A few hours later

B. here:

Thank you all for welcoming Baby Man! We are doing well – a bit concerned about some jaundice but the docs are assuring us that while we need to obviously be vigilant about it it’s not all that abnormal for such a big baby. So I need to breastfeed as much as humanly possible. That’s made for a tough night and morning but I think my milk is coming now. One of the nurses said the phrase “at high risk,” which sent me into a bit of a meltdown – and leading Dr. K to be annoyed that the nurse hadn’t been more careful with her words. Dr. K spent quite a while with us this morning and she cried. I really did pick a good doctor this time.

So, the birth story. It was a beautiful, wonderful night. Difficult. I don’t particularly want to detail it moment by moment, but really some of it is very relevant to the larger story of grieving and pregnancy. I did have an epidural – after I’d dilated to 7-8cm. At that point, the pain triggered physical memories of my labor with Natan. At first, I couldn’t stop the comparisons. But then, even worse, I had a near flashback – during one contraction I imagined the rush of waters and the sudden presence of feet in my vagina. When I regained my composure at the end of the contraction I realized I had to do something to change things, that this labor was different, the baby was fine, responding perfectly, in fact, to labor. I didn’t want my memories of it to be all pain. And I thought, why I am doing this to myself? What purpose does this pain serve? No purpose I decided. I was in the hospital of my choice, among doctors and nurses I trusted, and the baby was fine. I had told myself I wanted to do it without meds because I wanted to be “fully present” at the birth. I wasn’t. I couldn’t be. I was half there, half somewhere else. And from the moment the epidural took effect until my meltdown above, my first two days with Baby Man were perfect. Utter bliss. Pushing still hurt – we’d stopped the epidural and I only ever took enough to take the edge of the pain rather than erase it. But when the doctor said, “Just one more push,” and I pushed with everything I had, only to be rewarded at its end with the sound of our son’s cries, I laughed.

Granted, I also laughed because he looked like a baby from a movie. The enormous 3-monthers used to portray newborns. I said to myself, “And finally, the universe has made a good joke.”


32 responses to “:)

  1. It truly is a wonderful joke that your pregnancy that must have seemed at least a year long produced a baby who looks 12 weeks old at birth!

    You both look fabulous. I am so incredibly happy for you. Yay!

  2. He is big isn’t he? And healthy, and gorgeous, and maybe the best ending to a year of sadness there ever could be.

    And yeah, epidurals are great for that purpose aren’t they? I’m glad it did work well for you in the end. And I’m very very glad you were able to focus on the birth and not have any flashbacks.

    FWIW, I know a lot of lovely babies who had jaundice and in the end it was no big deal. I’m sure Samuel will come through like a trooper.

  3. Oh Beruriah & Josh: He’s beautiful!

    I love this picture because I used to joke that Owen’s head got the most head kisses of any baby on earth (I’m sure every mom thinks this). I still kiss his little head hundreds of times a day. I’ll guess he’ll have the second-most now…

    I’m glad that you were able to make the decision about the epidural. It’s weird, I feel like a lot of people get self-righteous about not having one, even though we’ve all heard a million times that every birth is different. I still have people tell me that maybe if I’d “tried” harder, I wouldn’t have had to have an emergency c-section. I pushed for six hours, and almost broke my pelvis, because he was wedged against the bone. It used to make me so angry when people said or insinuated this – now, I usually just don’t tell people about it. I’m glad that you knew what you needed to do for yourself to make Samuel’s birth the experience you needed and wanted.

    Keep kissing that warm little head.

  4. He’s beautiful, and SO big! 🙂 Congratulations!

  5. So beautiful! I cried a little when I first saw your picture. You are right, Samuel doesn’t look like a newborn.

    So happy for you!

  6. I told my mom to “shut up” because she was trying to talk to me shortly after Andy was born. I wanted to hear his cry. I’m sure you felt the same way. About the epidural…. it’s the outcome that matters. And I’m impressed you got him out vaginally. That in itself is more impressive to me than going pain free. He’s so beautiful. Oh, be sure to pump while in the hospital, it will help. Andy had jaundice too, but he got phototherapy at home and it cleared up quickly.

  7. Beautiful picture.
    you know that meltdown was coming. If it wasn’t the nurse today, it would’ve been something else another day. It had to happen, and it may happen again.
    Beautiful, beautiful, big boy.
    So happy for you.

  8. Absolute Beauty.
    Gorgeous, Gorgeous Gorgeousness….

    What a beautiful big baby!
    I am beyond happy for you dearest Mama!

  9. I am so happy for you. What a beautiful picture, and a beautiful baby.

    I think you did the right thing with the epidural. What matters is the outcome like someone else said.

  10. Oh… this just makes me all weepy and happy all at once. It is also giving me a bad case of baby envy!! 🙂

    You deserve every moment of bliss, and you are justified in every torrent of tears. As you know, laughter and tears walk hand in hand more often than not.

    He is just gorgeous, as is his mama.

  11. like Lori, i’m all sniffy and smiley just looking at him.

    such a beautiful photo. fitting ending to a year of consolation, indeed.

    and i am glad you were able to take control of your labour and choose the epidural and make the separation…i know how hard that was for me the second time, and i never quite got it together. i am literally filled with joy that you were able to…and it gives me hope for a next time, too, for myself.

    welcome to the world, lovely Samuel.

  12. He is beautiful, and I’m so happy for all of you 🙂

  13. SO beautiful. :D.

    Welcome to the world, Samuel!

  14. this is so obviously NOT about me and so TOTALLY about your beautiful son samuel!!! congratulations!!!

    but i have to say my heart stopped for a split second when i saw the photo…paige was big like that, and from the side, well…

  15. Congratulations, B.; I’m really happy for you and J.!

  16. As everyone else has said: what a beautiful picture, story, and baby.

  17. Beautiful Mama, beautiful baby. More tears of joy here.

    I am so happy for you.

  18. What a beautiful photo. I’m so pleased for you and your family. I hope to have a picture like that someday.

  19. It was beyond wonderful to check in on you today and find this photo and read of Samuel’s arrival! The two of you look so blissful. My heart is smiling the biggest smile 🙂

  20. I am so utterly happy for you. What a big boy! Precious, beautiful, wonderful. There aren’t enough words. Enjoy! Congrats!

  21. oh, he is so, so beautiful. congratulations and lots of hugs and kisses to you all.

  22. I am here from Monica’s blog. A big congrats to you and your big beautiful baby boy!

  23. It is so funny you said that about the TV babies that are obviously 3 months old. My son was 9lbs .5 oz and 21 inches, and that is one of the first things my mother said when she saw him!

    Congratulations on the safe arrival of your beautiful boy.

  24. ridiculously happy for you guys and so glad we all can…exhale….

  25. i just audibly sighed…beautiful.

  26. I am amazed, truly amazed, at your resolve to do labor on YOUR terms, in a manner that you found most rewarding FOR YOU, WHILE it was going on. I’m sure this isn’t the standard remark after someone gets an epidural, but I think you’re brave to have done so *in order to feel the other parts.* And he, and you, are beautiful, and for a myriad of reasons, bring me to tears.

  27. Oh, what good news. Enjoy getting to know each other. You look beautiful.

  28. Beautiful picture!!

  29. Oh, Beruriah. He’s beautiful. And I’m a homebirth advocate who wound up transferring to hospital b/c of exhaustion, expressly to get an epidural and some sleep. It’s a tool, and you used it wisely to get the birth experience you needed. That’s all.

    And, again, he’s beautiful.

  30. What a beautiful picture! Congratultions!

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