my itsy-bitsy, teensy-tinesy, little bitty baby boy turned 8 years old today.
how did THAT happen? just yesterday i was giving birth to my first child, and suddenly he's halfway to getting his drivers license. and he doesn't legally need a car seat anymore! huh? it's hitting me like a ton of bricks.
8 years ago yesterday i was 6 days before my due date, happily finishing an important deadline before i gave birth. figuring he'd be LATE instead of EARLY as many first babies are, i knew i'd have no problem finishing coloring the issue of "tattered banners" drawn by mike mcmahon (a comic for those unenlightened). so at 2:40 PM i was sitting in front of the computer on my spinny chair, t and his friend george behind me, discussing their plans to leave for raleigh (almost an hour away) when i felt a "pop" sensation. i was afraid i was going to have to fart in front of george when suddenly.... WHOOSH! my water had broken. all over the chair, and luckily the plastic rolling pad that was under it. i was partially relieved that it wasn't a fart, partially disgusted that i made such a mess, partially freaked out that i wouldn't meet my deadline, and partially EXCITED we were going to meet our baby boy!
t freaked out. he was running around like in a sitcom, packing bags, starting cars, about to faint from not eating. since i hadn't even HAD A CONTRACTION, i told him to chill the heck out and go to subway, then go get some depends undergarments for the trip to the hospital 'cause i was really... damp. while i walked around trying not to leak, i called my editor. "oops! gotta go give birth, might miss the deadline!" she was as understanding as an editor could be, and by 5 or so we were on our way to the hospital.
we got to our room, and i was still feeling really good. i got in the tub, watched some tv, and just hung out with t while dealing with mild contractions. this went on until maybe 9 or 10 when i just wanted to sit in the rocking chair with a heating pad on my back. no one could get me out of that rocking chair. i wanted to stay in that rocking chair forever! the contractions were getting harder and harder, and there was no pleasant "pause" between them where you can regroup your thoughts as they had told me in childbirth class that there would be. finally, at maybe 11:45 pm, i begged for drugs. the nurses were so laid back, and had let us labor in peace for the most part, so they were like, "oh, sure. we'll go look for somebody to help you with that." poor t almost had his hand broken, all i wanted to do was squeeze his hand. don't look at me, don't talk to me, don't move me, don't touch me. just let me squeeze your hand.
around midnight, with no drugs in sight, i guess i started grunting (in the rocking chair) because a nurse poked her head in and said, "are you pushing?" well, heck. how was i supposed to know if i was pushing? i'd never had a baby before, and wasn't quite sure how that whole thing went. "I DON'T KNOW!!!!" i wailed, and she said, "i'm calling your doctor (who was still resting comfortably at home)."
at maybe 12:15 am on november 19th, i was in the bed ready to push. but... there was no doctor! and there were still no drugs. at this point i was thrilled... i was going to do this without drugs! yee-haw! the nurses had me "blow it away" until the doctor came, in other words, don't push out a baby who's coming out anyway. the doctor showed up at about 12:30, i pushed the kid out in like 10 minutes, and we had ourselves a screaming mad little baby boy, his little chin aquiver.
i was NOT prepared for all the pain to be over. immediately. a high like i'd never known before swept over me and we cried with excitement and love and exhaustion over our sweet baby, who looked JUST LIKE walter matthau. "I THINK WE HAVE TO NAME HIM WALTER!" i said through my tears, although that was NOT among the chosen name possibilities.
long story short, i was ready to go home the next hour, but they wouldn't let me (surprise). i took a shower, they cleaned the baby, the doctor got a good night's sleep after all, and the baby didn't look so much like walter matthau after all. but he did have thick black hair, an enormous head, and ears that resembled an elephant-- they stuck out on both top AND bottom. and such cuteness and sweetness we'd never seen. we named him henry in honor of indiana jones. we left the hospital FINALLY at about 6 pm. i just wanted to take our baby home.
here he is today, as i wanted a photo of him on his 8th birthday. he took these 3 goofy photos before crying because i told him to act natural. maybe a bit sleepy from the chuck-e-cheese's trip and sleepover last night? well, aren't we all.
happy birthday, little buddy. we love you more than you'll ever know.