Seven years ago today I was in the hospital.
Three days overdue.
I can't remember exactly, but I imagine by now I'd had my epidural.
My Mom was with me, as well as Asia.
K. and S. had been picked up in the middle of the night by some friends and were snug in their beds at their house.
I was having a baby.
I anticipated an easy labor.
My labor with S. had been so easy... I only pushed for about 20 minutes and had a beautiful baby in no time at all.
Seven years ago, it wasn't quite that easy.
I had been going to the doctor weekly, like you do at the end of your pregnancy. When they measured me each week, I couldn't believe what the nurse said each time. I was growing 2 or 3 centimeters a week. I didn't gain any more weight with my third pregnancy, but I was bigger than I'd ever been.
I asked the doctor "Is this baby going to be big?"
He assured me, "Oh, you'll be fine. He may be around 10 pounds. But don't worry about it."
I remember actually getting some sleep at the hospital. I love epidurals.
When it came time to push, I geared up. I knew I could do this.
The doctor arrived. My regualar OB was out of town. Hunting or something. So another doctor from the practice came. All I remember about him is that he looked just like Niles Crane from Frasier. Seriously. I don't even remember the doctor's real name. Asia and I always tell people that Niles delivered our baby.
I remember the baby being very active the whole time. It felt like he was doing back flips. Even as I pushed.
I couldn't believe he wasn't coming out. Why couldn't I get this baby out?
Finally, after a couple of intense hours, I managed to get the baby's head out.
And I had to stop pushing.
All that twisting and turning? Wrapped the cord three times around baby's neck... the doc needed to snip it, but he was okay.
He was okay.
I pushed again for what seemed like forever to get his shoulders out.
It felt like they were as hard to get out as the head.
When he finally came out, the whole room went silent.
"What's wrong?" I asked, trying to control my fear and not sure if I wanted an answer.
Asia answered for the whole room.
Doctor cleaned the baby up a bit and laid him on my tummy.
When it came time to weigh the baby, and I heard '11 pounds, 4 ounces,' I mumbled through my tiredness, "When are you going to have that vasectomy, honey?"
He was a big baby. More like a two or three month old. But the bonus of having a big baby is that they behave like a two or three month old. Really.
My last baby was so content. So happy. So easy to care for.
And you know what? He still is.
This boy, who surprised us with a pregnancy.. and surprised us with his mammoth size... is such a blessing to our family.
He always makes us laugh.
He tells me ten times a day "Mommy, I love you."
He plays for hours with army men. And marbles. And Legos.
He sleeps with a Lovey. Still. Every night.
He is tender hearted.
Today he is seven years old.
Happy birthday, E.
I love you. (picture by my shutter happy friend, Jan Anderson)