September 27, 2006

The Birth of “Artist Boy”


My son was conceived at a time in my life when I had pretty much given up on ever having a child.  I had fertility problems, several miscarriages, and was so sure I was never going to have a baby. 

But God knew what he was doing and all the tests, all the drugs, all the perfect timing paid off and I got pregnant.  And this time it was going to happen.  I spent from my 3rd week until the middle of the seventh month without my husband.  He was in the Army and part of the 101st First Infantry rotation to the Sinai.  He left me skinny and came home to a very big woman! I gained way too much weight, but when the doctor told me to gain three pounds, I thought he meant a week, not a month.  Pizza junky!

We knew we were going to have a big baby because I was so big and my Mom had big babies, none under 9 pounds.  Each time I went for a check up the doctor just shook his head and told me, "He’s getting bigger"!  By the 40th week I was ready to have this baby, but the baby was not ready to be born.  We waited one more week.  Then, on a Friday morning in the wee hours, we headed for the hospital to have labor induced.  By 7:30 am I was on a Pitocin drip and by 9:00 am the doctor had it cranked to the max.  By 4:30 pm I was not in labor, not effaced, and not having a baby.  So my doctor, who was getting ready to go on a two-week leave, came in and gave me a choice: either I go home and see what happens, or they could break my water.  I chose for the water to go: I was so ready to have this baby. 

I went from very mild cramps to feeling like the final stage of labor in less than 1 hour.  But I was not allowed to start pushing due to not being effaced at all.  And I was only 2 centimeters dilated  So even though I did not want drugs, I was given a mild painkiller to take the edge off and that did help.  Around 8 pm the painkiller was wearing off and the pains had really intensified.  I was so ready to push.  The midwife came in, took one look at my face and said we were ready to have a baby. 

Then the rushing around started.  They moved me into an ice cold delivery room, placed me in stirrups, swabbed me (very cold) and let me push.  The doctor, after a few pushes, did the episiotomy but unfortunately did not cut enough, as I tore the rest of the way when, not the head, but the shoulders emerged.  By that time, they had me twisted up like a pretzel and kept telling me to push!  For me, it was not the head that hurt but the shoulders coming through. 

My boy emerged without a sound.  In fact I kept waiting to hear him cry.  He never did!  When they brought him to me he was alert and wide-eyed and he looked at me as if he knew who I was!  They had to take him to the nursery because he was 41 weeks gestation and they watch babies who are carried too long just as closely as they do a preemie.  The nurse laughed when she told me how much he weighed.  I quote, "He is 9 lbs. 15 1/2 oz, and if he hadn’t peed as we weighed him he would have been a full 10 pounds!".

It was scary, cold; hurt unlike anything I was prepared for, but within 1 hour after it was over, I was so ready to have another one.  I cherish my experience and loved being pregnant, loved giving birth and have loved raising my boy.  He is no longer a boy, now a grown man, but to me he will always be my boy.

I am a 48 year old currently enjoying the pleasures of being a stay at home wife.  I thought I was to be an empty nester when I moved south but several months later my little bird flew back home.  I spent my days doing the things I love, making my home a comfortable place of love my for husband, my son, and the often visiting stepchildren.  I have two grandchildren and take delight in being called Greatmama!

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