So that my memories will never fade...
There were many details surrounding the weekend of Addie's birth that I never talked about. I want to put those details in print so that those memories stay fresh in my mind. My sister is working on putting the blog in print for me, as a keepsake for me to pass on to Julien and Addie.
The weekend that Addie was born, Julien was supposed to spend the night away. I didn't want him to, because I just had a "feeling". I was still nine days away from surgery, but I just didn't think Addie would wait any longer.
During my pregnancy, I had an obsession.
A chocolate milk obsession.
I fed Addie chocolate milk every chance I got.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
She loved it.
I loved it.
The Friday going into that weekend, I woke up and had a little chat with Addie. I told her that I was cutting off her chocolate milk supply. It was cruel, I know, but I had to convince her to GET OUT OF ME!
Saturday, I talked Chris and Julien into celebrating New Years Eve a day early. Why? Who knows, I just "felt" like we should. I told them that might be our last chance to go out before Addie made her debut. I let them decide what we were going to do. I was so miserable, so I just didn't care.
They decided on dinner at Quizno's (how manly), followed by the movies - to see Rocky. Did you just feel the surge of testosterone?
I had been having contractions all day, but not anything different than any other day. Throughout the movie, the contractions were getting worse. I occasionally got up to walk around and to feel a little better. I think that was the longest movie that I have ever seen in my life. It just drug on and on...and on.
When we got home that night, we went about our normal nightly routine. Julien and I would always read a book before bed. That night he chose a book about dinosaurs...hatching. It was a book with fold down flaps showing the dinosaurs hatching. He picked that book because he wanted to read it to Addie - to show her how to "hatch". To this very day, he credits Addie's birth the next morning to him reading her that book the night before.
I was in bed by 10:30, not feeling any worse than the rest of the evening. Next thing I knew, I was awakened from a deep sleep to see the clock displaying - 12:00. Midnight - exactly. I knew as soon as I opened my eyes that I was in labor, as in, there is no turning back.
Chris woke when I was getting out of bed. A woman in labor doesn't "gracefully slip" out of bed, you know? I didn't tell him anything, except to go back to sleep, I was fine. I was fine. I wanted to take a shower, dry my hair and put my make-up on. I knew that if he was awake, that would hinder my ability to do those things. Seriously, you can't go to the hospital to deliver a baby without tending to those needs.
By the time I woke Chris, my contractions were two minutes apart. He got up, dressed and grabbed the rest of our things. I asked him to time the contractions, just to make sure. He's the one who told me, "let's go". I insisted on calling L&D first. I woke Julien, helped him grab a bag of "time occupiers" and out the door we went. By the time we made it to the interstate, I was kind of wishing that I wouldn't have waited so long. Bless the women who want to go "all natural", I'm more of a, "stick the needle in my back and get the drugs flowing" type of person. After 24 hours of un-medicated labor with Julien, I had no intention of "toughing it out".
When we arrived at the hospital, we were able to take the first "women in labor" parking space. Thank goodness, because we still had to walk a mile to L&D. When I got to the room, the nurse called my doctor and scheduled my C-Section for 7:00 a.m. Addie insisted that she really didn't want to wait that long, so they moved it up to 5:30 a.m.
I didn't get my spinal until I was actually in the O.R. If you've ever had one while in active labor, you know just how difficult it is to breathe through a contraction, but yet remain so very still while an ENORMOUS needle is skillfully inserted into your back. Chris told me later that he was in tears listening to me. I was trying so hard to remain calm and talk to the nurse so that I could get through the procedure. I was in pain, I was woozy and I just wanted it all to get started.
You all know how those next minutes passed.
There was never the moment that I had with Julien. The moment that the doctor held him over the sheet and showed me my beautiful baby, there was no excited announcements, there was only the nurse who said, "6:00 a.m.".
I have never talked to anyone about the moments that followed after I left the O.R. I remember that as I was being wheeled back to my room...just feet from the O.R., I looked down the hall and saw my Mom, my sister and Julien. They were coming towards the room and were beaming with joy! I wanted to say something to them, but all I could do was shake my head. The nurse stopped them and asked for a few minutes, "to get me settled".
I really don't know the time frame, all I do know is that when Julien finally walked through the door, he gave me a hug, walked over to the baby warmer where the nurse was still monitoring Addie, looked at her for the longest moment and then turned to me with an expression of pure joy. He was so ecstatic, so beautiful, it was as if an angel were there with him. It was a look and a moment that I will never forget. I don't know who asked Julien what he thought, but he said, "she's real".
Up until that moment, I guess he never could truly wrap his mind around the concrete knowledge that he really was a big brother. A big brother to a "real sister", not just a "hatchling".
That was the first moment in my life that I saw the love that Julien immediately had for Addie. He didn't see her as anything other than his "real sister", his beautiful little sister that he had waited so long for.
I didn't cry in front of Julien. I don't remember what I said to my family. All I remember is it seemed like everyone left so quickly. I think they watched Addie have her first bath, but I was the first to hold my sweet, little angel. Everyone left before they could hold her.
Chris declined to go with Addie for her ultrasound. The nurse assured me that she would stay with Addie. I remember Dr. Dudgeon coming in and almost each step that he took and the look on his face, but not all of what he said. There were several things that I will never forget, but between the shock, Morphine and the horrible surge of hormones, there is so much that I just don't remember.
It was many long hours of calling friends and family and then by afternoon, my room was full of people. Some people stayed much longer than I wished they had, yet others left too soon. Then my sweet baby boy was back. My sweet baby boy was back to hold his "real sister" and to love her. How could anything ever be wrong seeing and feeling the love and the bond between my two babies?
Blessed am I.
Blessed am I for my son and my little hatchling.
April 1, 2009