Sunday, January 29, 2012

Birth Story


A few friends have requested something called a “birth story.” I hope this is sufficient.

I found out I was pregnant last May, just before my 32nd birthday.  The first order of business, after buying Cal his inauguratory “Big Brother” t-shirt, was finding an OBGYN willing to liberally prescribe Zofran for my nausea.  I struck gold when I found a doctor who not only fit the aforementioned bill, but had the added bonus of having been sued for malpractice in 2002.  The beauty of doctors who have been sued for malpractice is that their offices are not exactly booming with patients (in spite of being cleared on all counts, rest assured, maintaining his license and position on the hospital board, and being one of the most lovely people I have ever met). While expectant friends of mine were waiting up to an hour and half to be seen at the hot practices in town, I was greeted with open arms each visit, and literally never endured more than a 5 minute wait. 

At 8 months along I called the office and floated the idea of scheduling an induction, asking if he would consider “medically necessary” the fact that it stressed me out to think of going into labor in the middle of the night, and having to wake someone up to come collect my kids.  He readily agreed, and confided that he and his wife had actually been hoping to attend a medical conference in Florida on my due date.  We made a good team, me and Dr. Tashman.

I texted Jack at work with the happy news that his second son would arrive one week early, on January 17th.  He responded that January 17th was the anniversary of when the Drudge Report broke the story of the Clinton Lewinsky affair, and that Jack’s birthday (August 17th) was the anniversary of when Clinton confessed.  What! Meant to be! Also, that the baby would be born on the same day as Michelle Obama.  Oh well.

So, at 7:30 am on the First Lady’s 47th birthday, we checked into the hospital.  Eight hours later, after my easiest labor and delivery yet, baby was born at 8 pounds, 0 ounces, and I have no idea how many inches.  He was healthy, heavenly, and handsome like his dad.  

That evening Jack treated me to date night.  Chipotle in my recovery room, which we ate while he watched PTI, and I gazed at my new little bundle.   

After dinner he picked up the kids and brought them to meet their brother. It’s tradition in our family that babies come to earth bearing gifts for their new siblings. In addition to coloring books, crayons and playdough, this child arrived, per Jack’s request, with four Nerf N-Strike Nightfinder guns and a stockpile of ammunition.  I liked to think that during my hospital stay everyone was at home missing me sadly, but suspected otherwise when I arrived and found bright orange darts scattered through every corner of the house. 

Not that I myself had been suffering during my time away, thanks to the best hospital food in the United States.  Beyonce’s million dollar suite had nothing on my delectable six-page menu of whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it.  I took full advantage and came to know the food delivery staff well, including a talkative 19-year old girl named Lesbia. I don’t know if birth stories typically include the name of the person who brings your food, but in this instance I found it noteworthy.

Settling on a name for my own baby is a long story for another day, but suffice to say that the road to Eddie was a bit winding. In a few days however, when the vital records office receives our $10 check and minor child name change form, I’m hoping we can all look back on his identity crisis and have a good laugh.  His full name is Edson Jack Erb.  Depending on social circumstances, he will answer equally to Eddie (at school), EJ (giving people high fives), Edson (playing professional sports), Edson J. (serving as a General Authority) or Little E (riding his tricycle).

Friends and family have welcomed him with open arms, and spoiled him with love and gifts.  His favorite present arrived two days before he was born, when my sister Aileen delivered him a BYU roommate and future mission companion, Mack Bennett Bracken, seen here at 8 pounds, 8 ounces of cousin perfection.




We’ve been home from the hospital for a week now, just the six of us.  Both Jack’s parents and my mom visited around the holidays and spoiled us rotten, so we honorably excused them from grandparent duty and are flying solo. I’ve been enjoying a sleepy but blissful revolving door of nursing and naps. Jack, meanwhile, has repaired the furnace and the car, assembled a loft bed for Cal, done all the dishes and laundry, prepared the meals, run the errands, and volunteered in the classroom, breaking only long enough to play outside with the kids or to instigate their epic indoor Nerf battles. 

Every night when the house is finally quiet, we collapse on the couch, and count our blessings.

There are only two occasions in life – birth, and death, and I have experienced both in my family – when the world and everything in it respectfully turns around and takes a step back, leaving you alone in your little nest to hunker down and focus exclusively on what matters most.  Your family.

Our phone and doorbell haven’t rung.  Jack’s projects at work have been put on hold.  We’ve let emails go unanswered, homework be neglected, and dust settle where it may. 

For once I haven’t cared about the toys scattered all over the floor, the pile of mail stacked up on our desk, or the fact that showers have been few and far between.  For one peaceful week, I’ve been able to put all of that on hold, and focus exclusively on welcoming this little spirit to our family, wondering who he is, and appreciating the feeling that heaven is on earth, and in fact somewhere within the walls of this old brick house.

Tomorrow morning, life will resume. Our alarms will ring again after their two week hiatus.  Jack will board the 7:30 Metro and head back to work. I’ll return to the preschool carpool, cleaning the bathroom, monitoring math homework, and deciding what to make for dinner.  Gradually, the pace of life will pick back up normal, and the messes and piles of mail that annoyed me before will start to annoy me again.

