Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Hammerhead Baby

1994, less than 1 year old

first grade/senior

Me and him doing a little street show in Italy.

He played with me when I sang to Conrad at our wedding.

Happy birthday, Ryan! I called Mom last night and had her tell me your birth story. Love you!

Mom never officially went into labor with you. She had never been that pregnant before, and she was super over it, so she went to the hospital in the evening on March 11th to be induced. It was about 5-6 days before your due date. She dropped me and Kathryn off somewhere for the night.

She told them to break her water. "My baby's gonna be born today!" Sounds just like her.

When they broke her water it was around 9, and labor progressed pretty quickly. They stayed in the same room the whole labor and delivery. 20 minutes later, she was in hard labor and decided that she had changed her mind, and didn't want to have a baby that day. Because of the pain, she asked for an epidural.

Nana was invited, because they thought you might be their last baby, and she had never been present for one of her grandchildren's births before.

While Mom was laying in bed, Dad and Nana were sitting over by a little table talking about possible names, and mom felt left out, as if what she was going through wasn't momentous. Mom told dad if he wanted a "James Jr." it was up to him. He said that he didn't feel like he needed a junior. Dad liked the name Phillip but mom though it was too many soft i's (Phillip Wilkinson?). 

"Well what about Ryan?" 

They really liked it, and decided on James as a middle name. Your name was decided only hours before you were born.

Mom started transitioning, which means getting ready to push. You were a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean), which means poor Mom had never done this before, even though you were her third baby. Mom had an epidural so she couldn't feel anything, so Nana and Dad each held a leg and got to watch as you came out. 

You started crowning, so the nurse looked down to check on you, and she saw your head and yelled, "Oh my gosh, it's a bald baby!" She was surprised because at that hospital, mostly Asian and Hispanic babies were born, and they almost always have full heads of black hair. 

Mom said, "It better be bald or it's not mine!" 

You came out around 1 am on March 12. 

They took you and cleaned you and wrapped you, and then gave you to mom. Dad unwrapped you so he could see all your fingers and toes and healthy boy body parts. He was so excited to examine his first boy! They had never seen a vaginally birthed baby before. You were so black and blue and red and swollen in the face, and cone-headed, so they forever called you the Hammerhead baby. Your first night in the world, you were with mom and dad alone in the hospital room, and you met your sisters the next day. 

He didn't expect to feel differently about his son than he did with his daughters, but he did. He stayed with you the whole time, even when you were off getting procedures, and he got stressed and wanted to be near you when he heard your cries. 

The next day, everyone came to visit you. Oma and Opa came, and Tiffany, and me and Kathryn. 

Mom introduced you as our new baby, but we were distracted by all the beds there were to jump on and by our new dollies from Nana. 

We're so happy to have you, our baby brother! It's hard to believe you're already 19, and you'll be leaving for a mission soon! Love you!

Read my birth story here.
Read our sister Kathryn's birth story here.


  1. This is such a sweet birthday tribute to your brother!

    Hope you have a wonderful day :)

    The Hartungs Blog

  2. this is a really sweet post <3

    --- Dana


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