Monday, November 24, 2008

Birth Day Reflection

I am currently doing two things:
1. Avoiding homework.
2. Reflecting on the birth of my oldest child.

Today is my son's 16th birthday. I know I've already discussed my melancholy over this day in a previous post. But something I have always found quite interesting is that birthdays always seem to trigger a reflection about the actual event of being born.

I don't know if it's the same in your family, but in mine when your birthday rolled around, you were always treated to a retelling of the story of your birth. Birth stories are family legend. It's a tradition on the level of turkey on Thanksgiving, Christmas trees, and fireworks on the 4th. Birthdays involve birthday cake, presents, and birth stories.

So, here I am, avoiding database design and construction (BORING), and thinking about my oldest child and how he came to be in our lives.

We had miscarried once before him, which had left us quite nervous. Other than having had a problem with preterm labor and a month on bedrest, the pregnancy went well. My water broke early in the morning, and although we lived an hour away from the hospital, there were still no contractions by the time we got there so they started me on pitocin (which, in my opinioin, is an extremely evil medication). Contractions began as suddenly and painfully as if I had been hit by a Mack truck.

Hard labor lasted for several hours (or rather an eternity) and then it was time to push. Keep in mind that throughout this entire experience I had no medication of any kind. No epidural, no other meds, nada. I was young and idealistic (perhaps stupid). When it came to pushing I had no idea what I was doing. Nobody teaches you the nuts and bolts of shoving a watermelon through a pinhole. It didn't help that this child was 9 pounds and had a big head.

After two and a half hours of pushing and no progress, he started having decelerations in his heart rate and the doctor was seriously concerned for his well-being so she pulled out the forceps. These are another of the most evil medical inventions ever. The doctor managed to grasp my son's head and as I pushed, she braced a foot on the bed and leaned back, pulling with all of her strength. I'm surprised that when he finally gave up and entered the world the doctor didn't land on her butt with the baby in her lap.

Thankfully we were none the worse for wear and proudly bore the scars of the ordeal: I with dozens of stitches, he with the only blackeye he's ever had (the doctor got the forceps on crooked in her desire to get him out quickly).

Now, 16 years later to the day, we will share the day again by celebrating our family, consuming birthday cake, taking pictures, opening presents, and reliving the story of how he came into the world and made us a family, rather than just a couple.

Happy Birthday Scooter!


Anonymous said...

Oh...I love stories of baby's births. My son will be 16 in April...and boy is that a story to tell.

Happy Birthday to your new 16 year old...enjoy the day!

Embee said...

Ang- well, my youngest was born on Nov 29, so I will likely post another birth story on Saturday!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Happy b-day to the big 'un. I've got a 16 y.o. too.

Forceps??? Good grief! My 16, 18 & 19 y.o.'s were helped by a much better contraption - a vacuum extractor after mere 23, 18, and 16 hour labor. Oh, and epidurals didn't work on my as I'm anesthesia resistant, so I def feel your pain!

Terri Tiffany said...

What a story!! I love reflectiing back on how my daughter was born too--I think it makes their day even more special that we remember.