Posted by Fitz

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am sharing The Bean’s long birth story with you.  It’s the first time I’ve really written it, after trying many, many times and ending up in a big puddle of tears.  My greatest wish is that The Bean understands how much she is wanted and loved, and I hope that, someday, this story will reinforce that for her.  To all of our faithful readers…Happy Mother’s Day!

My pregnancy was an easy one, or so they tell me.  I struggled through each week, in a state of disbelief that I was finally pregnant after two years, three miscarriages, and who knows how many rounds of drugs and doctors.  In my experience, infertility was easier to overcome than the stress and the anxiety that I brought with me through my pregnancy.  Would this baby be okay?  Was I really going to have a baby, or would this experience end in disaster, too?  When asked if excited about the baby’s impending arrival, I always said yes and made all of the noises that expecting mothers are supposed to make.  In all honesty, though, I didn’t truly believe a baby would be mine until I was holding him or her in my arms.  It was a difficult road.

Somehow, though, I made it through all of my meshuginna and finally arrived at my 40 week ob/gyn appointment.  I was miserable after gaining more than 40 pounds and living through one of the hottest summers on record.  I was happy that the show was going to get on the road soon, and just couldn’t wait to find out if my dream baby was a boy or a girl. 

During that appointment, I saw a doctor that I had only seen a few times before in my rotating practice.  He is smart, about my age, and unnervingly attractive for an ob/gyn, but I was happy to see him – he was going to tell me that I had made some progress after weeks and weeks of being told that nothing was happening.  He did some measurements, kindly refrained from commenting on my girth, and did an internal exam that had me positive that his hand was somehow going to come out of my throat.  Then, he said the words that no girl on the brink of childbirth wants to hear: “Fitz, there’s no way that baby’s coming out.”

HUH?  Isn’t that the whole point of being pregnant?

He went on to tell me that my pelvis was very small (and you all know that I’ve joked about how that should mean that my hips were slimmer) and that, while my baby seemed average sized, he didn’t think s/he was coming anytime soon.  He said, “Well, here’s what we can do.  We can give you till next week and induce at 41 weeks, or we can schedule you for a c-section right away.  I don’t love to recommend c-sections, but I think that an induction would put you in a state of unproductive labor for 24 hours, and we’d do a c-section anyway.”  In the time it took to feel a Braxton Hicks and look back up at him, I said, “Let’s schedule it.”

The nurse on duty took me out to the scheduling room, and we looked at the doctor’s calendar for the week.  He was available on my due date that Friday, and we booked the appointment.  The sense of relief I had was phenomenal.  Not only did I have a day to get my act together, but I could stop worring about when I’d go into labor!  It was great.  We called family and friends, and sped home to get ready for the arrival of our little Bean.

Fast forward to Friday, and we were in the hospital getting ready for the surgery.  My husband and I were both pretty relaxed – we knew what was going to happen – and after so many years of infertility treatments, I was neither scared of or disappointed in my impending c-section.  To be honest, I was exhilarated.  My biggest dream was about to come true, and I knew I wouldn’t need an episiotomy to do it!  Awesome!

In the operating room, I had my spinal and my husband joined me in his Ghostbusters suit.  The doctors did their thing while I hung out behind the blue tarp, waiting for the news that would change my life.  We told the doctors that we didn’t know the baby’s sex, and we wanted them to make a big deal of it when they announced it.  When they pulled my Bean out and she gave a hearty cry, I heard the doctors say, “OK Dad, tell Mommy what her baby is!”  I had already started to cry – with excitement, anxiety, and relief – when my favorite person in the world leaned down to tell me that we had a new favorite person. “It’s a girl,” he whispered, changing my life irrevocably for the better in less than three seconds (and getting flak from the doctors for whispering when we had told them to yell). 

I couldn’t believe that I had a baby girl.  I had wanted a daughter from the time I was a baby myself, and was overjoyed to know that she had finally come into my life.  From the first minute that I saw her, I could see her beauty, her strength, her determination, and her sweetness.  The first time I held her I was overcome by a sense of awe.  Not only was I holding a baby, but she was mine.  She was the culmination of a bitter struggle that instantly turned sweeter than I could have thought possible.  She was mine.  I couldn’t get over it. 

The next few days of my hospital stay passed by in a blur of relatives, laughter, tears, confusion (hello, breastfeeding!), and just plain old happiness.  Everyone in our family was as overjoyed as we were to meet our little girl, and her life was filled with love the minute she entered the world.  Since that day, almost nineteen months ago now, The Bean has given us more than I ever could have imagined.  She is incredibly funny, charming, beautiful, fiercely determined, and spirited – all of the things I hope she carries through the minefield of adolescence into adulthood.  She is the light of my life, and I thank God every day that she found her way to us.  We were supposed to have her in our lives, and every minute of our struggle was worth the wait.

Beanie, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that you are the most perfect creature I have ever met.  Your daddy and I wanted you with a fierceness that we didn’t know we had, and to say that we’re incredibly, incredibly grateful to have you in our lives is the biggest understatement I can come up with.  You are the light of our lives, and we love you more than we can ever tell you.  So on this Mother’s Day, I want you to know how much I wanted to be a mom.  And how happy I am that I turned out to be your mom.  I love you!

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