Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Elijah!

This is a repost from last year's birthday post for my son Elijah. He turns 3 tomorrow and the story below is the story of his birth. It's not gross, don't worry.

Painfully waddling down the hot city sidewalk I finally reach my destination and entered the airconditioned Dr.’s office. My abdomen is swollen with my son, my first son, Jeremiah’s first child, my fourth and final baby.

I’m still a little sad that people were staring at me while passing by. I supposed they just wondered if maybe I was carrying multiples, which is becoming more and more common. I'm bigger than any person I've ever known carrying one baby, my whole stomach shakes when Elijah moves.

I’m weighed by the nurse, she smiles and pinches me. I’ve gained 2 pounds in one week.

The Dr. checks me, grimaces. 2 cm dilated. I’m only 36 weeks.
I worry, my face flushes and I glance at Jeremiah beside me. He’s calm, unworried…

The day before I had an ultrasound. Today the Dr. is telling us our son is already 8 pounds, but it’s most probable that his lungs have not developed. The Dr. wants me to keep my feet up and rest as much as possible.
We make a date for induction. Sept. 25th. 38 weeks gestation..

At 26 weeks I woke up early in the morning with contractions. We went to the hospital and the nurses could not stop the labor. Finally after hours, medications and threats of life-flighting us to childrens hospital my labor stopped. All was well.

Things go smoothly for the next few weeks after the Dr.’s 36 week visit. I rest, the girls are anxious and want me to play. I’m tired of being pregnant, of not being able to lift anything or play with my daughters. I’m tired of people staring at me.

I want to meet my son, my first son, Jeremiah’s first child, my fourth and final baby.

Jeremiah is anxious, but sweet. He loves us and shows it everyday.

The night before the scheduled induction we take the girls to my mom’s house, visit, then tuck them into bed and head home. I get into my P.J.’s , Jeremiah tucks me in (because I insisted and he couldn’t say no) and then the contractions start.
They started low like menstrual cramps and then spread in warm circles across my abdomen. My whole body started to react. I felt flushed, nauseous, then full of frenetic energy and finally as the contraction ended, surprisingly calm. I had pre term labor many times and assumed (for some odd reason) that’s what was happening.

Jeremiah became amazingly excited when I called for him from across our home and told him about the contractions.
Practically bouncing off the walls, he told me, “This is it, Baby! I can just tell.”
I got into the shower and after a few minutes smugly told him that the contractions had stopped. I guess regardless of my physical status, I always have to be right.
He waited for me and handed me a towel as I got out of the shower…and the contractions began again.

We got ready and went right up to the hospital. The nurse checked me and confirmed that we were indeed in labor. I was 4 cm dilated. Then she asked me if I wanted an epidural.

I looked at Jeremiah and he said, “Whatever you want, Baby.”. And for some odd reason I said yes. I’m not against epidurals and had even had one after laboring 12 hours with Maxine (it went on to last 26 hours total)…but I’ve never been a fan either and had been assuming I would not have one.

The Dr. came in, did the epidural and then Jeremiah and I spent the next five hours watching t.v., talking, relaxing and drifting in and out of sleep. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than with Jeremiah, as long as he’s in the room with me I’m good and good we were.
The lights were low, just us and the occasional nurse. I was in labor, but it seemed like a surreal blur. A picture in time playing back slowly and smudged with cloudy marks…

Any calmness was abruptly ended around 3:30am. I was on my side and all of the sudden felt like the baby was coming out. I asked Jeremiah to look and he didn’t see anything. He went and got the nurse and the Dr. (who was just about to come into the room and check me). They rolled me over and Elijah just started coming out. I was scared, afraid because of the urgency of it all.
No stirrups, no set up, no ‘tools’…the Dr. was just putting on gloves as Elijah’s whole head was out. It was messy and I was sitting upright and could see everything.

Jeremiah was flushed and I could tell he was worried too.

The Dr. was laughing when he told me to give a little push.

Elijah was born on the sheets in front of me, close enough to touch and caress at 3:55am, September 25th, 2007. The nurse and the Dr. were loudly giggling and talking about how big he was.

To me he looked tiny.

And blue.

Despite the lack of concern from the Dr. and the nurses, Jeremiah and I panicked a wee bit. We kept asking if he was okay, looking anxiously at the nurse suctioning his mouth.

He was fine. More than fine, he was 10 pounds 14 ounces. 20 inches long. He had dark brown hair and those classic dark blue newborn eyes. He looked at me briefly the first time I held him and anxiously nursed with no problem for a few moments before the nurses took him away to clean him up.

Elijah Christopher. My first son, Jeremiah’s first child, my fourth and final baby.


Ms. Moon said...

Gorgeous story, gorgeous baby. Happy Birth Day.

Missy said...

I love birth stories. Happy Birthday Elijah.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Elijah! You're a cutie!!!

Angela Christensen said...

Ach, Erin, this one made me cry. It's partly because my sons are out of reach (one of them literally halfway round the world), partly because they have Moved On, and now participate in our lives when they feel like it (which they do, but I'm just sayin') and mostly because it is a beautifully written tribute to Elijah's birth. Happy Birthday, Elijah - if I could bring my dogs for a birthday visit I'd do it like a shot!

Kim said...

What a fat little baby! :) Happy birthday Elijah-- unlike Jules, *I* would never try to steal your thunder by having my birthday on the same day as yours.

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

10 lbs, 14 oz.... my vagina just cried for you.