Dear Connor: Month Five

First, Connor, I want to address something I mentioned in your last update: Mommy and Daddy decided that we’re not moving to Swanton, after all. So, the downside is that you won’t get to live in Uncle Matt’s old room, or Daddy’s childhood home. The upside is that you’ll get to live much closer to interesting restaurants and things to do, and not live way out in the country. Mommy and Daddy are much happier when we have places to go and things to do, and we think you will be, too.

By the time you can read this, we will have moved to another house, anyway — one in a better school district, and with stuff that our current house doesn’t have, like central air and a dishwasher, and your very first home will exist to you only in stories and pictures (and drive-bys, if you really want to see the old neighborhood).

But back to focusing on the present! This time is flying by so fast, I don’t want to even think about wishing it away.

You still don’t seem to have any teeth coming in yet, but you certainly have most of the symptoms: drooling, chewing on your hand(s), tugging on your ear, and being occasionally fussy.

 

Mommy tried feeding you rice cereal a couple of times this past month, but you don’t seem to be interested yet. Maybe February will be the month that you decide that you’d like to try something outside your liquid diet.

 

About that… Mommy hasn’t been pumping often enough to keep up with how hungry little Connor has been, so we’ve had to start supplementing your breastmilk diet with formula. You don’t seem to mind. Sometimes Mommy feels guilty for not trying harder to keep up with your demand, but usually I realize that I’m doing the best I can. I can’t take another pump break at work without my productivity taking an even bigger hit than it already has, and you drain me so much at normal feedings that I can’t usually pump more than an ounce total after you’ve eaten from both sides. The doctor says you’ll continue to get the benefits of breastmilk, though, even if we’re supplementing, so that’s a good thing.

Mommy and Daddy bought you a used Bumbo seat from Once Upon A Child, then got a seat cover for it from Amazon. You hang out in it sometimes, and Mommy puts you in it when she tries to feed you cereal, since we don’t have a high chair for you yet. You like your Bumbo well enough for a little while, but we can’t keep you in it for long, or you get fussy. That’s true of just about anything, though: your floor gym, your Pack-N-Play…

Jealous Kitty

As you can tell from the picture, Mei Kitty is extremely jealous of all the attention you get from Mommy and Daddy. If Mommy is feeding you, Mei will go try to get Daddy to pet her. If Daddy’s home alone feeding you, she’ll rub up against his legs. We try to pay her as much attention as we can whenever we can, but we feel a little guilty for neglecting her sometimes. She’s used to being an only kitty.

You’ve had a few firsts this month, besides your first taste of rice cereal. You’ve also had your first bath where you didn’t cry! Grammy said to try putting a towel in the bathtub, so your back wouldn’t be up against the funny-feeling plastic. You loved it!

You also had your first piggyback ride and slept for your first night unswaddled:

 

Your biggest first, though — and it would technically go in next month’s post, if this one weren’t a couple of days late — is that you rolled over from your back to your tummy last night! While you were swaddled, no less:

You’ve been trying to make this happen all week now. Maybe now that you’ve done it once, you’ll be able to do it again without the swaddle to help you figure out what to do with that bottom arm…

You’re such a sweetie. Mommy and Daddy love you so much.

Smile!

Dear Connor: Month Four

Dear Connor,

This month’s update is a little late because Mommy has had to deal with some other things. Your Fake Aunt Sheryl came over to visit today, though, and she’s watching you as a gift to Mommy, so Mommy can write this note to you.

Your Grandpa — Daddy’s father — died right before Christmas, and that’s been hard. We’ve been very sad about it, but we’ve also been taking care of his funeral and what to do with his belongings.

Right now, it looks like we’ll all be moving out to Swanton eventually, into the house where Daddy grew up. The plan, if we do it, is to move you into Uncle Matt’s old bedroom. You’d have your own bathroom upstairs, too. The schools out there are much nicer than in Toledo, and the neighborhood is friendlier, even though there’s not as much to do.

But let’s talk about what you’re doing!

