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The Day We Became a Herd

I clearly remember the days each of my babies were born. There are certain details that stick out more than others. For instance, when I think about the day Little Man was born, I remember so clearly standing in the parking lot outside the hospital, watching the sun rise over the mountain behind the building. I distinctly recall thinking how our lives would be different yet again when I next walked out of those doors. I was excited, happy, anxious. This pregnancy had gone the way I wanted. This pregnancy had been the dream to help heal the wounds of one that had gone so terribly wrong. I had no idea what that day would hold, but I knew at the end, our precious third child would have come into the world. I couldn’t wait to see him, hold him, hear him cry.

I had a sympathetic doctor. He knew what I’d been through with my first two, not from first-hand experience, but from my telling. His wife had given birth three times. I was an older mom. I was a third-time mom. We had a plan for the day. He knew what I wanted, and was going to do all he could to make it so . After giving birth twice without any drugs, I knew I didn’t need to be any kind of hero. The baby would still come, drugs or no, and I wanted to be comfortable. So, as soon as I was uncomfortable, doc S called the anesthesiologist. Can I get an amen for epidurals? It enabled me to relax and rest for the work ahead. The day was long. The progress was slow. Around 1pm, Doc S broke my water. We thought things would speed up from there, but no. Little Man was taking his sweet time. Around 5pm, I was still at 5cm’s and Little Man’s heart had started to decelerate with each contraction. Doc S was a little concerned. I was calm. I had no issues with having a Cesarean if that’s what was needed to get him out quickly and safely. After shifting me around, and pushing Little Man a bit, his head moved over. The decels stopped, and I was dialating again. At 10:01pm, 13 hours after we started, our littlest man arrived. The cord was around his neck a couple of times. His breathing was a little junky. They had to suction him quite a bit. But I had that beautifully perfect experience of having my newborn placed on my tummy right away. I breathed.

He spent some time in the nursery that night. His oxygen saturation levels weren’t exactly where they wanted them to be. There was brief talk of taking him to the NICU if he didn’t stabilize. But they brought him to me to hold, and he evened out. Thirty-six hours after his birth, we were wheeled out of the hospital to our waiting car, and brought him home. His brother was excited to meet him. His sister couldn’t have cared less.

We had a couple of rough nights right out of the gate. He would not sleep. He would not let me put him down. I, for the first (and last) time in my life, literally fell asleep standing up. Then we settled in and settled down. He was a sweet, sweet baby. And we were a herd.

It’s been ten years. He woke up with a smile on his face this morning. He got the “real” (not frozen) waffles he wanted for breakfast. We will have dinner out tonight, and we will give him his gifts. He was a bit bummed about having to go to school on his birthday, but his name is in lights on the marquee at school, and I know they will help make it a special day.

In our tougher moments, I think back to his birth day. We were so excited and happy. Would we have been if we knew what lay ahead? Pretty sure the answer is yes. Are there days I feel my comfort of the “healing baby” has been stolen away by autism? Oh yeah. But as with my other two, when I look at him, I almost feel my heart outside of my chest with love and pride. I wouldn’t give up any part of our herd for any of the struggles we may face.


NaBloPoMo prompt for today asks what is my favorite personality trait that I possess. Uuuuhhhhhh…….I don’t know. I used to be a good listener. I think I’ve let that skill lapse. My OCD side would say I love my ability to list and organize, but then I look around my house at the clutter and disaster, and, well, hmmmm…I guess I’m not so organized. I’m not a good judge of my own personality traits I suppose. How would you answer that question, with regard to yourself?

One thought on “The Day We Became a Herd

  1. Life changes us so much. I used to be a good listener too, the one all my friends came to for listening/advice. Now I don’t have too much time for anyone. And I’m also very organized but then some aspects of my life are such a mess… so who knows.

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