Welcome back, friends. It’s been awhile. 16 weeks and 6 days, to be exact. Don’t be mad – just think of it as a summer vacation from school, only instead of going to the waterpark and playing baseball with my friends, I sat in a hospital bed for 4 days hopped up on bloat-inducing meds that were supposed to loosen all my woman parts so I could cry and scream and threaten divorce, get my stomach sliced open with a tool from the Paleolithic Era, and, oh yeah, bring home a baby boy. HA! And you used to complain about the mosquitoes at summer camp…rookies.
Well, there you have it – the new love of my life. His full name is Coen Jeffrey Brunner, born June 25, 2009 at 5:20 p.m., 22 inches long with a full head of midnight black hair. Nate and I became parents after a long and grueling ordeal, not surprisingly documented hour-by-hour on Nate’s social media sites. Apparently, my entire office was out of commission due to the constant “refreshing” to 42 Facebook pages. Sorry, boss. My bad.
Without going into too much detail, I was induced on June 23 with Pitocin and Cytotec and whatever else was flowing through the 900 tubes attached to my body. I got a catheter. I got an epidural. I got a lot of full vases from friends and empty promises from nurses. I got to 6 inches. 6 inches in more than 45 hours, and he took a wrong turn. My baby TOOK a WRONG TURN! Plan B: C-section. Sign me up, Scotty! A quick 15-minute surgery (in which I only accused one doctor of “never having done this before”) and out he came. Mr. Wrong-Way entered the world with a bright red face, scrunched little eyes, and dark black matted hair. My sister and Nate got to take him to the nursery to get him cleaned up and to be the first people on this entire planet to hold him. I, on the other hand, was more passed out than [fill in D-list, slutty celebrity name here]. But I knew, once I woke up, I was going to meet this new little being…the cause of all my trials and tribulations of the past 9 months.
Sure enough, he was everything I knew he would be. A good sleeper, a great eater, and one helluva smiler! Amazing how your life can do a complete 180 overnight. The life that once consisted of spontaneous happy hours, compulsive online shopping, and long stress-free bubble baths has turned into grabbing bites of cold pizza with your one free hand while balancing a bottle with your chin after having paid the nanny the money you had hoped could be used to buy that much-needed “transition” outfit since your old clothes still won’t zip and you need stuff to wear to work to hide the formula spit-up smells that are still embedded in the work outfit you wore yesterday since you haven’t had time to do the laundry yet. But, don’t worry – you’ll still get 4 quality minutes of solitude in the bubble bath until he starts to cry again. Hey, that 4 minutes is better than nothing! It’s a balancing act to which you are quickly forced to adjust. List-making becomes second nature. Deciphering cries becomes a sixth sense. And, what you used to consider “easy” may as well get comfortable in the backseat, because it’s going to be there awhile.
Every new mother has stories. Some mothers experience fear, some frustration, some happiness, some awe. If you’re a normal mother, you should have said “yes” to all of those emotions. I sure did.
…I remember looking at Coen in our hospital room the second night of his life. Nate was sound asleep on my bed and I was wandering around the room the best I could post-surgery. I had our little video camera and I spoke to him softly over his heavy baby breathing, “Baby, I don’t know what I’m doing. But, I’m going to do my best.” That was FEAR.
…I remember right around his 4th week, just when the body starts to recall how wonderful life was with uninterrupted sleep, I couldn’t get him to stop wailing for 45 minutes. At that point, you are undeniably the worst mother in the world (in your own head), and all logic and rationale floats right out the window. I screamed at Nate and told him I can’t do this anymore. Then, as if screaming wasn’t “6-years-old” enough, I took the baby and ran across the street to the neighbor’s yard, sobbing and staring at the sky wondering why God trusted me with this teeny tiny, and completely dependent, human being. That was FRUSTRATION.
…I remember the week Coen learned to smile and what a sense of joy that brought to both me and my husband. Finally, a sense of worth. All this feeding and changing and changing and feeding was paying off. Our little boy was happy! It was in the week that I had my first hysterical laughing fit, one-on-one with my baby. I heard some gassies going on in his nether-regions, so decided it was time to change a poopy diaper. Mmmm, every mother’s favorite chore. I set him on his changing table and took off his diaper. Yup. Mommy was right. He had pooped. Then, as I was sliding the diaper out from under him, Mount Coen erupted! Poop shrapnel fired everywhere! Nope. Mommy was wrong. He wasn’t done. I dodged the line of fire, and when I sensed he was finished, I looked up at his face and there it was…the biggest dimple-filled baby smile I have EVER seen. How can you be angry at that? We laughed and laughed and laughed. That epitomizes HAPPINESS.
…Lastly, I remember just a few weeks ago…we had just laid him down in his crib and were doing our nightly routine getting ready for bed. Both of us, exhausted and barely mobile, looked forward to our heads hitting the pillows. I poked my head in to Coen’s room to make one final check before bed. I’m not sure if it was his new robot pajamas or the Disney lullabies in the background or the extra batch of post-prego hormones I developed that day, but something took my breath away. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Then, I felt Nate’s arm around my waist and his head on my shoulder and heard him whisper, “This is our family.” Wow. AWE.
I have had more than 3 months to get my head around the fact that I have a family! Not a family I was born into, but a family that I created. (Well, if we’re being scientific, I guess “we” created.) Sometimes, I still catch myself looking out the window waiting for his mom to come pick him up. I am somebody’s mother. I have a son. Now that I am slowly getting over the shock of it all, I decided it was time to start writing again. So many times in the past 3 months, something has happened and I run a paragraph through my head and laugh out loud, but never had the time to actually put it down in print. The fountains of pee that regularly adorn the changing pad, the packing up of adorable outfits he never had a chance to wear, the interactions with his extended family (e.g. learning about the corrupted political system from his Uncle Brandon)…
There are so many moments his life has already created. It’s time to start (b)logging them. Mommy’s BACK!