A Life More Ordinary

Three Years Ago Today

Posted on: October 18, 2011

How time flies. It’s amazing to think about what was going on 3 years ago on this day. I had just spent a very short time in the Operating Room at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal after a frighteningly quick trip in a wheelchair from an observation room in the labour and delivery area of the Women’s Pavillion. Prior to that, I had spent the last hour and a half laying on my side, hooked up to fetal monitors,  feeling very silly for dragging my post-poker playing partner (aka a few sheets to the wind) to the Emergency room at Midnight because *maybe* something was amiss.

Before that, I was 7.5 months pregnant, sitting in my kitchen working on a completely rediculious deadline for a website (which was my second occupation at that time). Things weren’t going well, deadlines were being ignored, people were flaking out of their responsibilities, and, true to website production being last in line on the chain for completion: The Shit rolls right down hill. I was breaking a law in my household, committing a MAJOR sin: I was working past 10pm when I should have been resting and nesting (what’s that? was what I was thinking at that time) However that night I knew Sean was going to be coming home in a more relaxed state, so I wouldn’t get too much of an ass chewing for being up and working at an ungodly hour.

Prior to all this, I was hanging out at my first occupation, my “first child” (and I mean that very earnestly and sincerely)  at one of the last, and most interesting knit nights I ever attended at Ariadne (may she rest in peace, dear store) knitting absentmindedly and pacing around telling anyone who would listen that I felt “weird” “off” and like “something was different”. I felt major changes inside my pregnant belly and I wasn’t sure what was going on.

Sure enough at around 1:50am, when my water broke from an internal exam and I started to hemmorage, I knew something was indeed amiss. At 2:12am, October 17, 2008 by emergency cesarian the most awesome thing in the world emerged, alive, a bit small, and crying (thank God).

In my spinal haze, whilst clutching the very nice anesthetist’s hand (who I met again, unfortunately a year ago on October 30) Sean — calm and cool like the good British Eagle Scout equivalent that he is — handed me our son for the first time, wrapped in swaddling and fresh from the heat lamps, I used every bit of energy I could to roll my eyes over to our little boy, and say to Sean “Did I give birth to a cat?”.

Yes people. That’s what I said.

This was the first time I could hold him, a full 24 hours after his birth. He spent 16 agonizing days in the NICU. Growing, getting healthier, becoming more of a baby. It was exactly where he needed to be.

Now, you wouldn’t be able to tell he’d lived in a little greenhouse, and then a little bucket until November 1. That we had to feed him by tube, and he had trouble breathing, that we had to work backwards from bottle to breast. That my best friend and worst enemy was my Medela Dual Electric Breastpump Backpack.

Seeing him in the NICU, and eventually realsising how absolutely terrible this situation could have been — but wasn’t = changed me. In that process many things in my life changed. Some were very very hard. Some were liberating and needed. Some I feel sadness in how it all went down. But it did, and I can’t change that. And now right now, I’m doing the job I should be doing, being a mother to Henry, and I’m alright with that.

So, Happy Birthday Henry Bean, Henry Arthur Jackson Butler, the best — absolute best thing that has come out of my body.

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4 Responses to "Three Years Ago Today"

I remember sitting on the couch next to you on that knit night chatting with you and watching your belly move around.
Happy Birthday Henry!

what a lovely story!
I miss you 🙂
thanks for this

You are very very welcome Peggy! How’s the TO?

Happy Birthday Henry!!

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Month of Letters

Month Of Letter Writing

Month Of Letter Writing


  • None
  • Ben Jackson: Quite a scene out there. More snow headed our way. :) Sent from my iPhone >
  • louesejackson: it's long overdue. there's an issue with my shifters. the cable seems to have become unattached so i'm going to take her into the bikeshop hopefully t
  • Louese Kirk: Time to make ammends! Get on her and go!

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