Tomorrow, my little boy turns one year old. In the way of most mothers, I have no idea where the time has gone. One day, I was bringing my baby home from the hospital and now I’m chasing him up and down the stairs and trying to keep him from launching himself off the couch. It’s been quite a year as we’ve made the adjustment from being a family of three to a family of four. I don’t remember what life was like without this sweet child in it. He has been an amazing blessing to our family. This is his birth story.
Right about the time that Ian was 18 months old, I started getting a severe case of baby fever. He was growing up so fast and becoming such a big boy and I missed having a tiny one around. Colin and I have always known that we wanted our children to be relatively close in age and it seemed like it was almost the right time to expand our family. So after we came home from spending Christmas with my family in Kentucky, I quit taking my birth control pills and we waited to see what would happen. As fate would have it, it didn’t take long. Only 20 days after taking my last pill, I had a positive pregnancy test in hand. We were ecstatic!
I had my first appointment with my OB/GYN at only 6 ½ weeks. An ultrasound was done and the baby was already measuring ahead, so my due date was moved up five days. We weren’t surprised by this, since the same thing had been done with Ian and he ended up being 9 lbs at birth. We were told to expect another big baby. At this appointment, we also discussed my birthing options. My doctor told me that because I had previously had a C-section (due to Ian’s size) and because my babies tend to be large, she recommended another C-section. Houston is not a very VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) friendly place and unfortunately, although I wanted to attempt a vaginal delivery, I ran up against this problem. There are a VERY limited number of doctors here who will even do them due to the risk of uterine rupture and the high cost of medical malpractice insurance. And if I did leave my OB/GYN (whom I love) and find a doctor who would take me, the nearest hospital where I could deliver was almost an hour away on the other side of Houston. After having all of this explained to us and weighing our limited options, we decided to have another C-section. The date was set for October 8, 2012.
At 16 weeks, we had a routine ultrasound during my check-up and my doctor was already able to see that we had another little boy! I had worried up to this point that I would be disappointed if we didn’t get a girl this time around. My worry was completely unfounded. When I saw that little baby on the screen and felt him move, it didn’t matter at all. I was going to have two little boys!
My pregnancy with Declan was extremely easy and joyful. There were no complications and he was always so active that I felt the reassurance of his movements constantly. It was more exhausting than when I was pregnant with Ian, but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was constantly chasing a toddler. Ian was thrilled that he was getting a baby and would often pat my stomach and ask why his brother wasn’t here yet. He just couldn’t understand why it was all taking so long! Truth be told, we were all anxious to get the baby here! I had no morning sickness at all, but I also had no appetite. I had to force myself to eat throughout the day and could happily have existed on only water for the whole nine months. On the morning I went to the hospital to have him, I had only gained 5 lbs throughout the entire pregnancy. Don’t be fooled, though. I was HUGE! By 28 weeks, when I was home in KY for a family reunion, people were asking me if I was expecting twins. At only 32 weeks, a random lady in Walgreens gave me a look full of pity and asked me how soon I was due. She was astounded when I told her I still had two months left!
My parents arrived on the afternoon of the 6th and we got to spend some time with them before the baby arrived. We drove around showing them the area and spent some time visiting and playing cards. I would catch my dad just looking at me and shaking his head. He finally just laughed and told me that I had the biggest pregnant belly he had ever seen for someone who was only having one baby. By that point, I sure felt like he was right!
On October 8, 2012, we woke up at 4:45 a.m. to go to the hospital. We had to be there at 5:30 to get settled in and prepped for the 7:30 surgery. Colin and I left and Mom and Dad stayed behind with Ian. They would come at 7:00 to avoid waking Ian so early just to have him wait around at the hospital. Driving to the hospital, I have to say that my most immediate concern was how difficult it would be for the nurse to get my IV hooked up. I have terrible veins and getting an IV or having blood work is always an issue. When I had Ian, it took almost two full hours to get the IV so with that in my head, I was ready for quite a bit of discomfort. Maybe it was the fact that I was dreading the IV, that I had left my baby at home in bed, or maybe it was just the hormones, but I had such a sense of dread and foreboding as we were filling out all of the paperwork. The nurse was able to get my IV on the second try, but I can remember laying there trying not to cry and wishing I could just turn around and go home. After all of the waiting and waiting to bring my baby boy into the world, I just wanted to go home and continue being pregnant.
Of course that wasn’t realistic and after kissing Ian and telling him I would be back soon with the baby, I walked to the OR. Colin would join me as soon as I was numb and the incision was made. Much the same as I had with Ian’s delivery, I sat on the edge of the operating table, slumped over with a topical anesthetic on my back, waiting to get the spinal block that would numb me. I can remember being cold and anxious as I heard the anesthesiologist mumbling behind me. My nurse stood in front of me and held my hand. At one point, I was even leaning on my doctor, basically embracing her in a bear hug and wanting nothing more than for Colin to come into the room. But it wasn’t to be. After thirty minutes of trying, the anesthesiologist couldn’t get the spinal to work and decided to try an epidural instead. After twenty more minutes, I felt a slight tingling in my leg and he informed the nurses that the epidural was in and I was laid back on the operating table. After a few more minutes, my doctor checked to see if I could feel anything. I could. They gave me a few more minutes and still I could feel. At this point, the anesthesiologist informed me that we would have to do the C-section under general anesthesia.
I’m not going to try to sugar coat it, because I would fail. Even looking back on his birth now, a year later, I have tears of regret and my heart races. I can remember crying and telling them all that I wanted Colin and then I remember the burning pain of the anesthesia entering my vein. I don’t remember anything after that. I woke sometime a short while later in my room, sobbing for Colin. I wanted him and I wanted my baby. I just kept saying that I was sorry. So sorry that Colin didn’t get to be there; sorry that I didn’t really get to be present for what was supposed to be such a joyous occasion. Declan was an hour old by the time I got to see him.
A few days later, when I talked to my wonderful sister-in-law, Casey, she put it all in perspective by saying that while the delivery was terrible, the package was perfect. She was right. At 8:30 a.m on October 8, 2012, Declan Thomas Wier was born. He weighed 8 lbs, 12 ounces and was 20 ¾ inches long with black hair, a dimple on his right cheek, and what has become his signature big eyes. We had a perfectly healthy, beautiful, baby boy.
From the moment he was born, Declan has been the sweetest, easy, most humble baby. Even in the hospital, he would just calmly look at me as if to say, “It’s okay, Mommy. I’m here and I love you.” Through the past year, he has grown like a weed and is still the happiest baby on the block. He loves his big brother and his stuffed bunny. He plays pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, and gives high fives like a champ. His little smile is a balm to my soul when I’ve had a rough day. The sound of him and Ian playing and laughing is all I need to hear to remind me of all the blessings in my life; to remind me of what is really important. So tomorrow, we celebrate him. Happy birthday, my sweet Declan. Mommy loves you so very much!