Connor and his Snugabunny

You’re so interactive now! You love to smile and giggle and babble, and you’ll “talk” with whoever will talk to you. All we have to do is smile at you, and you smile back and squeal. We’re really starting to see some personality in you: happy, mostly, and easy-going. You’re generally either calm or happy, and rarely fussy unless you’re hungry or overtired.

Connor likes to hold his hands together now

You hold your head up really steady now (although you still hate tummy time), and you like to sit upright on Mommy or Daddy’s lap and face out into the room so you can see what’s going on. You’ve discovered your hands, and you like to bring them together in front of you or gnaw on your fingers. That, along with your drooling, makes us think you’re getting ready to cut some teeth, but the doctor can’t see any coming in quite yet.

bathtime!

We don’t bathe you very often — every few weeks, although we should be bathing you at least every few days — but you seem to hate bath time a little less than you used to.

Mommy's little bear

You’re eating like crazy — Mommy’s breastmilk stash is finally gone, and Daddy had to start supplementing with formula today. You didn’t seem to mind, although you could definitely tell that it wasn’t what you were used to. The doctor says we can start feeding you rice cereal as soon as we want to try, then start giving you strained vegetables after that. Mommy’s looking forward to seeing what kinds of food you like!

Connor with Uncle Pete at Christmas

Mommy and Daddy hadn’t realized until Christmas that you definitely recognize our voices. It’s hard to tell when we’re the only voices around. Aunt Dee was holding you, though, and you turned your head when Mommy said something. It was kind of fun to see.

Sith in training

I hope this note doesn’t seem too rushed — Mommy just wants to be sure to get it written and posted, so it’s not much later than it already is. You’ve changed so much this month, I could write so much more about you and your cuteness.

It’s not a lie what I tell people: you do get cuter every day!

Before Connor's Four-Month Doctor Visit

Connor’s First Christmas

Connor's First Christmas

We almost didn’t go.

Our annual family celebration was moved from the usual Christmas Day to Christmas Eve, for various reasons, and we were all fine with that. For us, it only meant that we’d get to open presents at home on Christmas Day rather than Christmas Eve, and that perhaps we’d enjoy some Chinese for lunch, too.

Aaron had been making the plum pudding the day before Christmas Eve when he got the call that his father had died. It was stunning, shocking, totally unexpected, especially since Aaron had just talked to his Dad on the phone the day before. I hurried home from work early and watched Connor while Aaron and his brother dealt with the immediate issues out at their Dad’s house.

The next morning, Aaron managed to get some more administrative-type tasks done (like selecting a funeral home and providing the information for the death certificate) before we headed out to Cleveland. We considered staying home, but all we would have done would be to mourn and be angry and confused; better to do all those things around people who love us, rather than alone. So, we packed up the diaper bag and left, just a little later than we’d originally planned. (Aaron’s brother had thrown his back out a couple days prior, so he did stay home.)

Connor wore his Old Navy guayabera with his new jeans (he’s finally out of newborn pants!). It’s so rare that we take him somewhere that he’ll be out of his car seat and his outfit will be visible — when we do, when I know he’ll be passed around, I make sure to dress him up in his cutest outfit (that won’t fit him for long and should really be seen before we trade it in to the secondhand shop).

And passed around he was! Upon realizing that Connor’s Grandpa had never once held him, and that we didn’t have one photo of them together, I was adamant about photographing everyone as they held Connor.

Everyone loved holding Connor!

Dinner was pretty standard (but delicious) Christmas fare at the Bura household: chicken paprikash with spaetzles, a ham, roasted vegetables, and cheesy potatoes (which hadn’t been on the menu for years — everyone welcomed the triumphant return of Peggy’s potatoes).

My step-brother Philip was in the area, visiting from Oklahoma, so he made a special trip to Uncle Pete’s to see us and to meet Connor. It was great to see him, since we hadn’t seen each other in a couple of years. He managed to show up between dinner and dessert, so he got to try Aaron’s plum pudding, amongst other desserts. Phil didn’t stay long, but it was enough, and it was greatly appreciated.

