I need a new category for blog posts. It should be: “stuff about the baby that no one else is likely to find interesting but that I find fascinating because he’s MINE.” Because yes, I’m going to be one of those moms. Even though running and running blog posts will eventually resume, I don’t think there’s ever going to be something that captures my attention like this little man.
If you’re not that into kids, you’re bound to be annoyed. I’d apologize, because not too long ago I wasn’t all that interested in reading or writing about babies either. But you know what? I don’t really care…because I’m not just a mom but one of those moms, and I am compelled to write about my baby. And many other things that 10 days ago I would have deemed “TMI.”
First, a few words about labor. Giving birth is the most terrifying, exhilarating, excruciating, empowering, helpless thing I’ve ever done or am likely ever to do. Labor for me lasted well over 24 hours. I’m not sure on the exact number because there was some serious discomfort on Friday that I attributed to LilRunr moving around. After being hooked up to a monitor on Saturday and watching the contractions progress in time to that “serious discomfort,” I realized the two were one and the same. Good to know.
What I do know is that I was admitted to the hospital at around 11:30am on Saturday. Contractions were coming in about 3 minute intervals and lasting a little over a minute each. At 9:00pm on Saturday, the doctor determined that I was not progressing quickly enough, so they added pitocin to increase the strength and duration of contractions. That was around about the time that I tearfully (ok, hysterically) set aside my fear of needles and opted for an epidural. I was exhausted and we still had so far to go…I didn’t think I could handle it.
Scott and I both tried to rest afterwards. A difficult task for me because even though the pain was (mostly) gone, contractions were still signaled by growing pressure. I was also becoming anxious that this whole ordeal was building towards a C-section. It seems that many of the other mommies I’ve known lately have gone from one medical intervention to another until they end up in the operating room. Of course, all I really wanted was LilRunr healthy and HERE with us, but a visit to the OR was definitely not in my idealized birth plan. This fear seemed to be on its way to being realized when, at about 4:00am, I went from 7cm dilated to 6cm.
But then, fortunately, things began to progress. At 5:00am I was 8cm dilated…and at 6:20am I was given leave to begin pushing. At 7:44am, LilRunr was officially with us. That moment was surreal and wonderful and terrifying. I had a brief moment of panic, thinking — “holy cow, how can I survive this?” and then he was here and Scott and I were anxiously waiting for him to cry. There was high drama at the end, as his head got tangled in the cord and for a minute the quiet flurry of activity from nurses and doctors spoke volumes about how serious the situation was. A little oxygen was all he needed, however, and that first cry was a beautiful sound. Scott followed the little guy over to where he was being cleaned up and weighed, taking all the obligatory pictures along the way. Then, we both got to hold and snuggle with OUR SON.
Wow. Funny how all that stuff I worried would freak me out — the poor little conehead, the umbilical cord stump — didn’t matter in the least. He was ours and he was beautiful, and looking into his sweet, startled, wide-open eyes was an amazing moment.
The only thing I like more is watching Scott with him. Husband has taken to fatherhood like a champ. Not that I ever doubted him, but he just makes it look so NATURAL. LilRunr snuggles up to him like he does to no one else…it’s like he knows that he’s 100% safe in daddy’s arms.
As for me…well, I’m a born doubter. I worry constantly that I’m not feeding him enough, or that I’m feeding him too much, or that he needs to have more dirty diapers or less, or that he needs something I don’t know how to give, or any other of 100 things. He seems to know me, though, and that never gets old. I love that when someone else is holding him and I talk, he moves his head to try to find me. I love that he finds comfort in my voice. I love his alert times and his sleepy times. I love the funny face he makes when he demands a feeding. I love how he always saves his dirtiest, messiest diapers for daddy. I love how cute little footie pajamas are. I love how — even though I’ve never been a “baby” person and have even caused a few family members to wonder how I’ll take to motherhood since I always avoided holding others’ infants — having this little guy in our lives is the most natural thing in the world.
It’s hard to believe that he’s only been here a week. It’s equally hard to believe that I’ve gone from being a tough, “don’t expect me to cry at chick flicks” chica to a completely sentimental sap overnight. Some of it might be the hormones, but I have a feeling it’s mostly about mommyhood.
And of course I’m biased, but I feel he’s a most remarkable child. What everyone says when they see him is, “look at his bright eyes!” “he’s so alert!” “he definitely knows who mommy and daddy are!” and “he is just precious/gorgeous/perfect!” And OK, most of his visitors have been related to him, so perhaps they’re a bit biased as well.
I’m choosing to believe that he’s just that special, though. It’s just as well. It’s not like anyone would be able to convince me otherwise, anyway.