Friday, July 26, 2013

Parker: A Birthday Story

Tomorrow marks the one year celebration of my son’s birth. ONE YEAR. Never has 365 days disappeared so quickly. This time around, I tried my best to breathe in each moment. To bury my nose in his hair and inhale the sweetness. Slowing time as best I could and not wishing the baby away. 

My baby.

So here we are. Inching closer to toddler every day. Literally crawling away from the baby stage.  {And this kid can MOVE.}

On this last day before the big ONE, I thought it apropos to finally tell Parker’s birth story. It’s been in my head and replayed many, many times but in the past 364 days I haven’t taken the time to sit down and put it on paper. (er, screen.)  And I need to. Parker deserves to have his story told.

My due date was July 30th. Everything was on track and the baby was healthy. A son! For all of my married life I had wished for a boy. Something in me itched to experience what raising a boy is all about. I wanted the mother-son relationship and all its glorified hype. After all, I’d had a boy’s name picked out since high school.


Strong.  Masculine.  Suitable for both a little boy and a grown man. Thankfully Matt shared my affection so there was no question when the ultrasound tech said, “It looks like it’s a boy!”

Parker James.

James after Matt’s grandfather. Our small way of paying tribute to a man whose love for God and family was constant and unwavering.

As the end of July approached, I was over being pregnant. Ready to meet this little guy and try my hand at raising two kids. (If only I had known how much life would change, maybe I wouldn't have been in such a hurry!) I scheduled an induction for my due date which was a Monday, but then decided to bump it up to July 27th which was a Friday. Earlier is better, right?  We made arrangements for Aubrey to stay with my parents while we were in the hospital. We took her to their house on Thursday evening since we had to be at the hospital at 7 am the next morning.

Matt and I returned to an empty house and spent the evening watching TV. Why we decided to stay up until 11:00 I’ll never know. It wouldn't be long before we both came to regret the late night! At 2 am, I woke up and had to pee. As I lay in bed, I suddenly felt something vaguely familiar and decided it was best to hurry to the bathroom. Before I could sit down, I knew my water had broken.

All I could do was laugh. Here we were – same scenario as the first time: A scheduled induction and my water breaks on its own!  God’s perfect timing.

I woke Matt and told him we needed to get up and ready to go. Poor guy didn't realize it was 2 am. He thought it was the regularly scheduled wake-up time of 6:00. After a few seconds my words were sinking in and he realized it was literally GO time. The irony in all of this is that just a few days prior, Matt had admitted to me that part of him wished I’d go into labor on my own so we could experience the whole “rushing around to get to the hospital” thing.  To him I now say, be careful what you wish for!

I called the doctor while Matt packed his bag. Dr. Rosado was on call and when I told her what happened, she laughed too! She told us to head to the hospital and she would see us there. Matt stuck his head around the bathroom door, “Do I have time to take a shower?”  Umm… if you can make it quick! I bustled around the house with a towel wrapped around me, trying to do last minute things but not really getting anything done. I typed up a quick text and sent it to our families: “2am and my water broke! We are heading to the hospital a little earlier than expected.”

Our drive to the hospital was fast and dark. Thankfully traffic is minimal at 2:30 in the morning. My contractions were becoming really painful in the car. Matt dropped me off at the emergency room entrance and the nurse asked how far apart my contractions were. I told her 2-3 minutes. She said, “Maybe we shouldn't wait for your husband. I think I need to get you upstairs.” They sat me in a wheel chair and pushed me toward the elevator. Thankfully Matt caught up just in time.

I was hooked up to all the monitors, got my i.v. – I knew this part of the routine. Dr. Rosado came in to check me – 3-4 cm. They still had to get two doses of antibiotics into me (one hour apart) since I tested positive for the strep bacteria. Hopefully they would have enough time!  I laid in the bed, uncomfortably, for an hour or two. I progressed slightly to 5-6 cm. I told the doctor that I was hurting pretty badly and to let me know when I could get an epidural.  “Oh, you want an epidural? I’ll send for it now.” 


Dr. Rosado came back in a few minutes later to tell me that I was getting the BEST anesthesiologist on staff and he would be up soon. By 6:30 he was there and the epidural was in. I had a little more trouble with it this time – my left side was more numb than my right. I started shaking from feeling cold and was very itchy. All normal according to the anesthesiologist but a little unnerving for me since I didn’t experience any of that the first time. They had me lay on my right side to better circulate the medication.  Finally I started feeling relief. I rested as best I could for an hour or so, but soon started feeling sick. Lord, I did NOT want to throw up. I asked for a fan to help cool me down and I was given a bucket. I tried to relax by taking deep breaths. The feeling was passing…slowly, slightly.

Around 8:15 the nurse came in and I told her I was still feeling nauseous. She said, “Let’s check you to see where you’re at.” She looked up and smiled, “You’re complete. You’re at 10. Let me get Dr. Molloy.”

I prepared myself for what was about to happen. I recalled from memory my first labor and delivery, reminding myself of the motions I needed to go through. I knew what I had to do. Dr. Molloy arrived; the preparations were ready for Parker’s appearance. Now there was work to be done.  The first contraction started. “Okay Janelle – PUSH!”

1…2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10 and breathe...

Dr. Molloy spoke calmly, “That was good. But you don’t need to push that hard. Let’s go again.”

Don’t need to push that hard?!?  Sounded good to me!  I pushed a second time, with a little less oomph.  Dr. Molloy shouted, “Yes – that’s perfect! He’s RIGHT here.” I pushed a third time. His head was out. After a second of positioning, the rest of him slid out too.

At 8:26 am Dr. Molloy laid the pink wrinkly babe on my stomach.  There he was – Parker. James. Allen.

Aside from swallowing a lot of fluid, everything was perfect with this little guy. Ten fingers, ten toes. Matt cut the cord and they wrapped a blanket around him. I got to hold him for a while before they took him to weigh him and clean him up. I relished this time. With Aubrey they whisked her away as soon as the cord had been cut – I didn't get all that time with her right from the start.

As I lay in the bed cradling my newest love, I was so bewildered by how quickly everything had happened. Six hours of labor and five minutes of pushing. God is good!couldn't believe it was over and he was here. Throughout the rest of the day I continued to shake my head in disbelief that 9 months of preparation had ended in such a short time.  And now a new beginning.  A family of four.

I was a little more prepared this time around, felt a little more confident, knowing what the next few days and weeks would look like with a newborn. What I wasn't prepared for was how full my heart would become in watching my daughter interact with her baby brother. The two of them certainly share a bond that is unshakable. Each day it grows stronger. One misses the other when they’re gone. She entertains him. Keeps him busy. Makes him laugh. Teaches him. Mothers him. Oh how she mothers him.

As I reflect back on that Friday in July when Parker James entered our world, I smile.  I smile because I know how lucky I am. My life overflows with joy and love. I've got my girl and my boy. God granted me the opportunity of a lifetime by giving me the title of mother to Aubrey and Parker. God gave them their heartbeats.  Then He made them mine. 
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