Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy

Saturday will mark the one-year anniversary of Hayden’s birth. It has been a year full of semi-sleepless nights, endless smooches, and a million giggles.
After the twins were born we thought it would be foolish to use any kind of contraception (yes, that word makes me uncomfortable, too). We knew it would be great to have children, but certainly didn’t think it would happen “naturally” after so many years of infertility. We laughed when the doctor called it “taking a chance,” and we decided to see what would happen.
During those barren years I would complain about women who had “surprise” pregnancies. Are you sexually active? Are you contracepting? (Offically uncomfortable, by the way.) Then it’s not a SURPRISE, it’s just UNPLANNED. Very different situations, people! In case you’re wondering: No, crow does not taste good.
I was scheduled for a cesarean on February 4th. Bags in hand, we kissed goodbye the 14-month-old twins, along with my parents who had traveled in from Michigan, and we headed out the door. Compared to having two other deliveries totally unplanned and early, it was surreal to be all, “See ya later! It’s almost noon and we have a date with a butcher knife!”
I’d given birth to Elisabeth vaginally (should I have put a warning at the beginning of this post or what?) but delivered the twins by cesarean, so I knew what to expect. The moment I dreaded most was the poke. If you’ve had a c-section you know exactly what I’m talking about. You just pray that you can’t feel it, as it ensures that you are properly numbed and ready to be sliced open like a pot roast.
“OK, let me know if you can feel this,” Doc E yelled over the curtain, lowering her sterilized scissors.
“UM, YEAH, I feel it.” This is not what I remember.
“Really? Hmm. What about…”
“YES, I FEEL IT,” I clammored, trying not to yell.
“Let’s wait a few minutes and see if some extra anesthesia will help….”
“What about now?” she asked again.
“It’s better, but I can still feel it.”
“Well, that’s not where we’re cutting, so you should be fine.” Doc proceeded to slice into my skin, and I instantly realized I was in a horror film.
I was thankful when she apologetically declared I was going to be put under general anesthesia.
An hour later I opened my eyes in the recovery room and realized I’d been tossed onto a tilt-a-whirl. I immediately shut them and, not wanted to complain, kindly said, “Woah, I am super dizzy.” Since my going-under was unplanned, I hadn’t been given the anti-nausea medication that is typically administered. So although I felt perfectly fine, I couldn’t open my eyes or sit up without…well, I just couldn’t. It’s not like having the flu where you think I’ll just sit up slowly and make my way to the bathroom. It’s not an option. You just cannot open your eyes.
Five hours later our 10 pound, 2 ounce baby boy had not yet been named. Although we had an idea, I couldn’t imagine confirming the name without having seen him! Levi tried to show me a picture but I couldn’t even open up my eyes long enough to look. It was ridiculous. I knew the nurses were giving him formula and I was getting emotional about missing those bonding hours and chances at nursing. But after the fourth medication, all of a sudden I felt fine. My mind stopped spinning, I sat up, gulped a gallon of water, and said, “Gimme that baby!” We knew instantly the name Hayden fit, and his middle name, Kendrick, was my maternal grandmother’s maiden name.

Our glorious meeting was everything I’d dreamed it could be. Up until that moment I had never experienced a baby cooing and nuzzling in my hospital room with me. Elisabeth had died while I was still in the delivery room, and the twins were quarantined in the special care nursery. Everyone had told me to send Hayden to the nurses at night so I could get some rest, but I wanted nothing more than to smell him and nurse him and mother him every second I could.
Hayden is the sort of baby who makes people giggle with his fat cheeks and dimpled smile and loving disposition. He is busy and funny and active like his brothers, but incredibly content and independent, too.
Praise God for surprises.

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