Baby boy, this story is for you...
With your due date over a week away, I headed into Dr. C's office for my standard, weekly check up. These weekly visits were pretty predictable and quick. I'd stand on the dreaded scale, which had begun to flash pictures of all of the donuts I had craved along with the pounds that had not-so-gracefully planted themselves on my face. I'd pick my pride up off the floor and move into the exam room for a brief visit and then be sent on my merry way. Until this day. This day went very different than the last.
Due to the decrease in your growth, as shown in a follow-up ultrasound, there was concern on the nurse's face. To ensure you were still safe and well inside, I was put in a quiet, little room and strapped to a fetal heart rate monitor. From there, we'd sit and listen to your heartbeat for the next 30-40 minutes or so. Although I was becoming nervous, the sound of your strong and consistent heartbeat was music to this momma's ears. You were certainly alive and well! After I was cleared to head home, my cell phone rang with Dr. C's voice on the other end. With your growth having slowed to an almost standstill, it was time to get you outta there. You were no longer being nourished as we would like, so it was safer for you on the outside. We were given 19 hours to tie up lose ends at home and at work and then report to the hospital. It was a phone call I'll never forget. I was going to meet you very soon! Or at least within 36-40 hours of the induction, as the doctor had warned. 36-40 hours of labor???? Needless to say, I did not sleep well on the night before you were born.
As we drove to the hospital, it seemed only fitting that we'd start YOUR journey with a special song that your dad had shared with me a few months before. As an avid George Strait fan, your dad had heard this song and knew right away that it reminded him of our story, your story. So on the 10 minute ride to the hospital, we listened to it twice. It was the only thing we listened to on our last car ride of just us two.
From there things went smoothly. The induction began and I'm actually torn on whether or not I think that portion was almost as painful as the labor itself, but either way, you'll have plenty of time to hear me remind you of that pain when you're entering your moody teenage years. I digress. As the day went on, things seemed to progress slowly as a few family members came and went and nursing shifts turned over. That was until my glorious miracle that we call an epidural. Praise the Lord for creating the doctor/genius who would invent this drug. At that stage in the game, I was done with the pain and the slow progression. Even the Nash soundtrack we had created for your delivery, was starting to wear thin and I was losing steam. This miracle drug was so splendid that I actually considered changing your name to honor the doctor who administered the drug. True story. Ask your dad. But alas, his name was Victor and you just didn't strike me as a Victor. Hopefully my consideration of taking his name was gratitude enough. He seemed flattered in that moment.
From there, our labor nurse, who deserves a blog post all by herself, told your dad and I to try and sleep for a few hours as we'd wait for things to move along. Your dad put on his sweatpants, I washed all of my make-up off that I had applied at 4am the day before in the hopes of looking impossibly fresh for our first ever meeting and we turned off the lights. Roughly 30 minutes later, our nurse came in to check on me "just in case" and informed us that "it was time to push!" What? Had I really just gone from 3 cm to 10 in 30 minutes?! Sure enough. You were coming, Munchie!!
Our plan had always been for your dad, who is a bit squeamish around medical situations, to sit by my head and serve as moral support for me while the staff handled the rest. However, with your quick progression, the doctor had just gone home to get some rest, so it would have to be me, your dad and our nurse. That's it. Meet your dream team, Munchie. Time to dive right in, dad!
As the pushing began, your heart rate began to drop with every push which meant an oxygen mask for me to help keep you safe. From there, I pushed for roughly 20 minutes and there you were. A full head of hair and all. It was by far the most surreal moment of my life. The doctor made it in time for 2-3 pushes. And your dad dropped my completely numb leg when you made your arrival. Out you came and I felt my numb leg hit the table like a 500lb rock as Dr. C proclaimed "dude, you just dropped her leg!" Apparently your entrance was so surreal for your dad that he forgot that he was supporting my very real leg.
At roughly 1:22am, I saw your head and tiny body and I heard your cry for the first time. I had known you for 39 weeks and had held you for 39 weeks, but for the first time I could see you in the flesh and hear that voice. It was perfect. You were perfect.
You cried loudly, as I'm sure you were scared of your new surroundings, but the minute they laid you on my chest and your eyes met mine, you stopped. You just stopped and stared at me. It was the first time I got the joy of being your comfort and your safe place. I knew right then that I'd ALWAYS be your safe place for as long you'll let me. I hope that "as long as you'll let me" will be my forever.
And as I stared into those eyes that would forever melt my heart, you peed on me. Yep, straight at my face, but luckily, by the grace of God, my ninja-like mom skills kicked in and I blocked it. Thus began our mother and son bond of no bodily functions being off limits anymore. From that moment on we were thick as thieves.
From August 13th at 1:21am on, you have been a joy, a gift, and a real life miracle. You are the baby that we thought we lost so many times in the beginning. I can still remember crying myself to sleep one night as I mourned you and prayed that the Lord would reunite us some day, only to still see your tiny heartbeat as they had us rush in for an ultrasound to assess the situation. Each time they/we thought you were leaving us, there you'd be, hanging on. There are no words to express the gratitude that I have for the fact that you "hung on" each and every time. No words. You're a fighter and I pray you use the same strength and perseverance to fight for great things in your future.
On the day you were born, I became a mom, your dad became and father and you became our greatest adventure yet. We cannot wait to see where your journey takes us. We love you.
Meeting your dad for the first time.
Our first family photo ever.
Happy Birth-day, baby.
And in the end we met without make-up and brushed hair, and neither of us seemed to care one bit. We had all that mattered right there in our arms.