Jamie’s almost a year old.
When people ask, I’ll say, “I have a 1 year old.”
How can this be? He arrived, like, yesterday.
But when I really think about the last 12 months…
the first smiles,
the first laughs,
his first meltdown,
my first meltdown,
learning to crawl,
the first fever,
all the snuggles and kisses…
I suppose it has been a year. The hardest, most rewarding, love-filled year of my life.
My due date was April 11, 2011. Throughout my entire pregnancy I was just sure I would be a couple of weeks early. We moved to a new state when I was 34 weeks pregnant, which left me scrambling to get unpacked, the nursery decorated, and everything in place before we had our sweet baby. We were ready for this little man by the time I was 37 weeks. More than ready. I was desperate for him to come.
We waited for signs of labor, contractions, water breaks, anything… but April 11 came and went, and no signs were to be seen. I bought one of those excercise balls to sit on, I started taking longer walks, drank loads of pineapple juice and raspberry leaf tea, and covered everything I ate in hot sauce. Nothing.
On a Wednesday, when I was 2 days past 40 weeks, my doctor decided it was time to schedule an induction. We were supposed to check in the following Monday evening, and would begin the induction on Tuesday morning. I prayed and prayed I’d go into labor before then. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday passed and then came Sunday. I woke up feeling normal. We ran some errands, and tried to enjoy this last day as just the two of us. We were grilling steaks around 5:30 that evening when I got my first real contraction. It was different than the “contractions” I had been having for a few weeks. More intense. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but we started timing them, and sure enough a pattern began to form. They were 5-10 minutes apart, lasting 30 seconds to a minute all evening long. We watched TV and I sat and timed them with a contraction app on the computer. Since they weren’t getting closer together, we decided to go to bed and get some rest. I was pretty sure the next day would be an exciting one.
ALL NIGHT LONG. EVERY 5 MINUTES, ALL NIGHT LONG. By morning I was pretty pooped and ready to call our Doctor. She told us to go to the hospital and get checked out. We get loaded up, drive to the hospital, and wouldn’t you know it… the contractions slowed down on our way. Once we arrived, I changed into a gown, got hooked up to fetal monitors, and was checked by a nurse. 1 cm dilated. That’s it. 1 flippin’ cm. I was so discouraged after all that I went through the previous night. The nurse kept us there for an hour to see if there was any change, but there wasn’t, so we were sent home. Our induction was scheduled for that evening anyway, so we were told to come back at 7:oo pm.
While we were at the hospital Josh saw a KFC commercial on TV, which sparked a craving he couldn’t turn a blind eye to. (Dad’s totally get pregnancy cravings too.) We headed there on our way home, which was when the contractions came back with a vengeance. I only managed a few bites of chicken before I was on my hands and knees breathing through contractions. If I could make it until 7:00 pm when we were suppose to go back anyway, then I was sure we wouldn’t be turned away again.
By 7:00 I couldn’t talk through the contractions anymore. We were admitted for the induction, got situated in our room and waited for the nurse to come tell us what was next. I was clearly in labor on my own–no induction would be necessary. YAY!! I had progressed to 3.5 cm and the contractions were almost one on top of the other. Our sweet angel of a nurse said I could have the epidural at this point, and I swear I would’ve kissed her if I could’ve gotten out of that bed. It took a few tries to getting the epi in place, but once the juices were flowing, I was feeling just fabulous. Relief that I hadn’t felt in 28 hours… oh… it was wonderful.
I got the epi around 8:30 that night, and the next several hours were actually very relaxing. Josh and I watched a little TV, called family members, and actually sold our house in Oklahoma while I was in labor. (That’s a story for an entirely different post.) We tried to get some sleep, but seeing as I was feeling no pain at this point, I was just too excited to sleep.
All of the sudden, lights came on, nurses came flying in, machines started beeping and they were shoving my husband out of the way. The baby’s heart rate had dropped dangerously low, and they were flipping me on my side and shoving an oxygen mask in my face. Scary doesn’t come close describing that moment. Looking back, it was my first real “Mommy” moment. During all this commotion, I truly was scared, yet calm, thinking, do whatever you have to do to help my baby. Don’t focus on me. Just help my Jamie. Once they got me in the right position, his heart rate came back up, and things started progressing more quickly.
My nurse checked me periodically, and I was making good progress, but my water still hadn’t broken. I remember her saying, “Once your water breaks, that baby will be here so fast.” I made it to about 9.5 cm, and she had me start pushing. I remember the nurses saying, “you have to push harder!” and all I could say was, “OK, thank you.” They told my husband I was the most polite laboring lady they’d ever worked with. About an hour later my water broke–and what a strange sensation that was! My nurse was right, he was out within 10 minutes.
This is the part of the story I’ve been struggling with. It makes me emotional to think about, let alone write out in story. But here goes:
There are no words that can adequately describe seeing my child for the first time.
Holding him in my arms.
Touching his little face.
Counting his tiny fingers.
Looking into his deep blue eyes.
My sweet baby Jamie.
There are simply no words.
Watching Josh hold our precious son for the first time is a memory I will always cherish. He was exhausted and exhilarated, and the look on his face was so pure. Genuinely in love.
James Brien was born at 5:09 am, weighing 7 lbs 3 oz, and was 19.5 inches long. He had a full head of light brown hair, the most beautiful blue eyes, and the instant ability to make me melt just simply by existing.
My sweet baby Jamie. I love you more than anything on earth. How are you already almost a year old?
I love you all the time,