Carter will be 2 years old tomorrow. At this time 2 years ago we had just gotten home from the doctor’s office. I was only a couple centimeters dilated and just a few days before my due date. As we were getting ready to leave her office, our doctor asked, “So, can you be at the hospital this afternoon at about 5 o’clock?” Pure panic set in. I had been prepared to not be prepared (if that makes any sense). I was waiting on this little guy to just show up when he got the notion, but now, after 9 months of waiting we suddenly had an appointment to keep?
I looked back up with a terrified smile on my face and softly replied, “Sure.” Our doctor then explained that she wanted to go ahead and induce me because she was afraid if we waited many more days that Carter might be too big to come through the birth canal. I had gestational diabetes and one of the side effects is often broad shoulders and a baby too large for a natural birth.
I had already been carrying around our hospital bag for weeks in the back of my car, the nursery was already prepared, our house was clean, so when we got home, we just waited. I believe that was one of the longest afternoons of my life. Finally we got to leave and checked in to the hospital around 5. By 6ish I was set up in a room, they had given me the medicine I needed, and soon there after the contractions began.
One thing I remember was that David had smashed his thumb earlier that day and it was black and blue. Poor guy never said a word even though with many of those contractions I squeezed the the living hooey out of his thumb! My water never broke; the doctor had to do that. Talk about some pain! Soon after that, I got my epidural and life was splendid. I could see the lines going up and down on the machine indicating contractions, but I didn’t feel a thing! I know many women like to go all natural and push until their eyeballs explode from their heads; but I’m too big of a woos. I was so thankful for that epidural.
About 18 hours into the process, I still wasn’t dilated enough, so my doctor decided that we needed to proceed with a C-Section. Epidural and C-Section meds don’t mix well (in case you’re wondering). As they rolled me into the operating room, I remember shaking from the inside out. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it out of there alive. I remember feeling so weak and not in control of myself.
The doctor began cutting and she kept announcing the steps she was taking. I never felt any pain when they were cutting, but I do remember the strange sensation of them trying to pry Carter’s butt out from under my left rib. She had to pull from down low and push his bottom from the top at the same time. It felt like an alien was being removed from my midsection; and then I heard it. Tears flooded my eyes as I heard Carter’s cry for the very first time. She lifted him up over the curtain; nasty, bloody, ooey, screaming-perfect. There was the little guy I’d been talking to and feeling for those last 9 months. I finally got to see the tap-dancing king who daily practiced on my bladder. I got to see a miracle of our amazing God-the precious gift of life.
While David, grandparents, great grandparents, and Tator were oohing and awing at baby Carter in the nursery, I was in post-op. It was almost 45 minutes until my body stopped shaking, but I was so thankful when it finally did. When they wheeled me into my new room, I was exhausted. I could barely keep my eyes open, but then I got to see my new little man. The nurse laid him in my arms. He was wrapped up like a little burrito and had on his newborn hospital cap. I don’t think there is a word in the English language to describe the feeling of getting to hold your child for the first time. Love, joy, elation, and thankfulness come to mind. But ultimately I think what happened is simply: I became Mama.
And for the last 2 years I have enjoyed every second of getting to be Carter’s Mama. There are times when I want to put him on Craig’s List, but then there are those times where I’d give up everything for just another hug. 2 years have gone way too fast.
Mamas out there, I know you can relate. While I recalled Carter’s birth day, I know many of you were remembering your child’s as well. I’m beginning to realize that no matter how big our kids get, they will always be our babies. Today, if you’re ready to pinch your child’s head off or if you are ready to act like the insect world and eat your young, take a few minutes and remember that moment when you first held that precious little girl or boy. You’ll never get that time back. Let’s treasure it. Let’s not miss a moment to get to love on our kids.