Mother, Mother, OceanI can hear you call.Wanted to sail upon your watersSince I was three feet tall.You've seen it all,You've seen it all.
It has been four years since Finn has made his debut into this world. His impression upon it has been significant, especially the impact on mine & Caleb's lives. I like to think we're more thoughtful & relaxed people. The phrase "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" comes to mind, and if there was one thing I was good at B.F. (before Finn) it was making mountains out of mole hills.
The Story of Finn's Birth
Recorded here for posterity...
I am incredibly fortunate - pregnancy has not been a complicated condition for me. The first time was especially textbook-easy, and I felt great most of the time... until the last few weeks when I was miserable and ready to get the show on the road. My doctor started to ask questions about my options as Christmas crept closer and closer, despite the fact that I had included everything in my birth plan and all he had to do was refer to it. No - I didn't want to be induced if I could help it. Yes - I knew there was a chance I could be in the hospital for Christmas. I didn't care as long as the baby was healthy and things went as smooth as possible.
Finn's due date of December 19 came and went. We were trying everything from spicy food to exercise, but there was no action, no dilation, no effacement. We trekked from holiday party to party with the "Not Yet" face on. It was maddening.
Finally, I relented. My doctor was concerned if we didn't schedule an inducement there would literally be "no room at the inn" because of all the women scheduling to avoid holiday hospitalization. So we picked the evening of December 22nd to do the deed - my grandmother's birthday & anniversary were on the 23rd. The plan was to go in that night at 7:00 PM, start the medicine, and have a baby in the early morning hours.
Finn had other plans. I started having contractions on my own very early on the 22nd. They were manageable and I piddled around the house while Caleb finished up at work. By the time he got home they were getting much stronger, but I still didn't want to jump the gun. We put our suitcase in the car and went to get some dinner before the check-in time for my inducement. I knew I wouldn't be able to eat for a while and I wanted to be sure to keep my strength up, so we went to Chick-Filet. By now I wasn't feeling so hungry and my composure was shaky. I could barely eat through the contractions.
We got checked in after dinner and got settled into our room. Since I was only 2 cm dilated and 30% effaced I just had to wait. I wanted to go a little while longer before asking for the epidural since progress was so slow. My parents came by and "The Blues Brothers" was on TV. The contractions were coming so hard and fast I could barely converse with my mom, and I would thrash through them and all but fall asleep as they eased. Around midnight mom & dad left, I finally took the nurse up on her fifth offer to get the drugs. I was an immediate convert into the Church of Epidural. It felt like I had taken several shots of heavenly whiskey laced with brown sugar and I fell into a blissful sleep instantly.
I slept until a nurse woke me up around 4:30 AM to let me know the baby's heart rate had dropped a bit so they were easing up on the epidural. At 6:00 AM I could feel about 40% of what was happening and wanted to start pushing. My doctor thought it would be a while and then he LEFT TO DELIVER ANOTHER BABY. I labored for a while longer, somewhere in there my mom & sister came in, and I started to worry my doctor wouldn't come back in time. I really really really had to push, like NOW. The nurses ran to get him. It was 7:30 AM.
4-month old Finn & the Mayor
This part is still sharp in my mind: from 7:20 until he was born at 8:26 I pushed until my face turned beet red. I pushed until I was soaked with sweat. I pushed until Caleb told me to close my eyes because he was worried they'd pop out of my head. I was so tires I could barely see, but was bound and determined to work as hard as I could to get that baby out and into my arms. I was tired of waiting, and ready for that part to be over. It was all very movie-esque.
I won't record the freaky part here, but Finn was finally born. His breathing was labored and he had a temperature so I only got to see him for a moment before he was whisked away to the NICU for monitoring. Caleb and I were anxious, so he went upstairs with Finn while my mom & sister stayed with me & got my room switched to postpartum. Caleb later reported wondering which baby was crying so loud when he entered the NICU only to find it was his baby, and how he was able to give him a bath. I didn't get to see that part.
Franken-Finn's 1st Halloween
An hour goes by, then two, and I still hadn't officially held my son. Finn was finally discharged from the NICU and delivered to our room after he checked out fine, but he returned with a sack full of NICU goodies! It seems he learned how to work the system at an early age... there were pajamas, a knit blanket & hat, and a book - all donated to NICU babies by little old women. Score!
We all went home on Christmas Day, and it officially became the strangest Christmas EVER. One thing I wasn't prepared for was the mass exodus of hormones from my body the next few days. The car ride home stressed me out so much that all I could was break down and cry my eyes out for a few hours immediately afterward. I wasn't sad, I was just overwhelmed, and all that emotion had to get out of me ASAP.
So that was the beginning.
And now... POOF! Four years have flown by and I have a little man.
And has an appetite for life.
He's a great brother...
... and always on the lookout for an adventure or a good story.
Tomorrow we will celebrate the Official Birthday over popcorn and Madagascar 2 with good friends that Finn has had his whole life. And I will be a little bit sad.
But mainly I'll be wondering what the next few years have in store for my Jimmy-Buffett-loving, joke-and-story-telling, sugar-sensitive, independent, elephant-memoried, affectionate, Guitar-Hero-obsessed little boy.
And looking forward to them.