5 is Big

5 years ago Sunday

5 years ago Sunday

Jed turns five on Sunday.

On the day before Valentine’s Day five years ago I was heading out for my final water aerobics class in the morning. “Aerobics” being a very loose term generally meaning, at that time, floating on my back in a heated pool with one noodle under my knees and another one under my neck and a giant baby filled gut sticking up out of the water like a whale coming up for air. What do they say, the higher the belly the closer to God?  Anyways, I was belly deep in that warm water with a bunch of 90 year old seniors (interestingly enough, as much as I loved those preggo water aerobics classes, once I was in actual labor and in the actual labor tub at the hospital I couldn’t wait to get out, get dry, and get back into my preferred doggy-style-with-barf-bag-at-the-ready labor pose. But I digress.

On that day before Valentine’s Day 5 years ago I then headed in for my final “non stress test” because, you know, I was of “advanced maternal age” at 36 and statistically likely to birth an actual Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Went Jed’s little heart. We knew he was a he and thought he’d be a Jed but maybe a Rye. (How awesome is Rye for a little brother name?! Tiny bit of I only had one kid angst coming out right there.) But we actually didn’t decide until exactly 2 minutes before checking out of the hospital and can’t those nurses leave you alone for 5. Fucking. Minutes. We. Just. Had. A. Baby. But I digress.

Then, on that day before Valentine’s Day 5 years ago, I had my last visit with my OB, who informed me that “my uterus looked like crap” and nothing was happening and I might as well just walk over to the hospital and have them cut me open right then for he C-section that she was so sure I’d need because, you  know, I was VERY, VERY OLD and A LITTLE BIT FAT (suck it, doc, suck it hard, because I was neither old nor fat, I’d hiked or jogged almost every day of my pregnancy, I’d trekked through Italy in an ungodly heat wave, I’d gained the recommended 25-30 lbs that was just perfect on my strong and fit frame, I’d juiced kale, I’d been able to guzzle down about 30 pounds of dissolved sugar and process that shit right on out of my body quick for your little test, and I’d read the entire Twilight series TWO TIMES EACH BOOK in late night horn dog bouts of hormones and LOVED EVERY WORD. But I digress.

But for nine months, she’d had me do all these ultrasounds to size my baby, who sized two weeks big from conception (I’d had a 6 week ultrasound from a much better doctor who confirmed that two weeks big number). Plus, I could pinpoint the exact hour of conception, because I’d had to come home from work for a bit of a nooner because I had a lot of VERY IMPORTANT WORK TO DO for a sales presentation and a trip to New Jersey and that $200 fertility computer wasn’t paying for itself. But despite the regular tests showing the exact same rate of growth and the stated inaccuracy of all the sizing tests, my OB seemed to know that FOR SURE my baby was going to be a 17 pound one year old before he was born. Never mind that I had a week to go until my due date. My uterus looked like crap; I was never going into labor, ever. But I digress.

So I took my crappy uterus home and did what any confident, sane first-time mother-to-be would do. I went and got a pregnancy massage, and had the therapist Sharpie all the points on my ankles that could stimulate labor. And the next day, Valentine’s Day, February 14th, I took my final hike, a few miles, straight up hill. And I came home about 722 hours later, and had my husband give me the ankle massage of all time.

And then the day after Valentine’s Day, 5 years ago, I started deep cleaning the house, you know, scrubbing the baseboards. And this particular brand of crazy resulted in … my water breaking, with a bit of blood, and us rushing to the hospital, breathless, never once having read anything about water breaking with blood, thinking the whole thing was going horribly wrong, checking in, freaking out. Until, you know, everyone calmed down, the baby was fine, I was fine, and they let me go into a normal delivery room, assume the arched back doggy style labor pose previously mentioned, go through a closet’s worth of those pads to sop up the blood (and I mean, a closet’s worth; at one point I heard my nurse say under her breath to the orderly, yes, more, and he goes, incredulously, more, and she goes, yeah, more) and a bunch of vomit bags. And I spent the next 24 hours drug free trying to get a baby out of my body. Er, trying to welcome my son into the world. Labor progressed, then stalled, then actually retreated. No, they don’t mention that in the classes, that you can actually get more open, then more closed again. What the fuck, wonderful and beautiful natural process that all women are built to do. But I digress.

A few times I thought it was a 17 pound turtle trying to get out, but, alas. It was just a boy, a big, strong boy, but a boy whose mom thought she’d outfox her OB, outfox nature, and try to bring this boy in before he was ready.

So 5 years ago on February 16th, after 24 hours of labor and no more hours to give because of that harshly broken water, we agreed so reluctantly to a C-section. The boy came, and they set him at my head, and my arms were shaking so hard from the anesthetic (which I told them clearly would be a side effect of that drug on me and why don’t they ever listen?!). But my arms were shaking so hard that my baby was set at my head and my husband and a nurse were sort of holding my arms down and all I could do was look at my boy and lick him. Like a mama cat. I licked his face and kissed him and said you are so cute. And so big. And so cute. And I licked/kissed him again, and they took him away to be cleaned and weighed (only 8 lbs. 6 oz., a wee sprite who likely would have come out of a perfectly lovely uterus a week later on his own time). His head was pretty big though. And his feet were gigantic. But I digress.

So anyways, after that, as we all know, it was just baby, cry, nurse, fail at nursing, sleep, stroller, why am I still so fat whoa look at that I just lost 17 lbs in a week, mama cry, worry, wonder how anyone ever does this and why anyone ever wanted to have babies ever because this is so fucking hard, wonder how the hell do I get the car seat into the grocery cart, figure out it only works at Target because their carts are so big, have your first Mother’s Day, first Halloween, wean, walk, fly on an airplane, first Christmas, first Birthday, first sentence, first jokes, first camping trip when it snowed, out of the crib, into the bed, napping, not napping, sleeping, scheduling, playing, swinging, running, moms, dads, parties, grandparents, Easter Bunnies, loving, laughing, running through sprinklers, jumping on trampolines, making friends, going down the slide, posing for pictures, refusing to pose for pictures, going to school, needing new pants, picking out his own clothes, skipping, swords, loveys, swimming lessons, soccer, talking about high school, talking about the moon, refusing to eat his salad, choking his salad down with a milk chaser while he plugs his nose, art, asking about riding the bus to Kindergarten next year.

And me getting so much better at letting it all happen at the right time and not rushing any of the steps. But I digress.

On Sunday Jed turns 5. It’s a big one.


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5 Responses to “5 is Big”

  • Comment from Deb

    I also want to share words with the doctor. “Suck it” is right.

    I love reading about your labor and delivery experience. I had to be induced because of blood pressure issues, so my labor was long and stalled many times. I’m taking whatever steps I can to skip hypertension, because not inducing and not having a one-day labor . . . well, that would be OK with me.

    But most of all, happy birthday, Jed! And happy momaversary. Five is huge!

    • Comment from Koa

      Sometime else I will write about that doctor. It was the weirdest progression from long time love to complete disgust that I’ve ever had with any individual, and it took me a long time to make peace and see the possible things that might have caused her to act as she did. She’d been my gyn for years before, through breast cancer and some really funky things related to that, always been a wonderful, straightforward person. I said I wanted a natural labor on my very first pregnancy visit, she said sure whatever but I bet you’ll ask for drugs and I should have left right then, but I stayed, and it turned into 9 months of her sort of willing me to have a challenging labor and C-section, and you know how it is with your first, you think you’re strong, but you succumb to the pressure. At the point of the crappy uterus comment I’d long ago given up on her being any help, and thankfully she wasn’t even on call when I went into labor so another doc handled me. OHHHH. When my doc came in the next day though, to check on me, she looks at Jed and goes, well, see. I told you he’d have too big of a head to get out. I mean, wtf. But, like I said. I’ll write that post another day. :-) I like remembering how crazy insane I was in those last few days.

  • Awe, what a touching and somewhat disgusting story. Lol. I love the name Jed. We had a helluva time naming our sons for some reason. The girl was named months before she came into the world, but the boys just didn’t look like any name that we liked. My wife refused to let them leave the room as “Baby X” though so we had to hurry and give them names that we were just ok with. Whatever though, I like their names now. Really like them, actually. Anyway, what was I going to say? Oh, my baby 4 year old is going to be 5 on Feb. 19!! You and my wife were big fat whales at the same time! Yay you guys!

    • Comment from Koa

      Don I almost, allllmosttttt, posted the picture of my whale tummy 2 days before birth. But I didn’t. Obviously.

  • Comment from Nancy

    You have done a wonderful job raising a beautiful boy. Very proud of you!

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