Happy Birthday Baby James!

My eyes slid open at 8am. I felt relaxed, drugged, but relaxed. I don’t think that I had truly relaxed in over nine months. It had snowed over 12.5 inches over night and the entire city was shut down which is why my mom decided to stay in one of the hospital hotel rooms that night. She came down and we started waking up and getting prepared for the day ahead of us. I probably could have slept for the next ten hours.

My in-laws were struggling to get to the hospital as both of their cars were stuck in the snow. I could just hear the panic in my mother-in-law’s voice as she was on the phone with Jimmy. This is the day she had been waiting for her entire life (besides the birth of her own child of course). She was not going to be stuck at home, no sir-e-bob! I think she ended up taming a few wild dogs near her house and attached a sled to them before steering them to the hospital. Or that could have all been a drug induced dream…who knows? My best friend also showed up, but that was a little less amazing because her dog is part husky and already has a sense for pulling a sled. No training was needed.

Although I was aware of the affect the drugs were having on my body, I was getting a little (a lot) nervous that I would still be able to feel something when the operation started. I wiggled my toes every once in awhile just to show those around me that I was not crazy for thinking these thoughts.

The operation was supposed to start at 10am but of course, my doctor was running late. So they just kept pumping drugs into me. No problem here! You can be as late as you want, just keep those narcotics coming! They brought in Jimmy’s outfit for the OR. It was all white and sort of resembled the State Puff Marshmallow man. We all joked about that but then somebody kept saying “Its time to make the doughnuts” which is a reference to Dunkin’ Doughnuts for all of you healthy people out there. It made no sense, but it made me laugh. Actually, I think I’m the one who started saying that and I don’t think anyone was laughing but me. Oh well, at the time, I thought that it made sense, and I thought it was funny. So I kept repeating it. Don’t do drugs…this is what happens.

My doctor finally arrived. She brought along with her one of her partners. I thought this had something to do with the snow. Everyone else thinks that it is because she knew I was going to have a gigantic baby and she needed help lifting him out. She is a little woman. He was a big baby! Their theory is possible.

When they finally rolled me into the OR the clock said 11:39am. They had to transfer me to the operating table. I couldn’t move anything below my waist because of the epidural so when they moved me, I felt like I was falling. They forewarned me of this feeling and yet, I screamed anyways. It really did feel like I was going to fall straight on the floor. They weren’t kidding! They told me that they wouldn’t tie down my arms unless I started grabbing for things on the other side of the curtain. Now the curtain in question is the one that they hang up to protect you from seeing that unholy bloody mess. My question is, do people really go in there and just start grasping at things that are behind the curtain? Who goes into an operating room and just starts grabbing at equipment. I’d like to see an example of that. Are they really just afraid that you might steal some forceps or tweezers? Whatever the reasoning was behind telling me that piece of advice had to be good. Should I have thanked them? “Thank you kind sir for not tying my arms down.” At any rate, trust me, I did not move my arms once the entire time that we were in the operating room.

I was trying to force myself to stay awake. This is the moment I had been waiting for for nine months. But all the noises and the prepping got my little drugged mind pretty anxious. I let myself drift to sleep, not real sleep, drug sleep. I woke a little when Jimmy came in but soon drifted off again. I didn’t even know when the doctors had come in or when they had started the procedure.

I woke one more time. I was cold, shivering from the epidural, oxygen was stuffed in my nose, my mouth was dry because I had to breathe through my mouth while this horrid thing was stuffed in my nose, and my lips were chapped. What had happened in the past twenty minutes while I was passed out that now I feel like a dog that has hung his head out of the car window for 500 miles. Did I grab something behind the curtain?

Country music was playing loudly and everyone was singing and dancing. Doctors and nurses were laughing and talking excitedly and just as I thought I was in the middle of a Kenny Chesney concert, I hear the doctor say, “I can see the head!” My anesthesiologist leaned over the sacred curtain and then motioned for Jimmy to stand up. He said “You’ve got to see this man, get up here!” Jimmy popped up like he had been waiting for permission to do that all along. I asked him if they knew the sex yet, but they hadn’t pulled the baby all the way out yet. Still, they were astonished by the size of his head. When he was finally born, instead of hearing a baby cry, I heard people laughing. The doctor said its a boy and then the crying started. I can’t describe the happiness that I felt. I was crying and laughing and trying to get a glimpse of him. It was an amazing feeling.

James continued to scream, but I think it was because an entire room of people he had just met were laughing at him rather than being ripped from the only nice and warm home he had ever known. The doctor’s joked that he should be named Bruiser rather than James. Someone was shouting about ordering him a steak and potato. No one could believe how big he was. I heard in a mocking voice, “Get me a porterhouse, my name is bruiser.” He weighed in at 10.24lbs. A gorgeous 10.24lbs. They laid him under a warmer with his butt facing me. I looked over and saw him for the first time. He was swollen. All I could see were balls. Gigantic red balls! Poor baby was swollen. He was definitely a boy!

James

They finally wrapped him up and gave him to Jimmy. James became quiet. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Everything was simple and right in that moment. We had waited years for that one moment…to be a family of more than two. I was at peace. It was beautiful.

Family

That was a year ago today. James Timothy came into our lives. He is the most brilliant and beautiful boy there ever was. Every mother feels this way right? Our life is busier and poopier. We get less sleep and have to take luggage everywhere we go. But we also get more cuddles and chances to sing “I’ve Been Working On the Rail Road”. We have more bananas in our house and an over abundance of diaper rash cream (you’ll never know when you’ll need a little Destin.)

He is still beautiful. We are still over joyed. There are no other words…it is right.

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2 Responses to “Happy Birthday Baby James!”

  1. Happy Birthday Baby James. What great memories Angela :) May there be many more to come.

  2. Finally…the end of the story! What a beautiful boy. Can’t believe how fast it goes — we’re closing in on 9 months right now. Yikes…

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