Liam’s seventh birthday is less than a month away. Part of me can’t believe that he’s going to be seven. The other part of me can’t believe
we still have 11 years before he moves out what a crazy little person we’ve created. For my own memory’s posterity, I want to remember exactly how it all went down. Maybe Liam will read this one day? More likely, I’ll slowly be debilitated by the Alzheimers that sets in from the flavor-blasted foods and autolyzed yeast extract I’ve been exposed to my whole life, and it will be a nice story to read.
Late August, 2004: So, once there was a sweet girl named Ashley and a charming boy named Noah.
They had their ups and downs. Once, Ashley got sick with the flu. And she missed her period for two months. And her boobs hurt. Real bad. Poor Ashley was convinced this meant she had cancer. Many nights, she dreamt that she gave birth to a puppy. “Noah, I don’t want a puppy! That’s so much responsibility. Why would I keep dreaming that?” As ACL weekend approached, Ashley and Noah allowed themselves to consider the possibility that she was pregnant. On a Sunday morning, they purchased a pregnancy test, and Ashley took the big pee. Not a pair to ruin a perfectly good weekend, Ashley stuck the test into a dresser drawer without looking at the results, and they headed out for the last day of the festival. It wasn’t a great day; Ashley threw up most of the time. I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but it turns out Ashley was pregnant!
The first three months were miserable. I was sick day and night. I only had to smell the wrong type of food, and I would projectile vomit on the spot. I threw up on my way to classes when I passed the cafeteria (any TX State peeps remember Jones?). I threw up in the Chili’s parking lot, outside of The Brick Oven, and I would occasionally have to open the car door while I was driving. The nausea finally subsided at month four, and then I loved being pregnant! I would do it again, but Noah won’t let me be a surrogate. I ate tater tots dipped in both apple sauce and sour cream (still delicious), and at month 8, Noah and I moved into our first apartment together. East Oltorf: a truly lovely place to raise a family.
Sunday May 15, 2005: I spent the afternoon at Barton Springs with my MIL and SIL, Olivia. I hiked up my cherry-print bikini bottoms and cannon-balled into the icy cold spring waters. We discussed Liam’s upcoming due date, which was mere days away. Would he have hair? What color were his eyes going to be? Was his middle name really going to be Captain??
Later that night, snug as a thug in bed on East Oltorf, I woke up with slight stomach pains. No worse than your typical period cramps, but I woke Noah up to tell him, anyway. “It’s 4am, you should go back to sleep,” he said, without opening his eyes.
“But it hurts. What if this is what it feels like?”
“You should go take a shower, or something.” Noah literally snuggled deeper under the blankets. That guy …
Finally, I decided I would much rather be wrong at the hospital than wrong at our apartment, so I convinced Noah to get up and at ‘em. We were at the hospital by 7am, checked in, and making phone calls that we would, indeed, be leaving with a baby.
The amazing part is that I never felt much pain. I had so much fear about the actual birth, was so petrified about the pain and potential ripping (it’s still hard for me to type that word), and it turned out to be one of the easiest experiences I could have imagined. I was immediately given an epidural, and that was that. No pain. A little after 4pm, the nurses told me it was time to push. “But Oprah’s about to start,” I lamented. But apparently we were no longer on my time table, so the TV was switched off. I pushed once (although I couldn’t feel a thing. I just made the “push” face and assumed I was pushing.). The nurses told me to stop after a single push because the doctor wasn’t in the room yet. When the doctor arrived, I literally pushed three times, and Liam was out. *dusts off shoulder* A perfect 10 on the Apgar scale.
“Is that it?” I asked.
“You just had a baby. What else did you want to do?” said Dr.Crumb.
“I just thought it would be harder.”
I know. I’m such a bitch. You hate me. I’ve heard the horror stories, and I know I’m supposed to have one of my own. But for realsies – best experience ever. All of our family and friends at the hospital. Baby inconceivably precious, and he came out with a smile on his face. A Sonic chili cheese dog and limeade for dinner. I would do it again, if I could keep the child at three years old forever. But alas, Liam is enough for now.
This post started out as a tribute (not in the scary “Hunger Games” sense of the word) to Liam and his unique little brain. I mean, that dude is nuts. So this is pre-natal. Next is post-natal. Again, this is purely self-serving. But isn’t that what blogs are for? My own self-indulgent, egocentric thoughts, opinions, and stories? Don’t look at me – you’re the one who read this far
MEMORIES I SHAN’T FORGOT:
*That time the door handles on my car were broken, and at 8 and 9 months pregnant I had to go in through the back seat and climb into the front.
*That time I was a refugee in the Watson’s house for the few weeks in between moving out of the dorms and having the nerve to tell my dad that I’d dropped all of my classes.
*That time my dad asked what my and Noah’s plans were, after telling him I was pregnant, and I was still too embarrassed to admit we would even sleep in the same bedroom. “Ummm, I don’t know, we’ll probably just get a 2-bedroom …?”