Andrew loved his book!Aaron’s cousin Nate brought his two kids with him. His youngest, Andrew, is three years old, and it was fun for me to watch Aaron interact with him, especially during the gift-passing game that Aunt Dee organized (and that I so wanted to photograph or video, had I not been in the middle of playing along!). It was also fun to watch both Andrew and his sister Caitlin react to our presents for them; they genuinely liked their gifts, so score two points for Aaron and me! I had no idea that Andrew was into Cars, so the play-along Cars book with the toy tools was an even bigger hit than I’d thought it would be. And with the Muppets having a bit of a resurgence with their new movie, Caitlin was super excited to get a copy of The Great Muppet Caper to watch on her new laptop.

For everyone else, we gifted them framed photos of Connor at one day old. He doesn’t look anything like that anymore, but everyone loved getting a picture of Connor. We also got a lot of positive feedback on the Christmas cards we sent out, with Connor screaming his fool head off and the cat trying her hardest to escape.

Aaron had made sure to load up his iPhone with photos of Connor’s birth, so he could sit down with Dee and show them to her, since he he’d forgotten to load them up for Thanksgiving. It’s the modern equivalent of bringing the photo album, I suppose.

Connor nappingThe actual logistics of bringing Connor to Christmas at Uncle Pete’s wasn’t so bad. We didn’t bring any bottles this time, since our freezer stash is all but gone now, so I nursed Connor in one of the bedrooms three times during our visit. We also brought the bouncy seat, which was awesome for when he decided he wanted to take a nap right after Phil left and before we started the gift-passing game. We used up the last two newborn-size diapers we had stashed in the diaper bag, so he’s officially in Size Ones now. (They claim to go up to 14 pounds, but Connor is a seriously skinny dude, so we’ll probably rock these for quite a while.) Luckily, he didn’t need the extra outfit we brought, and Dee had set aside the burp cloth we accidentally left behind at Thanksgiving, so us forgetting one at Christmas was no big deal.

On Christmas Day proper, the three of us went out to New Empire for Christmas Day dim sum — and so did the entire Chinese population of Toledo. We had to wait about 15 minutes for a table, which is highly unusual on any normal day, but probably not so unusual for Christmas.

Presents!

After lunch, we came home and opened presents. Aaron got me a Nikon D90 DSLR (not a huge surprise, since he’d asked me what camera I wanted); an adapter to use my manual-focus Minolta lenses on my Nikon DSLRs; Civilization: the board game; and the Steve Jobs biography. The big gifts I got Aaron were an iCade (a miniature arcade cabinet for his iPad) and Absolute Sandman Volume 5, although I rounded things out with a couple of books and a couple of blu-rays. I got Connor some wrist rattles and a mini piano rattle that plays short snippets of classical music, and the Abtses got Connor a food mill for making baby food (so, it’s more of a present for us, but Connor will enjoy the results). Dee also got Connor a Baby’s First Christmas ornament, which I unboxed and put on the tree on Christmas Day.

Shortly after the present-opening, Aaron’s brother came over with their Dad’s important papers, including the will. The two of them sorted through all that, while I took Connor upstairs and fed him and got him down for a nap.

It’s so sad that the memories of Connor’s first Christmas are going to be forever associated with his Grandpa’s death. It’s hard to separate the happiness from the sorrow, and hard to reconcile one with the other. Eventually, it may become yet another sad footnote in our family history, but we’re just too close to it right now.

Dear Connor: Month Three

Dear Connor,

Smiley ConnorYou’ve grown and changed so much this month! You’re smiling more often — when we change your diaper, when we pinch your chubby little cheeks, and sometimes just because. You can hold your head steady most of the time, and you like Mommy to sit you on her lap and hold you up under your armpits so you can look around. Your little arms tend to make contact with whatever you’re trying to swat at (usually in your play gym), and you’ve discovered that your little fists are fun to gnaw and drool on.

