Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Reflections on a Pregnancy
Sutton will be 3 on Saturday, which seems so grown-up to me. I've been thinking a lot about how much he's grown and what our lives were like before he got here, and realized that it's difficult to think that we ever felt complete without him. I know we did. In fact, I even remember worrying on several occasions that I couldn't love him as much as I loved Bellamy or that it would feel like a little intruder was trying to butt in on our family once he arrived. But, of course, the second I saw him, I fell madly, dazzlingly in love with him and couldn't imagine life without him another second.
My pregnancy with Sutton was easier than my pregnancy with Bellamy. I was more prepared and knew what to expect. I think I was even a little less tired, although it was exhausting taking care of a toddler and being ENORMOUSLY pregnant. I remember feeling more protective of him while he was in my womb, and more like he was mine, and mine alone, rather than a little person I shared with Blaker. I don't know why. Maybe because Blaker focused more on Bellamy in utero, but didn't have as much of an opportunity to do so with Sutt because Bellamy demanded so much of his attention. I also remember that I constantly craved steamed broccoli doused in Tabasco sauce, and that I cried for two days when I found out I was having a boy because I thought I wanted another girl so badly. (I was ridiculously stupid to feel that way. Boys are wonderful, I've learned.)
Sutton was due on December 11th, 2005. We all knew he would never make it that long because of my diabetes, so the doctors scheduled a c-section early in the pregnancy for November 29th. I was always at one doctor or another, between seeing the OB, the high-risk OB, the endocrinologist, and an assortment of others. On November 15th, I went to a regularly scheduled appointment with the neonatologist, and found out from the non-stress test that I was actually having a lot of contractions. (I didn't feel any of them. I have a high-tolerance for pain. Even when they gave me Pitocin with Bellamy and put me into hard labor I wasn't in a whole lot of pain, and I recovered from the eventual c-section in absolutely no time and with no pain medication. I'm lucky that way.) I mentioned that the little guy hadn't really been moving around much and so the neonatologist sent me over to my regular OB for an impromptu appointment. I walked in, sat down, and Dr. Weatheford walked in and said, "Do you want to have a baby today or tomorrow? Let's do today. See you in an hour," and left.
I didn't know what the date was. I had Bellamy with me, chilling out in her stroller, and no babysitters available. Blaker was at work. My family was nine hours away. I had a pot roast in the slow cooker at home. Geez.
I called Blaker at work and caught him on his way out to lunch. He headed to the hospital (stopping at McDonald's on the way for lunch for him and Bellamy) with Scott, his best friend and, coincidentally, also his boss to babysit Bellamy for us during the surgery. I walked over to the hospital, went to the desk at the Women's Pavillion, and told them I was there for my c-section. Their response was, "What are you going to do with the baby?" I stood there dumbfounded for a minute before answering, "Have it?"
It turns out that they meant Bellamy, as she was still with me.
Soon after, Blaker and Scott showed up and Scott took Bellamy over to the park across the street. Blaker hung out and ate lunch and watched them give me a spinal block AND an epidural (during which time they had trouble finding the right spot in my back and were just probing around with the giant needle-- I thought Blaker might keel over right then and there). I was rolled back and presto! I have a baby.
Despite being a month early, Sutt was declared ready and able by the NICU people who were on standby to examine him. He was beautiful and perfect, albeit a bit bruised from my ribs and tailbone because he was packed in there so tightly. Blaker got to hold him while they tied my tubes and stitched me up. And for the first time, I got to have my baby stay in the room with me while I recovered. (Note: I was so excited about this that the nurses pretty much had to wrestle him away from at night to put him in the nursery so that I could sleep. I wanted him to sleep with me. I was not afraid to throw down with medical personnel 6 hours after major surgery.)
Now, nearly three years later, I can still remember Sutt's newborn smell and how soft his hair felt. I remember changing his first diaper, and how unbelievably tiny he seemed despite being a pound and a half bigger than Bellamy had been when she was born.
Sutt will always be my baby.