Wow, I can't believe my mom's computer came back today...the very day I was hoping and praying that it would be here for me to write. I'm thanking God for his timing!
After much deliberation I finally decided on what would have been Jacob's due date...today, April 20, 2011.
I have thought a lot recently about what this day could have been like, what it would have been like...what I had hoped it would be like.
My official due date is May 2. Initially I was given the choice to consider having a VBAC--a vaginal birth after cesarean. I remember how surprised I was when my OB mentioned this to me back in September. I had thought that you could only have a VBAC after your first c-section, not if you've had two like I have. My doctor said that there were studies showing that this was now a viable option. I remember thinking that I may have to give that some serious thought in the upcoming months. I knew how much I had always wanted to have a baby the 'regular way.'
You see, I still carry some resentment for my first OB back in Oklahoma. My water had broke 10 days prior to my due date. I was terrified because I didn't really know what was going on, and what it meant. Once I made it to the hospital, I was reassured that I was okay and that I'd be going home with a baby that day. I was excited but nervous at the same time. Unfortunately, my OB was heading out of town on vacation early the next morning. It was around 4 PM, I think, that she started me on Pitocin to start my labor. I had only been in the hospital for maybe an hour.
Sometime later, I had horrible, awful pains that were unlike anything I'd ever felt or could have imagined. Long story short, I was having a placental abruption and had to be rushed in to have an emergency c-section. I was put to sleep and even Alex couldn't be in the room. Only later did I find out how serious what happened was, and that I did not have to be put on pitocin. I could have said no and tried to get labor going on it's own. I blame my own lack of knowledge on this, but I also blame the doctor--I'm angry that she put me on this c-section course and denied me the ability to have a baby on my own. Had she only not rushed things and tried to get labor starting with pitocin, maybe things would have been different.
So, Sammy was born via c-section. When it came time to choose how to deliver Benny I seriously considered a VBAC. This time it was another doctor who affected my path. This doctor probably revealed too much of his personal opinion but told me that he thought I should go for the c-section instead. He had just lost a baby a few weeks ago--one of his patients was trying for a VBAC and the baby didn't make it. Well, gee...how could I even consider a VBAC after hearing the pain and plea in the doctor's voice? My actual OB at the time wouldn't give me his opinion, apparently there is some medical 'rule' about that. This doctor didn't follow that rule when I was in the hospital for some random pains...he had no problem telling me what he thought I should do. And I listened to him.
Apparently Benny didn't want to wait for his scheduled c-section 7 days ahead of my due date. He showed up 7 days prior to that and I was rushed in for another c-section with my sick and sleepy OB at my side for the surgery.
Fast forward to the present...I know I was excited at the possibility of having this baby naturally. Could I really do it? Would my child be okay? I was so excited and yet so scared at the same time. Knowing me, I would have more than likely opted to go the safer route and have another c-section. I'm guessing that Jacob would have followed his brothers and would have come before his scheduled date. That's how I picked today...12 days out from his original date.
I remember the c-section with Benny...the one where I was awake. I hated it. I was terrified. Thankfully I wasn't sick or anything from the medications, but I remember feeling sick from the smell of the plastic sheet that separated my face from what the doctor was doing. I also had an initial problem getting my spinal block (I think it's called that?). I felt 'tingly-shocky' kind of feelings down my leg when the anesthesiologist first put the medication in. He said it was normal but that it didn't happen to everyone. Just one of those funky things that makes you nervous, you know?
Knowing my past, I would have anticipated these problems this time around...but oh the part I would have been so anxious for...hearing that first cry of my precious son as the doctor pulled him out. I remember I couldn't stop crying when I saw Benny and heard his little cat-like mewing cry. All I wanted to do was to comfort my baby and hold him.
So, I'm guessing things would have been similar to what happened with Benny's birth...I would have felt labor contractions with Jacob and I would have known that's what they were this time. I would have had Alex rush home from work and we would have run to the hospital. I'd be prepped for surgery, the boys would be with someone in the waiting room (whomever we could have reached to come out that quickly) and Alex would be sitting at my head in the operating room while wearing his green scrubs. After jostling me around for a bit, they would have delivered Jacob and then shown us our precious son. I would have asked Alex to wipe the tears from my face...I'm sure they would have blinded me with all of the blubbering I would have been doing.
