Sunday, April 4, 2010

Two Years Ago Today..

..Jackson Matthew Bryer Strand was born. :)

I should say for the record that I am a woman who was meant to have babies. I carry them well with little to no problems, I have easy labor and delivery. These hips were made for birthing babies. I feel like Michelle Duggar has nothing on me. I bet if we put our baby making bodies to the test- mine would hold up better. I'm just simply made for it.

Jackson's birth story is different than Olivia's. Hers just did it on it's own, water broke, and went EXACTLY like "What to Expect: When You're Expecting" told me it would. Jackson was a bit different. Being the boy he is, he was a bit slow. He was just really comfy and warm and happy as a fucking clam in my tummy. My last month for sure was hard for me because I was anxious, tired of being pregnant, and frankly- he was so low in there that I thought he was just going to fall out. Although my doctor assured me he wouldn't- I called bullshit and asked to be induced.

So here I am, at 5a.m April 4, 2008 right before leaving for the hospital. I was exactly 40 weeks pregnant and if I do say so myself, I look damn good. No stretch marks, perfect size belly, face only puffed out a little.
I got to the hospital at 6 where I got hooked up to machines, an IV line thingie and whatever else they plug into you. I got my blood drawn and all my vitals checked. And then hung out until 7 where I was given the beginnings of Pitocin to get this labor going.

Apparently- labor loves me. It started right away and I took it like a champ. I was already dilated to 2 when I got there (yay) and I was really happy when they said I could get an epidural whenever I wanted. I was going to see if I could make it to 4 centimeters before asking. At 8 they checked me, I'm at 4. Dang. But I was still feeling pretty good and thinking psh..pussies get an epidural at 4! (Nevermind with Olivia I got it right at 3 and begged for them to hurry) This time I knew what I was doing, I was FINE.

At 9:30 they broke my water and the joke was over. I was calling for an epidural ASAP. The guy comes, is super nice, going over all the risks. Permanently paralyzed? Worth it asshole- get this shit going now. My mom doesn't *do* needles, so she left the room. Matt stood there in front of me so I'd have something to hang onto when he started to sway. The nurse made him sit down with juice and an ice pack in a nice comfy chair. WTF?? Really? I'm the one getting a giant needle shoved into my back and HE wants to pass out? Pussy.

After that I was feeling mighty fine. I even took a bit of a nap for about an hour. At 11 though, I woke up when I rolled over and felt more water come out. Now, if you've never felt that let me tell you something- it is a super disgusting feeling. There really is not much else worse than knowing your ass is sitting in, literally, a puddle of something nasty. I didn't look because I knew I would have thrown up had I see what amniotic fluid looked like, but it felt gross and that's all the more I want to know about it. But as soon as I rolled over, the pain was INTENSE. I felt like somebody was stabbing me repeatedly. I did what any person in this situation would do.

Forget your breathing techniques, hit the nurse call button and DEMAND more drugs.

Well the super nice nurse came, chuckling, and said she'd have to check me first. It was about 12:03 at this point. Once she lifted my gown she chuckled some more and said "Oh honey. You are done with epidural. I'm going to get the doctor because your baby is literally right there. Don't move or push- I'll be right back." Ah-- so THAT's why I felt like *maybe* I had to go to the bathroom. Check. And then I started freaking out. No more drugs? Really? That can't be right. With Olivia I felt NOTHING because I had a lot of drugs and quite honestly, I wanted to repeat that. Not knowing is worth it.

Within 10 minutes my room was full of Matt and my mom (coaches- one on each side), the doctor, two nurses, a baby nurse, 3 students, and a guy with a clipboard. It's a small room with a lovely view of the lake and while all these people are staring at my vag I'm looking out at the boats. It's the same room as I had with Olivia so it was very much a deja vu situation.

