Friday, August 21, 2009

My Mr Almost-16 is now 16!

Our darling eldest son is now officially 16. Sixteen. And 16 years ago like many other expectant mothers in my situation, I imagined what the end of my pregnancy and labour would be like.

I had visions of my water breaking. I had images of my husband rushing because I was getting one contraction after the other and delivery would be imminent. I would then be whisked off into the delivery room, and a couple (maybe three, at most) pushes later, there my baby would be, clean, smooth-skinned, bright eyed and cooing, with maybe a squeal of delight to meet his dad and I.

But no. At 42 weeks and counting, it felt like I was going to be pregnant for a whole year, or even forever. You see three months out from my delivery date (which, by 42 weeks had been and gone as quickly as a Ferrari on a racing track, ruffling my hair as it went by!) I had decided that I wanted a 'natural' deliver. Minimal drugs, homely surroundings and an absolutely spontaneous labour, no medical intervention whatsoever.

But at 42 weeks and one day my baby was still sitting snuggly inside. He even decided (in the last week no less!) that he was going to be breech. No amount of cajoling (ie resting on my shoulders while my legs were up against a wall...hang on a minute please while I wipe a tear or two of regret and loss as I consider that I was more flexible whilst heavily pregnant at the age of 22 than now, non-pregnant and 38!). My hubby and I tried everything to kick-start those contractions (and I mean everything), but to no avail. And on he held while I told people who asked how far along I was, that I was getting onto 43 weeks of pregnancy, and how their response was that this really suited the gestation period of an elephant. Ha ha.

On Friday 13th August at 1am, I woke up from a dream where I was screaming in pain in a way depicted in labour scenes in 1970's Egyptian Soap Operas. Just to give you an idea, the labouring woman would be on her bed (head on a flat pillow!) holding onto the bed rails, screaming in agony, head moving left to right and back again repeatedly, whilst supporting women (everyone from her sister and mother-in-law to the neighbour down the street) would be there looking on in her 'delivery room' (aka her bedroom) drinking thick, heavily brewed coffee, gossiping, singing and belly-dancing awaiting the child-in-utero to appear...

With a nasty jolt, I woke up to an empty room (my hubby was watching cricket in the lounge room). I soon realised that my two contractions had been 15 minutes apart. I yelled out to hubby who (not realising what the fuss was about...he had obviously become quite used to me being pregnant) casually helped me out of bed and called the midwife at our hospital's birthing centre. The third contraction came 20 minutes later. No none of that rushing, whisking, edge-of-your-seat stuff! Oh how unbaby-like, how undramatic! We casually walked out of our second floor unit. As I loudly contemplated my overly swollen being finally coming to an end, my darling hubby looked at me and said that because he didn't remember what I looked like before pregnancy it didn't matter what I look like after and anyway "it'll be smaller than this" gesticulating with his hands almost one metre apart. My only thought, through gritted teeth and sharp eyes, was: I love you too darling!

After a calm labour (except for the odd comment or two to my hubby whilst I was in close to delivery which equals maximum pain!) and on all fours, I delivered our eldest son. He was born at 4:40 pm and was 4.4 kilograms (9.7 lbs) and 56 cm (22.4 in) long. He was wrinkly, dry-skinned, puffy-eyed and his fingernails were so overgrown they curved down the tips of his fingers. He was perfect.

Happy Birthday our sweet (and he really is sweet) 16.
Postscript: Darling hubby and I are still married!


Natalie said...

Ah! So poignant, Mervat.
My 'big girl' was 16 in March. It goes so fast, doesn't it?
Happy Birthday Mr Sweet Sixteen!
You were a beautiful baby for sure. :D
Hugs for Mama....... I just know.xx♥

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

Beautiful story! Beautiful boy. Happy Birthday, sweet 16.

Suko said...

Beautiful mother, baby, and young man.

Happy birthday to your son. When does he become Mr. Almost 17?

lakeviewer said...

Ah those moments are still vivid in mothers' memories. Happy Birthday to your beautiful, sweet boy.

see you there! said...

Happy Birthday to Mr. 16. He was a darling baby and has turned into a handsome young man. I'll bet you are pretty proud of him.


Stephanie N. said...

He looks so much like you!

Spencer L Casey said...

42 weeks. Oh, man. My first was 2 weeks late. My others were all 2 weeks early. Wife is much happier when baby comes early I've found. :)

Congrats on your gentleman.


♥ Braja said...

Mervat that was is the photo of you and him :)

notSupermum said...

Happy Birthday to Mr 16! And very best wishes for what I'm sure will be a very bright future.

Mervat, I can't believe how glamorous you look in the photo with him as a baby! Please tell me that wasn't directly after giving birth, because it's illegal to look that good just after childbirth.

septembermom said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful, moving story. Happy Birthday to your handsome young man. How beautiful you both looked on the day of his birth.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

That was so lovely! Thanks for sharing all those memories and a very happy birthday to your son!

Suchismita said...

You brought back a lot of memories... for me it was seventeen yrs ago though!
a happy birthday to your son!

The Writing Instinct said...

Natalie: It does go by so fast. He is going for his learners drivers permit today. I am so nervous! xo

~Tessa~Scoffs: Thank you so much dear friend.

Suko: You are so sweet. Thank you. The reason bhind my calling him Mr ALmost-16 is because he reminded me almost daily that he is almost 16 as well as a countdown until when he can get his learner's permit to drive. I don't think he cares about any other milstones at this stage!

lakeviewer: They are such sweet, precious memories.

Darla: Thank you so much. We are so very proud of him and his courage.

Stephanie N.: You got it!

Spencer L Casey: Thank you so much. And yes, early (though not too early) would have been...well, um, easier!

♥ Braja: Aw, thank you dear!

notSupermum: Thank you so much.
I love your compliment! And yes the photo was taken the day I gave birth, but please remember that I was only 22. Anything is forgiveable then, right?!

septembermom: Thank you my friend.

Sucharita Sarkar: Thank you so much!

Suchismita: Happy birthday to your 17 year old. Memories so special!

lunarossa said...

Happy Birthday to your handsome son although with delay! My boy will be 16 in November. Hope you had a great day all together! Ciao. Antonella

Warren Baldwin said...

Ah, us husbands always know just what to say, don't we?

Nancy Yos said...

Lovely story. I was lucky with my first (I was lucky with all three). She came four weeks early without the slightest warning -- except later my mother claimed, "I knew you were never going to make it to January ...."

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