Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Truman Thomas

Dear Truman Thomas,

You were born on a Tuesday. You were late. As we've come to learn over the last five months, you don't do anything you don't want to do, stubborn little boy that you are.

These past months, I've been taught a lesson that began on the day you were born: I can't expect anything with you to be the same as it was with your brother—not even labor.

In the days (weeks) leading up to your birth, I kept looking for that one big, obvious contraction that signals the start of labor. (The start of labor has to be obvious to me this time around! I'm experienced! I've done this before!) Hahahaha no.

On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, I had my usual macaroni and cheese for lunch. A couple hours later I felt nauseated. An hour later, really nauseated. By 5:00 p.m., worried that something was wrong with you, I called and asked if I could see the doctor.

"How far apart are your contractions?"

"I don't really have any."


So I left work, met up with your dad, and dropped your brother off with Grandma Patty and Grandpa Paul, just in case. We headed to the doctor, who suggested we go to the hospital because I was probably in labor.

Convinced this felt nothing like labor, I was fairly certain this was all a big waste of time. I hauled my huge body down to the hospital, got hooked up to a few monitors, and just hung out with your dad watching TV.

"Was that a contraction?" I asked.

"Yep," the nurse said. "You're the most calm person in labor I've ever seen."

It felt like practically nothing, a little niggle of discomfort. They came and went, and I was never very sure if they were real or imaginary. They told me I was in labor, but I couldn't shake the feeling that they were "deciding" I was in labor because, hey, you were overdue and I was in the hospital so might as well get this show on the road. Then there was the fact that the doctor was leaving the next day for vacation. So while I was dilating at a steady pace, she thought it would be nice to hurry things along by breaking my water.

Your labor had two stages: before breaking my water, when your dad and I were watching Full House and joking around with the nurse, and after breaking my water, when I threatened the lives of everyone in the room. Of course it was not until part two that I asked for drugs, at which point the room offered only awkward silence. It was too late for that.

I believe 9:00 p.m. was the time I texted family members that they were breaking my water and there was no turning back now. Grandma Bernie got the gruesome play-by-play via text as the next hour of absolute hell tore me to shreds (I dictated to your dad since I was a screaming, writhing mess clinging to the hospital bed with every muscle). I guess I thought Grandma Bernie might enjoy being in on the action, and I was trying to create some levity for myself.

I kept thinking during that hour: There's no way this baby is going to come out of me the natural way. They are going to have to cut this giant baby out of me.

You do have one thing in common with your brother. The first part of you that became visible got the same reaction from the room of medical personnel: "Look at all that hair!"

Get him out. Get him out. Let it be over. 

It's difficult to describe how hard it was to do the hardest physical work of my life when I was at my most physically exhausted.

But out you came at 10:12 p.m. All 9 pounds 12 ounces of you, a whopping 22 inches long. Had you not immediately peed and pooped on the doctor at the moment of your birth, we're convinced you would've hit the 10 pound mark.

And you haven't stopped growing since.

I'll write more soon, I promise. Know that the second child's typical lack of representation here in this journal is not symbolic of anything but the complete lack of time your presence has created for personal activities. You see, I'd rather be spending my time with you.

Love forever,

They gave you to me a few seconds after you were born
and I couldn't believe I was finally holding my beautiful boy.

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