Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One day you're pushing and then .... poof, they're gone!

I can’t believe that my first born boy turns 40 today.  That’s right, 40 years ago I was in a delivery room during an Iowa snowstorm, laboring for 48 hours. 

Oh, yes, you heard that right.  LABORING!  48 HOURS!  Two DAYS!

I KNOW!  Who labors that long these days?  Moms would be lawyering up.  Dads would be suing for income losses. 

Prehistoric as it seems, it was not unusual in small Iowa hospital communities.  It was a time before birthing classes, epidurals, and fetal monitors became the norm.  It was a time that babies were swaddled so tight to be only briefly held before returning to the nursery.  It was a time husbands sat in waiting rooms, waiting.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I had already had one day of beastly contractions and by the time I was heading into day two, I was being told to push.  PUSH?  PUSH WHAT?    (Remember, this was before birthing classes and Google.)

In my haze, I remember my doc telling my husband-at-the-time during my second day of NEVERENDING PAIN that “she thinks that baby is just gonna pop out by itself.” 

If only I could have gotten out of that bed, I would have POPPED his head RIGHT OFF.

Perhaps, doc ...  if you would have taken better stock of how BIG my baby was, and that it was my FIRST and that maybe being JUST 18, that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, those combinations just might make my delivery a tad DIFFICULT!  

I had no clue how long this was going to go on.  Maybe days.  Years.  FOREVER!

This baby seemed to want to take his time coming into the world.  And why not?  He was going to be stuck through eternity with this country farm girl from the sticks ......  “no, no, no, not THAT woman.  Someone has made a mistake!  I want a different M-O-T-H-E-R!“ 

And then ... time to push.  I had no idea.  NO IDEA.  But my body did.  WE'RE THERE.

Once wheeled to the delivery room (WHAT in-room delivery?), and with the doc at the finish line, I hear the gush of water hitting the floor.

Doc: “I just broke your water. It shouldn’t be long now.”

And it wasn’t.  The urge to push was so beyond my control.  As if a Sigourney Weaver's alien had taken over my body and then .... a relief, a calm.  The head is out, the head is out!

Doc: “Stop pushing.”


Um, no. NO NO NO.

Doc: “You need to stop pushing for a moment.  The cord is around his neck three times. It will just take a second.”

THREE TIMES! My brain can’t focus.

I close my eyes, and freeze.  Be still, be perfectly STILL.

And then.

Doc: “Ok, one more push and we’re there.”

And we were.  INCREDIBLE.  All the pain and weight lifted away.

Doc:  “Whoa ... this is a big guy!”

Nurse:  “He must be 10 pounds.”

Doc:  “Betcha he’s easily 11.”

Nurse:  “I’ll take that bet.”

HEY! HEY!  HEEEYYYYY!  Quit all the jabber and bring me that baby!

He weighed 11 lbs and 3 oz., head temporarily bruised and misshapened, but totally healthy and strong from his arduous journey into the world.

Everyone in the hospital was talking about him.  He was almost twice the size of many of the other babies.  And I fell in love with him immediately.

With his thick red hair, Opey freckles and mercurial moods, he was his own man from the start.  Independent, reliable, disciplined and athletic, never one to fail at anything he set out to achieve. 

So now, 40 years later, through many hills and valleys of differences and expectations of each other, he is still as INCREDIBLE as he was from the first moment he arrived.

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you're two,
Turn around and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young man going out of my door.

I want to take back those 40 years and do them all over again.  With only one exception.  To do them BETTER, MUCH MUCH BETTER this time around with the clock moving slowly so I can watch frame by frame all the moments of his life.


missing the mom gene