Susan's Blog

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fresh From the World

Morning has broken
Like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken
Life the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the world.
–Cat Stevens, Morning Has Broken

Seventeen years ago today I also slept badly. I had a much better reason back then: it was my third day of early labor with Nat. A few times every hour I would feel a big sqeeze in my middle and some mild pain and then a foot under my rib. I would laugh about the foot.

Nat’s labor became more intense but did not progress very well because this was my first baby. So by the third day (November 15) I did what any suffering young woman would do: I called my mommy! I said, “Mom, I still did not sleep and I am SO tired and I’m afraid I won’t have any energy left to push out this baby!” I was panicking.

I did not know if I was having a boy or a girl. I figured it would be a girl, since I only knew of girl experiences. Even though I had had a dream where I saw a laughing blond toddler boy in my sister’s bedroom at my parent’s house, I still thought, “Oh, it’s a girl, and I’ll name her Melissa!” I even listened to the Allman Brothers’ Melissa, over and over. Laura made me a labor cassette of that song and all my favorites, to use while laboring. I did not remember to bring it but I loved listening to it. It had Genesis’ Follow You, Follow Me, the Allman’s Melissa, and others I cannot now remember but will forever associate those two songs with Nat coming into the world.

On the phone that morning, Mom said, in typical no-nonsense fashion, “Tell your doctor to get the show on the road.”
I called the doc and he said, “Okay, let’s have a baby.”

I went in and was set up almost immediately on the monitor and the pitocin drip. The pains got intense pretty quickly so they came in and gave me an epidural, which, it turns out, was too strong so I could not feel the urge to push.

Nevertheless, from about 4:30-7:30 pm, I did my best, with the doctor saying, “Come on, before my shift ends!”

It was taking a long time. I think the baby was under distress for a little bit of it. They took blood out of the crowning baby’s scalp and the doctor did not even wait for the elevator to go to the lab; he took the stairs. My mother, who was right outside with Dad, panicked and thought, “Susan’s dead!”

I was not dead but I wanted to be. Suddenly the epidural was taken off and there were the pains, loud and clear. I remember feeling like I was being split in two. In some ways, I was. The old me was dying and the new me was being born: Me as Nat’s mother.

I yelled, “Cut It out of me!”

They did not.

Ned was on one leg, my sister Laura was on the other. They kept cheering me on. Finally I pushed like I was being ripped inside out and out came Nat.

I don’t know what his apgars were. I don’t know who was doing what to him, cleaning him and so forth. I just wanted him, my long-awaited son, and I wanted him with a hunger I had never known. I was ecstatic holding him. I could not get over it. This beautiful, perfect pink baby was MINE.

Here we are, raw new parents.


You look like a sore, relieved, but happy new parent. Ned looks likd of puzzled 🙂

Happy birthday Nat, thanks for sharing his birth story.

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 8:57 am

Today is also my beautiful spectrum kiddo’s birthday! Greatest gift I’ve ever been given,parenting this child of mine.
Happy Birthday Natty!

— added by Em's Mom on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 12:48 pm

Happy Birthday Nat! I hope you have a wonderful day!

— added by Wendy on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 2:58 pm

Happy Birthday Nat :o)

— added by Kev on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 3:51 pm

Happy Birthday Nat!
Best wishes and lots of love.
Hope you all have a great day!

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 4:24 pm

Happy Birthday Nat! What’s this birthday cake going to look like? Post a photo!

— added by Susan on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 5:18 pm

Thanks to all of you!!
Ned will be home soon with the cake mix (it is 5:15 p.m.) and I will start baking it! Ben’s suggestion was that we do Mudge’s head, (the dog from Henry and Mudge) as the cake!!!

Nat had a great day. Even his bus driver got him a present.

— added by Susan Senator on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 5:24 pm

Happy Birthday to Nat!

That’s a nice idea for a cake..Good luck, Susan!

I hope you get some nice photos of the boys today..I feel like I haven’t really seen one since the summer!

And I can’t wait to see a picture of the cake!

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 5:51 pm

Happy Birthday Nat!!!

You look so happy Susan!

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, November 16, 2006 at 2:48 pm

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