Saturday, September 27, 2008

Everything Child

To some people we had the “perfect family”, we had the girl and boy, what more could we want? Two wasn’t our idea of the perfect family and we wanted another. We planned his pregnancy around Bill’s bicycle trip to Canada. He asked me if I wanted to travel with a baby or be pregnant, I decided it would be easier if I was pregnant. When people first found out I was pregnant, we got a lot of “Was it an accident?”

We had a big decision to make when we got pregnant, our midwife had moved that we had used with Ian and we didn’t want to go back to the hospital. A friend recommended we travel all the way down to Culver City to Salee and Vic Berman, a husband/wife team, he an OB, she a CNM. Bill and I went down to meet Salee and fell in love with her, so we prepared for the drive.

It was a busy time, besides the bicycle trip, Alexa was going to be starting kindergarten; Eric was due a few weeks into the school year. We planned to have both Alexa and Ian at the birth; a friend was coming down to keep an eye on them for us.

I started labor five days after my due date, around 3:30 a.m. Contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart, but only lasting 30-40 seconds. Bill called Connie to come over, I was busy packing the last minute things, when Bill and Connie said “You labor, we will pack” and took the list. We finally got on the road at 6:30 a.m., as rush hour was beginning. A short time later Alexa asked “Am I missing school?” and I said “Yes, you can either go to school or see the baby be born.” She decided she wanted to see the birth. Just about the time we got down to the San Fernando Valley I was looking around the car and asked “Where’s my suitcase?” Bill said, “Suitcase? Was that on the list?” I said, “NO, I just thought if you put everything in it, should bring it.” I then did what any laboring woman would do in that situation, I started to cry and say “I have nothing to give birth in or put the baby in.” Bill pulled off the freeway and called my parents who had come in from Arizona the day before for their birthdays. They said they would go to the house and get the suitcase and bring it down. Fantastic, but then I panicked what if I was in the middle of giving birth when they were there? I mean, I do love my mom, but she is rather domineering, and I didn’t want her there.

When we finally got down there it was 9:30 and they were all guessing where we might have pulled over to have the baby. Once I found out we didn’t have the suitcase, my labor slowed way down. But since I was 6 cm. they weren’t sending me home. Bill and I went walking up and down Venice Blvd., around noon my parents arrived with the suitcase; I knew they had to leave soon as one of my sister’s was taking them to see “The Phantom of the Opera.” They took Alexa and Ian out to lunch and then just as they were leaving I had a contraction, my mom put her hands on my belly and Bill, who was standing behind me, said “She is having a contraction,” my mom said “I know, I just want to feel.” Bill said, “She doesn’t like to be touched when she is having a contraction.” My mom left her hands on my belly; I could sense Bill wanting to yank her hands off my stomach. They left soon after.

Bill and I went for yet another walk, this time with Connie and the kids, we went and sat in a beautiful church for a while and I think we all said a prayer. We came back to the Birthing Center and took a nap, when I woke up, I was having stronger contractions, and Vic said “Go out for another walk.” We must have walked at least 10 miles that day. We saw a MGM store and went in and bought a beach towel for the baby with the MGM lion on it. The guy in the store asked if I was in labor and Bill said “yes.” He pointed and said the hospital was right across the street, Bill said we weren’t having the baby in the hospital, you should have seen his face.

We went back to the Birth Center and labor was moving along nicely. Bill was a wonderful coach, sensing my needs even before I did. Around 10 p.m. Connie and Bill were talking out in the hall and she asked when he thought the baby would be born, he didn’t want to guess, she said around 2 a.m., Bill said he thought it would be by midnight. I thought “How dare they guess when I would give birth.” Soon after I felt like I was going to vomit and Bill handed me a trash can, when I vomited, I felt a “pop”, my water had broken, Salee checked me and I was 9 cm. A short time later I needed to use the bathroom and walking back down the hall was so hard, when we got back to the birthing room, Alice, Salee’s nurse popped her head in and asked if everything was okay, Bill said “Yeah” kind of unsure, Alice then yelled to Salee, “Dorene is grunting, get in here.” I had no idea I was grunting, Salee came in and said “We have a head.” My mind went racing, she said it had dark hair, Bill yelled to Connie to bring the kids in. I pushed a few times and we let him be born gently. He was born at 10:32 p.m. Salee placed him on my chest, where I began to cry with joy. Ian seeing some blood started to cry and I told him they were happy tears, Alexa and Ian went running out of the room, a short time later they both came back with little cups of water saying “Mommy, you must me thirsty after all that work.” Eric started nursing right away, Salee then asked to weigh him, the scale said 10lb. 8 oz., she thought for sure he was 11 lb. and made Bill go get her scale out of her car, he was 10lb. 8oz. As Eric nursed Bill looked out the 5th story window down on Venice Blvd., he saw a man walking down the street, and he said “That guy has no idea the world just changed.” Eric was born with a serious look on his face and Salee said “What do you have to be worried about it, you just got here.”

Eric is now a young man of 18. We called him our “Everything Child” because he just was always trying to figure out things, not a bad child, just always with his mind going. His appetite has remained the same, he is always eating. He has graduated from high school and is attending college now. Recently he has had more than a young man his age should have to go through, loosing three young friends in the last month. I told him I just want to wrap my arms around him and not let him go.

He has grown into such a tall, handsome young man, who still loves to say “Love you Mama.” I never tire hearing that from my kids.

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