I started pushing at exactly 12:28 p.m. and let me tell you another thing. When you see those baby shows and you hear women screaming "It burns!!" it actually does burn. It feels like someone has set your vag and asshole on fire. It is easily the most intense, painful, exciting feeling I have ever had. I could never explain what it is like to know that your body is birthing a child. With very little help from you. I pushed just a few times and at 12:38 Jackson was born. Jackson was 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 18.75 inches long. He was 3 ounces and I think 3 inches smaller than Olivia.
Jackson wasn't much of a crier. In fact that was a problem because he didn't take in a lot of oxygen. So he went to the nursery to wear the oxygen mask for a bit. But here I am as soon as they put him on me. Do I look like I just gave birth?? Nope- still fierce. ;)

First family picture! Olivia came a few hours after I had Jackson and was pretty excited to show him her Horton elephant. She was loaded up with Big Sister stickers so that was a big deal for her.
Jackson was clearly a mama's boy from the word go. He was bottle fed right away because I had such an awful experience with breastfeeding with Olivia that I just wasn't doing it. But I pumped milk for him and it was supplement. But in the two days we were in the hospital, I rocked him most of the time. I had a special bond with him for a reason that I might go into one day, but it was special. He was mine and nobody wanted him more than I did.

Seeing Olivia with her brother was really amazing. She was so gentle, she was so interested but at the same time terrified of him. She was so interested in his hands and wanted to hold his hand a lot. I remember thinking how sweet that was, and to this day for the most part, she's good with him. I had Jackson on a Friday so I got some really kick ass nurses over the weekend. They brought me the ice cream from the nurses kitchen, brought me the "other" menu of food, and didn't blink an eye when I wanted Pepsi and french fries minutes after giving birth. These nurses were the shit. I also need to give a plug for the Sitz Bath. Those of you suckers giving birth at St. Mary's don't get this. But us awesome people at St. Luke's have the hidden treasure that is the Sitz Bath. The concept is really gross actually- you have water spraying at your vag/ass in this bizarre bowl thing with a drain on the floor and you hover over it. But you get 15 minutes every few hours and it is heaven. It feels GREAT down there especially after birth. I had (TMI Alert) tore front to back with both babies and had stitches so this was the best they could do for me.

And I'd like to know why can't someone invent something better than the net underwear they give you? I mean granted, I would wear regular because you bleed a lot after and I'm not ruining underwear for that. But the net? Really? Not comfortable. Super itchy. Not really covering anything. And the dignity you lose when having to use a squirt bottle to clean yourself? Ugh. I had 12 weeks of that both times because my stitches? Refused to fucking heal already. Anyways.

Me, Olivia, Jackson the day after he was born.
We went home on a Sunday afternoon. His newborn outfit was huge on him. A preemie outfit would have been too big but hey- we got him strapped in.
Jackson fit into the family perfectly. He's like the piece you didn't know was missing until he got here. He was such an easy baby. Only cried when he wanted to eat (every 2 hours in the morning, then every 4 in the afternoon. Would eat 6 ounces at a time since birth. Yes- he was quite piggie..) or wanted to snuggle. He was at his happiest when I held him and rocked.

Jackson at two weeks old in our favorite spot- rocking chair in front of TV. Knowing that he was likely my last baby I tried to savor every bit of his babiness. Unfortnately, Jackson didn't care. He went through his "firsts" so fast I barely remember them. At 3 months he was a professional jumper.
He was crawling at 5 months and walking at 9 months. He rolled over at 2 months, sat at 4 months. At 10 months he was feeding himself food. His favorite were those Gerber puffs and then the cookies.
He was eating all table foods by 8 months. None of that pureed baby shit for him. Nope. He wanted the real deal and the experience with it. This is when he was 7 months old. Spaghetti is, to this day, his favorite food. He sees me drag out my orange dutch oven and that boy is in his chair nevermind supper is still 3 hours away. He is READY.
We still have to get him naked because he still can't help but make a mess out of it.

Jackson is a very happy boy. He likes to do silly things to make us laugh. He's thoughtful and sweet. He is our little monster that gets into things but you can't get mad because that boy is right there giving you a big squeezy hug and kisses all over your face. He likes to sing and dance. He likes to run and jump. He likes to play outside and try to ride his tricycle (he's too short for the pedals so he does a flinstone peddling on the ground bit..). He loves the Wiggles, Mickey Mouse, and Thomas the Train. He likes to read Sandra Boynton books and Goodnight Moon. He has a stuffed animal dog named Puppy and a duck named Duck that he carries everywhere. He has a baby doll that he loves to sleep with and he pretends to be daddy. He's the life of the party but sometimes you'll hardly ever know he's there. He likes to play Little People, Thomas trains, legos, cars and Barbies. He flirts with everyone when we go places and he is what I would call all-boy. He lights up my world more than I thought another baby ever could.

