Every year on my son’s birthday we choose to make it a happy day. We celebrate with a cupcake, buy a cupcake for a stranger and send a balloon up to the sky. Some years we go to the cemetery and Ella-Grace chooses a toy to bring with her to leave on his grave. This is how we choose to celebrate his birthday because it is our new normal.
The day he was born started as any other day. I went in for a non-stress test because I was required to go in for two a week as I got closer to my scheduled C-section. I had a C-section with Ella-Grace due to an underlying medical condition and Jakob was to be delivered the same way. I also would be receiving a tubal ligation due to the fact that further pregnancies would be complicated. I left bills on the table at home, had my breakfast in the car and drank a pop on the way to my non-stress test. As they hooked me up to the machine, I heard the nurse say oh we lost baby. I remember thinking, that’s a strange thing to say. She ran and got another nurse and they ended up moving me to labor and delivery for a “stronger” non-stress test. During this time, several nurses came in and started asking for phone numbers. Convinced there was no emergency, I told them it was fine and they didn’t need to call anybody. Come to find out later after Jakob was here, we lost baby translated into d-cells on the nonstress test. Eventually I gave up my Mom and Jesse’s numbers because they were pretty persistent. The nurse practitioner and doctor who would be completing my section came in and began asking me pre-op questions. I was scolded for drinking a pop and required to sign releases. Eventually Jesse arrived and they told him we were having Jakob right then. Until they said that I was convinced I was going home to pay my bills and still had another two days before my scheduled surgery. January 31st was supposed to just be a non-stress test.
They had me walk out of the room and I saw another friendly face as I walked to the OR. My mom was able to get a hold of my dad and he drove over from work to make sure I was not alone. This was a huge feat because my dad worked in a job where he had to leave his cell phone out of the building. He happened to have it on him when my mom called and was able to excuse himself from a meeting to make it over to the hospital. I gave him a hug and he asked me why they were having me walk to the OR. It is amazing that when you have a C-section, you walk to the OR. I guess it is vital because you aren’t able to move for a long time afterwards.
Once in the OR and once the epidural was given my husband joined me. I remembered the amount of time it took to administer it and Jesse was prepared this time for the length of time he would be waiting in the hallway as they administered it. The amount of time it took to deliver him seemed like forever. I had several liters of fluid that he enjoyed swimming in and he kept swimming away from them. I could hear them say he was out and the amount of time that passed between pulling him out and that first cry seemed forever. He was cleaned and brought over to where I could see him. That is one of the hardest parts about a C-section is everyone else gets to hold the baby before the mama gets to. I am so thankful Jesse had those first moments to be able to bond with him. I had 9 months he could have the first few moments.
As they completed my tubal ligation and finished up surgery, Jesse got to accompany him to the nursery for a weighing, bath and those first few tests. Prior to him leaving I reminded him that there were bills on the coffee table at home that needed to be mailed out. Probably was not a priority at that moment, but it was a thought I still could not get out of my head despite the delivery of our son. I was wheeled out of the OR at 12:12. I remember this time because 12:12 is a thing between my dad and I. It was my birth time and my dad would always give me a 12:12 to let me know he was thinking about me. Those first few moments I had with Jakob were some of the most important moments in my life. Watching Ella-Grace meet Jakob were also important moments. That day our family was complete. We didn’t know what would be coming. While we had a dramatic entry, those additional days we had as a family of four were a gift.
His birth story will stay with me forever despite the fact that he is no longer here with us.
On January 31st this year he would be 5 years old. Some days I think about what he would be like, what Ella-Grace would be like with a sibling and how our family would look as a family of four. He would be starting kindergarten next school year and probably would love Star Wars just like his dad and his sister. He would snuggle with his mommy just the same way his sister snuggles with me. There are days I reflect back to his birth and those first few moments we had with him that demonstrate to us how important his life was. He made an impact on this earth during his short time and only knew the love of his family. We were so lucky in those moments and so blessed to have him.
What moments from your child’s birth do you reflect upon?