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Little Chicken

March 1, 2013

Pregnant with our son Spawn was interesting and scary. Everything seemed fine until about 28 weeks and I had preterm labor. I was sent home on strict bedrest, kept having contractions despite the rest, eating laying down and only getting up to pee or poop and read obsessively about preterm labor. One night after three weeks in I felt this snap like a small rubber band inside my stomach and I sat up and my water had broken. We called out midwife, rushed to the hospital and my labor stopped. I stayed in the hospital fretting and worrying over when our boy would come out, if everything would be okay. During one of the routine AFI checks (amniotic fluid intervals) via ultrasound to make sure he had enough water in there to keep floating around and ensure he was peeing and drinking-precursors for breathing and adequate kidney function-I asked the tech to see how much he had grown. I had been doing way too much reading on bedrest and knew if he was about 4lbs it was possible for him to just come right home and be fine.

They discovered that he had only grown about 5 oz in 4 weeks which was not enough. They wanted to induce me the next day. I had a parade of Docs come to see me including the neonatologist who was very nice but I burst into tears and he was confused. Everyone from that moment on seemed confused that I was crying and upset that my little baby was not growing, that I could not grow him and keep him well.

They induced me the next day and my midwives were with me the whole day. It only took about 10 hours for all 2lbs 14 oz of him to come out and he screamed bloody murder right away. He was so alert in the NICU and it was horrible they wouldn’t let me hold him right away. He peed all over the isolette like a good boy he would continue to be. He nursed 18 hrs after he was born and came home exclusively breastfeeding and did so until he was 4 1/2 in tandem with his sister for the last year and a half.

For the first few months I would look at my small man and think he would never be big. He would always be small and that now he was out I would do everything I could to make sure he was healthy and happy. He rarely cried and nursed nonstop for the first year. I felt so lucky to have him and so grateful he was so cooperative. He was the most delicious baby-only sharing that prize until his sister came almost 3 years later-and is still lovely.

He is 12 tomorrow and has sweaty smelly feet that make his room smell like feral animals have died in it, doesn’t ever want to brush his hair, sometimes has a morning woody, argues with most everything I say and is starting to develop a deeper voice. He is brilliantly smart, funny, deeply compassionate and kind, easily entertained, eternally grateful for most everything you do for him and still tells me I am pretty.

I never ever ever ever thought I would ever have children as it just seemed like too much work, too hard, too time consuming, unnecessary and tiring. It is all of those things but it doesn’t matter because he is mine and I am his, we are a family forever and I am eternally grateful for that, smelly feet and all.

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