Mommy went back to work earlier this month, so Daddy takes care of you during the day. You’ll usually wake Mommy up around 5:45am, then you’ll eat and go back to bed. Mommy pumps some breastmilk after that, and puts it in a bottle for the morning feeding with Daddy. Then she gets herself ready and goes to work. After that, you let Daddy sleep for another few hours, then he feeds you and puts you in your swing so you can both sleep a little longer — you in your swing, and him on the couch. During the day, you’ll hang out in your bouncy seat or your play gym, and you’ll take another nap in the afternoon before Mommy gets home from work.

After Daddy leaves for work, Mommy makes herself dinner if you’re still content in your swing. Then Mommy feeds you, and you’ll usually hang out in the bouncy seat for a while — if Mommy had to feed you first, this is when Mommy gets to eat. Connor and Mommy spend the evening chilling out and watching TV (a habit Mommy will have to break once you’re old enough to actually be watching the TV, and not just seeing its pretty light), until you get tired and cranky, usually around 8:30 or 9pm. Then Mommy swaddles you up and rocks or jiggles you to sleep. Mommy needs to come up with a better bedtime routine than all that, like a bath and a book, but sometimes Mommy is just too tired to wrangle little Connor beyond swaddling and shushing until he falls to sleep. Usually, you’re asleep in your crib around 10pm, and you tend to sleep through the night until you get Mommy up the next morning. Sometimes you get up around 3 or 4am, though, when Daddy’s home from work and about to go to bed, and that’s a little challenging for all of us now that Mommy has to go to work in the morning. Luckily, you don’t do that very often anymore.

Since Mommy’s gone back to work, Daddy has been feeding you bottles of Mommy’s milk. That’s made things a lot better for Mommy, since Daddy will give you a bottle late at night on the weekends if you’re still hungry after Mommy’s gone to bed. Mommy’s a little worried about having enough breastmilk stash in the freezer, though, and is going to start pumping more often on the weekends to make up for extra feedings while she’s at work or asleep.

Aunt Dee and Connor at ThanksgivingLast week was your first Thanksgiving, and your first trip out of Toledo. Mommy’s going to write about that at length soon, but the short version is that you were a Very Good Boy the whole time. Everybody loved you, and Aunt Dee especially liked holding you, just like Grammy did back when you were only a few weeks old. The bottle-feeding came in handy at Thanksgiving, too; Mommy nursed you when we first arrived, then Daddy (and Aunt Dee) fed you by bottle while we visited, so Mommy wouldn’t have to whisk you away to Cousin Joey’s room every couple of hours to feed. You’ll get to see everybody again soon, at Christmas, and Mommy’s looking forward to it.

Mommy and Daddy still take you out on weekends, although it’s usually only for lunch, Starbucks, and a few errands. We’re just not energetic or motivated enough to pack you up and take you out for dinner after having already done it once that day. We can keep you out a little longer now, though, since Mommy and Daddy got to try changing you and feeding you away from home with our Thanksgiving visit. Last weekend, Mommy changed you in the bathroom of a Thai restaurant, and nursed you in the car in a Starbucks parking lot. Slowly but surely, Mommy and Daddy are learning how to fit baby Connor into their normal lives — or discovering “the new normal,” anyway.

Mommy and Daddy love you, little guy.

Santa Connor

Shopping Spree

For his first couple of months, Connor could only wear either preemie or newborn-sized clothes. He was born at 5 pounds 15 ounces, and was 21 inches long — average length, but way below average weight.

Aaron and I had naturally assumed that we’d have a big baby, since we’re both tall, and since I was a hefty 9 pounds and change when I was born, so we hadn’t stocked up on newborn sizes as we were hitting the garage sales this summer. We got a few things, but not even enough to get us through a week (depending on the amount of spit-up and number of diaper blowouts). Luckily, my Aunt Connie brought us some hand-me-downs from my cousin Jamie’s son, but they were mostly sleepers. I wanted Connor to have some cute clothes that actually fit, and that might be just a smidge geeky. (Don’t worry: we have plenty of appropriately geeky babywear once he reaches the 6-month sizes.)

