Dearest Beatty –
I was supposed to write this Internet love letter two days ago, on your real birthday.
But then instead of going out for sushi that night to celebrate your eighth year, you informed me at 7am on May 29th you would rather stay home. So I could pick up the house and cook dinner (and a birthday cake) for the whole family. What I’m saying is that it’s your fault this blog post is so very late. It’s not my fault.
Since your birthday party with your school friends is today (your very first sleep-over party!), we can pretend I’m not tardy writing this and the date today is May 29th. Your mommy likes to pretend a lot.
Your mommy also likes to think about your birth every year. I really do.
Your birth was the coolest thing ever. It is probably about the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I loved giving birth to you. Some women like being pregnant; I like giving birth. Your dad and I (as well as Aunt Shea) went to our Hypnobirth classes every week for almost two months, and I very religiously put on my headphones and listened to that Hypnobirth CD every night before bed. That shiz worked. I fell asleep listening to “Rainbow Relaxation”, and I visualized being relaxed and calm during my labor and delivery with you. ME! CALM!! I totally did it, Beatty. I did it partly because I felt icky thinking about having a needle inserted into my spine, but also because I wanted to feel what it was like to give birth. Feel everything and do it the way nature created me to do it.
So I had to wait for you to be ready to come out, because when you are planning on a natural birth, you have to go into a natural labor.
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Even though I became pretty uncomfortable the last few days, it was OK. I was willing to let you sit in my uterus, smoking a cigar, eating Cool Ranch Doritos, and getting fat. I loved you that much.
I went into labor the evening of May 28th. We went to Amy and Neil’s house (you know, Gage’s parents) for a barbeque to celebrate Neil’s birthday, which is on May 29th, same as yours! Right when we got there, I felt sick to my stomach. I sat and watched everyone chow down on ribs and potato salad, the whole time thinking how disgusting it all looked. When Amy told me it was alright to go inside and throw up if I needed to, I took her up on that. Barfing helped me feel a little bit better and I was able to eat a small piece of ice cream cake. It really hit the spot.
So dad and I went home and went to bed, because I forgot that the whole vomiting thing could be the beginning of labor. I woke up at about 2am with cramps. Like bad menstrual cramps. I realized at that point I was in labor, and like my teachers had instructed me, I stayed calm because I knew I probably had a long ways to go before you actually came. I woke up your dad and we watched a very strange movie on TV – some movie about a psycho truck driver who was chasing and trying to kill these teenagers who had teased him over the CB radio.
Then the “cramps” became strong enough that I couldn’t concentrate on the TV anymore, and I told your dad to go back to bed and get some sleep so I could get into the bathtub and relax. Leo the cat sat on the edge of the tub the whole time in the darkened bathroom, listening to music with me. And you.
We stayed in the bathroom for quite awhile. Pretty much until your dad and Aunt Shea hauled me out of the tub, dripping, at 10am and drove me to the hospital. It was a good thing they did that, because when I got to the hospital I was already dilated to 9 centimeters. It wasn’t long until I was in another place mentally. Nothing else mattered and no one else mattered. Just me and my breath and the knowledge that THIS TOO SHALL PASS. If you just chill out and breathe, you can trust that you get a break after 60 seconds of crazy sensations.
However, Mr. Cigar Smoker, it took me TWO AND A HALF HOURS TO PUSH YOUR CHUBBY BUTT OUT.
Oh my god…it was such a relief when that head of yours finally popped out. Pure relief. I was so high on adrenaline that I couldn’t go to sleep until 11pm that night. And right after I was stitched up and before they even moved us into our regular room, I walked out to the nurse’s desk to ask them to turn off a beeping machine. The four nurses at the desk looked at me in disbelief and said,
“DIDN’T YOU JUST HAVE A BABY??”
That’s a Hypnobirth for you. Feeling awesome. Walking around. With lots of ice in your underpants.
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I love having a son. You are crazy, active, funny, loud, and great at digging holes.
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You still love playing in holes.
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You are at a magical age, an age where you are still innocent and crazy and fun, but also an age where I can have a good conversation with you because you GET IT. You are kind. You have a great sense of humor. You can be empathetic and sensitive. You don’t want for me to be hurt or upset, and I love that you made a picture for me a few weeks ago with hearts and flowers that said, “it will all be OK”.
Be still my heart.
Every time I come to my blog and see you up there on the masthead in those fake Billy Bob teeth with a chicken in your arms, I smile.
You have the most beautiful thick hair and huge, clear blue eyes. Someday a girl will look in those eyes and think she loves you as much as I do.
Thank you for being mine. Thank you for loving me and still holding my hand in public. Thank you for wanting me to come volunteer in your classroom and telling me that I’m the prettiest mom. Thank you for teaching me about life, love, and boys. I love being your mom.
I hope you enjoyed your breakfast in bed. Actually, I know you enjoyed it because who doesn’t enjoy getting BOTH pancakes and a chocolate donut at seven thirty in the morning??
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I even hand-made your party invitations this year. I should get an extra gold star for that. I can’t believe we got you a recurve bow, but it’s all you wanted and after watching you at a couple of archery lessons, I think you have a natural talent with a bow and arrow. Perhaps we are heading to the Olympics one day.
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In any case, you and your friends are going to have so much fun tonight at your private archery lesson, and I am going to stuff your little faces with pizza and popcorn and soda pop. I am going to let you boys go nuts. Now I need to go make a duplicate of that confetti cake I made two days ago. You are right, it was DANG GOOD.
Happy birthday. I love you so much.