My due date for Alex fell right smack in the middle of the semester, October 2nd (2006). I had a big midterm on the 5th and my teacher was anything but lenient. It was a stressful class (and the only one of architecture school that I ever got a B in--still bitter about that) and I had to make it to that midterm. It made the fact that I was overdue much more bearable, despite the fact that I was fat and uncomfortable. After my midterm I was ready to have the baby, but he didn't come.
The Sunday after your due date is not the best day to go to church pregnant, but I did anyway. Somehow I made it through all the inquiries. Believe you me, I wanted to have him more than anyone else, and I was getting frustrated. Because Erin was a c-section and I wanted to have a VBAC, I was going to the Miami Maternity Center to have my baby. I loved their approach to having babies--midwives, no drugs, a bedroom type environment but with modern medicine at their fingertips if needed. Because I was going there, I had to wait for my body to go into labor naturally. I did everything I could think of to have the baby, but I sincerely don't think anything worked. The next Monday I took Castor oil, which left me feeling very sick, but gave me no contractions. I picked my mom up from the airport, mowed the lawn and then went to our friends' Canadian Thanksgiving dinner as pregnant and frustrated as could be.
That night (Oct. 10th) around 2:30 I woke up with contractions. The first two were kind of uncomfortable, but then I remembered to breath and things got better. I went into the birthing center around 6:00 am and had contractions all day. It was even kind of fun hanging out with Jared, the midwives and my friend Jen who was there to give me support. I was fine between contractions. I sat in the tub for a while and then my contractions stopped. I got out and they got going a little but then I stalled again when I was at 8 cm. They broke my water, but I still didn't progress, for two hours. It was so frustrating and I was so tired. I was sure I would have to be taken to the hospital to have another c-section, and I was about ready to give up and go. The midwife even said that this was the point that the hospital would tell me I needed one. Dumb Florida hospitals. I owe a successful VBAC to my midwife, Sheri. Upon her examination, she found that even though the water had been broken, the bag was too strong and was not allowing the baby to descend any further. She worked with all her might to get the bag around his head (she even broke a sweat doing it). Once she did that, I went from an 8 to a 10 in less than 30 minutes and was ready to push.
I felt so much better at this point. I got in the birthing jacuzzi and pushed for 30 minutes. When he finally came out I laid him on my chest and he snuggled right up to me. I will never forget that moment because he was so cuddly and calm, and he didn't cry at all. I felt like I bonded with him as soon as he was born, an experience that I did not have with all of my children. It was a mixture of amazement that I had actually had a successful VBAC without drugs, and pure joy to meet this special child. That unforgettable moment was interrupted by the tub filling up with blood because I began to hemorrhage and both the baby and me being whisked out as quickly as possible.
The next thing I remember about Alex was his weighing on the other side of the room. "9 pound 6 ounces!" the midwife announced, to which my friend immediately said, "Holy cow, Laura!" Nobody expected him to be that big. He only wore newborn clothes for a week, and that was because I squished him into them. He looked like a 3 month old from the start. A sturdy, healthy baby boy. Alex was born.
Now I can hardly believe that he is turning five! He is a quiet child, sweet and gentle. He brings a special calmness to our home. He genuinely cares about other people. I will often see him helping his sister onto the swing or getting her shoes out. He will always be the one to come to me if someone is in trouble and needs my help. He is not mean or mischievous, but kind and honest by nature.
He has a special relationship with Erin. He loves her and she loves him. They are always buddies. My friend commented that it was interesting when they shared the front seat of an airplane ride instead of fighting over it. But this is how it's always been. They are always together, and prefer it that way. Whenever he gets a treat, he always gets one for Erin too. I'm not sure how he thinks of it, but he always does. They have shared a room for almost four years and have loved being together. He loves Marissa and Connor too, but you can just see something special between Erin and him.Alex is a deep thinker. He will take time to process what he has heard and then never forgets it. You can tell that the wheels are turning in his head a lot. He is a smart kid. A few weeks ago we were talking about singing the alphabet backwards, and so he just busted out with half of it right then and there. Now he has the backwards alphabet mastered (you try, it's harder than you think). I think it would be so funny next year when he goes to kindergarten if he sang that when they ask if he knows the alphabet.
He is still cuddly and sweet, just like the day he was born. I cannot imagine our family without him in the middle.
For his birthday he wanted a crayon cake, and this would be my professional cake making at its finest. I find that if you squint it actually looks pretty good.Here they are "helping".He wanted to go to Trafalga where we rode the merry go round, rocked climbed and played laser tag. Alex loved the laser tag and did it twice. Erin hated it! Apparently people kept shooting her. The poor girl had to hide in a corner until the warfare was done. Rock climbing was a big hit too. Erin, Alex and Marissa made it to the very top a couple of times. Yes, Marissa too. All these people were staring at this tiny child climb up a few stories with no fear. Amazing!
Ha, ha... can you tell I am taking a photography class? This was after one class and I had not figured anything out yet. That's why it's all fuzzy. Hopefully I can learn something.
All day Alex kept saying that it was his birthday so he didn't have to do any jobs, or it was his birthday so people had to be nice to him. As it turns out, he actually does help out a lot around here and I sure noticed when he had a day off.
We had cake and presents at 8:30 pm, which is always a good time to pump kids full of sugar. Grandma and grandpa came, as well as the upstairs cousins. He totally cleaned out on the presents this year, partly because his primary teacher gave him some awesome stuff, Zoobmobiles and art supplies. He also got Lego's, a puzzle, a boat and a dog money bank. Lucky kid!
I love my boy Alex and can't wait to see what this next year brings for him. Happy Birthday!