Arrrgghhhh. A new rite of passage that makes me feel 100 years old.
My oldest turned 21 today.
The first thing Big Kid said to me when I woke up this morning was..."can I finally have a beer?"
No, just kidding. But this post is going to be long and probably boring, so get out while you can! It's pretty self-indulgent.
The day before, he asked what time he had been born. It was about 1:35pm on January 2.
I was 19 years old.
Back then, I felt kind of ashamed of admitting it, because I was a teenaged mother. I always had to qualify it by explaining that I'd already been married to his dad for 6 months before I got pregnant, because I thought people would assume that we "had" to get married.
My oh my how things have changed.
Now I hang on to the "teenaged-mother" thing. I mean, how could I have a son this old? I just don't tell everybody that I was only a teenager for one more month, because my birthday is one month and one day after his. :-)
When I first found my birthmother, one of the things I really needed to hear was the story of my birth. For 35 years, all I ever knew was the story about when my parents brought me home from the adoption agency.
I was 3 months old. I left my first mother when I was 3 days old, and was fostered for a few months. She thought I went directly to a waiting family, but those agencies are/were often pretty cagey when dealing with birthmothers when it comes to "getting" the kid. My folks were waiting for a boy when they got the call a few days before they took me home.
Interested in a girl? the agency asked.
My dad said, "hell yes!"
I don't think my mother has ever forgiven him.
Just kidding. Sort of. Family lore says she planned on adopting 3 boys.
So although the Big Kid has heard "his" story quite a few times over the years, I understand the need to hear it all again. Where did I come from? Where did it begin?
I told him, but as always, I left stuff out. This is HIS day.
But I can't stop thinking about it. The "not said" stuff.
Since we were newlyweds, his dad and I boinked like rabbits, so we were never sure about what the due date would be. Sometime within a month, obviously.
In the wee hours of the morning of Wednesday, December 31st, I thought I was in labor. So we made the trip to the hospital and were there about 7 hours before it was determined that no, I wasn't actually in labor. We got home around 8am, and I had an OB appointment at 9am.
Although I was absolutely freaking enormous, the young doctor on call in the practice for the holiday season (not the older, fatherly one I'd been seeing) said that well, yeah, he could admit me and induce labor, but he'd rather wait until I went into it on my own.
I was on board. I was exhausted, and in pain. Men won't ever get this, unless you liken it to getting kicked in the nuts, and then they just won't believe it.
Because giving birth is "natural" and getting kicked in the nuts isn't. Unless he's a total asshat, and try getting a guy to admit that he is and it's natural for him to get kicked in the nuts.
When a women's body gets ready for giving birth, the hard cartilage crap that's separating all the little pelvic bones gets soft and everything grinds together when you move, like somebody trying out a stick shift for the first time or twelve. If a woman listens, she can actually hear it when it happens. It hurts like hell.
I just wanted to sleep. So we went home.
Of course, my now ex-mother-in-law was there waiting (she'd flown in a couple of days before from Hawaii and had taken 10 days from her job---and really I promise, she's a nice woman in real life), and so was my ex-father-in law. He'd called, found out that we were at the hospital, and invited himself over. They hadn't been married for a number of years, and got along like two cats tied in a sack.
So by the time we got home, they were ready to unload on someone. And it turned out to be me.
When they heard that the doctor had offered to induce and I refused, they kicked me around like a can.
"I only have 10 days off from my job!" my mother-in-law moaned. "I've already been here for 3! If you wait, I might not get to spend any time with my new grandchild! How could you be so selfish?"
"How could you be so fiscally irresponsible?", my father-in-law shouted. "If they induce you and you have the baby before midnight, you can claim it as a deductible for the whole entire year!"
No shit. I am NOT kidding you. And my now-ex just sat there and let them smack me around.
Where were MY parents?, you might ask. They both lived a couple of hours away and were just waiting to get the call that I was going in to the hospital like normal people.
I went into our bedroom and called my dad. I just wept. I was so damn tired and sore. And tired. Did I say that already? He demanded that I put my husband on the phone.
"If you can't protect my daughter, I'm going to come down there and rip your GD head off!" Then-hubby assured him that he would, and went out to "deal" with his parents. Dad asked me if I wanted him to drive down, and I told him that I thought everything would be ok. I went to sleep.
