Wednesday, March 2, 2011

But Our Sleep!

I wasn’t sure if I was even going to keep Tommy at first.

I was only 19 when I found out I was pregnant with him. I was an only child, had never babysat children growing up because honestly, children bugged me. Oh, sure, they were cute to look at....until they opened their mouths. Plus, I was in college, in a college DORM, no less...how could I take care of a baby?

Tom was in basic training, beginning his career in the Air Force. I felt he needed to focus on his career, not a baby. I mean, we had planned on getting married all along. I was just going to finish college first.

I told Tom I was pregnant when I went to see him at his basic training graduation. He wasn’t upset and reminded me that we were going to get married anyhow, so what was the big deal if it was sooner than expected?

“The big deal is I don’t like babies!” I admitted. “They’re loud, they stink, and oh my God, I like my sleep. It’s why I signed up for college classes in the afternoon.”

I brought up the adoption suggestion to Tom, and at first he said he’d support whatever I decided. But then he changed his mind. “It’s my baby, we can support the baby since I’ll have a steady job, it seems silly to give him or her up.”

“But our sleep!” I wailed.

In the end, obviously, we decided to keep Tommy. I informed my college that I would not be returning the following semester. It was bittersweet. I knew I was giving up my freedom, that I’d never get to experience going out and getting drunk in my early twenties but after I felt Tommy kick? I didn’t care.

We moved into a home together in December, at Tom’s first base in Nebraska.

“I don’t know how to put cribs together!” I panicked again. I panicked a lot. I worried that I’d ruin Tommy’s life being so inexperienced. Tom didn’t know a lot about babies either. He had an older sister and that was it. Basically, I felt that Tommy was screwed.

“I can put the crib together,” Tom assured me, and he did.

“But our sleep!”

“It will be disturbed,” Tom admitted.

“Maybe we can train the baby to only wake up once during the night,” said my naïve nineteen-year-old self.

The labor pains started early on March 1st. I was two days overdue and was annoyed when the pains interrupted my sleep.

“Not now. I’m sleeping,” I think I told my gigantic stomach.

The pains got worse. Tom was at work and I had to call him home. I remember he said something like, “Are you sure it’s time?”

I probably swore at him and said, “It f*cking hurts, I’m pretty sure it’s time.” I covered my stomach as though I were covering Tommy’s ears. “Sorry. Don’t repeat that, baby. Your mother has a foul mouth. I’ll work on it.”

At the hospital it was discovered I was pretty far along. 5 centimeters, I think.

“Can I have the epidural thingy?” I asked. I wasn’t even going to attempt to be a hero and go without pain meds. (And the funny thing was, I had just learned what an epidural was two weeks earlier. I wasn’t kidding when I said I knew NOTHING about babies.)

I had to wait an hour for an epidural and Tom did not help. He would look at the monitor and go, “Wow, look how high that number went, I bet that was a painful contraction, huh?” I wanted to slap him. But he was also a naïve nineteen-year-old so he didn’t know any better.

“Will you still love me?” I asked Tom, when I got my epidural and was much happier. “If my vagina gets all messed up?”

Tom nearly fell out of his chair. “What kind of question is that?”

“I read that it can mess you up. Down there. Will you still love me?”

“Yes. Of course.”

When it came time to push, I was scared. I mean, this was it. No turning back. I pushed for a bit and then I heard the first cry.

Tommy. Born at a little after midnight on March 2nd, 2002.

It would have been an incredibly joyous moment, but then Tom had to lean down and go, “You totally pooped when you were pushing him out.”

Like I said. We were nineteen.

After Tommy was cleaned (he had peed all over the nurse moments before and this had struck me as hilarious—until I got peed on) he was handed over to me. I was hesitant, because he was the first baby I ever held. He just seemed so small and breakable.

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” I admitted to the nurse.

“Most first time parents don’t,” she assured me and placed the bundle in my arms.

I stared down at Tommy.

He stared up at me.

And then I knew.

He was the best decision I ever made.



Happy Birthday, Tommy.

67 comments:

  1. Totally brought tears to my eyes! I can relate to a lot of your story. It's amazing the gifts we are given when we aren't asking. Best.Decision.Ever. Happy Birthday to your little...er, big boy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy birthday to your sweet son.

