Stephanie Pearce: Firstborn children
February 16, 2014
As most moms will tell you, there is nothing that is quite so special as the pregnancy with and birth of your first child. The following pregnancies and births are special and usually each is different, but the first is just that … the first. My first was 22 years ago at the end of this week. It amazes me that when I think about it, it is like it was just yesterday.
I remember the first time I heard this little heartbeat. My heart raced with nervousness and excitement. I remember the cold gel they put on my tummy and the fetal Doppler rolling around my abdomen searching for that quick beat.
I recall the first ultrasound. It is amazing how this mass on the old ultrasounds doesn't really resemble a baby. We took the photo home, however, and looked at it in amazement for months.
Exposing my baby to music while I was pregnant was important to me. I sang to my baby a lot ("You Are A Masterpiece" by Sandi Patti and "When You Say Nothing at All" by Keith Whitley — Alison Krauss hadn't made her version yet). My baby's favorite music was anything by Garth Brooks. He literally would dance when he heard him. I would sit on the couch, and my big round belly would move like it wasn't even attached to me, and once in a while, you could see a foot or a hand poking out. I also heard that if you played classical music with headphones on your belly, your baby would be really smart, so I did that a lot. I think it worked. He could read before kindergarten, and he is really gifted musically.
I remember how scared I was about the thought of giving birth. How could I go through that much pain? Little did I know, that pain was nothing compared to watching your child find his way in this big world and not being able to protect him all the time.
I remember having my friends and family nearby during labor, coaching me and waiting for this amazing person to come. I remember my mother holding him first and singing "Jesus Loves Me" and my dad naming him because I couldn't decide on a name. His name means “clay from the farm.” He is down to earth, hardworking and he grew up on a ranch. I think his name fits him well.
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I remember trying to put newborn socks on his feet, and they wouldn't even begin to fit because his feet were so huge. We had to go to a size 1. It all made sense when his shoe size matched his age until he was 13 and he grew to be 6-foot-5.
There's something truly special about your very first child. The emotions that go with it: love, fear of the unknown, happiness and all those pregnancy hormone sensations you aren't used to. The first time you realize your heart is no longer inside you, but it's now in your arms, and when he can speak, he will call you Mom.