Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Harrison, my son, my son

July 13, 1982

I'm waiting for the doctor to come. Nothing much is happening. I called my dad to say we might be coming over for a while if the doctor says it is okay. Anne and Aja are sleeping now. My dad said he heard them get up at about 5:00am for a glass of milk.

This is getting boring. since 1:00 yesterday afternoon I have been having contractions. We moved a whole bunch of furniture into our house - Grandpa Norm's things: two sling chairs, a rocking chair, a sewing cabinet, a beautiful vanity, dresser, bed with a nice mattress, a bench (for the vanity), an oriental rug, a chair, and various small items. Boy does our house look different. I managed to do the dishes and put away the laundry before we left for the hospital. Cris just finished Aja's sandbox the night before last (July 11th) and she really likes it. I am trying to get him to build a climber for Aja from the wood in the garage. I think she would really like that.

The contractions are somewhat regular and they are getting stronger. When this is over I am going to take a long nap, maybe 48 hours or more! (I don't think so.)

July 13, 1982

I think I will be going to the hospital again soon. I think this is really it. It will be nice to see this baby finally. It is getting a bit ridiculous I think. For awhile I thought it may stop. I would have been heartbroken but I took two walks and that seems to have done the trick. Cris is watching "Ripping Yarns" so I think I'll wait until that's over and maybe a little bit longer, maybe 11:00 will be alright. My dad says I will probably be about 7-8cm dilated when I go in. I don't think so maybe 1cm is more like it so I will wait...and wait.

I've talked to Cris's mom today and Mary (David and Alex's Mary) and she cheered me up a bit. I am sure we will have lots to talk about. (They sent me home in the morning.)

July 19, 1982

Well, I had a boy! I don't believe it! He looks like me too. Harrison Thoreau (I believe) was born at 10:35PM on July 18, in 1982 (I'm sure you know that but I'm just practicing). He was 7lbs 2oz and 20-3/4 inches long. What a big boy! I think the nurses will bring him to me soon. I am pretty sore (my stitches) and my uterus is clamping up now and then but other than that I'm fine, but I am hungry and tired as can be expected. Well, I think I'll tell all about labor and delivery.

Cris had predicted way back in April that the baby would be born on the 18th and I said the 19th - that is pretty good, huh?

Well, this morning (I am talking about the 18th you understand) I woke up and did the dishes (wait a minute!) I asked Cris to do them and HE did, sorry Cris. I cleaned the house. I was getting a few contractions and I joked about being in labor, not believing it and ignored them. We brought laundry to Grandpa Norm's house and I did 4 loads of it (by myself) the contractions were still coming and might I say they were starting to take a bit of concentration about 2:00 or maybe 3:00 (you see I was ignoring them). I had a good raspberry sundae and then sent Cris home to get fabric softener. He came back and went to get Burger King for us. By that time I was fairly sure I was in labor. I estimate my contractions were about 10 minutes apart and fairly regular. I had to sit down for them or if I was hanging laundry on the line, I just paused. Aja was being extra good that day - only getting into a little trouble as expected but not fits of anger or anything.

It is nice that Cris and Aja can be together when I in here because I know they both need me and I need them. I love them very, very much and I wouldn't be able to function without them or they without me I suppose.

We went home around 6:30-7:00 and we told Grandpa, who had asked us to stay longer, that I thought I was in labor, funny thing is that I thought it the last time there too! When we got home Aja took a much needed nap while I read The Waterfall (Margaret Drabble) that my mom had lent to me for the hospital and Cris took a shower. I put away the clothes with help from Cris and he checked my dilation and he figured I was starting to dilate more than I had before.

So, seeing that I knew now that I was in labor, we quick packed Aja's bag and mine. Cris put it in the car and I tried to call my parents - no one home. Called my doctor; they said he would call. Called Mary and David - no one home. Called mom and dad - They were home! Told them to expect us. Grandpa called and said we forgot the raspberries, I told him I was going to the hospital and he started saying how if he was sleeping when we came, he would put them between the doors for us to pick up to bring to my parent's house. I interrupted and said we were going now.

We didn't wait for the doctor to call back - a good thing too. We dropped Aja off, she waved goodbye and off we went.

We came into the hospital about 9:00. I was 4-5cm dilated I went into the bathroom to give a urine specimen and when I was done urinating, I sat on the toilet feeling another contraction and lo and behold my bag of waters broke right there into the toilet. How convenient!

There was meconium (means the contents of the baby's intestines, or poop, if you wish) in the water so I told the nurse. She said it was normal for breech babies - I believe that! Then into bed a few good contractions and they hooked up a fetal monitor measuring the baby's heart and my contractions. That was neat. I tried to get some of the tape but the nurses said it was in the baby's records, so...

I handled it very well, the checked me again - 6-7cm. The another contraction and I had to go to the bathroom (around 10:00). While going to the bathroom and then contraction and the urge to push - PANT BLOW!  Back into bed another (2 minutes apart) Pant, blow - boy that was tough. At about 10:15 they were checking me (almost complete) and decided to bring me to the delivery room at least the chair would be more comfy (I couldn't lay on my side or I felt excruciating pain). They did this quickly between contractions and by the time I had just one more, then the doctor said I was completely dilated - it was okay to push.

