We celebrated a birthday this month. Our oldest son turned 21.
Ryan, 1 year old
This is my favorite picture of him as a baby! I am flooded with so many memories when I look at this picture. I just want to reach into the photo and pick him up... he's so adorable!
After Kate's ballgame, we celebrated Ryan's birthday with dinner at Chili's. Then we followed up with dessert at La' Berry's Frozen Yogurt Cafe.
our family with Ryan's college room-mate, James
Wow! It's just hard to believe Ryan is 21 years old. I know I do this on every birthday for each of my children, but it's just hard for me not to stroll down memory lane...
Typical story. Doctor is going out of town. So I have a choice. Labor induction and have the baby now, or wait to go into labor on my own and be delivered by another doctor. I am young, first pregnancy. So I opt to have labor induction so that I can be delivered by my doctor.
Uncertain and a little frightened, but very much excited, I arrive at the hospital in the wee hours of the morning on April 10, 1991. Go through all the pre-induction routine procedures, of which I will spare you the gory details. You will thank me for that. I am connected to machines through needles and wires. I lie in a hospital bed and begin laboring to bring my baby into the world. No, I am not allowed to get up and walk around because I am trapped by wires and tubes.
I share a labor room with another young mom-to-be (This is a small hospital). She carries on and makes such a ruckus that I am determined that no matter how much pain I must endure, I will not, under any circumstances, act like her. I get a shot of Demerol to help with the pain and that is all. No epidurals in this small hospital. I hear her ask the nurse why she can't have whatever they've given me, that obviously they've given me something more to help with the pain since she doesn't hear me screaming and carrying on. She had a shot of Demerol, just like me. I'm in plenty of pain, too. I've just resolved not to act like her.
By 3:00 pm I am still not fully dilated, but apparently enough to warrant moving me from the labor room into the delivery room (Did I mention this is a small hospital?). I am really frightened now, but desperate to have this over with already. I am pushing and pushing, but to no avail. An hour passes, and still no baby. I know what you are thinking. This woman needs to deliver via c-section. But no, my doctor says the baby is moving down, so I continue to push.
I am so tired and I just want to sleep, but these people keep waking me up. After another hour, they bring in an EMT and she climbs up on the bed behind me. Reaching around my rather large, protruding midsection, she begins to push from the top of my belly, trying to coax my baby down into the birth canal. Seriously. I am not kidding. At all.
Apparently it worked. At 6:01 pm, after 3 hours and 1 minute of pushing (with lots of help, thank you Beth), my baby boy made his entrance into this world, weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces. And I can tell you that mommy and baby were both utterly exhausted.
Ryan's very first picture, at 6:25 pm, just 24 minutes old
with Daddy (sporting some stylish glasses)
As I hold my newborn baby in my arms for the first time I am really afraid now. But for different reasons. At first it was just fear of the unknown. How much will it hurt, how painful is it to have a baby? But now, this fear is different... I suppose in some ways it's not really so different. It's still fear of the unknown.
Here's a new life that's totally dependent on me for everything. Life as I know it has changed. Completely and forever. I am a mommy now and God has entrusted this little one to my care. As I hold him in my arms, as I look into his tiny face, I am awed by this miracle, in awe of the One who "knit him together in his mother's womb." And I am keenly aware of my failures, of my faults. I am aware that I am not enough...
And I am so thankful that my heavenly Father didn't leave me to do this alone. He knows that parenting is hard work. Frightening at times. But so very rewarding. Being a parent is certainly one of God's greatest blessings.
Mommy and baby, comfortably settled in for the night
(Hey, I didn't promise this picture would be pretty. Geez, look at my hair. No, wait, don't.)
It's a small miracle that I'm even awake for this picture. I'm serious. I was exhausted. But of course, what new mommy could sleep when she's just experienced such a profound miracle. The miracle of new life.
I may forget a lot of things (in fact, I do) but Ryan's birth story is not likely to be one of them!