So, one Saturday last month, we went out on a baby clothes shopping spree: babyGap and Old Navy. (Yes, when you have an infant in tow, two stores is a spree.) We focused on long-sleeved onesies, since it was getting to be autumn, and we stayed in the clearance section as much as we could, especially at the Gap. Our haul gave us about six onesies and a guayabera, in under-7-lbs and 0-3 months sizes.

I’ve also been hitting online sales and using coupons that I find in the parenting magazines I read now. Gymboree was good for a sale on out-of-season clothes, so I got Connor five pairs of shorts (half of which will likely fit, and half won’t, since I got different sizes to be sure), a Hawaiian-themed jumper, and a bucket hat (which, again, may not fit once spring arrives). The corduroy overalls I got him, even though they’re size 0-3 months, will be way too big for at least another month.

Carter’s has been good for sales and coupons, too, so I got him a newborn-sized hoodie and pants set and a warm fuzzy jacket for the fall and winter. Those were actually some of the first clothes I bought for him online, and the hoodie and pants have gotten a lot of use, especially since he only has about three pairs of pants that fit. (He only really wears pants when we go out on the weekends, though.)

So, here is a sampling of Connor’s newest gear. Some of it was on clearance, so I couldn’t get images, and I bought a few things on eBay that I didn’t include, but this covers the most part.

Oh, and you’d better believe that I’m going to splurge on Baby Vans and Baby Converse as soon as Connor can walk. 😉

Dear Connor: Month Two

Dear Connor,

My little squigglebug is growing so fast! You’ve outgrown the preemie onesies and jammies that your Great-Aunt Connie brought you last month, and you’re outgrowing most of your newborn clothes. You get too long for footie pajamas before they get too tight around the chest, and Mommy and Daddy are thinking this issue with finding clothes to fit your height might be a trend that continues throughout your life. Sorry about that.

Connor screamingYou’ve definitely hit some growth spurts recently — most notably at six weeks, when you ate and ate and ate and then ate some more. This week, you’ve just been straight-up fussy, and we’re thinking it might be tummy troubles, since you seem to calm down when we give you medicine drops for gas. Sometimes.

It breaks Mommy’s heart when she can’t calm you down. Sometimes Mommy gets frustrated, too, and has to put you down and let you scream for a few minutes while she calms herself down. It’s hard to remember sometimes that Connor’s having just as bad of a time as Mommy is — maybe even more so, since you can’t tell me what’s wrong, and all you can do is cry.

One thing that’s been helping recently is the MobyWrap. Mommy ties it on, puts you inside, and you’re asleep in a matter of minutes. Sometimes Mommy needs to walk around for a little while first, bouncing and shushing, but not for long. Then Mommy gets to do some cleaning or blogging (you’re fast asleep with your head lolled back and your mouth hanging open as I write this).

Now that you can hold your head up a little better, you’ve decided you like the bouncy seat that Great-Aunt Connie and Bonnie got you, too. That’s a big help for Mommy and Daddy: that means we can put you someplace besides the swing when you’re awake and we need our hands free. Sometimes you’re in a swing mood, and sometimes you’re in a bouncy seat mood — I wonder if it’s not because you like to be with us when you’re awake, but don’t mind swinging in the corner when you’re sleepy.

You’re starting to grab at objects and hold them tight. You like to cuddle with Mr. Dog (when Mommy or Daddy puts him in your arms), and you grab onto your clothes while we’re trying to change you, and you grasp at Mommy while you’re breastfeeding (either her clothes or her boobie). You still can’t aim your arms very well, and you have no hand-eye coordination to speak of, but it’s cute to put a finger in your hand and have you grasp it tight.

Connor in his strollerMommy and Daddy have started taking you out more often on the weekends. You usually sleep through our entire meal, whether it’s lunch or dinner, and then you keep sleeping through our visit to Starbucks afterward. If ever you do stir and start crying, we can usually rock your carseat to get you back to sleep. Unfortunately, you aren’t a fan of the pacifier yet, so we can’t just plug your cryhole. (We just bought you some new binkies today, though, and we’re hoping you’ll like them better!)

