This is Jonathan. In wading back through a bunch of pictures, I found this one, and it's as far back as I can access right now. I'm guessing he's about 14 or 15 months here. He's now 4 and a half, and will be starting pre-k in a few days, and while I find myself alternately happy as a clam and a nervous wreck, I've resigned myself to just not think about it the next few days, and just go with whatever hits me that first day.
But in the meantime, I'd like to do something different, and share with you Jonathan's birth story. This huge milestone in his life takes me back to the day he was born, when I held him and wondered what time would bring. And since this blog is meant to be a journal of sorts, it wouldn't be complete without a story of how he came into the world.
It was a cold, snowy morning in March in Annapolis, MD, where we lived at the time. I was past my due date, and getting more and more anxious as the days went by, and more and more uncomfortable. The previous morning, I had visited my OB who told me I was about 3 cm dilated, but because it was my first baby, they weren't ready to push things along yet. If, she said, by Friday, this baby hadn't arrived, I would come in, and we would schedule an induction for the following week. Well, the next day was Wednesday, and at 4am that morning, I woke to a gush of water - my water had broken. I, of course, didn't know this, I thought I had rolled over in bed and wet myself. I proceeded to spend the next hour in the bathroom, alternately standing and sitting, trying to decide if I was still wetting myself, or if it was truly what I thought it might be. By 5am, I woke Mark. And by 6, I was on the phone with the OB. No, I wasn't having any kind of contractions. Yes, I was pretty sure it was my water. Go to the hospital at 8, she said. So for the next two hours, I called my parents, emailed my boss, some friends, some family, and sat by with Mark, watching the gentle snow fall on an ever-lightening, but pretty gray and cold day.
By 8:30, we had not only arrived at the hospital, but they had determined that yes, indeed it was my water that had broken, had gotten me checked in, assigned to a room and ready to go. But I still wasn't having any contractions. By 9:30, they decided I needed pitocin. And by 10, I was having contractions. Mild at first, then they started getting worse. They kept upping the amount of pitocin to increase the contractions, and finally, around 2pm, I was in full-blown labor. Trouble was, I wasn't having an easy time with the contractions, go figure, and I was still dilated only to 3. I tried a pain med, but all it did was make me dizzy. So there I was, still in the worst pain ever, and now dizzy on top of it.
By now, it was 3:30 and I was in agony. The nurses wanted me to walk, but I flat-out refused - I could hardly stand up, much less walk. My OB approved an epidural and it was immediately put in by about 3:45pm. God Bless epidurals. God Bless anesthesiologists. Relief!!! It was immediate, and it was wonderful. In one hour and 45 minutes, I went from 3cm to 10cm, and at 5:30, I started to push. Little did I know, the hard part had just begun! For the next two hours, I pushed, I heaved, I played tug-of-war with the nurses with their little rolled-up towel-ropes, I pushed until I thought my head would explode. Luckily, there was no pain. Zero. But I was sucking oxygen in between contractions, and I was exhausted. When he finally crowned, the OB, of course, was nowhere to be found. The nurses said - "just go ahead and breathe through the next few contractions until she gets here", which I did for the first one or two, but after that, I told them to get that OB in that room or I was pushing that baby out myself. My, that OB did appear quickly after that!
About a minute later, Jonathan entered the world....8 lbs, 2 oz, 21 inches long. It was a little after 7:30pm and I was just wiped out. But he was here, he was healthy, and that's all that mattered. Thankfully, his birth was an uneventful one. We had some issues later 0n - I was pretty sore and couldn't really sit down for about 3 weeks. And Jonathan had some inflammation in his neck called torticollis. But 8 weeks later we were back to our new normal, and since then, I can't believe all that has happened, and I can't believe in a few days, I'll be sending him out into the big world. He'll always be my tiny baby, my firstborn, that little guy I fought so hard to bring into the world.
Good luck, Jonathan, our little son. Get used to it early, since you'll be doing it for the next 13 years!