Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ethan's Birth Story, 3 Years Late

Was it really only three short years ago we left early one morning from our upstairs apartment to rush to the hospital, eagerly awaiting our second son's arrival? In those intervening years I have neglected to tell his stories here. I think we must have posted something short announcing his birth, but probably not his birthdays. Or his birth story. And so this is my attempt at making up for that, one post at a time.

To my middle child:

The day you were born was like a wonder. Your grandmother arrived that Tuesday, a few days before your expected arrival, an unexpected blessing for us and better for many reasons. Now, mind, you were already well past your due date of the 5th, but we thought for sure I was going to have to wait and wait all week and show up on Friday morning to get a repeat c-section because you were overdue and stubborn, like your brother before you. Or perhaps just too comfortable. But, praise the Lord, you decided to come all on your own!

I woke up early Wednesday morning with contractions that kept me from sleeping. I counted, your father slept. Finally, I woke him up, giddy that they hadn't stopped, kept coming. I know now I could've waited -- I had a doctor's appointment that morning anyway -- but we were so excited to meet you. I called the midwife around 5am and she said to come on down. So we tried to sneak out and not wake your brother Jacob, but he heard us trying to be quiet. We said our goodbyes and left early, letting your grandmother DD know we were going. I think I ate breakfast.

Once at the hospital, we actually parked in the deck and I was able to walk all the way to the maternity ward. I walked a lot that morning. In hindsight, we could've stayed at home a little longer. My body wasn't quite ready, and needed a little something to help you along, so I remember at some point getting some Pitocin, drugs that help make the contractions stronger, more regular. I remembered what it felt like the last time, so I asked them to only give me a very little. Well, it worked. Our dear nurse friend Kristin wasn't able to be at your birth -- she was on a plane at the time -- so we relied on other nurses. They took good care of me...until the mommy next door needed to have her baby RIGHT THEN and needed my midwife, too. I remember literally crawling up the walls (and the back of the hospital bed) because the contractions were so intense, but only your Daddy was with me. Finally, someone was able to come and order some more drugs for Mommy, better drugs, to take the pain away. But no one really checked on me to see how soon you might appear. The epidural arrived and I was finally able to breathe, to rest. It was past lunchtime, so they told your Daddy to go get something to eat (lucky him!). But, while he was gone, my midwife Mary came in to check on me and said I was ready to push RIGHT NOW and that meant you were going to be here -- soon! But where was Daddy!? We had to wait for him to return, sandwich uneaten, so he could be here for your birth.

I only got to enjoy that epidural for a little while. A few pushes in and both my midwife and my nurse (who used to be a midwife) realized that something was wrong. I could see it on their faces every time I had a contraction and pushed down hard. They asked for a doctor to come and assist, hopefully with forceps or a vacuum (they sounded scary, but not as scary as the thought of going to an operating room). But the doctor-lady on call had never met me and didn't know my story, so she sauntered in and told me I'd have to go straight to surgery! No way! Not after all the laboring and pushing and hard work I'd done! I might have said a bad word in her general direction, especially after she made MY midwife check her pager for her. Well, thankfully, midwife Mary and the nurse were both extremely supportive and encouraged the doctor to try the vacuum to help you arrive.

It seemed only a few moments and a few more pushes and there you were -- in my arms! I was so happy to hold you! You have no idea how elated I was that they placed you in my arms and on my chest right away. You cried and wiggled but we were oh so glad to hear that cry! You were born on Wednesday, February 11, 2009. And our world has never been the same since.

Ethan in the hospital with Mommy and Daddy. You looks confused. Or sleepy.

You are three now; I cannot believe how the time has flown. Currently, your vast imagination dwells on aquatic things. "The floor is water, Mommy, and we are on a boat." At bedtime, at lunchtime, anytime. You love bath time and prefer to put your boats in the tub first. Playground equipment is almost always a "pirate ship," especially if it has a spyglass. What did you request for your third birthday cake? Ocean animals. A shark. An octopus. Fish.

From our recent December visit to the Aquarium. Before I cut your hair.
Happy third birthday, Ethan! May this story not traumatize you too much in some future date when you happen upon this blog. We love you!