this time, devoting it to him:

1. I'm thankful the ultrasound measurements were a little off, because if the doctor had known he was going to be 9 lbs., 13 oz., he might have called it good and not done the c-section.

2. I'm thankful we didn't find out the sex of our baby before he was born. It was fun to be surprised (although everyone in the doctor's office could tell with one look at the ultrasound; fortunately, we were too dumb to notice.).

3. I'm thankful that, in spite of all the problems he had with nursing and projectile vomiting, he thrived and grew. And grew. And grew.

4. I'm thankful he had the best reading teacher in our school system for first grade, because she made him into a reader, which made him into a brilliant student.

5. I'm thankful that he figured out after two seasons that t-ball just wasn't the game for him, because know what? It's FREAKING HOT at those ball fields.

6. I'm thankful he got over his dinosaur phase before Mommy had to be locked up in the psych ward.

7. I'm thankful he was really good at math, because by the time he was in 6th grade, I couldn't have helped him if he'd needed it.

8. I'm thankful he has a tender heart.

9. I'm thankful he didn't catch on that I only gave him the orange, green and yellow pieces of  candy and saved the red, pink or purple ones for myself. 

10. I'm thankful he survived being the first child, from breastfeeding to college applications. 



25 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday to him! Hope he realizes that while he is technically an adult, he still lives in your house and has to live by your rules. :)
    At our childbirth class, the teacher walked around and showed us a card with what the cervix looks like at each cm. She was all impressed when she said, "Can you believe your body can do that?" I actually laughed out loud. Then, after the look she gave me, said, "Um,I'm thinking it needs to be bigger. I've never seen a newborn with a head that small."
    Hey, and thanks for showing me up. My son's birthday was last Saturday, and all he got was #10 on my list. Oops.

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    1. 1. He announced that he's now old enough to buy cigarettes. Not that he would, just that he can. He also has to register for Selective Service (gulp!). 2. Our childbirthing teacher was a NUT and the whole thing was mostly a live infomercial for her services as a birthing coach and videographer. 3. He only got a whole list because he turned 18. Next year? Meh, he'll be lucky if I even mention it :)

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  2. Good Listation! (not only a great 10 List) but a very amusing story (with a cool ending).

    (one of the best things Considerer has done when she decided on doing this Hop, was to make it a 2 day affair. I had my reservations, but I'm totally appreciating the more 'conversational' effect that comes from people adding posts early, mid-afternoon...etc.)

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    1. Thank you! It's a good thing it's a two-day window of opportunity, because I write when the spirit hits me and not by deadline, which is why I would be lousy at being a real writer.

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  3. Aw what a wonderful Happy Birthday to your gorgeous boy! I love how you combined his birth story with your thankful list. Very touching and creative. And uh-oh to the keeping the pink and red candies for yourself because when he reads this, he may realize that the red ones are always the best and demand that you share.

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    1. He figured out not too long ago that I had brainwashed him into liking the citrus flavors of candy so I could have the "good" ones.

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  4. What a wonderful tribute to your son! I love how you incorporated him into this thankful post!

    No. 4 and 8 are great and really something you can be thankful for (like the rest of your list, too, of course!).

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    1. #4 helped lead to #8, which then lead to #11 - I'm thankful he got a full academic scholarship to college!

      This ended up being kind of a long post, but it seemed silly to divide it into two different ones, so a long one it is!

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  5. Loved how you connected the birth story and the top 10, because what better thing to have a Ten Things of Thankful for? He's very handsome, by the way. You did good, mama!

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    1. Thank you, Melissa! Love my handsome ginger boy!

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  6. This is an AMAZING Ten Things (and am I still young enough to appreciate the pic at the end? I know I'm not unmarried enough to, but WELL DONE!) ;)

    Your son sounds like an amazing young man and he sounds like an absolute credit to you.

    Also, 9lb 13 is *so* close to 10lb as makes no difference, surely?

    I think the best description of childbirth came from the character of Carol, in FRIENDS - "Excuse me, here's your nostril - do you mind if I push a POT ROAST THROUGH IT?!?!?!"

    Thanks for joining in :D

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    1. Thank you! I'll tell him an "older woman" thought he was hot - that'll make his day! Yeah, and I think the 9 lb 13 oz was close enough that I would've gotten the c-section anyway. And I LOVE Friends. I'm sure Carol's description would be entirely accurate, which is precisely why I had no problem with the trap door method!

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  7. Happy Birthday to your son and to you. After having a child I started to wonder why we don't get a party on our children's birthdays. Love the list!

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    1. Thank you! I just came back from picking up a few things for myself at Kohl's. I'll call that my party!

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  8. What a sweet tribute! And I don't know how anyone does natural childbirth....braver women than I, that's for sure! :) It took forever to get my epidural and I was in a panic, thinking I was going to have to push my son out au natural - I've never been so relieved as when that anesthesiologist showed up at 9cm!!

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    1. I have since found out (as in just last year) that I have a very high pain tolerance, so I may have been okay, but I'm even more okay never knowing whether I would have been okay or not!

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  9. I had 2 c-sections and looking back on it, I don't see how a baby could have emerged any other way. Neither was planned but like you I am narrow hipped and my son had such a big head, he would have stayed in there forever without the doctor cutting him out. I hope your son had a happy birthday.

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    1. I thought I'd be able to pop a baby right out, as I actually have what I thought were breeding hips. Turns out hip size and pelvis size are two entirely different things. And my son didn't have a big head, but he was completely content to stay right where he was forever. Still a homebody.

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  10. Happy birthday to your son! I had a c-section with one of my sons, too, and his weight was also estimated high by the ultrasound. I think there is something psychological about hearing the next pound up, when in reality there isn't that much difference between 9 pounds, 13 ounces and 10 pounds. (Or in my son's case, between 2 pounds 15 ounces and 3 pounds, 2 ounces.) No matter how much (or little) they weigh, though, kids grow up quickly. It sounds like your son enters young adulthood with a bright future!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Kristi! That psychological thing is what makes $14.99 seem like a good deal, but $15.00 too much! And HOLY COW, my son would have made THREE of yours at birth! That's frightening when you think how very, very small your son was and how very, very, uh, NOT small my son was :)

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  11. Aww so sweet. I love it. He sounds like a keeper. Good job, mama. Also where is the photo of your Kathie Lee haircut?? You know I love a good haircut tragedy. ;)

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    1. I toyed with the idea of putting that picture on there. Really, I did....

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  12. Yay! Happy belated Birthday to your son! I'm always late to the party :-(

    It's so sweet of you to dedicate the entire list to your son :-) even if admitting you kept all the best candies from him... how rude!

    I think I'd honestly pass out during a birth... cutting the cord... yeah, hell no lol I dunno about that! The whole process almost seemed like an assembly line. People lined up just waiting to be cut open >.<

    I think I'd rather not know the sex of the baby too, even though that makes it a pain for those gifting... Would just have to request gender neutral items maybe? Hmm...

    I hope your son has a great college experience! Is he excited for it?

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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    1. Thanks, Jak! I think it was a stroke of genius to brainwash my son into liking the candy flavors I didn't like. GENIUS.

      He is starting to get excited about college. If you ask him, he'll tell you he's most excited about leaving home. Hmmm. We'll see how he feels after we drive away - he's always been my homebody.

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  13. Your story sounds a lot like mine! I had a c-section bc Aly was measuring at 10 lbs 8 oz and the doc was afraid she'd break her collarbone and then he kept getting tied up with emergency c-sections. By the time they gave me ice chips that night, I hadnt eatten or drank anything in 36 hours. It was ridic!

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