When I got pregnant with him it was at a really horrible time in my life and in my marriage. Times aren't great by any means now, but this boy reminds me that I can do it. That no matter how bad things get, that there is always something good that will come out of it. If my marriage ends tomorrow, if I fail in my role as a wife I know that no matter what- we made two awesome kids. If we accomplish nothing else in our lives, Matt and I made two kids that are good people. They bring joy to so many and they are loved. No matter what happens, these kids will be loved more than any other kids in the world.

So Happy Birthday, my sweet and beautiful baby boy. I love you more every day and I am so happy you chose me to be your mommy. I love rocking out to Jimi Hendrix with you, and I love seeing you go through my cd's as if they were the best thing ever. I love sharing snacks with you and walking hand in hand around the house. I love your messes and the sweet sounds you make in the morning. I love the way you get so excited when you see me in the morning and when I come home. I love when you run to me screaming "mama!!" with your arms outstretched. I love when you help me clean the house and I love when you bring me my slippers in the morning. Or my purse. I love when you demand to wear my chapstick and want to kiss right after. I love when you give me hugs and kisses randomly or tell me to sit down. And where. I love when you bring me books or toys to keep me busy while you chew the tips of markers off in the next room. I love watching you compete with the big kids at the park and how you run by wiggling down the sidewalk.

You are an amazing little boy who healed me in ways nothing or nobody ever could. Your happiness rubs off on me and no matter how bad things get you always brighten my mood. You and me are like two unwanted things with a special bond and for that my boy? I thank you. I promise to love you "whole super big monkey banana bunches!" forever and ever.


Sam said...

Aww, Happy Birthday Jackson! This post made me get all misty eyed. The pictures are priceless. He is so camera-friendly!

Julie H said...

Happy birthday Jackson!

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

He is such a cutie pie. Happy birthday Jackson!!

Anonymous said...

this post was so sweet!!! loved reading it (and looking at cutie kid pics!)

Angela said...

After seeing these pictures, I can tell that you were clearly made for birthing babies. You look pretty damn amazing after just giving birth!

Jackson looks like such a cutie, and he looks like he would be a blast to be around.

You also got me a little teary eyed :)

Shanel said...

Um you suck for making me cry while reading your post... no... seriously... you suck.... that was really sweet.... I hope he gets a chance to read it one day... you should print it and put it in a special place for him to have when he gets older...

Gnetch said...

Cute babies! Happy birthday Jackson.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Jackson!

Olivia & Jackson are 2 of the most cute kids I have seen. Beautuiful family!

Gini said...

Aw, happy birthday to you, Jackson!

Sara said...

Happy Birthday, Jackson! Adorable little boy.

Veronica M. D. said...

What a sweet post. :)

Amber said...

Sorry but I lost you after 3 weeks of stitches.

I somehow made it through without a single stitch or tear (they said maybe because you can control your pushing better with no drugs or some shit)

I refuse to have another kid because with my luck this time I'd tear like an old sock. Ok, so that's not the only reason....but

what was my point?

Oh, gross.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Sara.

Happy (belated) birthday, Jackson!

Anonymous said...

That is too adorable. Makes me want to go out and have 5 of them. Totally kidding.

Anonymous said...

That is too adorable. Makes me want to go out and have 5 of them. Totally kidding.

MrsDixon said...

This is too funny and sweet! He is an adoreable kid! :)

Jandy xx said...

happy birthday Jackson.

Beautiful post Sar, made me teary, in a good way, Those kids are very lucky to grow up with you xx

Anonymous said...

This post got me all teary eyes too. With my last baby, My marriage wasn't doing so well and things were really rough when I got Pregnant too. Spencer was a gift to me that turned me all around. He is the best thing that could have happened to me. Its hard to say that with 5 kids, he and I have a special bond, but we do. I can't imagine life without him. Happy Birthday Jackson!!! You have an awesome mom!

Ang said...

Sara - that's the sweetest post ever!