What I Envision When I Am Happiest – All My Children
From the time I was a little girl, I always dreamed of becoming a mother. After I saw the movie Cheaper by the Dozen and read the book, I was sure I wanted twelve. Imagine that. That number changed with the years. I decided my perfect family would include four children. Eventually I got the four children–not the perfect though. Even though I may not have always liked them at one time or another, I can say with complete honesty that I have ALWAYS loved them whatever.
I know that with the reality of any birth, be it natural, induced, or c-section, there is some inevitable pain. Funny thing though…I can’t remember any of that. What I do remember is the happiness and joy I felt upon seeing each one of my newborns, little things said to me on the occasion, and what I myself responded.
My first pregnancy seemed especially long with much false labor. Ugh! After a month of trips back and forth to the hospital, I could not convince anyone that I was in real labor. So after announcing, “Take me to the hospital again”, no one but me thought I would be delivering for a while. 21+ hours later I proved all of them wrong.
Given a spinal block only minutes before the blessed event, I was in a fuzzy pink haze. Medication really does intoxicate me big time. When someone in the delivery room said, “It’s a girl” then faded off mumbling, I distinctly remember asking, “What did you say?”. I heard, “Girl”, again. No, that wasn’t what I wanted to know about. I wasn’t asking about the sex of my baby, I was asking about her birth weight. My ears had heard my little girl was ten pounds exactly. ?My ears had heard correctly.
Someone showed her to me. I couldn’t hold her. She was so pink. I fell asleep. Hours later I finally got to hold her. She is long grown up and an adult now. Bunny is my first reason to be happy.
Six years later I was in a hospital again. My pregnancy has been routine when my water broke. I didn’t bother to call anyone immediately as I didn’t figure there was any rush. I arranged things around the house, checked my bag, sent Bunny off to Grandma’s down the street, called the doctor, then waited for my ride to the hospital.
Doctor N. awaited. She told me that, since I was not in labor, I would have to be induced. I said, “OK,” knowing that I had nothing whatsoever to say or do for the moment. She prepared me for a dry birth. Four hours later I had my first son JP, incidentally 9 pounds 6 ounces, arrived a couple of weeks early.
My doctor besides being a great doctor, had always been great to me, kind, compassionate, understanding, helpful. She arranged for me to see Bunny as soon as I got out of recovery. Three and a half decades ago that was not the accepted thing. As I was being wheeled out, I saw my little girl quietly waiting. When she came over to me and kissed me, I introduced her to her baby brother and asked, “What do you think?”
My daughter’s response, “Mommy, why is he so red and ugly?” stunned me. I knew the trauma of birth but she didn’t. I tried to explain but couldn’t then. She would understand herself when grown up and married, when she had her own children. I thought that JP looked exactly like his sister…well, only almost since he was a boy. Since she had been the most beautiful baby ever, I obviously thought the same about him. JP is my second reason to be happy.
Eleven years passed before I would have another child. ?A gall bladder attack a month before the due date moved me into a high risk pregnancy. I kept working though. As day after day grinded on, I stressed but kept moving through the paces. Hubby decided I needed to take my mind off everything and relax. I really liked the idea so he drove me to the mall.
I had been having Braxton Hicks most of my last trimester; therefore, the one contraction I had was easily dismissed. Wouldn’t you know it? Minutes after we parked the car and went in, my water broke. We raced back home, called the doctor, then left for the hospital. The internal indicated two things: #1 I was not in labor; #2 My water had broke. Naturally, no one listened to me when I told them both those facts on arrival. I had been through this situation before.
Again I was induced. Again I faced a dry birth. Pain medication was out as it might stop the contractions. ? Hubby and I were told to prepare for a long, long night. Luckily things moved quicker than the medical experts thought. About 2:00 A. M. I was wheeled into delivery. Science and technology had moved to the point where hubby was allowed to accompany me. I was glad he was there to help me. On my exact due date, I gave birth to my second son.
The first words out of my mouth were, “Is he all right?”
The doctor gave an immediate, “Yes”.
I remained concerned and asked my husband to confirm the fact. I remember him saying, “Honey, don’t worry. I am here. I saw everything. He is perfect.” As I watched the nurse wrap ET in aluminum foil that I later learned was a solar blanket, hubby anticipating a question answered, “Eight poundss twelve ounces”. My third son ET is my third reason to be happy.
Some fifteen months months later I was again awaiting birth. My due date confirmed by two separate sonograms was to fall six weeks later around Christmas. I had the last appointment of the evening. Because I was worried about premature labor, my obstetrician did an internal–OUCH–then told me there were no changes.
Hubby and I went home. He had a bite to eat while I opted to lay down. An hour or so as I lay in bed, I was sure I was in labor. I knew what contractions were, and I just had one. I poked him but he would not listen. He decided it was the Braxton Hicks and told me to go to sleep. I tried but the pains persisted sharper and closer together.
I awoke him and said, “The baby is coming.” He tried to convince me it wasn’t. When he realized what was happening, he told me to get into the car.
“No way. There isn’t time. I am not having this baby in a car with you driving. Call an ambulance.”
By the time the ambulancet got there, hubby had delivered third son. I remember him telling me right before I delivered, “Now don’t push.” Easier said than done…. The umbilical cord had been wrapped around the baby’s neck. He decided not to cut the cord right then since an emergency team was en route. He wrapped the newborn in a white terry towel and waited with me. I ordered him not to leave the baby out of his sight.
Once in the hospital, and wouldn’t you know it the hospital billed for both a labor and delivery room, the doctor confirmed that our newborn ?was a 7 pound 8 ounce preemie. I asked , “How can you be sure?” Lanolin on the skin, hairiness, the length of the nails made him positive I had not gone full term. My third and last son LA is my fourth reason to be happy.
I decided to put this down for the generations that follow. Each of my children is a part of me. I envision all my children and my family when I am happiest. Thank you, Hubby. I could not have done it without you.