Saturday, May 11, 2013

He Made Me a Mama

I don't know if it's Mothers' Day making me all nostalgic or what, but I decided to put Xander's birth story on this blog, too.  It has been over 4 years and, honestly, the whole twin pregnancy makes me look back on Xander's like it was a vacation.  But I'll try to tell it as it happened.

When we found out we were pregnant, another lady that worked with me found out she was pregnant, too.  At first, our due dates were the exact same day.  After our ultrasounds, they actually moved her date up and mine back, so we ended up being about 10 days apart, but no one remembered that.  They just kept thinking we were due at the exact same time.  Well, she delivered a little early.  Add to that the 10 days, and you would NOT believe how many people came up to me in the last few weeks and said things like, "Why are you still here?"  "Are you ever going to have that baby?"  And perhaps my personal favorite, "You look like you're gonna POP!"  (Oh man, I so wanted to POP someone in the jaw every time he/she said that.)

So anyway, let's just say I was ready.  For about 3 weeks, any time anyone would ask me when I was due, I would say, "Any day now."  I was convinced I was right.  Any day. . .

Then came my due date - September 16 - and I got up and went to work.  I felt a little weird, but hey, I was 9 months pregnant.  I always felt weird.  I remember my stomach was hurting around lunchtime, but I still went out to Wendy's and the new store with a couple of my friends and walked around and shopped.  By the time we got back from that, my stomach was really hurting.

I told my boss that I needed to go home and she said I should probably call my midwife.  (I saw a midwife whose practice was in the town I worked in - Boone - but our home is 45 minutes away, in Lenoir.  Luckily, she happened to deliver babies at the Lenoir hospital at the time.)  I didn't; I called my husband and told him I was ready to leave.  He said we weren't leaving until I called the midwife.  I hung up on him.  I knew it wasn't labor - surely I would know when it was labor, and this wasn't it.

Alas, we went by my midwife's office.  And she told me - that I was in labor.  Yes, people, I had to be told this.  But she said it would be a while.  I was only dilated to 2.  At 3:00, she said to go home, eat dinner, try to sleep, and she'd see me in the morning.

Lucas and I went home and started watching some Sopranos.  We were watching all of the seasons on Netflix and totally into it, watching several episodes at a time (ever do that?).  So when I couldn't even pay attention to the show, I knew it was progressing along.

I made Lucas take me to the hospital around 6:00, feeling like a weenie since my doctor said it would be the next morning.  I didn't progress quickly.  The pain got worse and worse, but I barely creeped along in dilation.  Finally, around 10:00, I was at 4cm, and I asked for an epidural.  I got it an hour later, at 11:00.  It was instant relief and amazing.  I'm not trying to get into a debate about natural childbirth vs. medication, but for me, in that situation, it was the right decision.

I watched a few episodes of Seinfeld while Lucas and my mom slept in chairs in the corner of the room.  I couldn't sleep.

When they checked me an hour later; I had gone from 4 to 9.  I was tensing up with every contraction before, and when I finally relaxed, my body went to work.  So they called my midwife and told her to come to the hospital.  She arrived at 1:10am, did a very quick check, and said it was go-time.  I pushed a few times, and at 1:24am on September 17, 2008 - Alexander James Bruch was here.

He was here.  I was a mama.

I'm going to be totally honest here and say that "instant love" thing I always heard about - I didn't feel it.  The room was a little chaotic.  Xander was screaming, Lucas was snapping pictures, nurses were cleaning, and my midwife was asking me if I wanted to see the placenta (um, no).  Then as soon as he stopped crying, my parents came in to see him (they were in the waiting room), then the nurses took him to do all the tests, and Lucas went home (2 minutes away) to wait for his mother to arrive and to let me sleep.  So I did.

But then - around 5:00am - they brought Xander back to me in a bassinet.  He woke up crying a little later, and I instinctively picked him up.  I didn't even think about it.  He quieted down immediately and fell asleep.  With me.  With his mama.

And I watched him sleep.  He was so sweet and perfect.  I already knew his face - those cheeks and lips.  He had a tiny spot on the knuckle of his right hand.  His breathing was somehow familiar.  It was like he had always been there.

Lucas came back around 6:00am, walked in the room, and said, "Something's different."  And it was.  It was over for me - that boy had my heart.  And I had his, I think from Day 1.  He's my Mama's Boy.  (Well, one of them now.)  He's my bubby.

I have loved him every day since.  And although everyone sees a spitting image of his daddy, I see some of me in there, too.  Like how he wants to lay in the grass and look at clouds with me.  Or how he asks a million "why" questions every day - not just to ask, but because he genuinely wants to know.  And, yes, his stubbornness, or what my Grandmama calls "determination" - that's mine, too.  But he's also got this incredibly sentimental and sweet soul.  He's creative and adventurous and funny and caring.  I love him so much.


  1. Your first came two weeks after my last...and now, this fall comes Kindergarten. A new adventure for you, the beginning of a final chapter for me...but I will never, after this fall, have one of my babies start school again. Reading this made me tear up as I remembered every single first meeting. Every squinty blue eyed stare (since all my babies have my eye color) was a new, yet somewhat familiar, feeling, and I miss it, even almost five years later. Thank you for writing your story...and in writing it, you have written the same story of every woman that has felt that tug of first love...

    1. I just replied to you but forgot to actually "reply" to you and just commented. I'm such a blogger failure. haha

  2. Thanks so much. You know, it's funny - I'm not an "infant person" - it's just not my favorite stage. I love MY babies fiercely, but I'm not drawn toward anyone else's infants, and it's just not my favorite part of motherhood. I'm just more comfortable with toddlers. But as the twins are getting very close to a year old, I've got this sort of sadness about it, because this time it's the last time. I won't miss the sleepless nights, but I'll miss those sweet 2am snuggles, you know? So I'm starting already to see what you mean about the final chapters.

    But that said - I do get one more year with Xander at home. Here they moved the birth date cut-off to the end of August, so he's got another year before Kindergarten. I have mixed feelings about it because he has 3 cousins all born in 2008, and they're all starting this fall. And I'm afraid he might get bored in another year because he's pretty smart (I'm totally biased, but I'm pretty sure it's true). But, of course, I'm glad to keep him with me another year. Especially now that the twins ARE getting bigger and we can get out and play together. It will be fun to see him hone those big brother skills even more.

    Wow - stream of consciousness much? haha Sorry for the novel. :)

  3. I'm more of an infant person now that I don't have them all day long...I snuggle other people's babies and get my fix...but I can't say that I'm not happy to hand them back when I'm done ;)

    Here in this part of NJ, we don't have full day Kindergarten (which grinds my gears for many reasons, but that's a different blog altogether), and since Adam will be a very young Kindergartner(the cut off here is September 1), I've debated doing private (full-day) Kindergarten. The alternative, which is also being strongly considered, is holding out one more year and praying that the Township of Toms River passes full-day Kindergarten. Adam is smart, but he's a true "baby" of this family (meaning that he's used to having bigger kids to rely on), and I'm wondering if he needs an extra year to develop his sense of autonomy...but as it stands, come September, I'll have a 6th grader, a 4th grader, and a Kindergartner. I just don't like that at all, but that's the problem with having babies: they grow up.

    By the way, I miss those sleepless nights sometimes, especially when it comes to 2am snuggles. I don't remember the sweet, fat cheeks as well as I used to...but it's great to hear my son play his alto sax, which is what I did tonight. It's awesome to read my daughter's short stories...and listening to Adam sing at his Pre-K Graduation (in less than three weeks) makes missing those cuddles in the middle of the night a little easier.

    Independence is a blessing and a curse.