Today my baby turns 6. It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years. I remember that day like it was yesterday…..
Jackson was a bit overdue and I was a bit overdone with being pregnant. Really done, completely over the pregnancy thing. I was in “get the kid out of me now” mode. We checked into the hospital at 6 a.m. to be induced. For the record we didn’t know if the baby was a boy or girl. We were excited to find out if Jackson or Kira was going to be the new name in our family. We got to the hospital and the nurses were getting me settled. I was scared and nervous since I had never given birth before. The young nurse took my blood pressure. It was a little high, which was weird because my whole life I have had perfect blood pressure. She said “Are you nervous about anything?” I thought to myself “I’m not even in labor and already I want to scream and grab someone hard.” Thankfully that nurse was at the end of her shift. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have dealt with her all day. When they hooked me up to the contraction machine it turned out I was already have contractions. I just thought it was the baby moving. At that point I thought “That’s a contraction? That’s nothing! I could do that all day. What’s all the fuss about with contractions.” A few hours in I wanted the drugs. I wasn’t one of those superwoman types who was going to tough it out. If some scientist/doctor took the time to develop a drug to help with the pain, then by god I was going to support them and use it. In came the epidural. Of course it didn’t work like it was supposed to. I could still feel everything in “that area”. However, my legs and all feeling in them were gone. My body no longer recognized that I had legs. Thankfully Kevin and my sister were in the room to grab those things and put them up at the right times. I couldn’t get out of bed and move around because I had to be attached to the blood pressure machine the whole day. It was a good thing because I couldn’t have stood up on my legs anyway. Those easy contractions were no longer easy. NOW I got what all the fuss was about. My sister put a wet cloth on my head to cool me down and I was like “GET THAT THING OFF ME!” Kevin in his calm and collected voice reminded me to breathe. I, in my pissy labor mode said “DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!” The contractions were exhausting and I remember falling asleep between them, only to be awakened violently by them. My sister and Kevin kept looking down and could see the head. They were both excited about it. This was infuriating to me. I was doing all the work and they were having all the fun. So I asked for the big mirror so I could see too. Which was really weird since I have a weak stomach and can’t stand the sight of blood or any kind of wound or injury. But being able to watch Jackson being born was one of the coolest things ever and it was a great motivator to push. Finally at 4:39 p.m. Jackson Edward Darwin Klim entered the room. He looked like E.T. I’ll never forget the look on Kevin’s face, peace and utter happiness and joy. The first time I held Jackson I whispered to him “So you’re the one who has been kicking the shit out of me for the last 4 months. You are in big trouble mister.” He was so cute, pale and wrinkly. My parents arrived at the hospital a few minutes after he was born. They came in and it was a great happy moment. I loved seeing my Dad hold Jackson for the first time. He was so proud. He had the biggest smile I had ever seen on him. Jackson had high apgar scores and the nurses and doctors all proclaimed him to be “wonderful”. 6 years later he still is.
Every time I held Jackson I remember having this weird feeling of “What have I done? What do I do now?” I often have wondered if I didn’t have some postpartum depression because I never seemed to be madly in love with Jackson right away. I was ambivalent about being a mother for a while. Sometimes I was just annoyed by him waking me up every two hours and needing to eat. I think he was about 3 or 4 weeks old when I had put him down in his crib to sleep. And BAM, it hit me. Suddenly I felt like my heart was going to explode, I started crying and realized how much I loved that little sleeping baby. There is nothing like the love you have for your child. I think of that sometimes and feel sad that Jackson will never get to experience that love. After I realized this great love for Jackson, I called my Dad and apologized for every mean thing I said and did to him. He just laughed and said “It’s alright honey.” Just like a parent who has that great love for their child.
Lao Tzu said “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Jackson is a testament to this. I had no idea the journey ahead of us when he was born. But I know this – I am a much better person since becoming his Mama. I have a life I never envisioned. A life that is substantially greater and rewarding because of him. Jackson is not the little boy I thought I was going to have. In fact, he is much better than I imagined. Happy Birthday Monkey! Thank you for being my little boy.