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).


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!


9 Responses to “8 Years Ago”

  1. Miz S 24 January, 2008 at 3:04 am #

    I love hearing about births. Happy birthday, Gage!

  2. jayne 24 January, 2008 at 3:45 am #

    Happy, happy birthday Gage!

    After having my water break, I labored for 17 hours on Pitocin with the result of being dilated a fingertip. During the C/S, they had to literally pull Sam down he was still so high, and at 9lbs 3oz. I am happy he did not decide to engage. I’d still be picking my bladder up off the floor each day!

  3. Gayle 24 January, 2008 at 7:46 am #

    Happy Birthday Mom and Gage! Liza, I saw you note on Uncluttered about the permanent marker marks on your table. You didn’t say what kind of material it is but I used rubbing alcohol when my kids were that age (now 19 and 20). 😦 You can also use a “white board” erasable marker to go over a permanent marker and wipe immediately and it will come up. I wish someone had suggested the vinyl tablecloth to me!!

  4. robin andrea 24 January, 2008 at 8:45 am #

    Happy birthday to Gage! Hope he has a wonderful day. Stay for all the hugs he has to give, Liza!

  5. Beth 24 January, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    such a sweet story, happy birthday to both mom and Gage

  6. mary 24 January, 2008 at 9:43 am #

    Boys are definitely cool. I wish I had one.

    Happy Birthday, Gage!

    I was heading in the same direction as you took with Ruth – after 21 hours I delivered normally (with two epidurals) but they were prepping me for C-section. I was exhausted, so I know what you mean.

  7. Susan Gets Native 25 January, 2008 at 8:50 pm #

    Happy 8th, Gage!
    Tomorrow, we are having a parrrr-taaaaay for Lorelei’s 4th. I look at her and think, “There’s my baby. What happened????”
    I guess that never goes away, huh?

  8. Liza Lee Miller 25 January, 2008 at 9:36 pm #

    Thanks for all the birthday wishes for Gage. He’s having a great birthday! Tomorrow is his party too — assuming we haven’t all floated away by then! And, no, Susan, I don’t think that feeling ever goes away!

  9. Wende 26 January, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Oh, geeze… I’m late to the party. I’m so sorry.

    Wishing you all the happiness of being 8, Gage! Here’s to an amazing year for you both! (that photo of Ruby and Gage is lovely!)

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