P4 is turning 4 today! I can't believe it. There's some part of me that gets anxious at the thought of not having a toddler in the house anymore. The diapers are gone. The sippy cups are gone. There are no longer any crib sized beds in the house. My babies are no longer babies. I loved every moment of the kids infancy and toddler hood. At the same time, this is a new and exciting stage we're entering. We'll no longer have to deal with a screaming baby on a road trip or a diaper that leaks. No longer will we have to guess what the baby is trying to say because all of our kids are extraordinarily verbal. And, at the center of this change is this beautiful little boy with an amazing sense of humor and pure joy for life. He's been talking for a long time (he started very early,...maybe because he had three older sibs), but now he's starting to bring up conversations as they relate to his view of the world. It's awesome.
I have one more thing to thank this little guy for. Four years ago exactly, at this time and date, I almost died. I had been hospitalized for most of his pregnancy. An amnio at 34 weeks showed that his lungs were mature, so they scheduled me for an August 1 induction. Being my fourth child, everyone thought this would be a piece of cake delivery. I remember Pdaddy and I walking from my room of three months to the birth center. We were joking about having a baby by lunch. HA! P3 was born in eight hours, start to finish. P4 took twenty-five hours. But, back to the death statement...at 3:30am on the second, I looked at Dr. P-Daddy and said, "I think I'm dying." The weird thing was...it was a very calm moment. I wasn't afraid or anxious. The two women friends who were present for P4's labor and delivery freaked and buttons were pushed. My blood pressure was 43/20. I barely remember the events of the following two hours, but I do remember closing my eyes and seeing bright flashes of light. I felt "floaty" and the voices sounded as if everyone was in a tin can. The sounds were far away. Then, there were a few seconds of nothing-less and I figured out that I wasn't breathing. THAT is when I panicked. I remember saying, "BREATHE! NOW!" and I did. There were, according to everyone who was there (except for me,...because I don't recall), five nurses and a doctor in the room. They pumped me full of some meds and were rolling me on my side to see if P4's heart rate would rebound. It did. And, I did. Two hours later, I woke up (they turned off all induction meds and put me in sedation so I could recover from shock). What struck me, when I woke up, was what didn't happen. I had read the Bible during this pregnancy (three months in the same room will cause you to read cereal boxes and tags on laundry)...I had questions and doubts. There were some things that just didn't add up. On top of that, this experience happened and I didn't see Jesus. I didn't see my dead relatives. I did feel floaty, but I didn't see myself from above. I didn't see any angels waiting by my bedside. And, being that I was a believer at that point, if God exists...he must have been playing skeet ball in New Jersey. Being told what death would be like all my life, I felt kind of hosed. Happy to be alive, but hosed just the same. What I did see was a team of doctors and nurses who, through scientific knowledge, saved P4 and I. Their actions were swift and decisive. That didn't come from prayer. It came from experience and wisdom. I wasn't the first and I wouldn't be the last...that's what they do. I also saw my husband. The husband who didn't pray before reacting as fast as he could to get the right people in the room. He trusted me and listened to me during the moment when it really counted. He saved P4 and I. And, in some way, I truly believe that P4 saved me. Not through hokey mysticism, but because the instinct to survive is strong and I've sense learned that not only will the mother's body flood with adrenaline and chemicals at moments like these, but the baby's will too. It's natures way of saying, "HEY! Can you,...you know, like,...give birth to me before you die? Yeah? 'K, thanks!"
Most people, including the two ladies who were with me (to get Dr. P-Daddy chips, soda, and a #1 from McDonald's too eat in front of me when I was NOP (Nothing by mouth)...but, I'm not bitter or anything)...well, these two ladies couldn't claim this as a miracle fast enough. When the shit hit the fan, they both - literally- backed away onto a bench against the wall. And, after the situation stabilized, they said a prayer. I love one of these two women very much. But, it rocked my world to realize that, when the chips were down, her reaction was to pray. When I got home the next day, there were multiple messages on our answering machine saying things like, "We heard about your miracle." or "Congrats. We spoke with LadyX and she told us what happened. God was really on your side, wasn't he?" As I sat with this snugly little boy in my arms, I kept thanking the doctors and science and medicine for getting us through it. So, P4 was the catalyst for opening my mind to what reason and logic had to say. I will never be able to thank him adequately enough. Sure, the pregnancy and delivery sucked ass...but, I got a devastatingly cute little boy and a new perspective on life. That seems fair. :)
Happy Birthday, P4. I love you. - Mommy