Ryan was quite pleased to hear the news today that I'd be signing him out of school early.
Until I mentioned the pediatrician, that is.
"What? I'm not sick!"
"Yeah, Mom, he's not sick," chimed in my oh-so-helpful older boys. "Wait, it must be for his well check-up," Nolan said. "Does he need some shots?" (because he's oh-so-helpful indeed)
After I peeled Ryan's hands off the table and assured him he needed no shots, he was game for a half day of school. "When will you be coming?" he asked with a smile.
My little guy just had a birthday. Sunday, he turned seven. We had a party at a local pizza parlor, complete with R2D2 cake, that went quite well.
(Any party where I only need one dose of Tylenol afterwards can be considered a "quite well.")
Considering he was my most physically uncomfortable pregnancy, "quite well" is the least he can do for me.
When your coworkers start pleading with you to "hurry up and have that baby, already, I can't stand watching you walk around in pain like that anymore" and it's only your sixth month, you know it's bad. Swollen, tearful, achy; exhausted, overwhelmed, sick; nightmares, insomnia, and a pelvis that felt like it was about to break in two with the next step made me just a joy to be around.
And I was just plain huge. I know, I measured. My friend, the fabled Jenny, was living in Missouri (deserter!) at the time, and I measured my circumference just so she could picture exactly how ginormous my girth had become. (It was 52 inches, if memory serves, right before I threw the tape across the room. Seventh month, eighth month, does it really matter how far along you are once you are that big? I think not.)
I. Was. Miserable.
So I did what any normal hugely pregnant, wildly hormonal, about 2 weeks from delivery woman should do.
I decided to look at myself in the mirror. With my glasses on. Naked. (Front view, side view, thank-god-not-back-view, does it really matter when you are that big? I think not.)
I knew that was a bad decision, when I burst into tears with such vehemence that poor Nolan heard me, over the shower running, and ran for his Daddy.
Poor Mr W, I can only applaud him, in retrospect. The fact that he didn't just pack a bag and leave when he opened the door to my sobbing self exclaiming, "Look at me! I'm a freak show!!" complete with a snot mustache and the towel barely making it around me is just a testimony to his good-husbandness. "You won't look like this forever. Only two more weeks," he comforted. "Easy for you to say," sob, sob, "because it's not happening to you, and I'm only..." wail, whine, sob "...I'm only gonna get big-gggerr..." In the end, he calmed me down. I'm sure he was wishing he'd asked my ob for a tranquilizer dart to knock me out until the end.
Later that week was time for a check-up. When we were leaving the house, I told Mr W that if there was any chance of talking my ob into taking the boy out, I was gonna go for it. I just couldn't go on, I was sooo uncomfortable. As things turned out, my blood pressure was a bit up (ha, imagine that) and I was puffy as hell. I jokingly told my ob that I couldn't go on, and although I was already scheduled for two and a half weeks later, couldn't he help me out now? Did I really need to prove something? He paused for a moment, and we discussed my former pre-eclamptic finale with Ben. He left the room for a moment, and I dared to hope, crossing my fingers. Minutes later, he stuck his head back into the room. "What are you guys doing later tonight?" he asked, "because if we can get you a bed, we're having a baby."
There were no objections from me. I wasn't about to pass that up. Relief, the finish line, in sight.
He went on to explain that in light of what had gone on with Ben, he felt better taking the little guy then while both he and I still looked good, as opposed to later, when I might (and most possibly would) be experiencing problems. The memory of mag sulfate reared its ugly head, so I answered with a hearty "bring it on." A bed was procured, the rendezvous time set up, Mr W shipped the kids to my Mom's, and off we went.
We were able to show up at the hospital at the time my nurse told us to be there. We were escorted to a room to prep me for the c-section, and I should've known something was up when the nurses were kinda hurried. Snappy. Bitchy. I was sent off to change, and of course I had to pee.
Ahhhh, I thought, as I sat down on the toilet.
I looked down, and burst out laughing.
I had on one brown shoe, one black shoe. Neither one of us had noticed. Okay, I couldn't see my feet, I had an excuse. Mr W claims concern for my welfare prevailed over him checking my wardrobe on the way out, so I had to grant him a pass on those grounds.
Over the next hour or so, I suffered more humiliation and discomfort. Honestly, was it necessary to force the catheter on me before my epidural? Did she really need to look knowingly at the other nurse before retrieving a flashlight (and I knew what that was all about)? Did I need to hear the stage whispers about "shift change" and "busy?" Give me a break, and do your job, you skinny, long-nailed bitch, before I kick you on 'accident,' I thought, as I gritted my teeth. I willed myself not to cry, but I didn't will myself not to put out a couple of teeth or a nose.
When the anesthesiologist came in and raised his eyebrows that I already had a catheter in place, I knew I wasn't being paranoid about the queens of torture. (But I'm not bitter, lol.) Luckily for me, he showed up...with a new, nice nurse, and a new, nice bag full of medicinal relief. <I love anesthesiologists. A prick, magic elixir, and everyone is happy happy. Wait a minute, isn't that the very thing that got me in this condition in the first place?>
All was forgotten once I saw the little vernix-covered wonder that was my Ryan. Crying lustily, and weighing in at 8 lbs 8 oz, he was 21 1/2 inches long. Not a bad size at all. I shudder when I think about how big he'd have been if I'd gone the distance.
I remember the nurses bringing him to me, apologizing that he was still "dirty." They were busy in the nursery too, that night. I had only seen him for a bit, but he was having a bath when I called. I decided to walk to the nursery, to see him. The nurses were horrified when they heard of my plans, and I talked them into letting me go as long as I promised to call for them should I need help. Was I glad I went!
I got to go into the darkened, quiet nursery, and watch the nurse give him his first bath. (I was up and around, but certainly not up to that, lol. I was worn out just getting there. Watching from the rocking chair was just fine. :p)
For all that pregnancy and birth misery, I was repaid with an easy baby. He nursed right off the bat, like a pro, and gave me no problems there. He eased into our lives, like he'd been there all along. He was such a good baby, that I was convinced a fourth baby would be just like him.
We all know where that kind of thinking lead me.
My coworkers that pleaded with me to "have that baby already" can hardly believe that "that baby" is seven.
That's okay, neither can I.