A couple of hours later, then-hubby shook me awake.
"My parents decided that we're going to go ahead and induce labor. They're calling the doctor now to set it up so we can have the baby before midnight".
We? What's with this "we" shit? When did my personal sprog plopping become a group decision?
Yes. Yes. This is what happened! They decided I wasn't fit to make the choice and to take matters into their own hands. They got the doc on the phone, made demands, and he insisted on speaking with me.
I know the doc didn't want to mess up his own holiday weekend plans and was trying to put me off from ruining them.
"If you want to come in now and be induced, it's your decision!" I was too tired, but I didn't think I could wait another 4 or 5 days. I decided to come in the next day, January 1st. And I did.
I called my folks first. My mom met us down there. She was a little late, and got there while the tech had stabbed me like 6 times trying to get an IV going. My mother-in-law was marching around yapping her head off, making the tech nervous, so he kept stabbing me randomly. We were both almost hysterical.
Mom sweet talked my in law out of there, calmed both the tech and I down, he found a vein, and we were good to go.
Basically, after 12 hours of induced labor, I didn't get dilated beyond 3 centimeters. And believe me, if you're in a teaching hospital, the number of people who come by to stick their hands up your Miss Daisy equal the number of people who actually walk past your room. I felt like my crotch was the No Tell Motel on East Colfax that rents rooms by the hour. I think even the janitor copped a feel at least once.
My now-ex never even noticed. He was too busy listening to his Walkman and reading some stupid W.E.B Griffin novel. My mom was busy keeping the marching and ranting in-laws out of my room.
Finally, they decided to do an ultrasound to actually see where the Big Kid was positioned, since although I was in pretty active and painful labor, nothing seemed to be happening.
Doh! He was so big, he was positioned diagonally, with his shoulder pushing in the birth canal. So at about 11pm they unhooked me and planned for a c-section the next morning and told everybody to go home. Except for me, of course.
I was so restless that I NEEDED to get up and walk in the middle of the night. My back ached. I'd been on one of those hard damn beds all day and I needed to MOVE. The nurse on shift was like a freaking drill sergeant and kept barking at me. "Stay where you are unless you need to go to the bathroom!"
In the morning she stomped in and ordered me to go take a shower before surgery. I shuffled out of the room (the labor and delivery section is like a big circle with rooms all around the nursing station, and the shower facilities were on the other side) and stopped.
Some woman who was in labor in another room had invited her 12 brothers and all her friends and neighbors to watch her writhe and moan. Only two were allowed in the room at a time, so the rest of them were congregated in the common area. I was expected to walk through the throng with my heinie hanging out of my hospital gown to get to the showers.
Nurse Nazi actually POKED me to get going. I refused until she gave me another hospital gown to wear backwards. I mean, what was she going to do, say "No birth for you?"
Sheesh. But she scared the crap outta me anyway.
If any men have survived the saga for this long without running away screaming and stabbing themselves in the privates with a sharpened pencil, I suggest you now run like hell.
After my shower, while I was waiting, I got out of bed to go to the bathroom and felt/heard a big-ass plop. I looked down at the floor and saw this thing that looked like a part of a strawberry jello-cup. I'd read the baby books. I knew this was the uh "mucus plug".
I kicked that f*cker under the bed so Nurse Nazi wouldn't see it and make me get hooked up to that pitocin drip again!
Ultimately, my original OB came in to do the surgery, and my actual pediatrician---I mean MY pediatrician, who was close to retirement, attended as well.
I felt so comforted to have two such old and distinguished "hands" taking care of business!
Although I had an epidural, I had to be gassed a little bit at the end because I kept saying---"you know, I can feel that, and it kind of hurts!"
When I sort of came out of it, and was told that the Big Kid was 12.5 pounds and 23 and 3/4 inches tall, I made myself proud amongst these eminent doctors who had taken time away from their holiday weekend to deliver my son.
"You're shitting me! No way!"
Happy Birthday, my beautiful green-eyed boy.
You'll always be my baby.
P.S. When I went to the same hospital 3 1/2 years later to have Little Guy, the maternity ward still had Big Kid's picture up as the biggest baby ever delivered there!