a ridiculously long post for a ridiculously cool guy

I was 21 the first time Josh knocked me up. Being 21, and being just smart enough to realize that maybe having a baby with a guy who I had lukewarm-at-best feelings about probably wasn't the hottest idea, I terminated the pregnancy.

Three months later I was 22 and things were much better with Josh and I and we decided to give the whole sex thing another go. Armed with more birth-control than you would find at a Planned Parenthood, we jumped back in. On attempt #3, I got pregnant. Again.

Enter B.

42 weeks after attempt #3 I was still pregnant and severely unhappy about it. They tell you the human gestation period lasts 40 weeks. They lie. 42 weeks later I was still pregnant with a very large child and ready to die. You see, when I got pregnant I weighed all of 98 glorious pounds, most of which were in my boobies. By 3 months, I could barely squeeze into size 16 pants. By 42 weeks, I weighed all of 198 pounds. You do the math.

I went to my midwife on April 13th and with tears in my eyes, I begged her to get this kid out. The only shoes I could wear were Josh's Teva's and we had just come off a blizzard and my feet were COLD. I couldn't shave my legs. I couldn't sit in normal chairs. My back felt like it had knives in it. I had MORE than doubled my body weight. I was all done.

She told me the baby would come when the baby came.

Josh asked to talk to someone else and that someone else very reluctantly scheduled me an induction that night.

The thing with inductions is that if it's not an emergency, you have to call and wait for them to squeeze you in somewhere. Clearly, every other baby in Denver proper wanted to be born on April 13th and they were full. I called ever hour, on the hour, for many, many hours and at midnight I gave up. They just couldn't get me in.

I cried myself to sleep.

15 minutes after I fell asleep, I woke up. Something was happening. Something so incredibly more painful than I was ever prepared for was happening and it was happening fast. I woke Josh up and he didn't believe me and as he went back to sleep, I went to the couch.

By 3:30 in the morning, we were at the hospital. In retrospect, I had the world's easiest labor. On arriving in the labor room, they pumped me full of 3 IV bags containing fluids and antibiotics and stuff for my heart. I had constant checks from the cardiologist, because, well, they were all still of the opinion that labor was going to kill me. It didn't. It lasted all day. I made it to 8 cm before I got the epidural, and I only got it because I didn't realize I was at 8 cm. I did realize that I couldn't stop throwing up and that I was really tired and that the pain in my back had escalated from unbearable to I-want-to-throw-myself-out-the-window.

Back Labor? You suck.

Let me set up the scene for you: Josh was there, my dad was filming. My mother in law and step mother were my human stirrups. (They each had a leg and some sweet bruises when it was all over). My 4'10" midwife was there. Rose Medical is a teaching hospital, and so there were 2 student nurse/OB thingies in the room. I have the holes in my heart and back then they didn't do natal EKG's, so I had a team of pediatric cardiologists in the room. By team, I mean, like, 10. They were ready. I also had a NICU team ready. There were 5 or so of them. Plus, the normal baby nurses were there with the warmer thingy and the suction bulbs and the blankets and the thing that goes on the baby's toe that blinks or beeps or something.

25 people. Plus me. In ONE small room.

B was born after 40 minutes of pushing; a fat, happy, perfect 7 pound 14 oz baby. I almost tore, and so they cut, and there was stitching to be done and ice chips to be eaten and a few tears to shed. I knew I wouldn't get to hold him right away; he had to get through the cardiologists and the NICU ladies and the nurses and stuff.

After about 10 minutes I started to notice a whole lot of whispering coming from the direction of my new bundle of goo. I called Josh over and all he said was this: "There's something wrong. It's nothing major, but give us a minute."

Boom.

You may as well have told me that all but 2 oceans just disappeared.

Of course, I was full of monitors and placentas and stitches and IV's in my arm and I couldn't get up or go anywhere.

And so I waited. And I waited.

They finally brought the baby to me and as the pulled the blanket up from his legs they said, very timidly, "Um, he was born with this."

This was a perfect little hole in his leg, about 1" long and 1/2" deep. That's kind of big, proportionately. The skin was all pushed up above the hole, meaning that it was obviously a cut and not a genetic mishap. It was bloody and gooey and awful. And no one had any clue where it had come from.

Now, I'm no doctor, but I am pretty sure that I or someone very close to me would have noticed something sharp enough to cut inside my girly-parts at some point in my life. The thing was, he came out with it. It happened while he was still a tenant at Chez Mommy.

The nurses groveled and the doctors pondered and in the end we were all left clueless and they just bandaged it up and that was that. Two days later, a doctor came by and held up one of the monitors that was jammed up in me during labor to his cut. It was a perfect match. They had taken a chunk out of his leg with the monitors they used to make sure he was still alive.

Fair trade off, I'd say.

Two years later, when T was born, they remembered us and the cut and everyone played pass-the-two-year-old-to-see-the-scar.

That scar is the thing B is most proud of. It's his special thing.

Anyway, I said all that to say this:

My dearest B, my first baby, oh my god there are no words. You astound me and thrill me and amaze me with every moment you live. You are, by far, the most individual individual I have ever met. You have this capacity to love that knows no bounds. You are kind and tender and sweet and I sometimes cannot believe you came from little old me. You reshaped my very concept of myself. You test me at every turn. You constantly seek knowledge and understanding. I mean, what kid reads almost only non-fiction? You are a thousand times smarter than me and more wise than me and more beautiful than me and nothing in this whole world could ever take your place in my heart. You were the greatest gift I have ever been given. Period. Nothing of who I am would be here if you weren't. I get lost in you sometimes. I look forward to hearing how you slept and what your plan is for the day. So much of me is wrapped up in you that I find myself having a hard time separating those two things occasionally. Thank you, my little booty munch. Thank you for letting me find out what it is I am here to do. Thank you for your conservative silliness and your kisses that can't be on the lips anymore because, ewww, you are too old for that. I would be lost without you. Scratch that; I would be nothing without you.

I love you so much that I can't even describe the ache. I hope you have the best birthday ever, baby.

All my love, all my life...

Mom