William’s birth was so calm and uneventful that I feel a bit odd about sharing it. I had hoped for something exciting like my water breaking in a theatrical fashion during an important Corporate America meeting, or a dramatic (but safe and healthy) home delivery as many of my amazing friends have experienced lately. But alas this was not our story.
I lamented the lack of excitement as we drove to the hospital at 5AM to be induced on the Thursday before Christmas. Brandon, likely just ready to be done with the whole final-weeks-of-pregnancy part (which is the WORST) assured me that this was the right timing for our family. After all, I was the one who had asked the doctor about a pre-holidays induction; having three excited little girls at home while I am stuck in the hospital over Christmas did not seem doable for my emotional well-being. Besides, the doctor suspected this baby boy would be big, and my body was already in disrepair from last year’s delivery of his hefty sister. Thus, on the Thursday before Christmas we arrived at the hospital in the wee hours of a quiet morning to welcome our baby boy via induction and I am still coming to terms with that so please be kind.
From there, as I mentioned previously, it was very calm and uneventful. The previous two weeks of on-again-off-again contractions had done their work and I was already at 4cm when we arrived. The doctor broke my water, a light Pitocin drip was started, and the epidural was begun. Julia had opted to miss school in order to be there while I labored, so we held hands and watched the Food Network. I progressed nicely and by 1:00 it was time to push. My sister had gotten off work just in time to walk in as the final preparations for William’s arrival were made. Remembering a few previous uncomfortable pushing moments from other deliveries I told my doctor that “I hate this part” but she assured me that this boy was not far off and if I gave it a few good pushes he would be here quickly. Not believing her, because I get VERY nervous and emotional when it comes to the part in life when you push a baby out, I said “are you SURE?” and she, having never delivered any of my babies answered “unless you suck at pushing, I am sure.” My type-A don’t-want-to-suck-at-anything personality was completely motivated and sweet William was out very (very) shortly thereafter.
As my doctor had suspected, he was a big healthy boy at 9 lbs. 7 oz. When they laid him, fresh from heaven, on my chest I realized that adrenalin and emotions and epidurally things make you a bit of a space cadet in these moments. I simultaneously wondered “does this goo come off the hospital gown, and my hands, very easily” and “are they sure it’s a boy” and “darn, that went so fast I kind of am sad it’s over.” The nurses began giving me elaborate instructions about his blood sugar, which would need to be tested at feeding intervals because of some concern about his size. As I lay there nodding but only taking in about 10% of the instructions I remember thinking “it is really odd that they think I will remember this, I hope someone else is listening because I do not understand a thing they are saying.” And then I held my sweet baby boy a little longer, and nursed him, and admired him, and was thankful.
After we had time to give him many good long looks and cuddles his sisters came to meet him, followed by grandmas and grandpas and aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. It was the most peaceful and serene of my deliveries, perhaps an indication of this sweet boy’s demeanor – or simply a Christmas blessing to a tired type-A mama. Either way, I’ll take it.