We’ve also taken you out in your stroller — your carseat snaps right into the top, which is handy. You’ve come with us on a walk around The Shops at Fallen Timbers and on the University Parks Trail, and you slept through most of both. We won’t get to take walks like this for long, since winter’s coming soon, so we’re taking advantage of what good weather we have when we can.

What else…? Oh, the smiles! How could I forget the smiles? You smiled at Mommy once when you were five weeks old, but it wasn’t until last week that you really started smiling more often. You’re not consistently smiley yet, but you’ve been uncomfortable with those tummy troubles, so we’ll just give it time.

This month has been a bit of a roller coaster. You sleep longer — five hours for your first stretch, three hours after that — and that makes the days easier to handle. But then you’ll be cranky and fussy, and that makes Mommy sad and frustrated. But then sometimes you’ll smile, and that makes everything better.

Someday, you’ll smile more often, and Mommy will be able to take a smiley picture of you.

Connor

Connor’s Early Arrival, Part Three

(Read Part One and Part Two)

“That’s not a head; I think that’s a scrotum!”

Lying there between contractions, I felt my heart sink as the realization set in: after eleven hours of unmedicated labor, I wasn’t going to get the natural birth I’d hoped for.

Time seemed to simultaneously speed up and slow to a crawl somehow as one of the nurses hit the call button and what seemed like half of Labor and Delivery instantly swarmed into my room. Dr. Ward’s face filled my field of vision for a moment, her blonde curls framing her face as she explained that they were going to take me to the OR for a c-section. The L&D staff surrounded my bed, preparing me to be wheeled down the hall — presumably, they were removing monitors, preparing my IV stand to be moved, that sort of thing, but I felt like the eye of the storm. I was still dealing with the pain of contractions, on top of dealing with the sudden turn my birth experience was taking; I couldn’t focus on the actions of everyone around me.

Unbeknownst to me, Aaron was having more trouble acclimating to this turn of events than I was. In the midst of the frenzy, he left my bedside (or was forced aside by the onslaught of medical staff) to lean up against a cabinet, lightheaded, trying to collect himself. That’s when the staff took note, and had him sit down for a moment (I’m sure they didn’t want to deal with my 6’3″ husband passing out in L&D). As I was being wheeled out of the room, Aaron called out to me to tell me he loved me. I called back from the door — they were moving me out fast — and told him I loved him, too, and that I’d see him in a few minutes. I could hear in his voice that he was freaked out, and that brief reassurance was all I could do to try to calm him.

The next minute or two felt like something out of a movie: I was flying down the hall to the Operating Room, watching hospital scenery go by — scenery I was denied seeing on my hospital tour, due to it being a sterile area. A contraction hit, and I clung to the bedrail like I had in the L&D room, only to be scolded: “Keep your hands inside!”

“OK, hands inside,” I repeated, and let go. With nothing else physical to focus on — no massage, no clutching to the bedrail — I was even more aware of my urge to push. As much to act as a help to myself as to assure anyone else, I said aloud, “I’m not pushing… I’m not pushing…”

I heard my nurse Karen somewhere behind me, reaffirming, “Yes! Don’t push!” I remember feeling a little irritated by her response — didn’t I just say I’m not pushing? But I was also glad to hear her familiar voice, and to know that someone was listening.

The doors to the OR swung open, and even more staff were there, ready and waiting for my arrival. The intricate ballet that happened next was hard to follow in my pain-haze: I heard Dr. Ward talking to the anesthesiologist as I was moved from the labor bed to the OR bed, discussing whether he could administer the spinal with me on my side or sitting up. As I was being transferred to the OR bed, the nurses explained to me that I’d feel like I was going to fall off, but not to worry: they wouldn’t let me fall. Once they’d transferred me, it was time to get my spinal — which, unfortunately, I had to sit up for; he couldn’t do it with me lying on my side for some reason.

