This little baby is nearly SEVEN months old – so in what should be a surprise to no one who has ever had a little baby in their life I’ve had no time to record any thoughts on early parenthood.
I set out to start writing a blog that I figured would just act like a sort of journal until I found some consistent theme or category to put myself in. Sooooo…I’ll continue that I guess? More than anything, before any more details escape me, I want to record the story of Jack’s first day.
He was big, he was late, and he seemed to have no interest in coming out. At exactly six days after I was due, Eli and I went to the doctor to check things out. I was feeling great but hadn’t even felt one Braxton Hicks contraction, despite nonstop yoga ball bouncing, waddling around North Park and eating enough pineapple to burn my tongue straight out of my head. Our doctor made sure we were both ok, and then laid out the options: She was totally supportive of me laboring naturally, but was concerned that after too much longer she’d need to induce. She made sure I knew that considering his size and position, labor was likely to be very long, which can be stressful for the baby. She noted that AGAIN because of his size and my size that he would likely end up a c-section anyway at the end of tons of labor.
Or, she said, we could schedule you for a c-section tomorrow morning. Less than 24 hours from that moment we could have our baby in our arms. It was pretty much a no-brainer. We were scheduled, Eli went off to work, and I wandered around our house like a crazy person packing, un-packing and repacking multiple hospital bags.
We walked to Underbelly in North Park that night for one final meal as a party of two (and in the hopes that waddling that far down 30th would induce labor naturally. Nope!)
We woke up bright and early the next morning in what was the most bizarre morning of our lives. It was all pretty quiet (being up before the light), but it was quiet between the two of us as well. This trip to the hospital was so much calmer than we could’ve ever imagined or planned for, since I’d always hoped for a natural, vaginal delivery. But here we were, calmly getting dressed, grinning at each other, checking that the baby’s room was straightened up and ready to go. We hopped into the car and made the equally quiet and bizarre ride over to the hospital.
Let me tell you – arriving for a scheduled c-section is like checking into a hotel. I literally showed up to the maternity floor and buzzed in, announcing myself thusly: “Hi…my name is Iris Fugate. Um…I’m here for a c-section?”
I changed into my ballgown, hopped gracefully up onto the table, and got hooked up and ready to go. Two of those things were written with very strong sarcasm. Eli suited up too…
We visited with Eli’s mom for a bit while my mom SADLY sat in traffic. She ended up just barely missing us before I was wheeled into the OR. It was go time!
Eli was made to wait alone in his space suit out in the hall, which he always gleefully describes as completely deserted but for one lonely chair meant just for him and the occassional nurse walking by and grinning at him, knowingly. I was given a local anesthetic where they eventually administered the spinal, all of which wasn’t terribly comfortable but also not painful either. The doctors and nurses were great about explaining everything they were doing while I sat wide eyed and completely ignored them because they were about to remove a human from myself.
The anesthesiologist literally had to say “Quick, lay down on the table before your legs give out!”
I was pleased to find that there were puffy white clouds and a blue sky painted on the ceiling. There was the most exciting energy in the air – everyone was so positive and excited for us but everything also felt like it was moving pretty fast. I, of course, had no idea what was going on – suddenly they let Eli back in the room, put up the curtain and my doctor arrived. She said hi, explained a few things about the procedure, and then sat back down in her seat. I started feeling really drowsy at this time and actually lost consciousness a handful of times. After a little freak out Eli alerted the anesthisiologist who adjusted my meds and brought me back to reality. It felt like only a minute later I asked Eli if they’d started yet and he looked at my wide-eyed like “UH YEAH…” because about 5 seconds later I heard the most brilliant little squeak of my life and totally lost it. There he was!
Eli cut his cord, they weighed him and wiped him down a little, gave him a hat and handed him to a very happy daddy. Eli brought the baby over to my face and I, like the true asshole that I am, told Eli first and foremost “I KNEW YOU WOULD CRY.” But then this piece of my soul who was now outside my body was close enough for me to kiss and I fail to find the words for how I felt.
Eli followed the baby and his nurses out of the room to continue with his check ups while my doctor finished the procedure. With no nervous husband to watch me I promptly fell asleep and woke up again as I was being rolled into the recovery room where Eli and I shared the most blissful, peaceful half hour alone in a room with our son.
After a while, our moms joined us and met Jack. I had a chance to nurse him pretty much right away and like a true champ, he latched on easily and went to town. That turned out to be the biggest stroke of luck – I’m SO relieved that he totally knew what he was doing from the get go.
We stayed in the hospital for about 4 days, which felt like they went by in a flash. The maternity nurses at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego were absolute angels, each and every one of them. I will always get to look back on Jack’s birth with such peace and joy in large part because of the gentle and genuinely loving care we received from everyone. I owe my easy c-section recovery to that care as well. More on c-sections another time though.
We love you, Jackie. You have been the light of our world ever since this day.