My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, March 1, 2012

my Austin

My Austin is 18 today.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I love that kid.
Every time I start to think back over the last 18 years... and the nine months before he was born... my eyes fill with tears.
I have this theory that nobody *plans* a third child.
He was a surprise. The blessing I didn't order but gratefully received.
We found out we were pregnant right before the 4th of July.
I told our pastor that Sunday morning and he announced it to the congregation... I wasn't ready to be pregnant yet but I appreciated the love that was showered on us.
I went into labor with him the first time at 25 weeks. We kept him cooking all the way to 38 weeks.
My friend Christy was pregnant at the same time and she used to bust me out of the house to go to the mall. We would walk to the first bench... rest... walk to the next bench... rest.
Miss Peggy from the church sent me puzzles to do while I was on bed rest.
I embroidered a quilt for him... I would sew for hours and hours on end (this was before the internet, you understand) and ended up with carpal tunnel sewing his little quilt. It burned in the fire last summer.
There was concern about the development of his kidneys so we had lots of ultrasounds. Lots of trips downtown to the Perinatologist.
I may have been *just a little* disappointed that he wasn't a girl. I wanted a girl so bad. But now I know that God had a different kind of blessing in store for me.
My sweet friend Dana bought his first car seat.
I went to the doctor, miserable and uncomfortable on February 28th. The dr said that she wanted to induce me but I was so far from being ready that it wouldn't work and we'd end up with a c-section.
That night I had a taco salad from Wendy's for dinner.... and I woke up around 4am with contractions... at first I thought it was gas pain from the taco salad... but it was Austin, making his arrival.
We got to the hospital sometime around 7am. They had the contraction monitor thing hooked up wrong and thought I wasn't having contractions... but I was. A lot of them. They wanted to send me home, thinking I wasn't really in labor... I convinced them to check me and I was 7-8 centimeters dialated.
No epidural... just a little demerol in my IV.
No doctor... he came too fast... 9:10am on March 1, 1994.
Our nurse, fortunately, was training to be a midwife. She... and Austin's dad... delivered him... with a room full of medical students watching.
Six pounds, thirteen ounces... just like his older brother, Cody.
They called his delivery, "precipitous labor" ... meaning that it went very fast. They said that with the next baby they would need to induce me early to make sure that they didn't come at home...
There wouldn't be a next baby. I got my tubes tied the next year, right before Austin turned 1.
So we took our sweet baby boy home... I have pictures of lots of people loving on him but my favorites are of his Aunt Angie ... who wasn't yet his Aunt Angie... holding him. It was when she was very newly a part of our family and I was so thankful for her.
The Barnes family brought food for us... lasagna, I think.
We had a lot of company and I was not quite feeling myself.
My friend Lisa took me to Kroger to buy cabbage leaves to help with my engorgement. That may be too much info but it's funny now, when I think about it. We were like Thelma and Louise breaking out of the house for thirty minutes of sanity. I think we got chinese food too.
I used to keep him under the table where the Awana secretaries sat on Sunday nights.
One dear saint, Miss Anne, was always fussing at me for not having socks on him. (he didn't like them then... and I still can't get him to wear socks). She would go to the closet where we kept the clothes for charity and get socks for him. Miss Anne is with Jesus now.
I had a baby carrier that I used to keep him in when we were at the ballfield... and between his daddy playing softball and me keeping scorebook for the church softball teams and his brother playing football... we were at the ballfield a lot.
Sweet Joy Barnes, who was ten at the time, treated Austin like her very own baby doll. She would wear the carrier with him in it and took very good care of him. She's now a mommy - a very good mommy because she had a lot of practice with Auggie.
We called him Auggie... "Auggie doggie doodle all the day"... and I still call him Doodle bug, especially when I wake him up.
When Austin was three weeks old, Cody got really sick... chicken pox... one of the sores got badly infected and he developed cellulitis in his face. It was so scary. So sad. And I had to leave my newborn baby to take care of my other baby. Cody was in isolation for several days.
To say that it takes a village to raise a child is an understatement. His dad left us when Austin was 6.
Throughout Austin's life... we have been surrounded by love and support from our church families (past and present)... our real family - he spent his summers with Mawmaw at Aunt Linda's day care center... our theatre friends and family... our friends at the ballpark... surrogate fathers like Purple Michael... great teachers... a village.
You would think... having three boys... that my love would have been divided among them... the truth is, it multiplied.
I love that child - that man - more than I can tell you. He has been with me the longest of all of my boys. He and I have been alone together since 2008 and although at times he hasn't been a great roommate... for the most part...he has taken care of me as much as I have taken care of him.
I thank God for this blessing that I never knew I wanted.
Happy Birthday Austin Clay!