Archive | 12:30 am

8 Years Ago

24 Jan

Eight years ago, I was at Stanford Hospital (Lucille Salter Packard Children’s Hospital to be precise). I had gone out for a nice dinner with my husband and arrived at the hospital knowing that we were going to leave with our son in a few days. We were inducing labor because this was a big child — my midwife estimated 10 lbs. I was hoping for a normal delivery after having had a c-section the first time. So, we started the induction. Greg went home to get some sleep. In the morning, my water broke but I wasn’t having strong contractions. I met with the doctors and my midwife and we discussed options. Mild labor, water broken, previous miserable labor ending in a near emergency c-section, huge baby. Not good indicators. They told me they’d let me labor for 5 hours and that was it. Drat. I’d labored 40 hours with Ruth and never got close to delivering her. The recovery process was miserable and slow because of my exhaustion. I called Greg, we talked it over briefly and decided to do a c-section rather than face that prospect again.

I’m sure there are those who would read that and feel that I was robbed of a marvelous experience of womanhood by the evil medical practitioners. I couldn’t disagree more. With my daughter, I gave it an incredibly valiant attempt. And we were both in pretty serious distress by the end. I spent hours in the recovery room instead of with my daughter because I was in such bad shape. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that in an earlier era, Ruth nor I would have survived that delivery. So, yea, I’d have loved to deliver normally — I honestly think that the proof is in the pudding. Healthy mom. Two healthy kids. It’s all good.

Anyway, my experiences with Gage’s birth were so different. Far from being exhausted and incoherent and scared during this c-section, I was alert, happy, chatty, and feeling very supported. My midwife stayed with me during the operation as did Greg. It was quick and easy and I wasn’t scared to hold him. In recovery, I wasn’t incoherent, unconscious and on oxygen. I was alert, chatting, and so happy. When Greg brought Gage to me, I had him nursing within a few moments — after we figured out that being prone was the only option (too much morphine makes me queasy).

Gage

My first day as the mother to a son.
January 24, 2000

I had visitors that first day in the hospital and I was happy to see them. People came and went when Ruth was born and I was unaware of much of it. Gage was an easy baby from the first — he loved to eat, he wanted to sleep by himself by the time we were home from the hospital, and, of course, I knew what I ws doing this time. That makes a difference.

My son has continued to be easy although he is an 8 year old boy, as of today, and they all come with certain challenges. He is noisy, noisy, noisy. He is obsessed with weapons and fighting. He is also incredibly loving and sweet. If I leave for work without the kids, I can’t get away with less than 10 hugs. I’m always late to staff meetings because how can I say no to “one more hug!”

Eight years old. What a boy.

Gage loved it!

Gage loved watching the Giants play baseball. 

Gage and Ruby in a quiet moment

Gage doesn’t much like dogs but he loves Ruby. 

cautious but capable

Cautious but capable. 

The man said,

The man said, “Scream.”  Gage follows directions well.  

I never imagined having a boy.  And, I can’t imagine life without him.  I love you, little man.  Happy birthday!