Happy FIRST birthday to you!
I can hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday I was pregnant with you. Gagging when I brushed my teeth. Eating TUMS like candy. Peeing every five minutes. Reading every pregnancy book under the sun. Reading every newborn book under the sun. And loving every minute of it.
It's true. I loved being pregnant with you. Not every symptom or side effect, but the experience. It was a blessing that I wish for every woman who desires it. And, for women who don't want it, but for whom it happens, I pray for them an availability. That they would avail themselves to the wonder that is bearing a child.
You arrived five days early, just like your daddy did. I was caught completely off guard, not expecting you until February sometime.
Yes, your due date was January 26th, but my mom (your Patty Mama) had both me and my brother (your Uncle Jonathan) late, so I assumed that I would have you late too. After all, I've been like my mother in every other "womanly" regard, so why would this be any different. (Sorry, is that too much information?) (Get used to it, my dear!)
When I was growing up, one of my favorite things was to hear my mom tell the story of my birth. I still love to hear it. There's something about hearing that story that makes me feel real. Makes me feel alive, loved, and wanted.
So, I thought I'd share your birth story here. Put it in writing so that neither of us forget.
It was a Wednesday. January 21, 2009. President Obama's first day in office.
I woke up around Four o'clock in the morning with mild back cramps. And, HOLY FREAKIN COW! Do you realize what I just wrote? Have you read my previous blogs? Hello! I just realized that your Four o'clock in the Morning habit started before you were even born! Why didn't I catch this coincidence before? What does this mean? Aagghh!
Okay, deep breath. Composure. Moving on.
I went back to bed and was awakened two hours later with contractions every ten minutes or so.
Your daddy began keeping a Log-o-Contractions (it's in your baby book) and after 8 AM we called the doctor. We were told to time the contractions and when they became consistently five minutes apart, for an hour, to come to the hospital.
We spent the next two hours packing our bags and taking deep breaths. The only way I got through the contractions was to lean over a bed and breathe deeply.
I did not want to be touched. I did not want to sit. I did not want to talk. I just wanted your daddy to time the contractions. Which he did. He was a silent saint, that man, and by 10 AM we were on our way to the hospital.
When we got there, the staff offered me a wheelchair, but I refused. Sitting was not comfortable. Instead, I walked all the way to my room. Pausing for each contraction. Gripping the wall handrail. By this time, of course, my contractions were less than five minutes apart.
I wanted to stand. I wanted to pace. I wanted to lean over the hospital bed. But, the nurse wanted me to lay in bed. With monitors on. One for you and one for me. I kept getting up to get through the contractions and she kept coming in to lay me back down.
Poor nurse, she couldn't get a clear reading of your heart rate with all the LABORING I was doing! Suffice it to say, she was not my favorite.
Around noon the doctor arrived and broke my water to help speed things along. The amount of fluid that came out of me is appalling. I must have lost twenty of the thirty pounds I had gained, right then. Soon after, I got an epidural.
I was never sure that I wanted an epidural, but after my water was broken, the contractions became fast and furious. They were so close together that I could barely catch my breath. Never mind trying to focus on a breathing technique!
The pain was horrible, but bearable. It was the frequency of the contractions that I just couldn't keep up with...especially having to stay in bed because of those bleepin monitors.
When I asked the nurse (the one who wasn't my favorite) if I should go ahead and get an epidural or wait and see, she replied, "Honey, it's only gonna get worse."
The epidural kicked in about noon and it was smooth sailing from there. Your daddy and I called family. We called friends. We watched Oprah. We ate ice chips. And, finally, at 6 PM, I began to push.
When the doctor said it was time to push, I started to cry. I just didn't feel ready to meet you.
You had been my constant companion for 9 months, but you were still a dream, an idea. Now, you would be YOU and I wasn't sure I was prepared to meet YOU.
I had to get over that craziness real quick because, well, because you were coming and I had no choice!
On my first push the doctor said it was the "best first push" she'd ever seen, and I believed her. From that moment on I pushed like no other woman has ever pushed. Ever.
I pushed and vomited. Pushed and vomited.
Finally, less than an hour later, you popped out. I swear, you were the cutest thing I'd ever seen. I even said so. The FIRST thing I said when I saw you was "he's so cute!"
Honestly, Foster, I wasn't sure if you'd be cute or not. I have a good eye for cute babies and trust me, not all babies are cute. I'm not just talking about newborns here. I'm talking about babies, kids, children, people. We're not all cute. Can I get an amen? Amen.
After all was said and done, and your daddy and I were alone, I asked him if he heard the doctor tell me that THAT was the best first push she had ever seen. He replied, "I'm sure she tells all her patients that."
Um, EXCUSE ME! Are you kidding me? I just gave birth to your firstborn son and you're going to sit here and tell me that my doctor lied to me? And, not only that! You're going to imply that I was not the BEST FIRST PUSHER EVER? Heaven help me! If I wasn't numb from the waist down, I would come off this bed and show you just what a good pusher I am!
Foster, I wish you could remember that day, this day, this past year. A year of firsts. Firsts for both of us. But, since you can't, I want you to know that this has been the best year of my life, and it was so nice to finally meet YOU. The pleasure was all mine.
Mama (aka The Best First Pusher Ever!)