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Friday, February 13, 2009

12 and 6 years ago...


Twelve and six years ago, a mother brought forth on this continent two new children, conceived in passion, and dedicated to the proposition that they should spend their time on making sure that all gifts, chores and affections shown to them be created equal.

Today is Annie's 12th and Robbie's 6th birthday. They were born six years and 39 minutes apart -- she at 9:12pm and he at 9:51pm. We didn't plan it to happen that way, but it did. Bear with me, I've got two birth stories to share, so this is a bit long.

Welcome Annie
With Annie, I went into the hospital at 7am to be induced. Only 3 days past my due date, I wanted to wait a bit, but my doctor was going out of town and I didn't want to deliver without her. So we made a party out of the occasion. My parents and Mike's came to wait out the labor with us. Both of my sisters and my oldest brother stopped by too. We took bets on the time the baby would be born, the gender, the weight.

My nurse's name was Rowena. I remember that because she came in and said "Hi-ah! I'm Rowena and you're my very first patient. I just finished nursin' school!" Not exactly what you want to hear when you're having your very first baby.

The day went on. I chatted with my a good friend from high school who was in a hospital in Ohio being induced with her first baby, too. I sent Mike and his parents to go get some lunch. The pitocin was making the contractions a bit uncomfortable, so I got an epidural.

I sent Mike and his parents to go get some dinner. Still no baby. The doctor came in and mentioned a c-section. I panicked a bit because I hadn't read that chapter of What to Expect When You're Expecting. Mike unpacked it from my bag, I read it quickly and waited for the re-dose of the epidural, which went the wrong direction and numbed me from the chest up. Talk about scary!

Soon enough -- with the right parts numbed -- we headed to the OR to have our baby. I got to watch the operation in a mirror placed next to my head. When the doctor pulled her out, Mike said "It's a girl!" and I don't remember much else -- except that she was 10 lbs. 4oz.

On the way to recovery, someone put her in my arms and I remember thinking, "This is the dumbest place for a new baby!" I was so loopy on pain meds by then. Mike asked what I wanted to name her -- Anna or Elizabeth. I picked Anna and the rest is history.

Hey there, Robbie!
Robbie's birth was a little different. Again I was overdue, but my plan was to have a VBAC -- it had worked beautifully with Charlie. We woke up on Annie's birthday, had breakfast together and let her open a gift. I told her that we'd go to her favorite Chinese place for dinner that night and sent her off to school with her birthday treats in hand.

Two hours later, I was talking to a friend on the phone, stood up from the couch and realized that my water had broken. I wasn't really in a hurry -- we were going for the same "new age" doula-assisted birth and I didn't want to get to the hospital until I was dilated 5cm. Don't ask me how I was gonna know when that was.

But there was meconium in the fluid and the doctor said to head on in. I called my friend Clara, asked her to meet Annie after school, take her to Chinese and wait for Mike's parents. I called the school to ask them to tell Annie and then called Mike who was just dropping Charlie off at preschool. Finally, I called the doula -- who said she wasn't sure she could make it because she thought she had strep.

A few hours later, we were at the hospital and dang if I wasn't in some serious pain! The doctor came in to say she was leaving for vacation (what is it with docs and February vacations?) and was handing me over to another doctor. The doula called to say that she really wasn't coming because yes, she did have strep and her toddler was projectile vomiting, but she was looking for a replacement to send.

Mike was great, trying to help me and get me to hang on until the replacement doula could arrive. But at some point, I just hollered "Forget the doula and get me an epidural!" (Only I didn't say f..."orget," but this is a family-friendly blog.)

About 8 hours later, with a monitor on the baby's head and Friends on the TV, I realized that the drumbeats of the baby's heart were getting faster and faster. Up over 200 beats/minute. Not long after, we were on our way to the OR again. No mirror this time, despite my request. But Mike got to call "It's a boy!" and away Robbie was whisked to the NICU to be treated for some distress and to have his blood sugar monitored because of my gestational diabetes.

At some point I learned he weighed 9 lbs., 1 oz. and we named him. Though I don't remember when all that happened. He looked so much like Annie -- round faced and chubby. So we named him Robert. If he had looked like Charlie -- long, lean and like a little old man, he would have been named William.

Annie later said that when her teacher told her that Mommy was having the baby on her birthday, she cried "tears in happiness" and that her new brother was "as cute as a plumberry."

A lot of people ask if they mind sharing a birthday. And they don't. The only one who used to mind is Charlie -- because the cake and the presents aren't for him. But Mike's parents always celebrate his "unbirthday" and give him a gift too. Plus, he thinks it's cool that he doesn't have to share his day.

Some people ask what's so special in early May that we ended up with two kids born on the same day. Well, duh! Mother's Day!


Sharon said...

Happy Birthday to Annie & Robbie!
I enjoyed reading your stories. :)

Joanie said...

Happy Birthday Annie and Robbie!

Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

Awww Happy birthday to them! How cool to get a baby brother for your birthday! I loved the birth stories too! My epidural also got messed up and it all went to one side of my body and I could totally feel everything if you cut me straight down the middle of my body. It was too late to fix it because Gabi was born within 5 minutes of me convincing them that the epidural was wrong. If she had been any longer she would have been a C-section too. She was experiencing late decelerations of her heart rate!

Anonymous said...

awww...what a sweet thing to happen...not the distressed birth part...the sharing the birthday part. lol Happy Birthday little ones!

Cheryl said...

Happy Birthday! I enjoyed your birth stories.

Momza said...

HA! I had to laugh about the "Forget the doula! gimme an epidural"--comment...seeing as how I am a Doula! lol
Happy Birthday to the kids and YOU--heck! you did all the work!

Amy said...

@Momza -- my one doula-assisted birth ROCKED! It was the most amazing experience. What a cool thing it must be to be a doula.