1.09.2009

All About a Boy

But not this boy, who is 4 months today...

I haven't been sleeping. It's like I have this train going round and round and round and round...what was I saying......round and round...a train!

I've been busy this week (re)painting my house. I saw someones pretty house (Shanda) and decided I hated my colors and the darkness of my space and couldn't stop talking about it until my husband agreed that we could paint. We bought the paint the day after we decided and started painting the day after that. And the day after that. We've had plans the three days in between, but tomorrow we will (finally) finish up, and then I'll post pictures, after I redecorate.

One thing I learned (or remembered, rather) is that painting makes me have all kinds of happy and inspirational thoughts. Something about putting color on my wall makes me get warm fuzzies.

For some reason, this thought popped into my head: I will do great things.

I suppose it's the red because I didn't have anything profound come out when I did the other 2 colors, and red always inspires me, but I started to ponder what great things I wanted to do.

I realized with yet another thought passing through my head that if I never do another great thing in my life, I'd be happy because the greatest thing I could ever do, I've already done not only once, but 4 times.

As a little girl, I lovingly rocked and nursed and coddled and protected my baby. At one point my grandmother thought I had something wrong with me, I was so over-protective of my "child." It was a boy and good thing I had all that practice mothering a baby boy!

I always wanted to be a Mom. Before we were married I had wanted to wait the standard 2 years that everyone thinks is mandatory before having a baby. I was 18 when we married, and worked in a daycare, caring for the newborn babies. When I told my boss I'd love a permanent position in the baby room, she looked at me like I had 3 heads. I guess people rarely want to be in the infant room. I loved those babies like my own and when I see them now, I usually recognize them, and then look too see if I recognize the parents. Lita, Daniel, Easton, Korbin, Jaiden, Aleigha, Aaliyah, Megan, Anthony, Destiny, Andreas....after 7 years, I can still picture each of them and remember their little smiles and coos.

About 6 hours after we were married (down playing for effect here) I decided that I just had to bear my husbands child. I mentioned it to him, and at first he thought we should wait awhile. One day, about 4-5 weeks after I first mentioned my thoughts to him, he came home and said he thought it might be cool to try for a baby. I asked what changed his mind and he mentioned a family he saw at Culver's with an adorable little boy (I think) and he just sort of decided he wanted one to.

Well, it didn't take but a few mere weeks (that seemed like decades) when we found out we were going to have our very own Mini-Us. We both (secretly) longed for a boy, but of course we'd have been happy either way. I also kept it to myself because I didn't want people to think I'd be disappointed if I had a girl, I really just wanted a boy for my Dad, as I come from a family of 4 girls. I knew Jason really wanted someone to teach baseball and snowboarding and hunting and fishing. I suppose that anything that takes place in the outdoors would do for him, and seemingly now, and offspring of ours.

We found out we were having a baby boy (which in my heart, I already knew) and I called my Dad first thing. He didn't believe me at first and made me promise I wasn't lying and wanted proof. I had already requested the picture to prove his manhood because I knew my dad would have to see it to believe it. It's much like us girls thought when my dad called from the hospital when the 4th baby girl was born. We talked about how we were just sure my dad wanted to surprise us with our new brother and was just pretending we had another girl. I remember how happy he sounded and figured it had to be that he finally got his boy. Not so, we got Erica, and she was my baby. I lovingly fed her her bottle when it was time to do dishes, and she used to share my double bed. Each night I curled around her to keep her warm and kissed her hair and told her I loved her. I wonder if she remembers? I also realize now that no matter if you wanted one sex and got the other, it doesn't matter because you love them just as hard and intensely and crazy.

We bought all the baby gear and little outfits and toys and created a nursery for our boy. We loved him so much and wanted him so badly and just couldn't wait to meet him. We chose his name after much deliberation. We had always known that his middle name would be John, to carry on the tradition that Jason's parents had started with giving him the same middle name his father had. Jason always joked that he wanted to name our child Bjorn, after Bjorn Lines, the snowboarder...skateboarder?? Or Preston, after Preston snowboard bindings. I told him to pass me the Snowboard magazine and I'd pick a name for future kids from that. I looked at all the fine print (that was way back when I could actually read fine print) and there in the tiniest print one the inside binding of the magazine was listed a photographer named Elliot. He quite liked it, and so did I and we left it at that.

I poured over baby name books. You would not believe my obsession with names, even when I'm not pregnant. Just ask my sister, who doesn't really care about names. Every time she says so-and-so had a baby I ask what they named it. Or mentions someone is having a baby, I have to know if they have a name picked out. She never asks. We loved Braiden, but we didn't want BJ for initials. And thank goodness because I would not have liked my son having the same name as 7 other boys in his class, I'm all about unique.... We also loved Tanner, but the neighbor boys I danced and wrestled and played barbies with were named Tanner & John (& Albert) and I didn't feel right naming my child Tanner John, nor did I think that it even went well together. One day, I remembered the name that we had found in the magazine years ago. I don't remember if I called Jason the minute I remembered (probably, that was back when I could actually reach him on his cell and I'm like that, I'd have to set it in stone that very minute because I'm very results oriented and obsess over things until they are decided for sure) but I just knew our boy would be Elliot John.