Of course, as the nurses helped me into a sitting position, I felt another contraction coming on. Karen was right there again, her familiar, calming voice telling me to “breathe it out, just like in the room.” I remembered, and relaxed, and hissed my exhales and counted to ten. Again, I felt like I belonged on the (now-defunct) Discovery Health Channel as I braced myself, staying utterly still while the anesthesiologist inserted the needle, saying something to the other staff (and maybe me?) about how this was perfectly fine, how he’d had to do this during contractions before, and it was no problem.

I was catheterized at some point (I forget in the shuffle whether it was before or after the spinal), they put an oxygen tube in my nose — “More for the baby than for you” — and hooked more equipment up to my arms, so I was spread out in some sort of Jesus Christ pose. During this part of the prep, they also erected the screen that would keep me and Aaron from seeing the actual surgical procedure.

I could feel myself going slowly numb, and remembered something someone had said on a pregnancy podcast about the OR staff checking to see how numb she was before making the incision. For some reason, I was suddenly ultra-paranoid about the spinal not taking effect in time, so I asked, “Am I supposed to be able to feel anything?” I knew I hadn’t felt any contractions since the spinal, but I also had no sense of time, and I could feel some vague, numb sensations on the surface of my skin. They assured me that I’d feel some pulling sensations, and pressure, but no pain. I was glad that the podcasts I’d listened to had prepared me for the shortness of breath I might feel with the anesthesia, too, or I might have been freaked out by that. As it was, I was prepared for it.

Finally, finally, Aaron arrived, wearing scrubs. He was wide-eyed and shaking, and I could tell he was having a bad time of it. I almost felt guilty for being as calm as I was — I mean, I knew I was OK, but he’d had no such reassurance. I came to learn later that he was told that if I ended up having a spinal, he’d be allowed in, but if I had to be put under completely for the procedure for some reason, he’d see us in the Recovery Room. Not only that, but he’d had to change into scrubs and just wait, alone, outside the OR door, not knowing what was currently happening or what would happen.

Poor guy. No wonder he was so freaked.

As he stood by me and we said our hellos and everything’s-OKs, the nurses draped a warm blanket over his shoulders, and pushed a stool up for him to sit on — after they were convinced that he wasn’t, in fact, going to pass out and fall off. He sat near my head and held my hand (with some difficulty; we had to work around lots of IV tubing), and we waited for the cesarean to begin.

When they announced that they were starting the incision, I sat utterly still and waited to see what sensations I would feel. I barely felt a fingernail dragging across my skin, then a mild sensation that my skin was being moved around — Aaron told me later that I was, in fact, held open by big metal claws, just like on those medical reality shows on TLC.

It wasn’t long before someone — assumedly Dr. Ward — announced, “I’ve got one leg!” Soon Connor was out and was hastily peeked around the edge of the barrier (Aaron got a quick flash of Connor, but I couldn’t see him at all) before being whisked away to be evaluated.

I nearly cried when I first heard Connor’s voice coming from the adjoining room, letting out his first cries. Aaron and I looked at each other in shock and amazement (“Holy shit, we’re parents!”) before the nurses invited him into the room to be with Connor.

Then I was alone with the nurses in the OR, straining to hear Connor’s cries and the low cadence of Aaron’s voice talking with the nurses in the other room as he took picture after picture. The staff stitched me back up and discussed the remainder of their Labor Day weekend as I lay there alone, longing to see my baby. They discussed their dogs and my fibroids and whatnot, then ceremonially counted all their instruments three times over after they were done closing the incision.

As I stared at the wall with nothing to occupy my mind but my desire to see my newborn son, I memorized the times written on the whiteboard there. I had entered the OR at 13:30, or 1:30pm; Connor had been born at 13:47, or 1:47pm. The prep and surgery had only taken 17 minutes total.

In the midst of this, Aaron did come back with Connor and the nurses in tow, and there was much rejoicing and many photos taken:

And that’s how two became three.