Today is Christopher's 10th birthday! It is amazing to me that he is already 10 years old. Seems like just yesterday I held him as a newborn. Christopher was born 10 days early and I was quite caught off guard when my water broke on the afternoon of February 7, 1998. Chris' parents were visiting us in East Lansing that day and his mom and I had spent the afternoon shopping at Meijer for what seemed like a million 6-packs of Diet Orange Crush for Chris' uncle. He couldn't get this kind of pop up in St. Ignace and we found it at Meijer and loaded it from the cart to the car and then from my car into her car. Maybe it was all that lifting and straining with the pop, but soon after we returned home, I felt a little "pop" and knew my water broke. The funny thing was that there wasn't a gush of water like in the movies, just a little trickle. I called my midwife who recommended that I go to the hospital to be checked. Chris was at work and we couldn't get in touch with him to take me so my FIL had to take me. He got a kick out of telling the hospital staff that it was his baby. I wasn't so amused.
I got checked and, yes indeed, my water had broken. I was admitted and started walking to get the labor going. This was about 5pm. Chris made it to the hospital and we spent the evening watching the opening ceremonies for the Nagano, Japan Olympics. And breathing through contractions. Finally at 11:30 I was ready to push and did so for 7 minutes and out plopped this beautiful little boy weighing 8lbs 9oz. We didn't know the gender of Christopher before this moment and I had been sure that he was going to be a girl. I was so shocked that I said, "A boy? Does he have a penis?" The midwife and nurse thought this was pretty funny and assured me that he did, in fact, have the required boy parts. He was very beautiful and sweet and I held him in my arms and felt wonderful and scared at the same time.
My Emily was the light of my life and here was this stranger, a boy to boot, that I was supposed to love too. I didn't know how I could do it. I remember calling Chris from the hospital several times during the night, crying and asking him to reassure me that I could be a good mother to two children. The next day, little Em came to visit me and the new baby at the hospital. She was 23 months old and wearing the cutest little yellow outfit. I will never forget the moment she was lifted onto the hospital bed and reached out to touch her new little brother. My heart grew that moment to have enough love for both of these little children. I had lots of visitors that day including my dad and sister and many friends. The Erekson's brought me a cake with the phrase, "He has a penis!" in frosting in honor of my question right after he was born. All the nurses wanted to have a piece of the "penis" cake. To clarify, it didn't depict a penis, just had the word on it. I spent some very challenging weeks at home over the next bit. Emily was trying to find her place in our new family dynamic and she did this by being as naughty as possible. Christopher could never have enough to eat and I spent ALOT of time feeding him. Reading my journal from this time reminds me of the frustration that I felt. It was difficult. Christopher grew into a wonderfully sweet tempered infant. My nickname for him was the "Sunny Son" because he was so sunny. Always a smile for me. He has continued this trend to become a very wonderfully sweet tempered child. I look at him now and often think that his future wife is going to be very lucky. He is kind, considerate and always sensitive of others feelings. I love my Sunny Son. Happy Birthday, Christopher!