The night my water broke, we drove happily to the hospital with butterflies in our stomachs. I wasn't afraid of labor at all (but I quickly learned it was something to be feared, which I did my entire next 3 pregnancies) and it was my longest (7 hours) and easiest labor. I never did have contractions on my own and they gave me Pitocin to start them, finally. I had been admitted to the hospital around midnight on a Sunday night (17 days before my due date and the day Jason had predicted he would arrive) My water had broken, so there was no chance of being sent home. (thankfully, because that sucks) They finally re-broke my water at 10am and started a Pitocin drip. It seems like a dream now. When the contractions got really bad, and they did, I got this awesome dreamy drug called NuBane. My dad had to leave when the pain started to get really bad. I remember him saying something like "okay, I gotta go" and my mom mentioned he had a hard time seeing (one of) his babies in so much pain. Or maybe he left when I stripped off my sweat drenched hospital gown, I could have that wrong. The NuBane allowed me to sleep between contractions, which was a relief because I had been up all day on Sunday and I was e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d. As they came closer and closer, I remember being so desperate for it to stop and I even said, one the verge of tears and another painful contraction "another one already?" Jason tried curling around me to ease the pain and I really think out of helplessness. I vowed not to be one of those women who screams and cusses her husband out and tells him he never touches me again, ever! I asked him could he please back off! as nicely as I could muster through a very painful contraction. I managed to hurt his feelings, but maybe I said it harsher than I remember.

When the time came to push, I was so relieved it actually felt quite good to bear down and push with all my might. I growled and pushed through the "ring of fire" which probably wouldn't have been a problem if my O.B. hadn't given me an episiotomy without consent, that I didn't need. As it was, I pushed twice and my first baby boy was born. With his first hearty cry, I fell in love more than I ever dreamed. I knew it would be intense love. I knew I loved him so much before he was even born. But I hadn't been prepared for this kind of intensity. He was gorgeous and so little. I kissed him and said "Hi, little buddy." He was screaming for all he was worth and I said "it's okay baby, Mommy's here." Natural. It stunned me because I didn't realize how natural it would feel to call myself mommy and didn't even think about it, it just slipped out. I looked him over (Daddy's toes, Mommy's nose) and then the nurse took him over to the warmer to check him over. I was in the process of having my unnecessary episiotomy stitched up when I heard something, I don't remember quite what, but something that made my heart drop and gave me the impression there was something wrong with my new love. I startled everyone when I snapped "what's did you say was wrong with him...?" The nurse quickly said that it was nothing, he just had a protruding sternum. My heart calmed down, and I was happy that my boy had another detail that belonged to his daddy. He was a little dream, and I knew I would do anything for him.

At 4:53pm on June 3, 2002 I did what I knew I was always meant to do, I became a Mommy. With that first cry, I did what I'd always dreamed of doing and I feel complete and honored to have been able to do it 3 more times. I know in my heart that this is by far the greatest thing I'll ever do, and I also know that if I never do another great in my life, that's cool, because I have done exactly what I always dreamed of doing already. Anything else is just a bonus.

6 comments:

Neisha said...

i painted my kitchen and our bedroom red. i love red! we did a dark brown in the front entry and the livingroom. it really warms up the room. i love color on the walls.

Lindsay said...

awww, i love the story about elliot! it's kind of amazing... except for the length and an epidural or two, our first labors were almost identical- broken water, pitocin, re-breaking water, nubaine... crazy! (mine was 22 hours, had 2 epi's, never even felt the proverbial ring of fire...). good luck with the painting, can't wait to see pictures!

Ben, Heather & kids said...

I love your enteries. I've started my own "mommy" blog, so I can write as I please, and not bore people who only want to hear about our kids! There's nothing better than being a mom!

Ben, Heather & kids said...

Hey, can you shoot me an email with your snail mail address? I'd like to send you a picture of our kids!

Heather said...

I remember coming to the hospital and holding Elliot...he was so tiny and perfect I had tears in my eyes wondering what in the world you would do with a human being so tiny and fragile....I'm glad I got to find out for myself now, twice. Motherhood is really awesome...:0)

Sam said...

Amber you have some of the most amazing entries, I wish I could write like you. Brought tears to my eyes again, probably because you explain in great detail one of the best feelings in the entire world, that is as close as you can get to know what the feeling is without actually feeling it. I want to do it one more time, and I promise you I will someday.


HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY TRAE!!!!!!

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