Well, it happened.
I knew that it would eventually happen, but it seemed to come much quicker than it did with his siblings.
Mason-man turned a year old.
He has been a part of our family now for 365 days!
I can hardly believe it.
As is usually the case on my kids’ birthdays, I have been thinking about the day that he was born.
Although he came very unexpectedly (3 weeks early), he chose to come at quite a convenient time. He was born on Martin Luther King Day and Jon already had the day off of work. 🙂 He chose his time much wiser than Lizzie, who decided to come on the eve of Jon’s first day of school. Bryce decided to make his debut while Jon and I were at a restaurant, celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. Needless to say, we barely made it to the hospital in time. We didn’t even have time to stop by our house to pick up the hospital bags that I had so carefully packed in advance. 🙂
With Mason, my water broke at 1:30 in the morning. It didn’t explode, but merely trickled enough to wake me up. I immediately went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. It was then that the “explosion” happened. I also lost my mucous plug. I wasn’t expecting labor to happen so soon (I could have really used those three extra weeks to prepare), but I knew that the process was starting, whether I was ready for it or not! 🙂
I woke up Jon and calmly told him that my water had broken. He started freaking out and I told him to go back to sleep and that I had no intention of going to the hospital until I was in hard labor. I honestly thought that I would be able to go back to sleep too. Well, as soon as I started trying to relax, the contractions began. It didn’t take more than a half an hour before they were quite strong and only 3 to 5 minutes apart. He was definitely on his way! 🙂
Jon’s Mom came over to stay with the kids while we went to the hospital. Before we left, however, Jon just had to take a shower. Seriously. He did the same thing when I was in labor with Lizzie. He showered and looked all presentable for the after-birth pictures while I, on the other hand, had sweat, blood, and popped blood vessels all over the place. 🙂
On our way to the hospital, I was very grateful that I had listened to my instincts that told me to birth Mason in the hospital, as usual. I had been seriously toying with the idea of driving to a birthing center 45 minutes away for a different (and probably better) birthing experience than I had previously been exposed to at the hospital. But it never felt right. And on the 10 minute drive to the hospital, I was very grateful that I didn’t have to be trapped inside of the car for a moment longer, as would have been the case if I had chosen to drive to the birthing center. It was quite uncomfortable!
We checked into the triage center at approximately 3:30. At time of arrival, I was only 5 centimeters dialated. We ended up hanging out in triage for nearly 2 hours before being transferred to a room. By this time, I was 9 – 10 centimeters dialated.
In comparison to birthing Lizzie and Bryce, giving birth to Mason was incredibly peaceful. It was almost relaxing even. I know that sounds absurd (labor pains aren’t often described as relaxing), but it’s the only way that I can describe it. I felt very calm. With each contraction, I either squeezed Jon’s hands to death or else I rubbed his back (I bet that he really enjoyed that particular coping mechanism of mine).
The hospital seemed unusually quiet and peaceful as well. I didn’t hear any other mother’s screaming in pain. The halls were void of the usual busy movement. It was almost like I was dreaming.
I do recall, however, that the doctor who got the credit for “delivering” my baby didn’t do a thing. It was purely the nurse, whom was very nice and pleasant. The nurse checked me, told me that I was dialated to a 10, and asked me if I wanted to start pushing. For some reason, I didn’t feel the urge to push. She convinced me that if I ever wanted see my baby, then I would have to push him out. I agreed. 🙂
I’m a horrible at pushing babies out. I can’t seem to push correctly and I end up bursting blood vessels all over my chest, shoulders, neck, face, and even in my eyeballs. This is one of the reasons that I wanted to give birth to Mason in a birthing center. I would have loved to push him out while standing in the squatting position, which is obviously more natural than lying down in a bed. I mentioned this to the nurse, but she looked at me like I was nuts.
What could I do?
I was too tired to make a fuss. I wasn’t about to ruin the serene feelings that I had been feeling by arguing with a nurse and creating a scene. So I went along with the whole push-a-baby-out-while-lying-down routine.
And what do you know. It worked…again. 🙂
Mason exited the birth canal at 6:30 a.m. on the dot!
For a baby who came 3 weeks early, he was very healthy. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce and was 20 inches long.
I was so overjoyed to finally see his face. I had worried every single day of the pregnancy that something awful was going to happen (I had some very irrational fears) and it was a huge relief to finally be free of those worries. I felt so peaceful. I could definitely feel a piece of heaven in that hospital room that morning.
The kids got to come and visit him later on in the afternoon. They were so thrilled (although Bryce’s excitement turned to jealousy fairly quickly)!
It’s hard to come to the realization that mytiny, precious, and completely innocent baby has morphed before my eyes into a real boy.
Part of me wishes that they could stay this small forever.
But I know that babies don’t stay babies forever.
They need to grow up. They need to learn and experience everything that life has to offer them, both the good and the bad.
They need to take those steps into the unknown in order to fully reach their potential.
They need to develop their own unique personalities that God has blessed them with.
They need to take risks and be proud of their accomplishments, big and small.
Chances are, they will try some things…
My hope, however, is that they will keep getting up each time that they fall.
That is my hope for my sweet little Mason-man, on his 1st birthday.
I feel so blessed to be his Mom. I thank my Heavenly Father daily for the opportunity that He has given me to be a mother.
Happy Birthday, Mason!