Seven short years ago I wasn’t a Mom yet. I mean I was because I was pregnant with my little bean but I didn’t know the joy, the ever bounding love, the perpetual worry and extreme pride of being a mother. I hadn’t held my baby in my arms. I didn’t know his name. I didn’t even know he was a he.
Those things are not possible to experience until you live them.
What I did know was that he was upside down or breach as the doctors call it. Frank breach to be exact which means that his feet were up by his ears. Flexible yes, stubborn, well yes, also that. In an effort to avoid a C-section, we had gone through a procedure a couple weeks before called external cephalic version, which is a really fancy name for attempting to turn the baby or in layman’s terms, holy hell that hurts. The stubborn part was evident, the little dude was going no where.
He was quite comfy with his left butt cheek perched there on my bladder, his right on my stomach. His head? Compressing my lungs so that a nice satisfying deep breath eluded me for the latter 2 months of the pregnancy, though it was neat to see the outline of his head pop out of my tummy when he would move.
Scheduled C-section it was. The neat thing is that we knew the day he would be born about a week and half in advance.
As they wheeled me down to the OR I began shake uncontrollably. What’s wrong I asked the nurse. Nerves she said.
What? I am fine I was thinking.
It’s amazing how delusional one can be when entering the OR for the first time to have your first child. Who was I kidding? My life was changing and in a big way. I had no idea.
I was given a spinal and immediately started acting neurotic. If you know me, you know that you could use a lot of words to describe me, kooky, crazy, opinionated, mouthy, clumsy but neurotic would never enter your mind.
It was the first of 3 interesting reactions I would have to the drugs involved in having a baby via C-section.
As the doctor made the incision I became even more agitated. I can feel that, should I be able to feel that? Try be awake while someone is slitting you open with a knife and let me know how calm you are. Me not so calm.
“I see a wrinkly hip!” the doctor exclaimed.
Followed very shortly by, “It’s a boy!”
Then I saw a blur of what was my first born fly by to the team from NICU. I am pretty sure I was crying.
And I woke up an hour and half later asking Jay the same three questions over and over.
“Where am I?”
“We had a boy, right?”
“Where is my baby?”
That, my friends, is the magic of Valium (weird reaction #2).
Due to my neurotic behavior (um, I just had a baby, was I not entitled to shed a tear or two?) I was given Valium to calm me down not 40 second after “giving birth”. The result? Being robbed of any type of birth experience I had ever envisioned in all my 27 years.
A few days later I also had the extreme pleasure of feeling the overwhelming hopelessness that is postpartum depression. I was lucky though, for me it a reaction to one of the pain medications I was on (weird reaction #3). I would not wish that feeling on my worst enemy. My heart goes out to anyone who must face that struggle whether it be post partum or otherwise.
Now I know I sound bitter and ungrateful, but if I could, would I change any of it?
Not a chance.
Happy Birthday Jack! You changed my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.
If you are interested, a plethora of pictures from birth to age five can be found here, here and here .