Friday, June 29, 2007

A year already!

This post was supposed to be posted yesterday from a draft, but I forgot, so here it is, just pretend you are reading it on thh 28th, not the 29th...

It was on this day last year that our lives were changed forever. I was a little over 39 1/2 weeks pregnant, 3 days from my due date, absolutely huge and uncomfortable and weighing in at far more than I would like to disclose. I had spent nearly every day of the past few weeks in the cool basement of our house with a Slurpee, watching tv, as I was too large and uncomfortable to do much else in the heat. The last few weeks of June last year were treacherous with heat and humidity. I could not get my little inner furnace out fast enough. It seemed like I had been pregnant forever and that there was no end in sight.

As a treat to myself, I went to the Wellness Centre in town for a massage and reflexology on my feet. I had heard that reflexology was a great way to stimulate labour, so I figured it couldn't hurt. At the very least, I would be pampered for an hour, and you can't go wrong with that! My appointment was right before lunch time. The annual 1st day of Stampede pancake breakfast was just being cleaned up outside the wellness center. Oh, if only I had dragged myself out of the house earlier, I could have had pancakes AND a massage! Oh well, I had a very relaxing morning, and felt refreshed, even without the pancakes.

It was Wednesday, June 28th, the first day of the Ponoka Stampede. I just HAD to have a fair burger and mini donuts. So, we made the trek up to the fair grounds. I never thought of the hill up to the top of the grounds as steep until I was carrying nearly 50 lbs of extra weight up it! Boy, was I pooped when we reached the top! It certainly didn't help that it was about 27 degrees that day, too.

So, Chris and I got a fair burger, which I enjoyed immensely! Of course, the mini donut stand would be at the opposite corner of the grounds. So, we had to walk to the other end in the heat. But, I did get my mini donuts! After we got back to the truck, I was so hot and tired- time for another slurpee!

We got our cold drinks and headed home around 7 pm, to watch a movie in the cool of the basement. Just as we were starting the movie, the phone rang. It was 7:15 pm. I sat up to answer the phone, and felt a strange pop. I talked on the phone for a few minutes, then made the mistake of shifting positions. By now, it was very clear to me what had happened. My water broke!!!

Surprisingly, Chris and I were both very calm. We greeted our visitors at the door (Pat and Joanne), and told them that we wouldn't be sticking around to visit. It was them that called to say that they were down the street and were going to stop by. I began to have contractions about 15 minutes later, and they started at about 5 minutes apart. That baby was definitely ready to make an entrance!

After calling the hospital to let them know that we were coming in, we were on the way, with Chris calmly driving and me timing contractions. We were so calm, in fact, that I felt the need to call my best friend Dee from the car to let her know that I was in labour! I chatted with her for a few minutes as we cruised down highway 2 on the way to Red Deer.

By the time we arrived at the hospital, at about 8:30 pm (we didn't rush to leave our house, and waited around until about 8:00), I was 3-4 cm dialated and contractions were coming a bit faster and noticeably harder.

It was not long before contractions coming so quickly that I didn't have much time to rest between. By 11:50 pm, I knew that it was time to push.

But, there was something wrong. With every contraction, our baby's heart rate got lower and didn't recover as it should. My doctor walked in, watched 1 or 2 contractions and decided to call an ob/gyn to assist.

This very young man walks in and introduces himself as Dr. so-and-so. He begins this monologue (or so it seemed to me, I wasn't really able to focus and it seemed like he talked forever!) about what was happening and what they needed to do. I gave him verbal permission to use the vacuum to assist in the delivery. Permission! Ha! With the baby's head crowning and me on no pain medication except for the gas that I was inhaling and clinging to like a lifeline, I would have said yes if he had asked if I would mind if he let busload of small children try to pull my baby out!

Anyway, he attached the suction cup to the baby's head and pulled with each contraction. In a matter of minutes, at 12:31 am on Thursday, June 29, 2007, I heard the words- It's a BOY!

"It's a what?!?!?!" I remember asking. I was so sure that it had been a girl kicking and swimming inside of me. I was pleasantly surprised. Then the all important question came out of my mouth- "Does he have hair?". I so badly wanted a baby with some hair. And, he did.

He had a ring of dark hair. He rather looked like an old man, with his squished, wrinkled face, and ring of hair, with the top of his head being almost completely bald, save for a few strands of hair which would be a mohawk for the next 6 or 7 months.

Our baby was finally here! A boy! We had no trouble naming him. Luca Christopher was perfect.

Due to the assisted delivery, Luca was taken immediately to the Special Care Nursery and stayed there to be monitored for the next 12 hours.

We were so excited to show off our baby and to bring him home.

Some days it seems like only yesterday that we were bringing our tiny little precious bundle home. Then other days I can hardly remember what it was like when he was that small. I look at pictures and marvel at how small and helpless he was. Now, he has changed so much, and likes to be independent.

Today our baby is 1. I know that he hasn't aged a year overnight. In reality he is only a day older, but days like today, his first birthday, force you to walk down memory lane and think over all the milestones in the past year. There will never be another year that he will change so drastically.

I am happy-sad at this momentous occasion. It is such a joy to watch Luca grow and change eevry day. I love seeing wonder written on his face when he realizes something new. But, I also miss those days when he was just this tight little bundle, wrapped in a flannel blanket, sleeping the day away so contentedly. When everything had to be done for him in order for him to survive. Now, he walks, he talks, he loves to feed himself. He also throws temper tantrums now because he knows that there is more in his world than what he can see in this instant. He knows what he wants and he wants it now!

While Luca won't change nearly as noticably in the next few years, we know that there are still many occasions and reasons for celebration on the horizon.

Happy 1st Birthday, Luca!


Mike and Tor said...

Happy Birthday Luca. Buddy you are a lucky guy to have parents that love, and care and work so hard to give you a great life.

Congrats "Mommy and Daddy" on your first year.

Oh...and thanks Janice for the play by play - I really hope everything goes as smooth with me as it sounded to go with you.

Carri said...

Happy Birthday Luca!!!

Your one lucky little guy.

Janice, thanks for making me cry while I read your story about Luca and all the special moments.

Vanessa said...

What a beautiful story - I cried! Happy Birthday to Luca! May he be blessed with many more!

Karyn/Mom said...

I enjoyed that, very much! Thanks for taking us back with you to that very important day.

Anonymous said...

Oh what a wonderful story, I still remember that phone call. I was so excited the next day to find whether you had a little boy or girl!
We are so lucky to have these precious little babies, they bring so much happiness. I hope your next year brings just as much joy and happy memories as this last year did.