I will write a post with lots of photos and a full account of Max's great birthday tomorrow. There are a few more things I needed to get photos of, and need to get copies of photos and videos from everyone who took them tonight.
So tonight, I'm going to share Max's birthday story...the short version anyway.
I've been asked several times this week about Max's birthday story. It's something that I always enjoy telling. And this year, I noticed a story that Max really enjoyed listening to. So often, we are telling the stories of how he nearly didn't make it...or how he pulled through a terrible illness. I think we don't tell the story of how he entered our world enough. It's a much happier story.
Max took 26 hours to meet us once labor started.
On his due date, October 29, the doctor wanted me to do a stress test to see how the baby was doing. It seemed like every few minutes the little graph would get funny, so she decided it was time to induce. I checked in the next evening at 8:00pm, and by 9:00pm I was put on the medicine to start the process.
I was given a pill to help me sleep, and rested lightly through the night. When I woke up the next morning, Halloween morning, I was ready for our baby to come! But, I was nowhere ready. The nurses had me walking laps around the maternity ward. I walked and walked and walked. I had some pains, but nothing serious.
My doctor was dressed up like a Star Trek character. And it was always a little difficult to take her seriously when she came in to check me dressed up. It was after all, Halloween, so it made me chuckle.
I watched tv, and watched the weather turn from sunny and warm, to grey and icy.
By evening, the doctor decided it was time to break my water, to move things along more quickly. I received an epidural and slept for a while. I woke up to pretty intense labor pains, and Steve watching the monitor. I asked him what he was doing and he said, you're having a contraction. Yeah...no kidding! I think he must have been sitting there watching the contractions happen by the data coming across the monitor.
At this point, the doctor checked and I was still not dilated enough to have the baby. When I was at 5cm, she said we had about an hour left before we would need to do a C-Section, because it had been so long since my water broke.
That was at about 9:00pm...I begged my body to take charge and have that baby naturally! A C-Section would mean surgery...and it would also mean having a November baby...not a Halloween baby!
Something clicked, and an hour later I was pushing. I don't remember it being terribly painful...just really uncomfortable. Steve and my mom were there to help me through it. And at 10:57pm, Steve announced, "We have our Maximilian...it's a boy."
He was quiet when he was born. They took him straight over to the warmer and put oxygen near him. They checked him out and found he was fine...just quiet.
I got to hold him for the first time, and wondered aloud, "Whose nose do you have?", my mom answered, it's his nose. The doctor wanted to take him back to give him a closer look, and to get his first bath.
Steve went with him and gave him his first bath. I got cleaned up and got incredibly sick more than once. Once we all got cleaned up, around midnight, he was brought back in to sleep in our room.
That photo may well be the most unflattering photo of myself, but I love it. I look at that photo and I see, "you and me kid...we did it together...from the beginning".
He slept in our room that night, and I hardly slept a wink. I kept getting up and looking at him, touching him, holding him. My very own. My Maximilian.
Unflattering? I wish I looked that good after delivering my first. That is such a sweet picture and no wonder you treasure it.
I think you looked like the Madonna with Child. Honestly, there's something so powerful and peaceful about that photo despite us knowing what comes afterward --
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