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JD Turns 5 Tomorrow!

By Christine.Coppa |

Hello! I just tucked JD in and we did something super special. As you know tis the night before JD’s 5th birthday. I’ve never read any blogs or excerpts from my book to him. But, tonight, I told him I had a special bedtime story for him and to jump in bed. He ran to his room, climbed in and pulled the covers up to his chin. I ran my finger across a line of books on the shelf … stopping at mine, Rattled!

I looked down at the pink and orange cover. The black profile of the pregnant girl, of me. My eyes stung. This time, five years ago, I was in my one-bedroom apartment, tucking myself in, knowing I was having a c-section the next day.

“Mommy!” JD called, shaking me from that memory. The hardwood floor in the old bedroom. The black, puffy comforter. The honey colored crib pushed against the wall and zoo themed bedding.

“Coming,” I said. JD has seen my book before. He knows my book by its cover. “Mommy’s book!” he said. “Baby, I’m going to read you the story of how you came into this world to me. JD squealed, “Ohhhh OK, Mommy!” 

From Chapter 18 of Rattled! 

The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world, there will not be, another child like him. 
-Pablo Casals

I squint at the bright white lights overhead. She leads me to a thin table and as we walk to it I see surgical tools, one next to the other in a pretty, little uniform line on a tray, and quickly turn away. Nurse Jack helps me scoot up onto the table and Dr. Krammer appears before me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[JD] “The nurse is my name!” interrupts JD. “Yes, her name is Jacklyn, like Mema, but her nickname is Jack, like you, baby,” I said, brushing his hair off his brow. “Mema’s nickname is Jackie, right?” I nod.

“How are you feeling, Christine?” he asks, resting his palms on my knees. I half smile and swallow.

“You’re going to be fine, Christine,” he says, and walks around the table. I feel fingers grazing my neck and startle.

“That’s me, Christine,” says Nurse Jack. “I’m just untying the gown.”

[JD] “My name! Again! Mommy!” interrupts JD. (He is very excited that he shares a name with his maternity nurse. Kinda kismet, actually.)

Dr. Keanchong comes in with a mask over her mouth.

[JD] “Like a Spiderman mask?” interrupts JD. “Kinda,” I say. “Cool!” says, JD. 

“Hi, Christine,” she says, and takes my shoulders in her hands.

I feel a cool sheet of plastic spread over my back and a quick brush of something wet and drippy.

“That’s me, Christine,” Dr. Krammer says. “I’m sterilizing your back. You’re okay,” he says.

I feel myself excite. My teeth begin to chatter and my eyes fill with tears. [Side note for Babble readers: I was really anxious about the spinal.]

“You’re okay, Christine,” Dr. Keanchong says.

“Christine, I need you to do the scared cat move,” says Dr. Krammer. I feel his hands on my back. This is it, this is it, I think as my heart races. Dr. Keanchong pulls my shoulders forward.

“You’re okay, Christine,” she says again.

“Just a quick pinch and a slow sting,” Dr. Krammer says.

I start to cry, then suck in a breath. Nurse Jack is holding my head, rubbing my temples. There is a sharp pinch, like a bee sting, then it burns, fading slowly. . .

[JD] “Like the bee sting at the zoo, Mommy!” interrupts JD. I smile and keep reading. 

“That’s it Christine, you’re okay,” Nurse Jack says.

“Tell me when you put the needle in,” I say, shuddering.

“I’m in,” Dr. Krammer says, and Nurse Jack and Dr.Keanchong ease me down without warning. I feel like everyone is suddenly racing around me.

“The needle?” I say.

“It’s all done, Christine,” Dr. Keanchong says and I feel my legs flush with heat, then a fast rush of pins and needles. I lay back staring up at the bright white lights as Nurse Jack pushes my gown up and opens my legs.

“I feel you, I can feel you,” I say.

“We’ll give it some time, Christine, don’t worry,” Dr.Krammer says.

Nurse Jack appears over my head and opens a small screen in front of my face shielding my view. This is it.My eyes search left, then right. I feel something tugging on my side, it’s like a rubber clamp squeezing my skin.

“Chris, do you feel that?” Dr. Krammer asks. I close my eyes, sensing it again.

“I just feel something warm and soft squeezing my side,” I say.

“And here, do you feel that?” he asks.“I don’t know,” I say.

“Christine, pull your legs up for me?” he says.

