Saturday, May 09, 2009

Dirty Dozen

My G man, aka Brainiac, turned 12 last Saturday, celebrating in style with mud fights, stream exploring, football and lemon pound cake. He invited 16 kids, including 2 girls, to party with him at my friend's place in Gerton. Thirteen showed, including one brave girl. Did I mention there were mud fights?

I get all weepy and sentimental when his birthday comes round. He was born pretty sick. His APGAR scores were in the toilet. I can honestly say, I didn't give a flying flip. I had been pushing him out for over two hours and was so exhausted that it didn't register things were bad. They cleaned him up a bit and whisked him away, in a very calm fashion, to check his breathing. Me? I'm still reeling from all that "natural childbirth" pain I signed up for in my birth plan.

Can somebody please give me some drugs now? A shot of tequila? A pill? Anyone? Finally I got a shot in my expanded hinnie. Big target. Damn that was good stuff and I drifted off to la-la land. But the boy, yet unnamed, was struggling to breathe. Pneumonia. He lay sleeping under an oxygen hood, turned up to its max. Before the beautiful narcotics sent me spinning, the DH said we should pray for the boy. Pray. Serious bizniz for the scientist who has difficulty believing anything he can't touch. And for the first time, I felt the gravity of the situation. Then I slept, despite my concern. Exhaustion + childbirth + drugs = dreamland.

At midnight (he was born at 9:23 am), his breathing improved and his oxygen was turned down. Whew! He was the biggest kid in the NICU. I hung with him for two days then the insurance company sent me packing, leaving my beautiful baby boy behind. Dude, if it happened today, I wouldn't take that bull shit. I'd have insisted on staying with him. But the nurses at Durham Regional Hospital rocked. They called me when nursing time came round and I was up there in ten minutes. He was home a week later.

Now I look at him and can't believe I have the privelege to be his mother. How can I deserve him? If you ever meet him, you'll understand.

The party lasted 5 hours, the mud fight a little less than 2. They were 15 minutes into the mud fight when one kid, Jacob, seemed to be struggling with a clot of mud packed in his ear. I watched from the pavilion as a couple of other kids tried to help. One genius filled up his Super Soaker with STREAM WATER and commenced "soaking" Jacob's ear. I'm thinking ear infection. Gross. But it seemed to temporarily resolve the issue and worked for the duration of the party, so who am I to judge? I bet his mother had to deal with it later.

A dozen memorable years I have been blessed. Thank you God.