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.