One good push, "Please adjust the mirror", then one more push. Here it comes the butt and legs I said, "It's a baby!" It's a boy! and he's inside of me - more pushing, his arms are moving on the outside on my thighs and butt and his head is inside me, push gently, plop! No breathing, just sucking sound, the nose and the mouth, soon crying. Just wonderful, I felt terrific. They put the baby about 4 feet away from me and I had my glasses so I could see his legs were flexed like this (V__o) What a sweetie! So that's Harris, a son! How wonderful! Cris is smiling! Just wonderful! They let me hold the baby after a bit - he looks like me! No lines on the lip - Cris said that this one's a "Lowe Baby" (I have a smooth philtrum - many people do not even notice - Harrison on the other hand does indeed have a philtrum - even though it may have looked like he had none immediately after being squished out of my body...) Cris held him - oh I like that! my boys! Cris such a good dad! I don't know a dad better than he is but I think my brother David ranks up with him.

Cris is so good, so patient. I said about 3 mean word orders when I was about 7-8cm dilated. I looked him in the eye and said, "NO!" that's not very nice but I think he is so good and understands so well. I love him for that. I wouldn't have been able to do it without him.

We brought the baby back to the labor room. Cris carried him (I like that). I nursed him and he did real good. He was just looking around - very smart baby I think! He cried a bit but I got him to stop by talking to him. Cris held him in between sides and he was calling my mom and dad and grandpa and then I called Cyndie and John, and David and Mary, then Cris remembered to call his dad (wow!), everyone was happy! (Of course they were) After a bit, the nurse asked if we were done with the baby. I said I was tired and Cris went with the baby to get weighed (he called his dad after that - he remembered during a cigarette). Cris came back and told me the weight - wow - 7 pounds 2 ounces - the doctor had thought maybe 6 pounds 2 ounces or so - that is nearly a pound difference.

I called my mom and dad and told them Cris was coming (it was 12:30am) and he had pictures and then Cris left. He's probably sleeping now with Aja and I am half awake and starving waiting for my baby and my breakfast. I hope they both come soon!

Lot's of excitement! I guess I was very enthusiastic and excited - that would be appropriate for the birth of my second child, Harrison, my son, my son. 

Two things stick out here for me to comment on. Number one is how close I seem to my brother David and his wife Mary. I know I looked up to them. David is 12 years older than I am. I was enthusiastic that we were having children at the same time. David and Mary divorced when Alex was 4 or so. I am not sure exactly when. Mary saved money and then left David - a surprise for everyone. David was very hurt. He married another woman quickly, Vicki. She had two children, one son almost Alex's age and one daughter, a little older than ianthe. Vicki was, and still is a wonderful woman.

As time went on, David and Vicki (or maybe it was just Vicki's influence) became more and more christian - like scary right-wing christian. It confused me at first, how my brother could change so radically. I slowly lost him to his new beliefs.

Now the grown son is a Pastor, married to the most lovely of people - incidentally a pastor's daughter - and they are expecting their first child. David and Vicki's first grandchild. The daughter spent a couple years as a missionary in Africa and will soon be married. And Alex? Poor Alex. The child tossed back and forth between mother and father, undiagnosed, untreated mental illness and alcoholism. Poor child, rejected by the devout christian family - how very sad. How very unchristian. It makes me weep.  

I do not mean to hurt David or Vicki, or their children. They are lovely people. I just do not understand their worldview. They are theists. I am an anti-theist. I am violently opposed to the idea of a god or gods or supernatural force or anything like that. My love for them is as deep as my confusion about how they can not only believe, but actually devote their lives to an imaginary idea. This is unkind for me to think. I realize that. I love them. I wonder how I can believe two opposing things at the same time. But then again I wonder how they can hold their christian beliefs and shun their own child/sibling.

The second thing that sticks out - and I have not pointed it out before, is the medical jargon I toss about. In an earlier post, I judge a doctor as "not sure that he knew what he was doing" as if I really have enough knowledge to determine that. That is Asperger's thinking. I toss about medical terms mimicking my father, and the doctor speak around me. 

I have become even worse about doctors after my two bouts with cancer. I see in this journal, that I asked for a bit of the printout from the heart monitor. If it were happening now, I would have ripped off a bit without blinking an eye. 

As Jeanne commented on an earlier post - I am a person that believes that I am better than everyone else around her, and at the same time, thinks that I am the worst person of all. Again, I wonder how I can believe two opposing things at the same time.


  1. its weird to read something like this. one's literal origins are rarely thought about, whereas it is more common to wonder on the origins of all people and things, time, the universe. while reading this i was in awe. i know the world existed before i did, and i know all these other older people were already here, but it still gives me the 'epiphany' feeling to have a sense of what was going on at that time and to imagine the events that brought me into the world, folded in half, flailing and screaming. like most sentient entities, i can't believe there was people here before me with their own relationships and memories and thoughts, and i hardly ever question those sorts of ideas even though i know they are incorrect. this is a neat little window into my past that really puts those organic thoughts in check and allowed me to observe my beginnings.

    word . .. mother.

  2. Harrison, that was beautiful!