I've spent the last 41 days kissing, cradling, nursing, snuggling, tickling, swaying, burping, changing, bathing and unconditionally loving my beautiful new son, Indy.
Born on May 20, 2013 weighing 7 lbs 1 oz, Indy Post Narciso was welcomed into our family and our lives were forever changed.
The name Indy has very special meaning to us. The most obvious being short for independence--which is always a good thing in our books. In most entertainment circles the name "indie" is synonomous with uniqueness and creativity--a genre which honors non-conforming art forms that are independent of mainstream labels. What an important lesson to teach a child, be who you are, not what others want you to be. But there's also an even greater meaning in the name. You see, Indy will spend his life being told by others that he's the baby of the family--a truth he has no control over. Birth order can do funny things to a person and as our last child, we hope that just because he's the "baby" he doesn't always have to feel like one.
Friends, meet Indy.
Playful. Patient. Totally aware.
Cuddly. Hairy. Smells devine.
Kissable. Hungry. Rockstar sleeper.
The truth is, this birth has really rocked me, in many ways actually. For one, it's my last, so I cherished and celebrated every single ounce of it. I smile when I think back to how we announced it on Christmas Eve, remember?
And I'll never forget how thrilled our whole family was to learn he was a boy.
The excitement our family shared was obvious, right up until the last minute when we kissed the kids goodnight on the evening of May 19th. This picture says it all.
And when I woke up on May 20th, I couldn't believe the day was actually here! With only a couple hours of sleep, I opened my eyes with a sense of adrenaline that I'm not normally used to. While everyone else slept soundly, Eugene and I snuck out of the house at 5AM and hand in hand we drove the whopping three minutes to the hospital---it was a very peaceful, very happy and very exciting 3 minutes.
When we arrived on the maternity floor I was pleasantly surprised to see so many nurses that I remembered from Chance's birth. And while I couldn't place their name, I recognized their faces immediately and it made me feel that much safer. We checked into room 210 and Eugene, like always, began setting up--arranging the magazines, organizing the photography stuff and making it feel like home. He actually set up a candy and snack buffet out of a writing desk---always catering that guy.
I layed in bed with such mixed emotions: giddy with excitement yet weighted with heartache knowing this was it--the last time I'll feel the uncomfortable kicks of a child inside, the last time I'll hear the pounding heartbeat over the loudspeaker, the last time I'll subconsciously rub my stretched out balloon belly in a nonverbal act of protecting and nurturing a child I can't see.
Man, I'll miss that.
The last time I'll go through surgery for the sake of a baby. The last time I'll feel the sting of a spinal.
The last time I'll listen to the mundane conversations of the surgical staff as they talk about their weekend as I lay there knowing that one of my greatest life's accomplishments is about to unfold.
And the hardest to swallow--the last time I'll look up at Eugene and see his piercing brown eyes staring at me over his surgical mask, which is a sight that brings me to tears every time. We locked eyes in that surgical room and without hesitation my memories brought me back to a time, 16 years past, when he and I sat in the front seat of his Honda Civic staring out at the city lights of Peoria promising eachother we'd have it all and really, really meaning it. My, how far we've come. Feeling much older than my memory, I layed there on the operating table nervously awaiting the next steps. And with only my shoulders to caress and my forehead to kiss, Eugene showed me how much our love and our life meant to him.
Then folks, at 8:12AM it happened-- final love at first sight, a term my dear friend Zoe warned me about. I heard his sweet cry first and when my doctor, in his best Lion King moment, brought him around the curtain and showed us our beautiful boy my heart truly skipped a beat.
Dark hair and dark skin, he's exactly what I had pictured (and hoped for). I love that Indy and Chance will be so different from one another. Fortunately, we had our neonatalogist friend Mario by our side in case Indy needed a set of trustworthy hands. Mario checked him out (shown below) gave Eugene the thumbs up, handed him the scissors and in his own nastalgic farewell, Eugene cut the cord a final time.
The doctors then brought Indy to me and for the first time ever I felt the initial skin-to-skin contact that most vaginal birthed babies and mothers get to experience. Sadly, I never had the opportunity with my other children. See, it's not normal practice for c-sections (which, wth? it totally should be!) but with a simple request and a faithful doctor I had that precious time with my baby while they continued with the procedure.
He stopped crying the moment his skin touched mine and I have to say it was the single, most beautiful moment in all of my births and one that I'll carry in my heart forever. He held on so tight to me, see? For real you guys, this is what true happiness feels like.
While I was whisked back to my room for recovery, Eugene brought Indy to the nursery to show our kids their new soulmate.
The gang was complete.
|Perhaps one of my favorites|
And then suddenly we were a family of six. And what was our norm the day before was now something completely different--a totally different feeling altogether. No matter how I try to describe it, it just felt right.
Our new norm.
Our first half dozen family picture. Hot damn there's a lot of us.
The following three days was spent laughing with family,
and enjoying the thrill that only the arrival of a new baby can bring.
A hospital room? WAY better than a hotel room!
It was right around minute 40 of every daily visit where the kids lost their ever lovin' minds. And don't get me started about Chance's emergency room visit that first day when his foot apparently got caught in the automatic revolving door of the hospital lobby.
Yes, that happened.
We were so punch drunk happy over our new baby--a true celebration through and through. In fact, as our announcement we passed out about 100 of the most DELICIOUS cake pops imaginable, thanks to our friend Erin who has some crazy good baking skills. Thank you Erin, you are a rockstar in the bakery dept. and EVERYONE loved them! Every nurse, every doctor, every neighbor and every friend shared in the sweetness of Indy.
And once visiting hours were over, we'd set up shop. Well Eugene would, all I would do is bark demands from the hospital bed, until of course, I got booted out in favor of the baby. You should have seen the nurses reaction when they walked in. I swear to you, I have NO idea how Anne Geddes does it. Indy cried the entire time and when he wasn't crying he was pissing all over our props.
Clearly, it was time for us to leave.
And after 3 and a half days, we did just that. Bidding farewell to the room we called home, hugging the nurses that took the time to really know us, and preparing Indy for his first homecoming was bittersweet. My hospital memories of our babies births are so vivid and so precious to me. As excited as I was to get home and get a move on life again, time stood still in these four walls. And Eugene, bless his heart, was by my side the entire time sleeping in the fetal position on a reclining vinyl chair that kept folding up on him the moment he'd close his eyes, drift off and fall asleep. At least I had a bed and pain meds. Thank you babe, I love you so!
This was Indy's coming home outfit which I simply adore even though the wingspan of the bowtie is bigger than his face.
But Dapper Dan didn't get to wear it since it was uncharacteristicly cold that day---in the upper 50's!! So I bundled him up in the back-up outifit and off we were, home sweet home.
Indy, my precious boy...it is with a heavy heart that I finally close the maternity chapter of my life's book, but please don't be sad for me.
It's with that same breath that I discover uplifting joy knowing that your stories are just unfolding.
Be who you are, not what others want you to be.