Friday, March 18, 2011
Memories of Birth, Beau
The memories of my children's births are all but happy to me. I experienced fear and uncertainty every time. The first birth was induced because of being a little overdue and the ultrasound showed a big baby that would just get bigger. The doctor was fearful for my small frame delivering a ten pound plus baby. I was young, relatively speaking anyway and had nothing to base this decision on. Looking back, I wonder if natures way would have been better for my first born. My body didn't respond to the induction well and the baby switched to the sunny side up position, making it difficult to push him out. The doctor offered help, vacuum extraction. He was born, blue and unresponsive with a horrid contusion on his head. I remember hearing Mark saying over and over again "Come on buddy breath" as we waited for someone to say something to us. The team of specialists was rushed in to work on him. My sweet new baby boy was whisked away to the NICU without hardly a glance at him. Phone calls were made by Mark while I stood in the shower and cried silently to myself, trying to be strong in front of Mark. My Mom rushed up to be with us, even though I told Mark to tell her she didn't need to. I was grateful to have her there when we were finally taken to the NICU hours later to see Beau Louis. It would be a few days before I would hold him. He looked so healthy as he lay there attached to many tubes, weighing almost 9 pounds, he looked like a giant compared to all the preemies. I was scared of losing him and didn't let down my guard right away, scared to love and lose I stayed distant to some extent. He would stay about a week at NICU and there would be tests to check for brain damage. It was all very overwhelming, I just tried to process everything thrown at me all the while mourning the birth I expected to have. Family would come to see him but only the adults were able to come into the NICU. One night I went to see him and the nurse offered me that I could hold him. Mark was at a gig he couldn't get out of and I was still in the hospital. I didn't know what she meant exactly, she was changing his bedding and I thought she meant I could hold him just while she did that. I didn't sit down or relax, I just stood there frozen with him finally in my arms, wondering how I could ever love more than at this moment. It was midnight, I had walked down from my room after sleeping restlessly thinking about him constantly. As I stood there holding him for the first time I wished for Mark to be with me. Shortly after that thought went through my head Mark walked in in his tux from playing the gig. I stood there crying as he walked over and I said to him "I want to offer to let you hold him, but I just can't." He understood and we embraced as a family of three for the first time, me in my pink nightgown and him in a tux, the nurse took our first family picture. The next day we held him all day, finally I was bonding, realizing he would be ok. The tests came back confirming there was no permanent brain damage and we finally started to dream about the future. The night I was released and had to leave him in the care of the nurses was more difficult than I could imagine. I bawled as the elevator door shut and we headed to the car. Mark held me and just let me cry, saying nothing, just rubbing my back like a small injured child. When Beau was released from the hospital on a Sunday morning, we stopped at the one place I wanted to go, our church. It was the end of the service, in the outdoor sanctuary and we walked down the path as we heard a voice offer our new baby up in prayer. The love I felt overcame me and I knew we would all be ok, surrounded by the love of the church family, each other and especially by God.