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Monday, December 15, 2008

The Babe is my fourth baby, my thirteenth pregnancy, my first living son, the first baby who looks like his Momma. He was born on a stormy evening in early September, in a dark hospital room in Grand Rapids. His birth was glorious - calm and quiet, exhilaratingly fast without being rushed. In between pushes, I looked out at the rain beating against the window, and could not believe I was here, in this place, birthing a baby.

I remember reaching down and touching his head. It was damp and soft and bunched up, and I marveled at how warm he was, and then all of a sudden, his whole head was out, and then a split second later, the rest of him. The doctor helped him to my belly, and he looked all around until he found my eyes, and then he screamed his head off. A few moments later, his daddy cut the cord, and the nurse took him to weigh him. Eight pounds, eleven ounces - just a tiny sprout for the woman who births ten pounders with ease.

He didn't nurse for a long time. He just cuddled in my arms, looking at me. His eyes would sort of roll back in his head, and then he'd look at me again, and then he'd close his eyes for a long time before opening them and rolling them back in his head again. An hour went by, but it felt like three minutes, and the nurse told me it was time to move to the recovery room, but I could take a bath or shower first if I wanted to.

I remember bathing with the door open, watching the nurse clean my son and take his vitals, and then his daddy took him and it was beautiful.

The next night was Celebration on the Grand, and from my hospital room I could see fireworks bursting over the Grand River. It was so quiet and so dark in the room, and I looked down at my baby boy, sleeping on the bed, and I couldn't imagine ever being any happier.

So today I am cleaning. I've sorted through The Babe's clothes, and I'm sad. The newborn clothes, the soft sleep gowns and the fuzzy booties, the tiny knitted caps, all in the box. The next size up, three-to-six months, all in the box. Those tiny blue jeans lined with flannel, the miniature tennis shoes, all in the box. And then the next size up, six-to-nine months... almost all in the box. The polo shirts, the dinosaur pajamas, the little blue socks with white pawprints on them. In the box.

I'm sad. The Babe is most likely my last baby, and I've cherished his babyhood, like I did the girls.' I'm thrilled to see that he's growing and thriving, but sad that he's losing his infancy so quickly. He can't be three months old, can he? He can't be nearly eighteen pounds already, can he? He can't be, he can't be. He's my tiny little man, the baby boy I prayed for my whole life.

I know he needs to grow, and it's the normal, natural way. But I can't help but long for time to slow down just a bit, so I can savor these moments before they're gone.


Issas Crazy World said...

Oh what a great birth story.

When was he born? Harrison was born Sept. 25th. He is 14 pounds, three ounces, or he was as of last Thursday. I have officially retired all of the 0-3 mo clothes and most of the 3-6mo clothes, which is just wrong. But he's my heart, I couldn't have hoped for such an amazing son.

Tara said...

awwww... makes me tear up. Daughter is 3.5 and we were looking at her baby pics the other day getting all weepy. We all know they've got to grow and are thankful that they do and are healthy -- but it is sad when the stages pass and are gone forever isn't it?