I will them up with all of my might. “Okay,” I say.

“They’re up?” Dr. Krammer asks.

“I don’t know, I guess.” I hear things clanking into a metal dish. I sense something dripping down my stomach, but then it fades away.

“She’s ready,” I hear Dr. Krammer say. “Bring in Mom.” [Side note for Babble readers: My mom was with me. I wasn't alone. My Dad, Carlo, Bri and Nanny (RIP) were waiting in the wings.]

“Christine, I’m going to start now. You’re okay,” I hear Dr. Keanchong say.

My mother comes in and stoops down next to me. From my perception it’s like she’s sitting on a tree trunk. I feel her brush her hand on my forehead.

“You’re okay, Chris,” my mom says. Everyone keeps telling me I’m okay. The lights seem brighter. I look to the left of me, then feel like something is tiptoeing across my pelvis or like I’m being unzipped.

“I feel that. I feel something,” I say.

“You’re okay, Christine,” I hear Dr. Keanchong say. I hear a clank again.

“You’re going to feel some pressure, Christine,” Dr. Keanchong says. All of a sudden I feel like there is something sitting on my chest. I reach for a breath. I try to make noise, but I can’t.

“I see the head,” Dr. Keanchong says.

“The baby is out, Christine,” Dr. Keanchong says. I hear Nurse Jack, “Aw.” Then I hear my Jack. He sounds like a little bird doll that someone wound up, until he roars with “Eh-Eh-Eh-Ehhhh-Whahhhhh!”

“The baby is here,” my mother says, and I feel a single tear fall from my eye until I taste it on my lips.

“He’s peeing on me!” Nurse Jack says and the room erupts into laughter.

[JD] “You told me I peed on the nurse! I peed on Nurse Jack? That is silly and disgusting, Mommy!” says JD.

“Christine, look to the left, Nurse Jack is going to show you your baby,” Dr. Keanchong says.

It’s like I’m underwater looking through a pair of goggles. I can see him. He’s naked and pink and wet and his arms are pulled up with his fists under his chin. There is bright white light all around him. He looks like an angel baby—a heavenly little creature. I see things happening around me. Dr. Krammer is at my side telling me I “did good,” then sticking my line with something. My vein flushes with cold. My mother is standing up, craning her body away from me.

“The baby, where is Jack?” I say to my mom.

“They’re cleaning him up,” she says. Then I see Nurse Jack come closer. She’s holding a white bundle that she passes to my mother. She sets him next to me and I turn my face to his.

“Jack Domenic,” I say in a whisper. His face is pink and there are a few stray black hairs peeking through his white cap. I pull it off to find a damp mess of dark hair. My mother presses his cheek against my lips.

“Jack Domenic,” I say again, looking at him. “Hello, my baby. I’ve been waiting for you.”

***

I shut the book. “Read me more, Mommy,” JD said. I smile at him. I’m crying now. “I will one day, baby. But now go to sleep,” kissing him on the cheek like I did the day he was born. “When you wake up, you will be 5, baby.”

“Will my face look different, Mommy?” he said.

“It will look beautiful,” I said. With that, I kissed him again, scooted off his bed and clicked the light off. “Good night, I love you, best friends,” I said. JD repeated the words. I tugged on his elephant toy his godmother gave him when he was born and twinkle music played.

***

I put my earbuds in and listened to Mindy Gledhill while I unloaded the dishwasher and folded the laundry and thought.

Mindy Gledhill’s, All About Your Heart

If you were an ice cream flavor
You would be my favorite one

My imagination sees you
Like a painting by Van Gogh
Starry nights and bright sunflowers
Follow you where you may go

Oh, I´ve loved you from the start
In every single way
And more each passing day
You are brighter than the stars

Have you told your kids their birth story? Share. 

Please friend me on Facebook (so you can read my 9000 status updates a day) and follow me @JDSMOM2007 on twitter. Visit ChristineCoppa.net For more info on where to buy Rattled! click here.

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More from me: 

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: The Single Mom Edition 

Who Watches Your Kids When You Go Out?

Single Mom Life: I Danced Till 4 AM and My Kid Got up at 6 AM

More on Babble

About Christine.Coppa

christine-coppa

Christine.Coppa

Christine Coppa is the author of Rattled! (Broadway Books, 2009), the creator of glamour.com's Storked blog and a freelance fashion market editor. Her son, Jack, is 5 and they hail from North NJ. Her work has appeared in Glamour, First for Women, Redbook and Parenting among other publications.

