And Baby Makes Six...Again

A week ago today, our fifth little - unexpected - miracle was born.  And I'm in love all over again!  I must say, for all of the worrying I did leading up to his birth, it went as well as I could have hoped.

From check-in time at the hospital to Baby E's birth was three hours and three minutes long.  Not bad considering that for my first delivery, that of my twins, it was three hours and two minutes just between the delivery of Baby A and Baby B!!

I had to have my blood taken first to check those unstable platelets.  When the phlebotomist walked in, I took it as a good sign, as she was the same one who took my blood when my platelets were at their highest.  Sure enough, they were 104,000 - and I got my epidural!!

The next positive sign was when the anesthesiologist walked in.  According to Hubby, he was the same doc who gave me my last epidural, with Lil C.  Hubby and this doc have worked on cases together and, after the mutual admiration was over, he gave me a perfect epidural.  Numb, but I could still feel contractions.

Apparently, I walked into the hospital that day already 4 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced (what does that mean anyway?), so I was already well on my way.  I was just settling in to nap a bit, when both the nurse and Hubby left to eat some lunch.  I'd be fine, I said, go and eat!  This was right at noon. I was five centimeters dilated.  I figured I had a while.  Sometime in the next half hour, I started having uncomfortable back pains.  I rang for the nurse who was supposed to be checking on me, when my nurse walked back in the room.

I was at ten centimeters already! 

"You'd better call your husband, or he's going to miss this!"  (I didn't even have time to try out the birthing tub!)

Hubby walked in then, as well as two other nurses who were there to help with the "shoulder dystocia" situation.  Within three pushes, my beautiful little boy and his shoulders were out.  He weighed 8 pounds even (so, not as big as I thought) and he has dark hair, the first of my boys not in the toe-head club.

As he was placed in my waiting arms, I couldn't help but murmur a prayer of thanks for a perfect delivery.  Really, I couldn't have scripted it better.  It was exactly what I needed.

Until I looked at my new son.

His beautiful dark eyes were wide open, and he was staring right at me.  That has only happened one other time...when I held Joey for the first time.  I can't explain how it filled my heart with such a sense of gladness and relief.

You see, I have worried so much about this new baby.  Not only about potential health risks and delivery complications, but how he would fit into our family.  About how he would fit into my heart.

I feel like he is going to be an outsider.  An A.J. - "After Joey".  The rest of us are W.J. - with Joey.  He'll never have known him. He won't even have any pictures with Joey - pictures that he can look at while I tell him stories about Joey.   Even his dark hair, though I love it, makes him an outsider, as all the other boys have always had blond hair.

I worried, too, about how the other boys would react to him.  Joey was always the one who payed the most attention to his new baby brothers when they first came home.  He always wanted to play with them and hold them.  He would try so hard to make them laugh, or bring them toys when they were fussy.  None of the other boys have really paid that much attention, and I feared they wouldn't now.

But, true to Joey's example, all of the boys, even Lil C, have really stepped up and paid Baby E the perfect amount of attention.  From saying how cute he is, to talking gently to him, from reading him books and bringing his pacifier, I couldn't be more satisfied with how they have welcomed him.

Which makes me wonder...is Joey now the outsider?  Will we only ever be a family of six, or are we really a family of seven?  Anytime someone would ask me if I knew the gender of my baby and if I had any other children, I would always say, "It's our fifth boy."  Because he is.  Sometimes I would continue the story and tell about Joey's death, but more often than not, if the person asking was a total stranger, I just let them believe that I would have five boys at home. 

Because in my heart, I always will.

And Baby E, well, I shouldn't have worried about him at all, because he is already fitting into my heart, and our family, just fine.
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