Friday, September 09, 2011

Gemini, Sagittarius Rising Is a Very Good Sign

Corbet was born in June. I like to think of how I'll tell him about it when he's older. I'll tell him in the kind of voice you imagine a wizard would tell a creation story in a fantasy book. Kind of whispery (and not because of my paralyzed vocal cord) and mystical sounding: "You were born in a sultry land with firebugs at dusk and overgrown vines clinging to abandoned bridge pylons that span wide rivers and deep grottoes." That's how Nashville is, kind of. You get to places where you think civilization has vanished even though you're in the middle of a city. Sometimes you just can't tell.

This is how he looked a day after he was born.

I had an urgent (different from emergency, apparently) C-section–the most natural birthing method–so his head and face are rather perfect. I loved having a C-section. It feels like a baby is being ripped out of your abdomen. Kidding. I mean, it does feel like that. I'm just kidding about loving it.

I'm glad he's alive, really, since it seemed like he was never going to come out any other way and from my perspective, it was touch and go for a minute there. I've probably mentioned this a thousand times already, but the cord was around his neck twice and he was posterior. And stuck. He wouldn't move. Anyway, some umbilical cords are long enough to jump rope with, and some are so short it's as though nature is saying, "This baby will never be able to leave the womb, bwah ha ha ha ha!" I think that's the way Corbet's umbilical cord was.

Stoker was also born with a nuchal cord only his was around his neck FOUR TIMES. They pulled him out (the natural way) and the doctors and nurses did double dutch jump-rope before cutting the cord.

Not really. I actually hate it when people joke about birth and stuff, and here I am doing just that. I couldn't resist. And I'm only allowing myself to joke about it because I had a near-death experience myself while giving birth. So I'm allowed.

OK. It wasn't near-death exactly. It just felt that way after laboring for like seventeen hours sans medication, then having the double contraction crap and being stuck at seven for four or five hours, then having the nitrous oxide (which didn't help), then being told I ought to have an epidural after all (and hearing Corbet's heart rate drop to almost nothing every time I had a contraction), then being told I ought to have a C-section, etc. Yeah, it was insane. And I was confused quite often. I'd hear bits and pieces from the midwife and the nurses and that contributed to the air of danger.

So anyway, no one wants to hear about that, I'm sure. 

Surprisingly, my cat was bigger than Corbet. She's kind of hefty and even though Corbet was a large newborn (8 lbs 8 oz), the cat managed to be larger than him:

Bastet, my first-born cat with Corbet, my first-born son.

Bastet really loved having a mini-human to hang around with. She often thinks he's playing games with her and cuddling with her. Rather adorable. Cats rule. And babies too.

This is how Corbet looked a few weeks after he was born:

The author's son contemplating the nature of birth and life and other weighty topics.

In his mind, he was composing his first novel. It's sure to be a Pulitzer prize winner. This is actually his most pensive shot, he's usually extremely happy. He wakes up from naps and grins like he's just won the lottery. In fact, his been a smiler from day one. This was taken just a few hours after he was born:

Some people would say, "Oh, he just had gas." But no. He didn't. I was there. No gas. He has gas all the time now and there's definitely a difference between a baby with gas or a baby who's pooping, and a baby who's smiling. I never thought I'd be so comfortable saying "pooping" on my blog, but there it is. I guess that's what having a baby does to you. Suddenly everything is feeding, sleeping, burping, and pooping. The essential elements of life.

So he's a pretty handsome lad, if I do say so myself. And he makes me happy. I never thought I could love something as much as I love him. And I'm a lover. So that's saying a lot.

Corbet swaddling and nesting in a bouncy chair shaped like a frog. Less than a week old.

A few weeks after he was born, I started writing a blog post about how I had Meatloaf's song "I'd Do Anything for Love" in my head all the time because I kept thinking about how much I love Corbet. I thought I'd go through hell for him (lines from the song, "I'd run right into hell and back"). Birth is sort of like that, you know: hell. Even though my labor went alright until I got stuck and everything went haywire. And it makes sense to me now that it's not easy (so you work harder to keep your investment safe and healthy...), despite how I had planned to have a really perfect labor experience, with the hypnosis and all. I wanted to be the woman saying it was beautiful and not painful and all that. It was all that, at least, until it turned hellish and I thought we were all going to die.

So I was writing about Meatloaf's song and talking about how much I love Meatloaf, both the food and the singer, and how Celebrity Apprentice was awesome last season because of Meatloaf and now his song makes sense because he's a really really passionate guy, given to tearing up easily or losing his temper at Gary Busey (who sort of deserves it, let's be honest). And then I didn't post it. But the point of it was that I was overwhelmed with how everything changed once Corbet was born. Suddenly I knew I WOULD do anything for him because of how much I love him.

But I won't do that.

"That," according to Meatloaf, is cheating. It's a different sort of love that calls for a promise like that, though, in all fairness to Corbet, I won't cheat on his dad. Because that would be bad of me, and I love his dad. And we make cute babies, or so I've been told (all my friends insist).

See, this is Corbet at three months: