Saturday, March 11, 2006

Seven Years Ago

Seven years ago today, I faced the closest thing to my own death in the birth of my first-born son, K. It was a fairly easy pregnancy, however towards the end there were some concerns about the level of amniotic fuid, and the large size of the baby. I needed monitering regularly for the last few weeks to make sure he wasn't under stress. My doctor decided it would be necessary to induce labor at 38 weeks (2 weeks early). I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am eager to deliver, a little nervous about the procedure, but anxious to see and touch my son. I was hooked up to IVs, and various other equipment and then I just had to wait...the contractions would slowly increase to push the baby down and out...Twelve hours later I was told it was time to push. After three hours of pushing and complete exhaustion my son was laid on my chest, but I was too weak to support him. Then they weighed him 9lbs 5oz! It was another hour before I was "patched up" again and then I was told to try and nurse him right away, I wanted to, but wasn't sure how to do it. A nurse helped me. In the lobby many relatives were waiting to meet this new person for the first time. I wanted to sleep and not be bothered by anyone, but allowed them all to come in in groups of twos and threes. It was overwhelming. Too weak to move, I was gurneyed to the recovery room as midnight approached; I hadn't slept or had a meal for thirty-six hours and was famished. My mother procured a grilled cheese sandwich from the cafeteria which I nearly swallowed whole and after sending my newborn precious son to the nursery, promptly fell asleep until about 5:30 am. I woke with a start, panicked that I hadn't nursed him enough but when I called for him they told me he was still sleeping. I was bed-ridden, still catherterized, because the staff decided I shouldn't have to get up for a while...they were right. Moving was the most excruciating experience (worse than the labor itself) and I was petrified at the thought of sneezing or coughing. The post-natal pain gradually decreased but lasted for months.

But that was seven years ago, today I am totally healthy, and fully functional. I have a very active and healthy son who can ride a bike without training wheels, can read, write, do addition and subtraction and is creatively expressive and thoughtful. He is, and has been since his birth, an easy going, mellow child- totally worth the effort and the pain. I am tremendously thankful to God for bringing this child into my life, and for his brother and sister (and that their births were virtually effortless compared to his).

Happy Birthday, K!