Write down the story of your baby’s birth as soon as possible because the memories will become fuzzy. One day your child will love to hear the story of her birth–especially when she is expecting her own baby. Here is the letter I wrote to my son:
Dear Baby J,
On Tuesday evening, March 27, your dad and I went out to eat dinner. I was off work for Spring Break and had spent the entire day cleaning the house, so I was certainly not in the mood to cook dinner. We ate Chinese and I managed to throw it up as usual, so your dad took me to get ice cream after dinner. That didn’t stay down either.
We went to sleep around 11pm. Around 1am on Wednesday morning, March 28, I woke up and thought I had pissed myself. It wouldn’t have been too surprising those days. I went to the bathroom, changed clothes, then went back to bed.
I was lying there in bed, just about to doze back off, when all of a sudden it occurred to me that I hadn’t pissed myself at all–my water broke! I laid there knowing that’s what had happened, but trying to convince myself that it hadn’t. I had to be sure because I didn’t want to wake your dad up and tell him my water broke, if I had, in fact, only pissed myself! But I was so sleepy and I didn’t want to have to get up and it was hard to think after only 2 hours of sleep. About 30 minutes later, I decided I better figure it out. I went to the bathroom again and this time I was sure my water had broken.
Your dad was ready to hit the road to the hospital, but I had stuff to get done first. I had planned to use all of my Spring Break to get ready for your arrival (you weren’t due for another 2 weeks, Mister!). So, I took a shower, put on makeup, started a load of laundry, loaded the dishwasher and turned it on. Finally, we packed the car, I called the doctor and we headed to the hospital.
We got to the hospital around 2:30am and checked in. I wasn’t having any contractions and was only 1 cm dilated, so they started me on pitocin around 4am. The contractions started then and they were strong, so I asked for pain medication. The worst part, though, wasn’t the contractions. In fact they really weren’t that bad, all things considered. The worst part was that you were resting on my bladder, and that sucked with a big capital SUCK. I never could tell if I had to piss or not, so I spent a lot of time wondering whether or not I had wet the bed.
Anyway, they gave me some meds that immediately made me have no cares in the world, so I sent your dad back home to take care of our dog, Abbie. About an hour later, I was in a lot of pain again, so I called him to hurry him along. On the way back, he got pulled over for speeding, but he explained that his wife was in labor and he was trying to get back to the hospital. The nice police officer let him go with a warning, but I yelled at him for speeding when he got back. It certainly wouldn’t have helped for him to get in a car accident!
At 5am, I was 2.5 cm dilated and it wasn’t long after that I told my nurse that I wanted an epidural. She kept telling me I wasn’t supposed to have it until I was at least 4 cm dilated, and I kept insisting that I was ready for it. It was around this time that I caught your dad making updates on Facebook about my progress and how much I was dilated. I had to ask him to please refrain from posting about my vagina on social media. Dads, please don’t do that. Yuck.
Because you were my first baby, the nurse assumed my labor would be slow. She was wrong. I’m really glad that I insisted on the epidural when I did because by the time the nurse got around to listening to me and checking, she found that it had taken less than an hour for me to get to 7 cm. I would have said, “I told you so,” but she was just slightly bitchy and I was a little scared of her. The anesthesiologist took a little longer to get to my room than I would have liked, so I sent your dad out to the nurse’s station and told him not to come back without an anesthesiologist. They both arrived very soon after that!
By early afternoon, I was at 9 cm, then 9.5 cm. By the time I reached 10 cm it was about 2pm and I was ready for you to arrive because I was so HUNGRY!! But, they wouldn’t let me start pushing because you hadn’t dropped low enough. The nurse kept telling me it would certainly be hours before you arrived. I finally convinced them that I could do it, or that they should at least let me try, because DAMMIT I WAS HUNGRY. The nurse finally agreed but told me it would probably take at least 3 hours to push you out, since you were so high up and you were my first baby.
Did I mention I was hungry? Well, I was. And 3 hours was not going to work for me–so I pushed you out in 6 contractions, just 30 minutes. 3 hours, my ass. Don’t mess with a hungry pregnant woman.
The nurse was shocked that you came so fast, and we had to wait for the doctor to arrive before we could make the final delivery. You were almost delivered by a very surprised nurse!
You were born at 2:57pm, weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces, and 20 inches long. I ate a hamburger at 3pm (ok, not really–but it is definitely one of the first things I did after you were born). Life was good.
You were so tiny and beautiful. You didn’t have a funny shaped head or all the little marks of birth that many babies have. You were just perfect, and I’m not being biased. Everybody commented on what a beautiful baby you were. Even the nurses agreed that you looked like a c-section baby because you were so flawless.
Lots of family members came to visit and, while they were there, you had your first bath.
I had them dress you in my favorite outfit, the same one your dad had hung up in our room while I was still pregnant so I could look at it and think of you.
Later that evening, your dad got to change his first diaper ever!
I started nursing you within an hour of you being born. You were an eager little eater and were easy to nurse! I wanted to keep you with me that night, but you kept spitting up and choking on it, so one of the nurses convinced me to send you to the nursery so they could watch you and make sure you wouldn’t choke. I knew she was overreacting (you were turning your head and spitting it out just fine), but she scared me, so I let her take you. I made her bring you back to me every 2 hours so that we could nurse, though. I cried when she took you and missed you so much all night. The next night, I kept you with me.
The next morning, March 29, I was so eager to have you back in my room. There was a lot of paperwork to fill out that day, for your birth certificate and social security card. We also had you circumcised and it broke my heart for them take you away from me again. You took it like a champ; you never even cried when they circumcised you (so they told me anyway). But soon after your return, I realized that you weren’t nursing anymore. All day long you slept.
The hospital photographer came in and we allowed them to take photos, even though we weren’t planning on buying any since we had hired our own photographer to come in later. But the assholes set your pictures to a slideshow with music and my hormones took over. We ended up spending an absurd amount of money on just a few photos. Your dad was smart though. He whipped out the credit card without a single argument. How could he argue with the woman who had just given birth to his firstborn son, ya know?
Right after, the photographer we had already hired came in to take your newborn pictures, and you slept through most of it.
I started getting worried that you weren’t eating, but the lactation consultant told me it was normal for baby boys to not eat for about 12 hours after circumcision. Sure enough, you wanted to nurse almost exactly 12 hours after your circumcision. But, I thought you weren’t getting enough to eat (my milk hadn’t yet come in and you weren’t latching on as well as you had before), so we decided to supplement with formula. If I had known better, I would have had you continue to nurse until my milk came in, rather than giving you formula. I think it caused a lot of continued problems with your latch.
The third day, Friday, March 30, we were eager to get you home! The pediatrician came in to check on you and you were jaundiced. Your levels were almost so high that they made you stay, but they decided to go ahead and let us bring you home, with the promise that we would bring you back to the see the pediatrician the next day.
On the way home, it was so rainy and I was worried about you being in the car. But, of course your dad drove very carefully. We stopped at Babies R Us on the way home to buy some preemie clothes for you. We had so many newborn and 0-3 sized clothes for you, but you were too tiny for any of them!
You were loved before you were ever born, but I had no idea how large I could love until I actually held you in my arms. I told you then, and I tell you almost nightly now: We love you always, no matter who you are, what you do, or who you love. There is nothing you could ever do that would diminish the great love we have for you.
All the love I never knew I had,