    ReplyDelete
  3. you can totally see how blonde he was even then!! What a cutie!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awww. What a great story. Happy birthday Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good choice, Mom.

    He's a keeper.

    Happy Birthday, Little T!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Excellent choice!!! Isn't it amazing how that first look at that little person can make you feel?

    Gotta go get a tissue now...

    ReplyDelete
  7. SUCH a great story!! (And my husband is in his forties and mentioned the poop thing when I had our son a year ago, so some guys just never grow up!) :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy Birthday, Tommy!

    Sweet, sweet story. I was tearing up...

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a beautifully REAL post. Happy birthday to your son.

    They change our lives without even trying, don't they?

    ReplyDelete
  10. What an incredibly sweet and moving post...and you probably still don't have your sleep quite back yet. Lol

    Happy birthday sweet Tommy

    ReplyDelete
  11. How sweet! Happy Birthday, Tommy!
    I felt the same way with my first. I was an only child and was never around children. It was hard at first but natural "mommyness" just kicked in!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happy Birthday Tommy!

    In my situation Skye was conceived not long after a rape. Way too close actually. *Shrugs* I needed to feel loved, and didn't want my rape to taint what should be a wonderful experience with another human being. So I jumped that bandwagon.

    Thing is like I said way too close, there were days of wondering...Then my health came into play (90lbs. when I conceived and a few other issues) and they told me the baby might be a threat to my life in the end.

    What can you say to that? Who would keep a child that endangered their health and might of been the product of a rape? *Holds up hand*
    She turned out pretty perfect. Skye was my one and last chance to have a kid(I wouldn't ever be able to get pregnant again). I never did have a DNA test done on her. In the end I didn't care. She was mine. (Hugs)Indigo

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy Birthday Tommy! (Now I need to go find some tissues and blown my nose and wipe my eyes.)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Birthday Tommy. Our children change us forever, don't they?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beautiful story, Amber. Congratulations to your 19-year-old selves. And Happy Birthday, Tommy.

    ReplyDelete
  16. oh man! You totally made me cry! What a sweet post! Happy Birthday to your Tommy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. That story totally made me tear up and laugh at the same time.

    Happy Birthday Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  18. That was really so sweet! I was 38 when I had my first and let me tell you - I was just as scared! Happy Birthday Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great story- thanks for sharing! My mom got pregnant with me in college... it makes me feel so loved knowing that she chose to keep me despite the obstacles she faced.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow...what an amazing birth story. Happy Birthday to an amazing little boy!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy Birthday to Tommy. And you!

    I always think Birthdays should celebrate the Mom who went through all that!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Happy Birthday Tommy! (did you really?)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love this birth story. Told as only you can tell it.

    I hope Tommy has a great birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Happy Birthday Tommy!
    Happy Became a Mom Day, Amber!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sweet story! Happy Birthday Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  26. hahaha, you totally pooped! I love it.

    Also, Happy Birthday Tommy!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Happy birthday Tommy! Your mom is hilarious.

    Years ago, when we were young thangs, my friend got pregnant unexpectedly and she told me after the birth that she was MORTIFIED because she also pooped while pushing. No one had batted an eyelid, apparently it happens all the time. As though it's not embarrassing enough worrying about having all sorts of people peering up your business end, now everyone has to worry that they might poop everywhere as well. This is another reason people need to stop FILMING births. No one needs to see that. :)

    But well done YOU.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Loved the story! Happy birthday Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  29. SO beautiful, I'm tearing up here in the middle of a coffee shop while I read this!! Happy Birthday Tommy. Thank you for sharing your story!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy Birthday, Tommy!
    Happy Birth Day, Amber!

    I swear I think Mom's should get presents on their kidlet's bdays too! Ha! How can we enact that? Hmmmm....

    ReplyDelete
  31. What an awesome birth story. You made it sweet,funny,inspirational, emotional...oh, just all sorts of things! You are such a gifted writer.

    Happy Birthday, Tommy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Happy Birthday Tommy!! Love the birth story....I was clueless too still am and she is 16!

