Elijah's birth story (and a personality theory)

Get a group of young moms together and someone’s going to mention childbirth. It’s this thing we all did (albeit different ways). It’s big. It’s traumatic. It unites us, no matter how far along we are down the road of parenthood. The details aren’t always for the faint of heart, but mothers are not faint-hearted. We did, after all, give rise to a HUMAN from our nether-regions. So, there’s that.

My eldest turns five today, and I realize what a drastic departure today is with it’s birthday treats, cake and presents from five years ago. I also think I’ve realized that a child’s personality is actually set right there in his or her birth story—that they literally bust out into the world with the exact personality they will one day possess. It’s a theory in motion, but it’s moving along nicely.

Five years ago I was 36 weeks pregnant, and teaching full time. My pregnancy was considered high risk, so I found myself strapped down for a non-stress test twice a week (non-stress my ass—it is STRESSFUL sitting still for hours on end when you have to pee). I failed my first test on a Saturday morning. I had instructions to rest, drink fluid, and to return Monday afternoon.

My sweet mama took me to the specialists office where I had a 3D ultrasound because my husband was at work. I watched nurses whisper to the consulting doctor when he entered. I watched his brow furrow. I watched him walk out of the room, without explaining much to me. Within minutes, I was alone in the exam room and my OBGYN was patched in. He explained that I had developed Oligohydramnios (a fancy way of saying I had low amniotic fluid) and that it would be much safer to deliver the baby than to let him remain in my body. I needed to get my bags and head to the hospital that evening.

And, that was it. There was no arguing. Our paperwork had already been submitted, and the hospital would be waiting for me. I called my husband and told him the news. He was on his way, but I wouldn’t see him for a few hours due to an accident on the expressway which caused a pretty solid traffic jam.

My mom and I stopped at Red Robin for dinner on our way to the hospital. My mom, who’s a talker, mentioned our situation to the waitress. Within minutes, the manager approached and kindly asked if I needed an ambulance or a booth to myself. I explained that while I WAS on the way to have a baby, I wasn’t actually having the baby THAT moment. He comped part of our bill. He sent us on our way with an extra burger for my husband. And our waitress…well, she had the staff sing Happy Birthday to my belly AND brought me ice cream and balloons. She also wrote a sweet note to my hubby and hugged me several times. She was an angel, and I can’t make this stuff up.

I arrived at the hospital with my poorly packed bag, balloons, and a burger dinner. My husband found us and I was admitted at 8:30 pm.

 

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Boom! 20 minutes of pushing!

23 hours later, I held my son in my arms for the first time. His labor was relatively quick once the Pitocin hit my system. I trusted the wonderful staff that labored with me, as well as my doctor that the best decision was being made for my baby. My husband waited and walked, waited and walked with me for hours. He watched it all and didn’t pass out. My mom was present too, as well as an extra floor nurse who had spent the day chatting with me and wanted to see my little guy even though she was off of her shift. Honestly, we listened to music, joked and cried. It was a big ‘ol fucking love fest.

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Boom! 5 years later, this all went so fast!

And, that’s pretty much my amazing kid. He’s always determined to do things his own way IN HIS OWN TIME, and much of that is sooner than I’m ready for. He has this way of making everything seem exciting, like a party, EVERY DAY. He’s frustrating as all get out, but also has a heart that makes you forget all-a-that. He takes my breath away today the same way he did five years ago. I’m REALLY sure my theory is right about birth stories—and this kid is a true original! Elijah Ender, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you! -Mama Megan

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