After my recovery time and getting the A-OK from the anesthesiologist, I would have been taken to my room and to await Jacob. I can't tell you how excited those first minutes would have been...the nurse would come in my room with a tightly-wrapped little bundle. They wrap the babies so tightly in those blankets. Jacob would have worn those little stripey infant caps and would probably be sleeping.
Alex would have to help me get propped up with a gazillion pillows including one on my stomach to prevent the baby from being laid right on my scar. And then...one of my favorite parts of being a momma...nursing. Would you believe that I had never fully thought much of nursing until I took a class when I was pregnant with Sammy? I just really hadn't known much about it until I had to learn about it.
And then, even after all of the difficulties Sammy & I had at first, despite all of the times I thought about quitting, I stuck it out. It turned out to be the best decision and one of the best mommy sacrifices that I am so proud of--all of the pain, the frustrations, the sleepless nights nursing every two hours, answering challenging and critical questions by some family members when I was nursing and the boys were only like six months old, I continued. I continued to nurse both of my boys until they were two...it was all worth it and I'd have done it again with Jacob--every pain, every struggle getting a proper 'latch on', every sleepless night, every time I stayed home with my baby to nurse him instead of going somewhere. I would have done it all again for Jacob. I would have cherished every moment with my sweet baby boy at my breast...there's just an indescribable feeling that a woman experiences when nursing. It's a loving experience that I continue to be grateful for...I know not every woman can nurse and it can be so frustrating if they want to. I thank God that He allowed me to have that opportunity with my sons.
Holding my sweet baby while he nursed. Looking him over from head to toe--I wonder how much hair he would have had? Sammy had a head-full and Benny was about bald...somewhere in the middle, I think, is where Jacob would have been. People are torn when they say who they think the boys resemble--some say Sam looks more like Daddy while Benny looks more like Mommy...again, I think Jacob would have been a precious resemblance to both of us. Maybe he'd have a little bit of light brown hair, just a little bit to stroke gently while you held him.
His baby fingers--who doesn't love to have their baby grasp your finger with their tiny hand? Such a sweet beginning to all of the times when you will hold your little one's hand in the future--skipping joyously in the yard, walking across the street to get the mail, cuddling on the couch. And it would all start there in the hospital room...one tiny hand in yours.
I can only imagine how the rest of our day would have gone. We would have taken photos galore--they'd be on facebook, for sure! I'd probably be griping about looking worn out and without makeup and would insist that Alex not post any showing me! :) The boys would be looking their little brother over and touching his face and hands and his little "footies". Nurses would come in and massage my stomach to shrink my uterus. My pulse and BP would be taken every time I turn around. I'd be taking pills for pain and iron and who knows what else. And, who could forget sleep??? I'd probably be dozing in between Jacob's feedings--every two hours--and in between all of the doctor/nurse/food people coming in and out.
And I'd cry. I'd spend the day crying, I'm sure. I'd cry tears of joy for my precious little baby and I'd kiss him every time I'd hold him. I'd tell him Mommy loved him. How very much Mommy loved him. And if this hospital allowed him to room in with me, I'd sing to him in his bassinet. I'd sing, "Away in a Manger" to my baby Jacob...what I've sang to both of my boys and what we sing most nights before bed. And if my boys joined in and sang to Jacob too? You guessed, it! I'd cry some more! Such happy and loving tears while singing with and for my boys!
Then the day would end. We'd all be so tired, I'm sure. Phone calls to family, planning my mom's trip to help us in the upcoming days, getting the boys to sleep, nursing all through the night...ah, the joys of having a newborn!! :) That first day would have been my hopes for my son's birthday.
Well, thank you friends, for going with me on this journey to what might have been...what I had hoped would be, but unfortunately wasn't. Today was a very different day from all that I had hoped. Does that necessarily mean that it has been a horrible day? That's I've dreaded its coming? Not in the least. Oh yes, I have cried today. I cried yesterday and have been off and on throughout the whole month of April. But they have all been tears that left me feeling happy and closer to my son. My next post will share what happened today and how I celebrated what would have been a joyous day of my son's birth.
With happy thoughts of how today might have been...despite my arms being empty today, this day is one that I will cherish in my heart always. My heart is full...so full of love for my Jacob.