Thank goodness we get to keep this little reminder of what matters most. 




26 comments:

Katie and Jeff said...

Oh Katie, what a way with words! All I can say is you and Jack make beautiful babies and write beautiful stories. God bless your sweet family!

dannyhaley said...

What a fabulous post, Katie!!! Congratulations, he is a beautiful baby. I love moments with a new baby in the family, it seems like time stands still.

I hope you get to savor every moment with your new baby, they grow up too quickly! I am so happy for you, your kids are adorable.
We also have those nerf dart guns. They provide endless entertainment and the luckily the darts are big enough to not be swallowed by babies...perfect!

Allison Hansen said...

Yay! Welcome, Eddie!

Katie, you crack me up!

Jenny B said...

I'm so glad we have another Erb in the world. Keep 'em coming. AND I want to thank you for writing a post that made me all teary-eyed and reminded me again what's most important. Also, if I wrote as well as you do, I'd write a book... I'm just sayin'.

Jenae said...

You make me really happy. That's all that there is too it.

jj

PS, He is beautiful.

Jeannie said...

Simply beautiful, both your little son and this post. And I love the picture of the kids crowded around Eddie on the floor. Reminds me of Warren and Maddie when Jake and Joey arrived. I'm just sad that this is one Erb baby that I won't get to hold. Also, how does Jack keep stats like that??

Susan said...

I LOVED EVERY WORD.

You forgot to mention what Grandma Susan calls him. "Eddieble"

Jodi said...

Well said:) So happy for you all. And only $10 to change his name?! I heard here it is close to $200...psh, MA.

Kristin said...

Love the picture of mom and baby. So precious. Thanks for sharing! We miss you guys so much. Glad you got to enjoy a couple weeks to settle Edson into the fam! He is so sweet.

Mary Karlee said...

It almost makes me want to have another baby. He's so sweet. Have fun with your four beauties!

Cathy Leavitt said...

Great post and sweet pictures! He is a lucky little boy to come into your family.

Daneille said...

After reading this for the 4th or 5th time, I still got tears in my eyes as I got down to the beautiful picture of precious little Eddie. I miss my own babies. But not too much; Jolie looked like a curly-haired Elise as a toddler, Leah - Patrice, Cal - Jack, Avery - her own mom Erin, and I swear - the bottom middle picture of Eddie is the spittin' image of his Uncle Todd at that age! (I had cute babies, too.)

Jane said...

Thank you Katie for making me laugh, cry, and love another nephew more than I could ever imagine. I am with Grandma Susan on calling him Eddieble.

Courtney Vance said...

He is just too precious Katie. I'm so glad that you all are happy and healthy. I can't wait to hear the story on the name change. Lucky you for having such an easy delivery!

Marci Coombs said...

You have a such a way with words Katie...you tearjerker you!! I'm thinking you guys are really liberal at heart...with all of the 'coincidences' you have going on with 'dates' and stuff. Welcome to the other side :)

Your Vday package is on they way with another one coming soon for adorable little Eddie. He's squishy, beautiful and perfect in every way! Congrats!!!

Dawn said...

As usual, a great story! So glad things went so fabulous. Happy to see photos of the little bundle - hadn't seen him yet! Can't wait to meet him one of these days.

Lisa said...

Oh, Katie! How could anyone not want 10 more babies after reading this post! I got homesick for the days I spent in the hospital with my gils and then decided to go spend the rest of the day playing, not cleaning! :) I am so happy for you and your darling family!

Marilyn said...

I want to read this in Testimony Meeting!!!

Kristin said...

He is gorgeous Katie! I love this post so much! I can't stay away from your blog, the way you write just makes me want to keep reading! PLEASE bring your kids over for anything! Let me know if I can lend a hand ever! If anything, lets hang out soon!!

Maryann said...

Katie I love you and that squishable little guy you have brought into the world. He is so handsome!! You are amazing Katie. Keep the entertainment coming!! ESPECIALLY stories about anyone named Lesbia.

Emily Bartlett said...

congrats! so glad u posted a link on your FB so i could peek into your world. i too love the quietness and no social obligations after a baby is born--my favorite part!

Krista said...

I have read this post three times trying to decide how to comment. Hopefully the fact that I have read it three times sums up my feelings! Congratulations!

Lexy and Jared said...

Katie, you wordsmith, you! I personally want to destine Edson J. for the red velvet chairs, so I think that's how I will forever refer to him. Thank you for the youtube links...how could I have forgotten Katee and Joshua? Was there a more perfect pairing? Maybe Kurt and Lauren.

Mike said...

I'm glad you articulated from where the name "Eddie Jack" came. Next boy could be "Billy Jack". Only oldtimers from my generation will know who Billy Jack is.

So Jack watches PTI. Must be in the blood from his mother's side of the family. I have PTI set on my DVR for daily consumption.

With all the wise cracks out of the way, that was a beautiful story. Very glad that you shared.

Hodnett Family said...

Congratulations Katie! And what a great perspective on life you have reminded us all of!

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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