The Boys Want Stories of The Days They Were Born

We started our dinner out with a question from Ben. He asked “If having a baby is the most painful thing a woman can do, what’s the most painful thing a man can do?”

Scott started with a very respectful and cautious answer about how men can never fully understand it all, but they can offer support and love through the whole process.

But then quickly, it turned into a conversation about what was going on in our lives when both boys were born. And what it looked like to see them moving inside me. We went in for an ultrasound with Ben, because I was already past 35, and they were very concerned. We got to see him doing something that looked like punching a punching bag. We looked at one another and thought, this kid is healthy, and we are going to be exhausted, aren’t we? True enough.

Scott started imitating Bean showing us different parts of himself from inside my tummy. He’d very distinctly show us a hand, then an elbow, then his little behind… then an elbow, then his little behind. The boys were cracking up.

For Ben’s birth, I made a double batch of brownies to take to the hospital with me to offer to all the nurses and doctors. I wanted my room to be the place they couldn’t stay away from (for whatever reason), because I knew I would want all sorts of attention. It totally worked. I told everyone who came in to please help themselves to the brownies, and to tell the other staff. My room ended up being a most popular visiting stop for staff, and I was cooed over by everyone. It’s true I was high maintenance, but I totally made it worth everyone’s effort.

Bean tried to be born elbow first, so he had to be a C-section, a surgery. There had been a hellacious storm the night before, and trees were down all over town. Because that is our business, Scott was fielding calls left and right while I was in labor. One of the nurses scolded him, and he said, “Oh, we are in this together. She would totally approve!” I was under heavy medication and drooling in the corner, but I could hear every word around me, and I did totally approve. Go get ’em, honey! My dad and mom drove from Sonoma to be with us, and arrived in time for Dad to go out to job sites and take pictures, so Scott could do partial estimates over the phone.

And everyone has heard the story about how silly mommy got on the medication they gave me. I could hear everything that was going on in the delivery room. But I was so numbed out that I couldn’t open my eyes or speak. I felt completely coherent from inside my little cocoon, and understood everything, but couldn’t respond. I could hear when his folks and my folks came in and everyone thought I looked totally out of it. What I was seeing inside my head, though? Was a beautiful little park scene being made right before my eyes out of frosting. I saw the piping bag and all the meticulous effort that was going into making the grass, the flowers, the fountains, butterflies, and trees around the edge of a little clearing. That is how I remember Bean’s birth!

That and the fact that we had just been on our feet for three solid days at the Fall Home & Garden Show in Fresno, passing out thousands of business cards, while I was as big as a house. The Show organizers always saw Bean as our Home Show Baby.

Then Ben reminded me of the fact that after both boys were born, I was offered a giant plate of fruit at the hospital. Apparently it is one of those things they have found replenishes something that we have lost in the process, and a giant plate of fruit is about the most amazing things you can possibly imagine to eat after giving birth. For several weeks after, once I was home, I would compile these enormous plates of fruit at our meals, and be the one eating most of it.

The boys have a sitter coming over on Sunday, and she is due in December. We told them that if they are very respectful and gentle with her, she might let them put their hands on her tummy and feel the baby move inside her.

photo from here.

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