One year ago today, we got up and went to the hospital at the remarkably civilized hour of 9 to have a stubborn baby curled in a ball at the top of my uterus extracted. At this point, it was all pretty much old hat: the coldness of the operating room and the lovely warmed blankets, the sting of the numbing shot before the odd but not painful administration of the spinal, followed by rapid numbness, the weirdness of having your innards jostled. Really, the only real difference has been when the numbness would reach the nerves in my chest and make it feel like it was hard to breathe, and when I would throw up. In this case, it was after the baby came out. I was lying there after the spinal, feeling a little worried because I still had some feeling around the edges and hoping they wouldn't start before I was completely numb when I smelled something burning and realized - oh, cautery. They've already started. It wasn't too long at all before James appeared and expressed his displeasure at his eviction. We were shocked at his weight - 6 pounds, 15 ounces, a good two pounds lighter than his siblings, and he was wrapped up and given to B to hold. Then the breathlessness and nausea hit, so I closed my eyes and thought very hard about breathing until it eased. Eventually, the jostling of my digestive system stopped, which relieved the nausea and after a while longer, they closed me up. B told me later it took longer to close me up because they were having trouble finding all of the sponges, to the point that they had to empty the waste basket onto a mat to recount them. Thankfully, it was found on the floor, but I don't really mind them taking the time to make sure they weren't leaving anything behind that didn't belong there.
At that point, I was transferred to a gurney, had James tucked in next to me and was taken to recovery, and actually got to get to know our new baby. He was a lot like he is now - calm, cuddly and a good sleeper. He was long and bony then, and while he has a nice layer of fat, he's still pretty skinny now. He has just about the same amount of hair too.
I can't believe how fast this year has gone. There have been parts of having three children that have been very hard, but as babies go, James has been a dream. He gave me a chance to finally get breastfeeding right, and he remains passionately devoted to nursing. He wasn't planned or expected, but I wouldn't give him back for anything.
Happy birthday, baby boy.