Finally, reluctantly, you decided on your own that it was go time. I'd been feeling a bit odd the day before, the Sunday, and had asked your father to work from home on Monday. So at least he was with me that evening when the real contractions began, not an hour-plus away at the office. And bless the orderly-minded engineer that he is, he wrote down how far apart those contractions were and how long they lasted. Every one. I still have that piece of spiral notebook paper.
I didn't want to go to the hospital and be sent home again, but it happened anyway. (Fortunately, the hospital was close by, just down the road a few blocks.) You still weren't quite ready to be born yet. They told us to come back in a few hours, so your dad and I walked lap after lap on the circular road surrounding our apartment complex, trying to get you moving. We went back to the hospital about 1AM, and this time, they let us stay.
Even in the hospital, things went slowly: the pain meds they gave me stopped labor, and they had to give me Pitocin to get it started again. Finally, I was far enough along for an epidural. They gave it to me, the nurse left the room for a minute, and suddenly all hell broke loose. I felt really strange, the contractions were off the charts on the monitor, and your dad ran out into the hall frantically yelling for the nurse at the top of his lungs. We found out later than I'd gone from 5 to 10 cm dilation in less than three minutes.
Four pushes later, you were born, my precious boy. At 9:17AM on Tuesday, July 8, 2003, I officially became a mother for the first time. Ten years ago today.
Your beloved Nana got you that size 0-3 month pair of PJs: it's covered with shamrocks, each one surrounded with the words "Kiss me, I'm Irish." You came home from the hospital wearing it, as did both your brother and sister after you. Even a few weeks after coming home, you were still swimming in it, just a tiny little bit of a thing. (I love that air guitar photo!)
You know I saved those PJs. Every so often, I take them out and look at them. Yesterday, I asked you to hold them up against yourself for me. With the footies on the floor, the neckline of those PJs barely clears your knees now. Looks like you've done some growing in the last ten years. And look at those feet of yours! You ever grow into those, you'll be the full 6'4"-6'6" the doc said you'd be as an adult. Just like your Grandpa, the one you resemble so much. My dad, and his dad before him too.
Happy 10th birthday, Thing One. I love you more than you'll ever know.