My Baby Becomes a Teenager
Tomorrow, my oldest child, my son Phoenix, will be 13 years old.
I'm still trying to come to terms with that: 13. A teenager. This is the same little boy that used to run around the room during the stampede scene on his "Lion King" video. The same little boy who made me macaroni art Mother's Day cards in preschool. The very same child who sat, rigid with excitement, for three hours of "Barney Live!"
My little guy, who wore a Barney jean jacket to that spectacle and a little Barney hat on his blonde little crew-cut hair, is now a guitar-playing, mohawk-sporting, Green Day fan who would rather poke his eyeballs out than watch an hour of "Sesame Street." The same little guy who ate nothing but peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for a year now wants shrimp scampi for his birthday dinner.
I look fondly at his second birthday party photos. He had a Barney cake. We gave him a tricycle. Today, my husband picks up Phoenix's X-Men cake and his PS2.
Time flies when you're raising a terrific kid.
(Warning: what follows is a birth story. If you don't like to read those, go no further.)
I was only a few months away from being 19 when I gave birth to Phoenix. I was scared silly. I was young, and had no close friends with children.
The day of my due date, I woke up in horrible pain. I could not move. I was living with my mother at the time, and yelling for her to come help me caused such pain, it was unbelievable. My entire right side was rigid. I began to vomit uncontrollably. My mother rushed in, and immediately I could tell by the look on her face that something was very, very wrong. I was rushed to the hospital. By the time we arrived, I was throwing up stomach bile, there being nothing else left in there to come up. The pain was getting worse. I was not even able to dress myself.
The verdict came quickly: kidney stones. BIG ones. I was given a shot of Demerol and Phenergan (my first ever, little did I know how many I'd take in the years to come). The pain and vomitting stopped, and I was relieved...but scared. How would this affect my baby? Could I pass the stones while pregnant? The doctors were unsure. My OB (who looked for all the world like Tasha Yar from "Star Trek: The Next Generation") was concerned. I was admitted to the hospital's maternity ward, and given medication to help the pain and the passing of the stones.
A week later, and no stones. The pain was getting worse, and I was having difficulty urinating. The decision: induction. It's a great irony, isn't it? I was put into labor to STOP my pain.
Pitocin was put in my IV, and the bag of waters was broken. A few minutes later, I hear a woman scream "NO MORE! NO MORE! I CAN'T TAKE THE FUCKING PAIN!!!!" My mother shut the door. I began to get even more scared.
The contractions started almost immediately, but were not painful. They felt more like intense menstrual cramps. Uncomfortable, but not unbearable by any means. After about an hour, the doctor asked if I would like to take a nap, to conserve my strength for the birth. I was reminded that a first birth could take 12 hours or more. I didn't want any pain meds, so I was given a sedative, and drifted off to sleep.
I was very suddenly awakened. Drowsy, I couldn't understand what the nurses were trying to tell me. Monitors were going off, and someone put an oxygen mask on my face. I was suddenly completely awake, and terrified. My mother then broke the news: I was completely dialated. I didn't believe her. The contractions still did not hurt badly. Where was the awful pain of labor? Where were the hours and hours of terrible contractions? Why was this happening so fast, and why were those monitors going off?
The doctor came in, and filled me in on the rest of the problem: the baby had not turned, and his head was facing the side. I could not deliver him that way. To make matters worse, it seems the cord was wrapped around his neck and his heartrate was becoming erratic. Now I was REALLY scared.
I had two options: an emergency C-section (which means I would not be awake for the birth), or they could try to turn the baby. I opted to have him turned. Several nurses and a male orderely came in, and held me down (so I would not rear up and break my pelvis). They turned him quickly, but the pain was unreal. I blacked out for a moment. When I came to, a squatting bar was in front of me. I sat up, held on to the bar, and pushed against it. After 20 minutes, my son was born.
He was blue. My mother said he looked like a little Smurf. He began to cry, loudly. The doctor and my mother sighed in relief. We waited for the Apgar: a 9. He'd had a bit of trouble in the labor, but was perfectly healthy.
I'd been in labor a grand total of six hours. I slept through four of them.
After a short trip to the nursery for blood tests and so on, I was nursing my son for the first time. I was completely in love. Never before had I felt the way I did, at that moment in time. My life was changed forever. I was now a Mommy.
And tomorrow, I'll be a Mommy to a teenaged boy.
Like I said, time flies when you're raising a terrific kid...