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a great story! And my husband said the poop thing to me too--and he was 36 at the time. Men are idiots.
    Oh, and about the going out and getting drunk in your early 20's. You didn't miss a damn thing!

    ReplyDelete
  34. what a sweet story. thank you for sharing your 19 yr old self. and happy birthday Tommy

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love your honesty. Happy birthday to your boy!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Awwwwww! Oh my gosh, that's so sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  37. What a beautiful story! (Hope your vagina survived the experience intact!)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Awww, that is awesome! So many similarities with your story and mine. My oldest is also 8 and I had him when I was 20 and my husband and I were also military/military wife. :) He was born in October of 2002. :) Love your blog! I am your newest follower!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Great story!

    I got pregnant twice, on purpose both times, but really didn't want the second one.

    I guess I like her now.

    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  40. That is so sweet. I'm not talking from experience as I have no children, but from what I've heard most mothers feel similar to you when they bring their first child home.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Ah! That is the sweetest thing I've ever read. I love this and yes, Happy Birthday Darling Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Happy, happy birthday to Tommy! What a beautiful story, Amber. I remember being so very scared of that little bundle I brought home from the hospital - and I was 26! He and Natalie are very lucky to have such wonderful parents.

    ReplyDelete
  43. So glad you shared this story. Kids with young parents should feel lucky - the household is more fun that way! I loved that my parents danced around the house to rock and roll when I was a toddler.

    ReplyDelete
  44. So glad you posted this. I think kids with young parents should feel lucky - the household is so much more fun. I loved that my parents danced around to rock and roll in the house when I was growing up...it made life fun.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Happy Birthday Tommy!

    This was so sweet- congrats on becoming a great mom at a young age (coming from one that became a mom a few months after turning 20 :))

    ReplyDelete
  46. Oh, Happy Birthday Tommy!!

    I loved this post, your honesty, your feelings, the whole thing. Brought me back to when I was 19 and pregnant with my first child.

    In two months she will be turning 22 and graduating college with honors! I think having her and taking care of her (I was a single Mom - no dad in the picture) was the best decision I ever made.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. I adore this post.

    Happy birthday Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  48. So sweet! I started reading you on OD not too terribly long after that!

    Happy birthday, Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Happy birthday! He's a lucky boy. I was 27 and I still had no idea what I was doing.

    ReplyDelete
  50. my husband still reminds me that i pooped on the table- i wish i had pooped on him.
    you are so brave to post such an intimate, honest post. i commend you for it.

    ReplyDelete
  51. What a gift! Happy birthday to your Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I can relate to a lot of your story too, my first was born under VERY similar circumstances, and even now I look back and my lack of knowledge about babies at the time was amazing. Our daughter was the first baby my husbad EVER held. But yeah, it turned out to be the best decision I ever made :) Happy birthday to your big boy! Your post was really sweet and it made me all misty-eyed!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I love how you tell it like it is! Great story! Happy Birthday Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  54. What a GREAT story and way to say Happy Birthday to your Tommy.

    Clearly you've figured it all out, and you're doing a great job being his Mom.

    I'm so fascinated by your story because I've never known life WITHOUT babies and little kids. Grew up with 7 in my family and I'm Mormon..hello. Kids everywhere, all the time.

    Kudos to you for being the woman/Mom that you are.

    ReplyDelete
  55. First time here...Liked your story. It is instant isnt it?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Being a young mom is SO hard! But it's totally worth it! Your story brought tears to my eyes. How lucky to have Tom supporting you!

    Happy Birthday Tommy!

    ReplyDelete
  57. this story was really sweet!!! I enjoyed it lots! Happy Birthday to your cute son!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Happy Birthday to Tommy! Hope he had a wonderful day. BTW- when I have my first baby in September, my husband already said he is going to laugh hysterically and announce it to everyone if I poop. Husbands are so great ;)

    ReplyDelete
  59. I love that you don't sugar coat it...and yet, it's so sweet and you can really see your family dynamic.

    Happy birthday to your sweet Tommy (better late than never)!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Oooh, that is a tough, but sweet, story. He's definitely a keeper. And you're a great mom!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the comment!

Share This

 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...