The last two nights we've put my tiny boy Grady to sleep in his big boy toddler bed. Each night I tell him "now you stay in your big boy bed, you don't get up, OK?" to which he replies "Otay mommy." Melts my friggin heart. Last night, after we sat on the couch listening to him list his family members in a little song that goes "Mommy, Daddy, Keaton, Beba, Beba, doggies, Anna, Mommy, Gran-Gran, Seth, Daniel, bye bye Daniel" or something like that, I started crying. Crying! With hormonal mommy emotions! Ridiculous. Never thought that would be me. I told Justin I was just so sad that he couldn't roll around and kick the back of his crib like he has done while falling asleep since he was like 8 months old. He's always been the best baby to put to sleep. I can count on my fingers the times he's actually cried in his bed. Excuse me, I guess I shouldn't say baby. We've got a new baby, which means Grady is a boy. I can't say kid yet. He still sucks his "pasheesh" for goodness sake.
Birth Details Alert
I've been staring and staring at Keaton lately trying to make myself appreciate this baby time. It's not that I hate it, despite my occasional complaint about his little baby demands. I'm more terrified that he'll be my last baby. I loved pregnancy with Grady - so easy, what do these women complain about? Pregnancy with Keaton wasn't difficult, per se, but when we got the news of my Anti-Kell status around 10 weeks gestation, and my Googling and maternal-fetal specialist visits began, so did the stress. It wasn't until 24 weeks, when I finally gave in and got the amniocentesis that told us that, hallelujah, he was Kell negative like me meaning I could have a normal remaining pregnancy, that I could justify complaining about the little discomforts like a normal pregnant lady. Before that I just felt guilty. But by the end of my pregnancy, with my symphysis pubis creaking at every step, and my bladder with a capacity of two teaspoons that wasn't terribly understanding of the trip I had to make down the stairs to empty it, and how frigging impossible it was to just take a breath, I did my fair share of complaining. I was just. so. tired! I was sure he was going to be a giant baby, due to the new stretch marks that joined the ones from Grady, which had only recently faded. And then, of course, he was transverse! C-section, OMG. Thank the Lord he turned head-down by the midwife visit at which they were going to try to wrestle him into position. But oh difficult child! He was posterior at my 39 week check! OMG back labor! Pain! Possible C-section! So I did my research and bought an exercise ball, religiously rolled and swayed my hips on it, bent forward to rest my arms on it and let my belly hang, because the websites said that would help his little body spin into position so he would have a chance of coming into this world correctly. I didn't even get to go back to the office before, several days late, I realized I was in labor on a Friday night while sitting on the exercise ball watching "2012" on instant Netflix and timing my irregular contractions on some handy dandy webpage. After Justin got home around midnight, I decided that was the time to vacuum and mop the downstairs rather than to sleep. If you've ever met me, that was a more definite sign of labor than water breaking. I don't choose anything over sleep. I joined Justin in bed for a couple hours, but a really good contraction woke me and I was UP. I soaked in our teeny bathtub while rereading my favorite parts of Ian McEwan's "Atonement." I took a long, hot shower, but had to eventually sit down because standing through those contractions was rough. After I got out, I called the Birthing Center, got answered by a lady in my nursing classes who paged my midwife Phyllis and had her call me. It was 5:30ish am. Although the contractions were still pretty far apart, she said get ready and come on in. So I went upstairs to rouse the baby daddy. I told him "we've got to get ready to go," and, like an 8th grader on a Monday, he said with his eyes still closed "It's Saturday, I don't have to go to work." I sorted his shit out. Grady was still sleeping, so Mom and Gwen met us at the house, Gwen stayed there with Grady and Mom followed us to the hospital (after slipping on the ice, glad that wasn't me!). When I finally changed and settled in, the nurse checked me and said "wow, you're already 6 or 7 cm, I'm going to call Phyllis and make sure she's almost here." Hooray for me, BUT the problem was I had tested Group B positive, like I had with Grady, and needed IV antibiotics during labor. They started it right away. I labored all Saturday morning, got in that fantastically large hospital jet bathtub, sat up in the bed, laid down in the bed, lavender oil foot massages, Mom brushing my hair, heating pack here, heating pack there, but NO PAIN MEDS.
That's right, I did it au natural. I was fully dilated when my water broke - POW- like a busted water main straight across the room. Justin almost died. Phyllis told me I had to hold my pushing til noon when the IV drip would be over or Keaton would need additional testing to make sure he wasn't infected with the Group B Strep. Eek. So I asked them to turn up the drip. There's no way I could wait that long to push, but there was also no way I was allowing them to traumatize my newborn. They turned it up and I tried to just let the contractions flow through my body, head back to avoid pushing. When the drip finished at 11:30, I could finally push! It was such an amazing experience, and so very different from the intervention-ridden purple pushing I did when Grady was born (which I fully believe was due to the minimal amount of Pitocin, that evil stuff). No one told me when or how long to push. No one even held my legs back. Everyone sat in silence while I and my body cooperated. I pushed as much as I felt like through about 3 contractions and right through that "ring of fire" (it does suck) before little Keaton Philip Locklear arrived crying at 11:42 am on November 6th.
He was placed straight on my chest to latch on almost immediately (I might add I had stripped all my clothes off about an hour before. No shame). I got to hold him and nurse him while Phyllis stitched up my one little first degree tear, which, although it seemed to take forever, was far better than the millions of stitches I received after my second degree episiotomy with Grady. The nurses gave him the Vitamin K shot, heel stick, and eye drops all while he nursed so he barely flinched. And after all those new stretch marks, he weighed exactly the same as Grady - 6 lbs 12 oz. Every nurse we had for the rest of the stay told me that my labor and delivery nurse had been telling them all how beautiful of a birth it had been. Beautiful, maybe not, but lovely, I'd say so. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
I want another.