Monday 4 June 2007

The Gift of a Baby

When Marc and I first found out we were having a baby, mild panic set in. OK, not so mild. Sheer hysteria. We had been together for just a day less than a year. We weren't married. We lived in a small 2 bedroom flat (apartment). Our lives revolved around sailing catamarans (not a child friendly activity). I was working in New York City 2 weeks/month.

Once we got our heads around this, we got down to the busines sof sorting out our lives. We bought a house. We bought furniture. I stopped travelling. We took 2 different sets of birthing classes. I didn't want to risk some vital piece of information left undiscovered. I read books. Lots of books.

The first 3 months of pregnancy, I was sooooooo tired. I would walk in the door after a hard day and not even bother getting undressed. I would flop down on the bed and fall fast asleep. A couple hours later, I'd wake and eat something and go back to sleep. During the day it was all I could do to keep from falling asleep at my desk. I stopped travelling at 5 months.

During the 2nd trimester carpal tunnel (RSI) set in. Bad. So bad on so many levels. I couldn't cut my own food. I couldn't lift a cup of tea. I couldn't drive. I couldn't write. I didn't fit into our shower so I had to take a bath but because of the pain in my hands I couldn't heft myself into or out of the tub. Marc had to lower me down and pick me up, like a crane.

At 7 months, I got a bad case of the flu and cold. Coughing, vomiting (and other stuff). I dislocated a rib coughing so hard and had to see a chiropractor to sort it out. Marc had to do things for me no husband should have to do for his wife. and we weren't even married (yet).

I was huge. I could eclipse the sun. At 4 weeks before the due date, my mother arrived. She helped Marc with the laundry (Not much back then. It was just the two of us). She did some cooking. Bu mostly, she kept me company whilst Marc was at work and worked in my garden.

I had one night where my mum had gone off to the pub with a friend she had made. I had some very strong Braxton Hicks and I was convinced that baby was coming. But after a few hours, I contractions subsided and I just went to bed. It felt like this baby was never going to arrive

A week or so before my due date (7 June), I started to break out into a nasty rash all over my abdomen. It itched so badly, I scratched until I was bleeding. My mum convinced Marc to take me to the midwife who instructed us to pack a bag and go straight to the hospital.

The bag was packed. It had been for months in advance. The doctors thought I might have choleostasis which is where your liver stops processing the bile from your stomach and can poison the baby. So they induced labour.

And induced labour. And induced labour. I had drips. I had creams. I had a very scary midwife sticking her fingers where no finger shad gone before her. I had contractions. For 3 days!!!!! In the end, he wasn't coming out the way nature intended and I conceded to having a c-section.

We waited for what seemed like ages for the surgical crew to come and get us. I got the epidural which I seem to remember didn't hurt as badly as it did when I got the one for Abigail. They wheeled me into the operating theatre and I knew that in the next 10 minutes I was going to have a baby. Mild panic really set in.

Marc and the anethesist were talking about sailing. I had to remind him that they were going to pull a baby out of me and he needed to pay attention. He did and they did.

They announced it was a boy and held him up over the curtain for us to see. He was a mini-Marc. He looked just like my husband only in miniature. He was huge. He'd been born 6 years ago today (3 days before his official due date) and he was beautiful. He had great big cheeks and a scrunched up little nose. Marc cut the umbilical cord. And took loads of photos.

I spent ages in recovery alone. They changed this when Abigail was born and I didn't have to be separated from her in recovery but waiting to be reunited with my son and husband was the longest 20 minutes.

And then they handed him over to me. At 37, I was a mother. I never thought that moment would come. I was in awe of myself, my body, the whole process. Mostly I was in awe of this little man. He smelled so sweet. How do they get that smell? I grew a wee little human being inside of me and produced this most perfect little creature.

He breast fed like a champion and within 3 days, Marc and I took our perfect little boy home with us. We put him down in his car seat in the middle of the lounge and just stared at him wondering what in the world were we supposed to do now.

We are still wondering. That's precious little baby is 6 years old today. He has grown into a charming, clever, industrious boy. It is a joy to be a part of his family.

I love you, Sebastian! Happy Brithday!


Anonymous said...

Well Written. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

Also, he's a great looking boy. Can't wait til my son is six and we can just chat.

Make sure he raises his hand in class. See Below:

Janell said...

Wonderful narrative of Seb's birth and a tribute to Marc's devotion to you and the kiddlets.
Good story.
Good life.
Great kid.

stephanie said...

Happy Birthday, Sebby!

Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Tony, Audrey, Carson, & Creighton

Brooke said...

Happy birthday Seb! I hope you had a great day!

Shirley said...

Great story -- Happy Birthday Sebastian.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Seb:) Whipper

JMarie said...

Happy B-Day from Casa Herrera!

Sue said...

Would like to add a belated birthday wish to what appears to be a fine young man. Happy Birthday, Sebastion.