I can't believe you are finally here. I thought I'd be pregnant forever :) It is so surreal that your little being was sent from heaven and into my arms.
I want to share with you the story of your birth, so that we can read it together someday without leaving out any part. Memories are most cherished things that we have.
In the months before your arrival, your daddy and I spent lots of time preparing. We decorated your nursery with green, brown, orange, and blue. The theme was jungle animals because your mommy likes giraffes and wanted them everywhere. In my free time (and I had a lot) I made little crafts for you- like lettering your name on the wall, making binkie holders and picture frames, sewing blankets, and covering your baskets with cute fabric. Nearly every night before bed I would go into your room and turn on the night light and sit in the rocker, thinking about you.
I got a part-time job with the school at about 7 months. Even though I didn't feel very well, I agreed to model for the art department. They loved to draw my rounded belly with you cradled inside. Lots of people were already admiring you :) A nice man named Neil Parsons gave me some of his illustrations, and they looked very cool. I even put one on the fridge.
Your baby shower was such a fun event and blessing. My friend drew some lovely pictures of elephants and a baby giraffe for your room, and many supportive girls in our ward came to offer their gifts as well. Instead of buying cards, people gave us fun books to read! By the end of the shower I had almost a whole library for you :) We all ate blue and yellow cookies and cupcakes and drank lemonade. Your grandma and great-grandma sent gifts from Louisiana and Utah- which was very sweet and almost made me cry.
In the last month, I went to a baby shower and lots of girls there told me they had babies come 2-3 weeks early. This made me anxious, but somehow I knew you wouldn't surprise me like that :) I was so grateful by the end that you took your time, because it was important to me that you come when you were meant to come.
Your due date was April 13th, 2010. On that day, mommy and daddy went to the doctor. His name is Dr. Meredith, and he is a younger man with bright red hair and a great sense of humor. I walked into the office feeling a little sad that you gave no indication of coming yet (no contractions). But the nice doctor told us that I was ready and so were you. He scheduled an induction for the next morning! I was scared, excited, nervous, thrilled- every emotion all at once.
The next day- April 14th- happened to be your great-great-grandmother's 100th birthday. When she found out you were coming on her birthday she was so happy :) I hardly slept at all the night before- it felt like the most anticipated of Christmases. I got out of bed at 7 and cleaned our entire apartment. It was a good way to make time fly by and, who knows when I'd get another chance :) It had been snowing blizzards through Rexburg days before, but this day was beautiful and sunny without a cloud in sight. It felt so odd standing outside and watering the plants while neighbors asked me how I was doing, and then me saying "Great! I'm having a baby today!" But it really going to happen- finally.
At the hospital we checked into Labor & Delivery at 11:00 am- all smiles :) It seemed bizarre being so calm and happy...I wasn't sure what to expect, not having had any real contractions yet. We were led into a nice room that was going to be where the birth would take place. I changed into a gown and laid on the bed for a few minutes before Dr. Meredith came in. He broke my water and I sat in a puddle for an uncomfortable amount of time. The nurse gave me Pitocin, a drug that speeds contractions. They told me you would probably come late that evening. Well, shortly after I began to feel the cramps. They were strong and hard and close together. Your daddy squeezed my hand for a good long time and tried to keep me optimistic. I called the nurse back in to tell her how about the pain, and she checked me at 5 cm and then left. Less than an hour later I called her back in again and I was dilated to an 8. Shocked, she called for the doctor and anesthesiologist to come. A man came in after that to give me an epidural, which numbs the pain and makes labor a little easier. He was very chipper and an assistant was with him, taking notes. In about ten minutes after getting the epidural, I could feel the right side of my body go numb- but not my left side. They gave me more of the drug and then I couldn't feel anything below my waistline. I chewed on yummy raspberry-flavored ice and then took a 20 minute nap because I was really exhausted. It was truly the best nap of my life. The nurse came in to check on me, and I was a 10. I tried very hard to keep myself awake while they discussed how the next part would be. I would do some practice pushes and then some real ones. Dr. Meredith got there just in time for me to push- he had left town, thinking he'd have enough time to come back and deliver you. I don't remember much from this point, except that I felt your little head coming down with a strange pressure. I was not in pain, though, luckily :) They strapped an oxygen mask on my face to make sure that I would get enough while I breathed. At 5:15 pm, after a few hard pushes, you were out!
They told me later that I was in active labor for 6 hours and pushed for 28 minutes. For a first time baby, that wasn't so bad! And you were a solid 8 lbs 15 oz., but since you poopied right after coming out they said it was basically 9 lbs. total :) Daddy cut your umbilical cord and the staff of nurses cleaned you up. You were placed on my chest- skin to skin- so that you could calm down and match my heartbeat. I was still very tired, but I know that instantly I thought you were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Your head had lots of dark hair and your body was so teeny- just 19 inches long. I saw daddy's features in your face, and the olive tone in your skin from my side of the family. It was a few hours before I saw your eyes, but when you opened them they were a deep dark blue. You were perfect, Talmage. Absolutely perfect.
Daddy held you then, and couldn't stop looking at you. Meanwhile I scarfed down a turkey sandwich, fries, and a chocolate milkshake. I had never felt hungrier or more pleased with my food. After things calmed down, someone gave you a bath while I took a quick shower. Your dad was so sweet in helping me stand and walk, and even though I was in pain I didn't care because you were finally here.Someone wheeled me out while I held you, taking us to our next room where we would sleep and recover. Daddy pushed the cart with all our things. The room was lovely and spacious. We cuddled and I ate more raspberry ice. I held you through the night, refusing to let anyone but Dad take you away. They did have to give you a Hepatitis B shot, though, and in those short minutes I missed you terribly. In the middle of the night I got hungry again and requested a cold sandwich. Sadly, the milkshakes were only served during cafeteria hours...
All next day we had so much fun looking at you and holding you and taking pictures. We had some visitors who brought gifts and flowers. through the window we saw how sunny it was and I was so happy that springtime finally made its way to Rexburg- just in time, too :) That night we were too tired to keep a watchful eye on you, so we took you to the nursery for a few hours. Just around the corner was a hot jacuzzi tub that felt very relaxing. I soaked in it for a while, but then began to miss you again..
When we took you home, you sat so tiny in your car seat. I couldn't believe how much one human being could sleep!
Finally, around 4 pm, you came home. We swaddled you and rocked you for the rest of the day- so proud to be your parents.I love you, son! It was all worth it, just to have you in our family.