Seriously? I never wrote Cullen's birth story? I can't believe it. I scoured my blogger archives and my livejournal archives... Nada. I have written about new boots, Celebrex commercials, everything else. I remember that I didn't want to write it for a while because I felt guilty for the troubles that other people have had birthin'...
ANYWAY! Today Cullen is ONE YEAR OLD! So of course, we must travel back in time to the day he was born.
The night before I was determined to have a baby, even though my regular doctor ("Dr. Awesome") was out of town and the resident "Dr. Dude" would be delivering my baby...
I had a funny feeling in my toe that conditions were right and with the proper encouragement we could have that baby. Jason and I had twinkles in our eyes as we laid down to bed. I woke up in the wee hours with a sort of quiet crampy, icky feeling. It was quiet enough that I wasn't sure. I laid there for a short while, riding out some more icky cramps, feeling a bit sick.
Finally at around... Oh, I don't know, 4am? (Should have written this when all the details were fresh!) I got out of bed to see if I could time any of it. I don't remember timing anything though, I just remember having one that I definitely for sure felt was a labor pain. I knew then that it was time to call Laura.
"NO... NOT YET..."
"Okay... See you soon..."
That's about how it went I think. I think it was after I called Laura that I woke up Jason and we got ready to go. I was mostly ready. Anything we were doing to be ready at that point was extra. I was feeling okay. I remember having one or two big contractions before getting in the car, and was mostly okay in the car which was one of my big worries. The car can be a terrible place for pain.
I think it was maybe 5:30am when we got to the hospital. I spent some time in triage, getting checked out. I was just starting to have some pretty bad contractions, but some were okay. It was kind of inconsistent and I was surprised when they said I was 7ish cm dilated. I thought I would be maybe five, or worse, that it was false labor.
Still, it took about three hours to get to ten. I was in a hospital gown, on all fours on my birthing bed with my bare butt in the air when the doctor arrived. That is a story that, I'm proud to say, made my friend actually spit out her coffee. I should maybe point out that at the time I sort of... well I felt a little funny about Dr. Dude, because he's the same age as my peer group, and I don't know, I didn't get the "doctor" vibe from him? So here's this young dude who isn't my husband being greeted by my bare butt in the air...
Of course, it only gets worse from there. Suffice to say... I got over it.
Anyway, I remember he kept checking and telling me, "There's just that last bit of lip yet..." As if I could do anything about it. I suppose he was telling me so I knew not to start pushing yet.
I sat on the side of the bed for most contractions, with my feet on the ground, leaning into Jason, and breathing in his t-shirt. My husband always smells good. I don't know what it is. When I smell his skin I am instantly calm. During the postpartum dark days I frequently took little "smell Jason" breaks. This probably sounds insane. Anyway, it's true, so now you all know my secret to happiness--huffing Jason's pheromones.
It was about 8:30 when Dr. Dude gave me the go ahead to start pushing. I wasn't in a good position for pushing. I was just a smidge too reclined. I was past the point of being uh... verbal though, so nothing was done about this. I felt a little powerless at this point but kept pushing anyway. Dr. Dude started applying some pressure on the perineum and telling me to push "right here"... It wasn't long after that! At 9:11am on this day one year ago, our baby boy was born!
I had one stitch and Cullen was perfectly healthy.
I had so much fun that evening with Stephanie, Laima, Laura and Tim sitting around (a bit doped up) thinking of baby names and laughing. I'll always remember that. I was so glad to have them there, passing the time, sharing hearty laughter.
My dear Cullen. You light up my life. Now I have two boys whose skin smells amazing and brings me joy. You are my last baby and you are ONE now! Not such a baby anymore... Your sisters adore you and love (LOVE!!!) to take care of you. Your daddy, once nervous around babies, is now an expert and loves to take care of you too. You're lucky you have so many awesome caregivers around! You make it easy though, you never cry for very long.
Right now you're standing at the edge of the coffee table knocking all the books off, one by one, but I think what you're REALLY doing... is pooping.
Happy, happy, happy birthday. Now it's almost over, and it's time for you to go to bed. I love you so much, my beautiful boy.