It is Nate's first birthday today. It's currently 11pm, which means that exactly one year ago I was getting my nethers stitched up while watching my new baby get suctioned and slapped due to his "grunting." Nate enjoyed a long, leisurely stay in my womb, but when he decided he was ready to come out he got all in a hurry. Thus my 2-hour-long labor (total!). The short labor gave him a nice round head but a puffy, red face -- bruising due to him slamming into my pelvis after they broke my water at the hospital. The rapid labor and delivery also meant that Nate's lungs didn't have the typical period of squeezing whilst in the birth canal, so he was born with some fluid in his lungs. That's what caused the "grunting," which, although it freaked out the doctors, actually sounded a little like purring or cooing and was not at all unpleasant.
It took me a while to get over the labor. I kept having flashbacks to the pain of it. I didn't have PTSD, exactly; more like I had to process a truly extreme physical experience. I had no pain medication and barely made it to the hospital before giving birth (they broke my water upon examining me and seeing that I was ten centimeters dilated; I was pushing about 2 minutes after that.) Very different from my labor with Tallulah, which took about 24 hours total (about 12 in the hospital) and involved a miraculously effective epidural.
But, look what a year can do! Now I have a baby who can smear frosting on his own sweet cheeks. He's a great baby, so mellow and curious and cuddly and playful. His favorite game right now is Close-the-door-so-Mommy-opens-it-and-I-can-close-it-again, with Chase-Mommy-down-the-hall-with-my-little-slapping-hands-and-giddy-smiling-panting-sounds
a close second. He's so sweet and cute that I forgive him his frequent night wakings and his nap resistance. That's a lot of cute. Happy birthday, baby.