Birthday boy

We celebrated Jonathan’s fourth birthday last Thursday (06/19).  It’s hard to believe our little guy is four years old already!  I still remember the circumstances of his birth with great clarity.

As many of you know, Jonathan was born about 3-1/2 weeks early.  On Friday, June 18, Cassia went to the BYU Student Health Center to see a doctor about a mole that was bothering her.  (As a teenager, she had a potentially cancerous mole removed from her back, and the experience made her quite vigilant about such things.  Of course, the fact that I have dozens of pigment spots on my arms, and a few on my legs, causes her to worry a little bit.  I tease her good-naturedly about it all the time.)  At the appointment the nurse checked her blood pressure, as nurses are wont to do.

140/112.  The doctor checked it again with a more accurate cuff.  Now it was 160/113!

At work I get an urgent phone call from Cassia.  The nurse is taking Cassia to the hospital, and we won’t be leaving there until after we’ve had our baby.

So began approximately 30 hours of attempts to chemically induce labor.  I seem to recall at one point Cassia had about four IVs in her arm.  I spent my time watching DVDs on my laptop.  :)  OK, that’s not entirely true.  My first priority after Cassia fell asleep at around 1:30am was to rush home and get our little one-bedroom apartment ready for little Jonathan.  My parents had been in town in April to celebrate Cassia’s college graduation, and while they were here they outfitted us with several essential items, a crib and a combination car seat/infant carrier foremost among them.  Cassia and I had discussed where the crib would go in our bedroom, but we hadn’t yet moved the other furniture around to make it happen.  Hey, it was still nearly a month away, right?  I worked feverishly for several hours in the middle of the night, then high-tailed it back to the hospital so I could be there when Cassia woke up and the birthing proper would commence.

Our regular doctor was not on call that day, so we worked with one of the other two doctors at the practice we attended.  In spite of our best efforts, neither Jonathan nor Cassia’s body were ready for birth.  The doctor’s suggestion (which sounded like a good idea to us at the time) was to increase the flow of meds.  This forced Cassia’s body into contractions, of course, but the way out was still closed.  So we got the epidural, hoping that would relieve Cassia’s pain and help her body relax.

Jonathan had been a terrific little trooper throughout this ordeal.  His heartbeat and other vitals were just great the entire time.  But by evening the potent cocktail of medications had caused his heartbeat to drop considerably.  The doctor told us it was time to get him out.  Next thing we knew, we were signing consent forms and donning surgical scrubs for the impending C-section.  Our regular doctor showed up and assisted the other in performing the procedure.  I didn’t have the fortitude to watch what they were doing, so I stayed on the “patient side” of the curtain and held Cassia’s hand as the anesthesia began to take hold and she drifted on the edge of unconsciousness.  Then we heard the healthy cries of a newborn baby.

Jonathan weighed five pounds, nine ounces.  He was such a little thing.  I remember looking down at his tiny naked body on the weigh scale.  His cries quickly changed to a kind of wolf howl, as he pursed his lips together into a small little “O” and went “ooo ooo ooooo” for a few minutes.  It was almost as if he was saying, “Why’d you guys take me out of that nice warm place?  It’s cold out here!”  I marveled that such a tiny baby had the facial muscle control and the presence of mind to do something we typically only see on TV or in the movies.  I still smile just thinking about it.

This is Cassia’s favorite photo of Jonathan and me:

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So here’s that little kid now, only he’s not so little anymore!  It’s amazing to think back to that day not so long ago, and recall all that transpired in his life since then.

Please enjoy this little video, which begins in the traditional manner and takes an unexpected turn for the humorous.

By the way, that’s his aunt (and Cassia’s youngest sister) Annalyse in the frame with him. I had forgotten just how much spittle was probably sprayed on the cake until I revisited this video a few days ago.  Cassia revealed to me as I was uploading it to Google that she actually blew out that last candle for Jonathan, but wanted him to believe that he had done it.  She fooled both of us!

For those eagle-eyed viewers out there wondering “Where’s Emma?”, here’s your answer:

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The poor girl was so exhausted by the day’s events that she crashed on the couch.  Don’t worry, sweetheart – your birthday’s next month.

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