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15 thoughts on “JD Turns 5 Tomorrow!

  1. Adrian's mommy says:

    Wonderful post, made me tear up. My son will be two is a few weeks and I’m overwhelmed with memories of my labor and the joy I felt when I finally had my precious child in my arms.

  2. Christine.Coppa says:

    I love the name Adrian! xo

  3. Uncle Carlo says:

    Mom often reminds me that after I out her through 15 hrs if labor Dad and the doctor decided to to a c section and here I am 33 years later. Ahh.

  4. jt15 says:

    Uh huh, TEARS.

    Happy 5th Birthday, JD!
    I hope it’s excess & wonderful, you deserve nothing less.

  5. Pamela says:

    Hi! I’m 25 (no kids!), I read your book in 2009 and loved it. The best part about the book is that it didn’t have to end- I’ve really enjoyed following you and your son’s lives throughout the years! Each time you post a new blog I stop whatever I’m doing to read it. You are one awesome mama! Enjoy JD’s bday.

  6. Aimee says:

    Jameson knows his (abbreviated) birth story and that when he was born he was 11 pounds 4.5 oz and 23.5 inches long! It was an intense, long natural birth that was worth every single second! You and I emailed back and forth about it way back when we were both new 27 year-old mommies and you were blogging at Storked! Although my JD is 6 months younger than yours, so you had a head-start on the parenting thing! I think 5 (a whole hand!) will be a tough one for me too. Happy 5th Birthday, Jack! Enjoy it!!

  7. Mary says:

    Until I adopted E (via foster care). I never knew how much kids love to hear these stories. I don’t remember ever asking about it. Since E. is adopted we don’t share a birth story, but I did create a book about when we met (right before his 1st birthday). Luckily I had saved the flyer from social services inviting me to the picnic where we met. For many reason you are not allowed to take pictures at the picnic so that is all we have. So the book starts off with that and then shows pictures of our first visit, first trip to the park etc. He likes to talk about the picnic and how he wore a shirt with octopuses all over it and watched a clown. He calls it “The story of Mommy and E.”

  8. Rach says:

    Oe (Owen) is only 8mths old but I do tell him about how he used to be in my tummy and I have no doubt I’ll share our story when he is older.
    Beautiful blog post Chrissie!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Mine are just three and 17 months so no stories yet. But I am sure when the time comes my daughter will love that my water broke while waiting to be seated at Chili’s and my son will love that we had to stop for gas because mommy let the car run completely empty and that fact made daddy a little mad.

    Happy birthday to you little JD! Have been reading your blog since shortly before he turned 3 and I am amazed how fast they grow even with my own.

  10. Meredith says:

    Hi Christine! Happy Birthday JD! I have been a long time reader and remember when Glamour posted the annoucement of Jack’s arrival. I hope you both enjoy today!

  11. Jen says:

    I cry so much reading your blog. Full on crying. My son will be 7 in December, and I have never told him his birth story. Its kind of foggy, there was a lot of pain, I had TWO epidurals and both didn’t work. I don’t know why, but I worry if I ever have to have a C-Section! I distinctly remember screaming “Get him out! Get him out!” lol. Happy 5th birthday to JD…..5 was a fun year for us – it will be for you too. After age 5, its like they aren’t even themselves anymore, they’re changing into young men. At least it seems that way to me. Hope you guys have a blast celebrating 5 years :)

  12. DeathMetalMommy says:

    I have read JD’s birth story at least a dozen times and it just never gets old.

    http://www.deathmetalmommy.blogspot.com

  13. marie says:

    Happy Birthday to my birthday twin! Have an awesome day, JD!

  14. Deans Mom says:

    Longtime reader and sometime poster here… I am a single mom to a now 14.5 yr old. I remember well his fifth birthday.. It was a changing year for him. From little boy to almost a big boy.. a lot of maturing that year. I am now seeing my son off this wed to his first day of HIGH SCHOOL!! I am crying like a baby. He is starting a whole new chapter that I will no longer play a huge role in.. cherish every little moment, they really do fly by. : (

  15. stacy says:

    totally crying sitting here at work… what a way w/words you do have… & JD is so cute.. My youngest will be 5 in 2wks…. such a big birthday & yep by the way i’m going ALL out— magician & about 55 people at my house… why not i say!!!!!!!!! :-0

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