Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy 28th Birthday #1

Our oldest child turned 28 today and boy do I feel old!

I wrote about the birth of our youngest, our daughter on her birthday, so will write here about our oldest.

He is quite different from the other two. He is more of a loner, and an intellectual which can make it difficult at times because we don't know what the hell he is talking about. I know he would like to have in-depth discussions about Hume, Socrates, the complex philosophical problems of the world, but we aren't all that educated in those things, mostly the basics, but getting into the meat of philosophy...well...I am more on the level of Everybody Loves Raymond.

The day I went into labor with J #1, it was right after a huge snow. We lived in the city of Chicago at the time and our car was buried from the plows going by and pushing snow halfway up the side of the vehicles that were parked on the street. It was so cold, too.

We drove to the hospital and I was taken up to the Labor and Delivery department while my husband filled out insurance information. I was given a skimpy gown and hooked up to a fetal monitor. His little heart was beating so fast that it sounded like a race horse galloping down the home stretch. Labor progressed slowly. I was getting tired. The doctor broke my water but still things went slow. They wouldn't let me go home and wait because I was considered high risk after losing two babies already. So, I had to wait in that uncomfortable hospital bed, and was poked and probed every half hour.

After 20-something hours of this nonsense, the monitor showed that the baby's heartbeat was slowing. I began to get worried because this is what happened with our first one and no one paid attention to the monitors. But this time, nurses were alert and started to become worried, also. I could see concern on their faces. They called in my doctor and he arrived fairly quickly. He did an examination of how the baby was positioned and said he was "transverse" and instead of turning around completely, he was sideways in the womb. He could have tried to turn him, but giving my history of placenta problems, and cord problems, they decided to do an emergency c-section.

I was given a spinal anesthesia which numbed everything from the boobs down, and our son was born within minutes. He was a tiny little thing, only 5 lbs. He had a very big head, and very big feet. I was astonished by how big his feet were for such a tiny baby. He kind of cried a weak cry, and didn't open his eyes at first. They showed him to me and wisked him away. Because he was low birth weight, they wanted to take him to Neo-natal ICU for awhile for observation.

He was fine. But I wasn't. I got a headache from spinal fluid leaking out of the place where they inserted the needle for the anesthesia. Those spinal headaches are the worst, and it made it difficult to hold J when they brought him to me. But I was so happy...I had a LIVE baby. He was very sweet, very quiet.

He remained a quiet boy for the most part throughout his childhood. He was/is very inquisitive, and explored things on his own. He was always interested in how things worked, and how they were put together. He read books by age 3 and could do math around the same time. He was also interested in planets and space. As he grew older his interests expanded to history and other areas of science. He played soccer, was on the chess team (played chess by age 3) and took a liking to music at a young age. His first grade teacher at the Lutheran school he attended sparked his first interest in learning to read music by giving her class piano lessons each day.

In fifth grade, he was then in a public school in a new neighborhood we moved to. They have a very good music program in our town and encourage kids to participate even if they aren't going to be musicians. He came to us and said he wanted to play the Trombone. So, we went to the information meeting, and found out how much it was going to cost, and said...ok. He was very gifted at playing, and loved it. We ended up getting him a professional model trombone and later an even better one with an F attachment. He went on to play in the high school 250 member marching band and was in the audition only Wind Symphony. He was in many music festivals and seminars.

He decided to go to a university to get a degree in Music Performance and was nearly finished when he decided that he would always have to struggle as a musician, always compete and maybe not make that much money, so he switched fields to Computer Programming and earned a Microsoft Certification in C++ programming. He decided then that he didn't like that! So, back in school again for Physics. He finally finished his Bachelor's in Physics, which is a very difficult subject with all the advanced Math and Science required, lab work, etc. He is now working on his certification to teach Physics in the public schools here in Illinois.

Can't wait for him to finish so he can move back out on his own so hubby and I can have our house to ourselves before we are too old to care.
click on image to enlarge

J #1 and J #2 playing chess at ages 5 and 4.

Yes, the middle kid is also multi-talented. :-)


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