Tuesday, August 22, 2006


We were painting the dining room purple.

It was fall of 2002, and we had been in our new, larger house for a little more than a year. At first each of our three boys had his own room, but that July I started working at home, so Jonah's crib got moved to Stephen's room while I squeezed my office into Jonah's old room with the guest bed and a Peter Rabbit light switch cover (the cover stayed in my office, and got moved to the new office in the new house, by the way).

My wife decided that a nice, light, muted purple would be a great color to paint the dining room (our first one), and I had been married long enough not to argue. As she stood on a chair to edge around the top of the wall, she said, "These pants don't fit." I had been married long enough to not say anything.

"Seriously," she continued, "These pants don't fit. I think I'm pregnant." Since I much prefer babies to painting, I put down my brush and headed to Wal-Mart for some pregnancy tests. Remembering the Timothy Lesson, I got two. Both were positive. Here came #4.

When we were first married, my wife and I were of slightly different minds about the number of children we wanted to have. I am from a family of 2 children, and I wanted more than that. My wife is from a family of 6 children, and she wanted fewer than that. That left some room for negotiation, and we eventually settled on 3, for a variety of reasons (which only newlyweds without children would find compelling).

But a little while after Jonah (#3) was born, my wife said she probably wanted 4 children. I said okay, for a variety of reasons (which only a guy married to a woman who's given birth to 3 children would find compelling).

Regardless, the Jonah-to-Sam gap is the largest of the three. There are 22 months between Timothy and Stephen, 16 months between Stephen and Jonah, and 30 months between Jonah and Sam. Some of it was the shell-shock of having Stephen and Jonah so close together; some was the stress of getting into the new house and me being out of work; some was undoubtedly because . . . well, it's hard to get pregnant sometimes.

Sam was an easy pregnancy; morning sickness was (if I remember correctly) almost non-existent, which was a great relief from the other three. The other boys were older, and Timothy was even in preschool some days.

The original due date was July 5. On Sunday, June 29th, some friends gave my wife another baby shower all our old baby stuff was, well, old and needed replacing. Plus, new things would add some spice to the nursery of yet another boy. The shower was across the street, and my Mom had bravely taken the older three boys (either before or after, I can't remember). So when my wife came home, she said she was going to try Castor Oil. Me being me, I said, "Ew, good luck," and left the room.

So she downed about two tablespoons of castor oil, then ate something to kill the taste, and proceeded to have horrible stomach pains for the next few hours. Sometime in the night the pains turned to contractions, and we were on our way to the hospital. (Please note, this is not an endorsement for castor oil. It's nasty.)

Compared to the previous two births (Stephen's super-fast, blue-face, Apgar 4 delivery, and Jonah's though-it-was-a-heart-murmur-but-it-wasn't), Sam's was an easy delivery (for me, at least). My wife's friend Monica was there, and got to cut the umbilical cord.

Then we brought Sam home, and he has proceeded to knock down every parenting trick we had learned for the previous 5 years. He is his own person, and today he turns 3. Happy Birthday Sam.

This was written for Sam's birthday on June 30th and was briefly posted then. But my wife then said that my recollections of Sam and Jonah's births are mixed, and that some of the details above reflect that mixing.

So I asked for corrections, which have not been forthcoming. So I am reposting the orignial entry. Corrections may be made in the comments section. Nyah.

Update again:
She was right. I've made the changes above.


At 3:11 PM, Blogger Becki said...

Whewwww! For a minute there, I thought I forgot somebody's birthday! :) Mom


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