Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Shane Loyal!

Shane and Mom
Seven years ago today, the joy of my life – Shane Loyal Mausser – came into this world at 6pm on a Tuesday evening.

I can honestly say that it was and still is the happiest day of my life.

I know he is my son, but I believe him to be one of the sweetest and most endearing individuals I have ever met in my life. He was born with a good disposition and it remains with him even today.

I was almost 30 when Jason and I tied the knot. We both had agreed that we didn't want to rush into starting a family. We wanted to take the time to experience our married lives together.

The reality is that we were scared.

I speak for myself when I say that the prospect of actually being someone's mom frightened me. At thirty years old, I felt like a kid myself. Jason was happy to spend the next five years honeymooning, traveling and just enjoying life.

And we were not alone.

At the time, a lot of our friends were just getting married themselves and not very many had begun to start their families.

On our five year wedding anniversary, Jason whisked me up to San Francisco for a romantic get-away. While there, we finally put it all out on the table. I had just turned 34 and was definitely beginning to feel as though the old biological time-bomb was ticking away loud and clear as though it could detonate at any moment.

Shane Loyal
I was surprised when Jason told me he was ready too.

It was an exciting decision that made us both a bit apprehensive. There were so many “what ifs.” But we wouldn't know unless we got out there and – had fun – while trying.

At the end of November 2003, we were in Hawaii for a wedding. As I have posted before, on the flight home, I just knew I was pregnant. Even though a pregnancy test confirmed negative – and after a mechanical bull-ride and a night of dancing on the bar – I was indeed preggers.

For the next eight and a half months, absolutely not to be confused with Kim Basinger's sexy drama “Eight and a Half Weeks,” I was with child.

I have always been a pretty average-sized woman. Not too tall nor too short; not too skinny or too fat; however, by the end of my term, I looked like I was going to give birth to twins. How do I know? Well, people kept asking me if I was pregnant with twins. But alas, it was just one healthy baby boy growing in my belly.

I did a lot of things throughout my pregnancy, such as reading to the baby, playing all kinds of music, talking to my belly; all in anticipation of stimulating an extreme amount of intelligence and knowing into that little guy.

Being sort of new-agey, I went totally off the wall while pregnant. I took pre-natal and kundalini yoga and was doing head stands during my second trimester. I mean, I can't even do a head stand in yoga today.

Also, I convinced Jason that I wanted our birthing method – like Lamaze – to be Hypnobirthing. What pretel is hypnobirthing you ask?

Have you ever sat with your hand, arm, foot or leg turned in an awkward position only to realize it after a long period of time. Suddenly, when you realize that your foot is twisted like a pretzel it starts to hurt.

That is the premise of hypnobirthing. The concept uses hypnotherapy – in the form of meditation – to lessen the pain; in this case, giving birth.

I was hoping to have a natural childbirth – aka drug free – but I did have a safe word in case I changed my mind during labor.

I was trying to take a more healthful and alternative approach so that my baby would be safer and healthier.

So, on Tuesday August 24, I awoke about 2 am with bad cramps. Even though I was two weeks early, I just knew this was it. I woke up Jason who, in all his practicality and not being a morning person, asked how far apart my contractions were. I reported more than 20 minutes. He told me to wake him up when they were 5 minutes apart and then he went back to sleep.

Unlike myself, I was too amped up with anticipation and excitement to go back to sleep so I got up and continued to nest. I finished up some work that I had left to do, straightened up our home, and packed my bag for the hospital.

At about 6am, I forced Jason to wake up even though my contractions were still far apart.

At 8 am, I phoned my doctor and they said to head to the hospital when my contractions were two to five minutes apart. The contractions, which felt like really bad stomach cramps, were intensifying but not too bad.

I told Jason that I wanted to stop and pick up some bagels and cream cheese for the nurses. A few friends told me this was a way to win some brownie points.

So we drove out of our way to the bagel shop. By the time Jason got back in the car, the cramps had turned into excruciatingly painful contractions.

The less than one mile ride to the hospital seemed to take a lifetime; somewhere between Redondo Beach and Torrance, I had decided to forgo hypnobirthing for a crack in the head with a cinder block.

We got up to triage and the nurse on duty checked me out. She said I was not ready to have the baby and I should walk around the hospital to get things moving along.

Well, throughout my walk, I was having contractions about every minute or so.  I was convinced that Shane would be arriving any minute now.

Upon another check-up, I was told no sign of the little guy; if I didn't start showing signs soon, they would send me home.

I grabbed Jason by the arm, so tight that I'm sure he was bruised, and said, “If they send me home that is where I will have this baby. Like Prissy from “Gone With The Wind,” We “don't know nothin' ‘bout birthin' no babies.”

Actually, I did not say that and, due to the large number of expletives that I actually did say, I won’t repeat it.  But I did grab Jason and started to cry.

The nurse said that, if I wasn't using hypnobirthing as my birthing method, she could call my doctor and ask if they could give me a little something, something to relax me.

Suddenly, “watermelon” came out of my mouth. The safe word had been said and the drugs began.

OK, so yes, I admit that I wanted a natural childbirth and ended up having a sedative before the epidural. What part of uptight don't you understand? Well, I believe that all went down at about 3pm.

Shane May 2011
After my next check-up, I was officially admitted to the hospital and it was confirmed that I hadn't just gained 40 pounds for naught; I was going to have a baby.

By the time they wheeled me into my room, the anesthesiologist met us there and it was smooth sailing from that point on.

I started active labor at 4pm and two hours later on the dot my precious boy was born.

When I looked down on him, I had tears in my eyes. He was absolutely beautiful. But Shane's beauty is not just skin deep. He is a beautiful person inside out.

Even at this young age, he is so filled with compassion and love. Don't get me wrong, he is a seven year old boy so the “Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails” stuff definitely holds true as well. He loves rocks, insects and lizards.

Shane’s favorite sport last year was basketball, but we will be throwing football into the mix this year, so that might change.

He is my inspiration and I live vicariously through his wonderment of the world.

So today, I send all my happy birthday wishes to my sweet, sweet boy.

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