Warning: Do not read the below if you're generally squeamish and/or modest! I happen to be neither, but I figured I'd give a warning to those who are. Also, it's a little self-indulgent and long, so forgive me. :)
Please read this story when you think there is anything in the world that I wouldn't do for you.
My whole heart,
Max’s birthday is quickly approaching (10 days and counting to be exact) and I can’t help but think back to the day he was born as it gets closer. Details from that day somehow keep finding their way to the forefront of my thoughts lately. And then I realized I've never actually documented the story of Max's birthday on the blog or elsewhere for that matter, so I think its about time since my momma-memory seems to be dwindling by the day:
On February 12th we got sent to the hospital because my blood pressure was starting to creep up a bit. Nothing too bad, but my due date was the 14th and because I was already progressing the doctor decided it was time to meet Baby Murray. So we headed to the hospital. Billy and I were two big bundles of nerves. I wasn’t sure how the baby in my belly was going to get into my arms. It sounds strange, but hadn’t really thought much about exactly HOW that was going to happen. Maybe I just didn't want to think about it.
Once we checked in, they immediately started pitocin to get my contractions going stronger since I was already having some on my own. However, a few hours into the induction they announced that my blood pressure had returned to normal and the baby was doing fine so I had two options… A) turn off the pitocin, have some dinner and resume things later in the evening. Or B) full speed ahead. Well, I hadn’t eaten anything all day and I was STARVING. (Confession time: I was sneaking a couple Goldfish crackers here and there when the nurses were out of the room. Sorry Stella, best nurse ever, I'm sure you're reading this :) So I opted for choice A and sent Billy to Harry’s Bar & Tables to get us a feast.
We ate in our cozy little room and watched the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. A nice, memorable "last supper". Then we waited for my doctor to come back to get things going again. And waited and waited. Finally, after 2AM she came back and we started the pitocin again and she broke my water. Soon I was having REAL contractions. Not the ones that kinda hurt…the ones that make you want to punch your husband. I tell people this all the time, but I don’t think I could have even told you my name during those contractions. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but all of the hot tub and birthing ball plans went out the window fast. I wanted an epidural. Who better to give it than a cute guy that I knew from my days of debauchery at Quigleys? Billy and Jonathan the Anesthesiologist traded "remember when" stories while I kept thinking..."um, I've seen you really drunk and singing karaoke...are you sure you're now qualified to stick a needle in my back??" It turns out he was.
Later they turned off the pitocin since I was doing fine moving things along on my own. Baby Murray was on board with the whole being born agenda. By 7am I was over halfway there. Another nurse said it would likely be awhile and to relax. But I couldn't...my epidural wasn't working anymore despite how many times I tried to push that little button for another dose. Shortly after the nurse left the room, I sat straight up and told Bill to get the nurse again...I felt like I had to push. He told me to "just use the call button, honey"...and my reply to him was, "no, go out in the hall and get someone NOW." Bill came back with the nurse who had a cute smile on her face, as if to say "I JUST checked you." But I insisted she do so again. It was time for the big finale and I knew it. Her eyes opened wide and said, "You're ready. Go ahead and start pushing." And she went about the room getting things ready for the baby's arrival. I was shocked by how calm she was, so I did what came naturally on my own. I was feeling every contraction at this point and the only thing that helped was to push against the pain. Billy was a trooper...rubbing my back, holding my hand, counting to 10. I honestly thought there was a possibility he'd be passed out on the floor during this stage. Finally, after about 45 minutes, I gathered all my courage for one final burst of effort and then we met our baby boy. I was really proud of myself and so in love with that wet, squirmy little bundle immediately. Billy tearfully cut the cord although he hadn't planned on it. It was a beautiful experience even with all the pain.
The three of us snuggled in the hospital bed together after all the commotion stopped. No one disturbed us, no tests were done, no weight or measurements were taken in the first hour. We just got to be together and let our new roles in life sink in...a mom, a dad, a son. The old me had disappeared along with the pain and I was a new woman. A mother.
The thing that shocked me the most was that I was able to get up out of bed only 30 minutes after the whole ordeal. I was exhausted, but I felt strong. Probably from the adrenaline. Wild. Wonderful. We were parents. And that feeling of awe has not gone one day without gracing my heart. I can't believe in 10 days we'll be celebrating Max's first year and the anniversary of the best day of our lives.
Here's a snipet of video from Max's first hour of life. You can't see much of Max, but I cherish this clip. Us alone with our new baby for the first time. You can tell we're a little nervous (Billy attempts an inappropriate close-up and clearly has no sense of time) but we were so happy.