Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Birthday X-man

The x-man’s birthday is right around the corner and this morning while baking cookies for a family gathering Rhapsody played a song that never leaves me dry eyed after listening. The song brought back memories of that monumental day in the hospital a year ago, I thought I would share.

My sister got pregnant with the X-man weeks after our first failed attempt at IVF, they were lucky enough to get pregnant on their “first try” and she didn’t want to tell me for fear of hurting my feelings. At the time we had three of our nephews and a niece here from Arizona. The first night she called during dinner, I told her I would call her back and forgot. The next morning she called when I was on my cell phone, my niece gave me the message to call my sister back at work.

I stepped out on the deck because there was a lot of noise in the house. I called her at work. “I’m pregnant.” I was surprised but happy, I would finally if nothing else have a niece or nephew who resided in the same town as me to spoil. But at the same time I was a little sad that she had told everyone else before me because she was afraid I couldn’t handle the news, it started to rain, I didn’t come in. I took two minutes to feel sorry for myself and was fine, ready to revel in the enjoyment of someone so close to me having a child. I didn’t tell my nieces and nephews but I went and got a gift and left it on her doorstep to find when she came home that evening.

Early on in her pregnancy she asked if I would like to be present for the delivery. I wasn’t really sure, I didn’t know if it was a good idea but she sort of insisted so I agreed.

That day was amazing. Where as the birth of my own children was stressful and involved a lot of personal pain and drugs, the X-man’s birth was one of the most miraculous events I have ever been a part of. I am not trying to take anything away from the birth of my own children, but at the X-man’s delivery I was able to look at it from the outside, a family in the making.

The day before the birth I made a mix tape, the last tape (C.d. actually) I have made. Because I like to name all of my mixes and because we were in the midst of the last of our IVF’s, I named the tape On The Eve Of Expecting. A double entendre which suggested both the X-man’s arrival and the hope that I too would be pregnant soon. Kate Bush was amongst the songs on the mix.

My sister spent most of the weekend of April 14th at home in early labor. On Monday, the same day as the Tech shootings she went into the hospital only to be turned away. Finally, on Tuesday they admitted her ready to induce her but they didn’t really have to because she had progressed far enough along to let nature take its course.

I arrived at the hospital a few hours after they did. For most of the morning it was just my sister, her husband and I. We spent about two hours walking the Mother Baby Unit hoping to speed up contractions occasionally stopping for her to manage through a contraction.

The morning went along without a whole lot of progress so when Rachel called almost begging me to meet her for lunch, no one seemed to mind me running out. I would pick my brother-in-law up something to eat as well.

By the time I returned to the hospital a great number of family members were in the waiting room and they weren’t letting any of us in to see her. At this point I felt truly miserable for having left her.

After some time in the waiting room my brother-in-law came and got me. Not wanting to take any pain meds she held on for as long as she could before asking for some. She had finally agreed to an epidural and was starting to feel a little better. When I had left she was all by herself in her room and in good spirits with an occasional visit from a nurse. When I returned she wasn’t herself and the room was chocked full of hospital staff. It caught me off guard and I tried to act like I though it was normal. I think she was taken off guard at how quickly things had changed as I know I was. She was having chills, a reaction from meds, and I tried to do what I could to calm her and finally asked her to try and calm down for me because she was worrying me. This seemed to work but in retrospect I feel bad even putting that extra pressure on her to calm down for me.

Things calmed down and we talked and watched t.v. a little. She said she was glad I was there and I was too. I really appreciated her wanting to include me in the miraculous event that is birth. Because of my mother’s insistence she was asked to be present for the birth as well as my sister’s mother-in-law (though I think that had been planned all along). For some time it was just the five of us and a nurse. I was so surprised how little the doctor was present.

The delivery was incredible. I won’t go into much detail because we all know what is involved in a delivery but I have never witnessed such an amazing sight and perhaps never will again. At one point my sister rubbed my hand and said she was glad I was there, I was too. It meant a lot that she wanted me there. When the X-man arrived her reaction was precious, that moment when all her hard work was over and rewarded so beautifully.

My adorable nephew, X-man, was born at 10:17 April 17th, 2007 weighing 7 lbs even and measuring 20 inches (exactly I think).

As soon as he was out they took him over to a table to be weighed and measured and do APGARs. The grandmothers and his daddy went to look at the wonderful bundle before them. I stood by my sister, holding her hand and watching her look over at her new family.

The little man was beautiful but was having the slightest bit of trouble breathing so it was decided that he should be taken to the NICU for brief observation. This broke my sisters heart to hear as anyone who has carried around a little bugger inside them for so long to have him taken so far away can imagine. It seemed so unfair that he had to leave her side so soon even if only for a little while. She was so upset and it broke my heart as well to watch. They had his daddy carry him to the NICU, maybe to make her feel better about him having to leave. I stayed with her as all the other family left to spread the news of the pint sized new arrival. I tried to reassure her but I was worried too and I knew that she just wanted to see him so bad.

She was too sad to be visited by those in the waiting room. She was also in hormone crash time and in a lot of pain, both physically and emotionally.

A short time after we were all allowed into the NICU to see the X-man. I felt a little bad that we all got to go in and see him before my sister was out or recovery but she wanted everyone to go and see him. He was kicking and crying. The lungs were fine.

At around midnight my sister was released to be moved from delivery to Mother Baby. They wheeled her through the NICU to see her little boy and her attitude was changed immediately. She was able to see for herself that her little man was OK.

The rest of the family headed home and my brother-in-law ran home quickly to take his mom home and swing by their house to take out their dogs. My brother and I stayed with our sister. I had an appointment with my RE an hour and a half away at 8 a.m. but I wouldn’t leave the hospital until my nephew was out of the NICU. At a little before 2:30 a.m. they brought him in.

I got to hold him. I fell in love with my nephew then and he has continued to steal my heart for the past twelve months every time I see him. Even though I got pregnant that month and now have my own children they have in no way lessened the love I have for the little X-man.

Happy Birthday, Little Dude.

The next morning I had to get up early for blood tests and an ultrasound. On the way up there I listened to my mix c.d. When this song came on I broke down, all of the emotion and events from the previous 24 hours poured out of me. I had been so frightened that something was wrong when he was born and was struggling a little to breath and I was so overjoyed that he was finally here and healthy and I could only imagine what it was like for my sister.

So sis, this one’s for you.

Happy April 17th to you as well X-man’s mom.


wesley's mom said...

That was so sweet. I am always amazed at how much I really really love all my nieces and nephews (even the ones I haven't seen in person yet).

I hope his party is great.

ps-you made me cry.

Chris and Erin said...

I wish I had the words to express how I feel after reading your account of something so dear to my heart. I hope a simple "I love you" will do.

X-man's mommy