For Part 1, please go here.
"And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire . .. the ring of fire" ~ Johnny Cash
January 7th, 2009; 9:55pm:
Dr. Grossman: Okay, you are fully dilated and we're ready to start pushing!
Me: Thank God!
Felicia: You're going to need to hold your legs up.
Me: Seriously? I can't stop shaking.
Dr. Grossman: That's perfectly normal. You can do this.
I am flanked by T and Felicia. Everyone is ready to go. Especially our little guy. Biggest deep breath I've ever inhaled and now to hold and push . . .
My body is burning up, but the real fire is centered all in one place. Guess where! The world around me goes fuzzy.
Dr. Grossman: Here comes the head! You're doing great. Do you want to feel it? We can get a mirror, too.
Me: Um . . . um, okay. I don't want to see it, though!
Felicia: You should look at this, Toby!
I am in the most surreal place as I reach down to feel my almost-born baby crowning. My legs trembling, breath ragged. I touch the head for an instant, wanting to deliver this baby already. The feel hardly registers. I want to see this baby and hold this baby, not feel its head! I start pushing again. I did not know I could push with such intensity. Then I swear I hear a thud from Toby's jaw hitting the floor as our son's head fully emerges.
Dr. Grossman: One more big push, Micheline.
Felicia: So good, almost there! He's coming!
Dr. Grossman: Here he comes! He's a big, healthy boy!
[the incredible sound of our baby crying softly]
Toby: Oh my god.
Me: [whimpering] [laughing] [whimpering]
Felicia: Did you want to cut the cord, Toby?
Toby cuts the cord and they place him right on my chest. I am in another world. I can't believe I am finally holding my little boy. My whole body is still trembling. A combination of adrenaline and overwhelmed emotions. He is looking up at me, searching for me. Searching for comfort and nourishment. The golden light in the room reveals the warm accents in his hair. I can already see some of his daddy in him. Toby clasps my arm and bends close to me as we gaze at him in wonder. Were you really just inside me, little guy?
Before we know it, our newborn is whisked off to be cleaned and measured and weighed. Toby gets to watch everything and look at our boy from every angle. I get to deliver the placenta. Our baby sucks on Toby's finger. I get stitches from some minor tearing. I am still overflowing with adrenaline. I am overjoyed. We did it! He's here! My body is exhausted, but I am very awake. I can't believe it happened so quickly. And I did it. I am so proud of myself.
He is 8 pounds, 3 ounces. I was the exact same weight when I was born. He is 21.5 inches long. He is tall! And everything looks normal. He is healthy. I breathe the biggest sigh I have ever breathed.
My parents come in as I am nursing our son for the first time. It is amazing. Completely unreal. My mom can't hold back her tears. Nor can I. We talk about his hair. How beautiful and perfect he is.
Me: He looks like Toby, right?
Mom: He really does!
Dad: Does he have a name yet?
We say we have narrowed it down to a couple of possibilities, but we're not sure yet. Maybe we'll sleep on it.
Felicia hangs around to see that I'm doing okay with breastfeeding. I'm getting the hang of it. We thank her -- not enough, there's just no way to express how much she has helped us. She has ushered us into the world of parenthood in the most peaceful way imaginable.
January 8th, 2009:
Our boy's first day of life has been dreamlike. He has slept a lot. His temperature is always on the cool side when they come to take his vitals. We cuddle skin-to-skin. We decide that this baby needs a name that reflects just how cool he is. Kye is my cousin's name and the first person who responded when I texted that our little guy had arrived. He was meant to have his name. Toby sends off an email announcement with Q's first photo.
Welcome to the world, Quincy Kye! Please be good to your parents -- they're new to this game and are figuring it out as they go along. Try not to beat them up too much, and they promise to only pummel you with kisses and love.