Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vivid Mammaries

Today my son, Peter turns 26. Yes, I am older than I look! (Ha!)  It was the 1980's, big hair, leg warmers, parachute pants - I had it all go'in on! 

Every year, on my kid's birthdays, I reminisce. When they were little, I would tell the tale of the day they were born. I embellished some (you know how I love to do that!) making it the most exciting day in history of the world! (they loved it)

Like most women, those events are as vivid today as they were then, you will always remember everything about that day.  So, I'd like to share Peter's birthday with you.  He was a VBAC delivery (vaginal birth after cesarean) 9:30 pm at Overlook Hospital.(one of the first ever done there, 1984)  It required that I change doctors. My first OB, who sectioned me two years earlier, told me that I could only delivery approx. a  7lb baby. When I asked how he knew that he said, “I just know these things.” Wow, he must be like superman and have X-ray vision, I thought.  (Peter was born 8.8!)

So I fired and hired the next OB. Sheila B.,was a young, new, single practitioner who had a thriving business.  We would sit for hours in her waiting room and socialize until she was ready to see us.  Sheila spent alot of quality time with her patients so she was worth the wait.

With Peter, I was in labor for 18 hours of which she stayed with me the whole time.. Knowing I wanted to deliver vaginally, she took all the proper precautions (there were probes and wires everywhere!) When all was said and done, (yes, with lots of intervention like pitocin, epidural, vacuum extraction)…he was out! At the time, I thought I did pretty well. After all, I didn’t have a c-section. As I often tell people, I was trained as an ER nurse so intervention and machines, were my “comfort zone”. It wasn’t until I had my next child that I had a natural delivery (she was 8.15!)  Ya know what they say, "Three's a charm!"

I still giggle thinking about my first child, Nicole, who was so hairy.  I remember saying to my husband, “Forget a college fund, we’d better save up for electrolysis!” ( this is a girl who went on to shave the tops of her forearms in high school). I also jokingly blamed my husband, “It’s your entire fault, she’s so hairy.” (the man looked like Sasquatch!) So when I saw Peter’s head crowning in the mirror, I yelled, “Are you sure that’s his head?” He was as bald as Uncle Fester! If that’s not bad enough, when I first saw his face I thought, “OMG, he looks just like my mother-in-law”. Imagine that!

It was with my second, Peter, that I really let go of the stupid breastfeeding advice given to me with my first. My hospital room mate, Mari was an integral part of that. (yes, we shared rooms back then!) She also VBAC’d with the same OB, so we instantly bonded. Mari was the one who opened my mind to a whole new way of thinking. “Just nurse him whenever he wants, that’s what I do”, she said, “It’s easy.’ I thought, if she can do it, so can I ....and I never looked at a clock again.

Peter breastfed for 22 months and we enjoyed every minute of it. I actually nursed him through 7 months of my pregnancy with Andrea. Eventually, he replaced nursing with putting his hand down my shirt between my breasts (very sweet!) Two months later, I delivered Andrea and happily started all over again!

Now that I think of it, I haven’t stopped feeding Peter yet. I'm making him dinner tonight for his birthday!
Since my kids are grown and I don't breastfeed, co-sleep, cuddle or hold their little hands much anymore, (they just won't let me!) I live my life vicariously through all of you.  Thank you for sharing your precious babies with me!  May your memories of this time be as vivid and happy as mine.