Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Alan!

Dear Alan,

It doesn't seem possible that it was 37 years ago today that you were born, because I remember it like it was yesterday. I had been to the doctor on Thursday afternoon the 20th and the Dr. told me that if I was dilated at all it was just a "dimple" and that I could expect to go 2 weeks over due! Your due date was on March 8th, so I expected that she knew what she was talking about and that I had a long wait. I was so uncomfortable that I could hardly move. Your body was wedged between my left rib and my pelvic bone and I'll just say, there was a lot of pain involved. But, it really didn't matter because I knew that it would be worth it.

That night, Dad and I went out to Washington Square to buy some diapers. The good old fashioned cotton kind that you washed and reused, over and over again. We walked around the whole mall and I distinctly remember how painful it was, but I was on a mission to get what we needed to be ready for your arrival. We got home around 10 and I put all of the diapers in the washer and we went into your room to work on the dresser that Dad had repainted for your clothes. Dad was busy putting the decals on and I was waiting for him to finish so that I could put all of your clothes in the drawers.

I was actually very happy, but really tired

Dad working away. It looks like he was lining the drawers.

Around 11pm we headed to bed. I lifted my right leg to sit down on the bed and I felt a gush of something wet. It just kept coming so we finally realized that my water must have broke. I can still see us perfectly in my memory; I'm 20, Dad's 22, we had no experience in having babies and we were very anxious, to say the least. But, we loved you already and knew we had to go through what ever it was ahead of us to be able to hold you and love you in person. 

Dad called Dr. Kulasavage and she said we needed to go to the hospital. I remember the dress I was wearing but it is kind of a blur after that. I do remember them giving me a gown to put on. I was upset that everywhere I walked or sat, I was dripping all over everything. They told me it was normal, it's fine, we'll clean it up, but it was embarrassing because I had no control over it. 

I was in labor all night, hooked up to a very antiquated machine that monitoring your heart rate and my contractions from a strap around my belly. I was having very strong contractions that were zigzagging off the graph, but I no pain at all, other than the intense squeezing that almost took my breath away. All night they kept asking me, Are you sure you aren't in pain? Those are very hard contractions! Every time I turned onto my right side, the contractions were less and your heart rate dropped. Throughout the night, they kept bringing in different monitoring devices, thinking that there was something wrong with the equipment. They told us because of the inconsistency of my contractions, they weren't going to call the Dr. until around 7 am. It was a long night, quiet night. I wasn't concerned about anything because I felt like I was in good hands. I just did what they told me to do and tried to rest between contractions.

Sometime after 7 am, they said they were going to call the Dr. and very quickly everything changed. Suddenly my bed was surrounded by people checking this and that, asking questions and moving very quickly, but they didn't say anything to us at that point about what was going on. A nurse told me that my Dr. was on the way over so I was glad that she was coming. It felt like she was there in about 20 minutes. She checked me over, looked at the graphs and said she had to get the baby out right away. I said, how? duh! She said, surgery! I got it! And then the room went crazy! There must have been a dozen people in the room. I was being prepped for surgery, I was given a spinal, and I started shaking violently. My teeth were clicking against each other really hard! I heard my Dr. saying she should have been called sooner! Dad said she was very angry at the nurses and let them know that they had done the wrong thing. People were rubbing my arms and legs to keep me relaxed. 

I remember this one little lady (Dad says that it was a lady, she was upside down to me) who came and took my hand and started praying for safety for me and my baby! I don't know who she was but I know that I appreciated it right then, even though I still didn't really understand everything that was happening. I remember days later asking Dad about who that elf person was that took my hand and prayed for me. I guess that was the drugs talking, but I still today have a perfect picture in my mind of that face. My Dr. stood at my right side and I know that she was talking to me but I don't remember what she said. When I was completely ready to go, several people surrounded my bed and they started pushing me out into the hall, really fast!! They were running down the hall to the elevator. I had to say goodbye to Dad and it was just you and me at that point! We got into the elevator and when the door opened, my Dr. and others were running down the longest hall ever, lined with gurneys with people on them. I remember the Dr saying, "See all of those people, they were scheduled for surgery but they all have to wait for you. You are going to be a Mom in less than 10 minutes." I didn't know until sometime after you were born that the Dr. had told Dad that she thought the cord was wrapped around your neck and you were being strangled with every contraction over night. The cord was actually wrapped around your leg and your heart rate was dropping every time I had a contraction. You were in serious distress by the time they got you out.

I remember random things. I looked up into the large light hanging over me and I could see my belly in the outer reflective rim. I asked if someone could please move that a little so I didn't have to see any blood. I wasn't able to move my head at all due to the spinal. I could only look straight up. I remember asking where the dripping water noise was coming from and they told me it was coming from me. The doctor told me I had an unusually large amount of amniotic fluid inside. There was a steady stream of fluid landing on the floor for a while. I remember that the spinal made me numb clear up to my chest and it was really hard to breathe. I remember asking, "When are you going to start?" and someone said "We started and the baby is almost out." In seconds, someone said, "Congratulations, it's a boy!" I heard someone say, "born at 8:08." I saw a glimpse of a baby that they quickly waved over the sheet, but I didn't get to see your face. I didn't hear any crying so I asked if you were ok? Someone said, "He's having a little trouble right now." It felt like a really long time, but I finally heard a sound and I said, "It sounds like a lamb crying." Someone said, "That's your baby." I don't remember anything after that. They put me to sleep. 

I woke up in the recovery room and I remember seeing people sleeping all around me. I called and called, trying to get someone's attention. Someone came over and said "What are you doing awake? You should still be asleep!!" I said, "I want to see my baby." They said, "It is going to be a while before you see your baby, you need to rest!"  I don't remember much after that. 

Our baby Alan Donald Lytle

I wish I remembered when I held you for the first time, but I don't. I'm not sure if it was on your birthday or the day after. Everything was a blur. I was so high on drugs, I felt like I was up on the ceiling, looking down on everything happening down below. I was higher than a kite! Literally!! I had never even had an aspirin in my life, and now I was pumped and shot full of drugs, specifically, lots of Demerol. I do remember holding you in my bed in my room, (#2126, with 4 other moms) and Dad was right there. I couldn't sit up yet because of the spinal, so I asked Dad to hold you because I was afraid that I was going to drop you. Wow, what a cute baby you were!! All 8lbs. 2 ounces and 22 inches of you! And you had a head full of hair!

I wish this picture was in better condition. It looks like milk dripped on it.

 I can't believe that I had to "suit up" to go into the nursery to hold my own baby. Things are sure different now! 

If I didn't have any family with me, the only way I could hold you was to go into the nursery, have one of the nurses lift you out of the bed and put you in my arms. I wasn't allowed to lift anything, not even a water pitcher. I went down there often and stayed as long as I could. Back then, the babies didn't stay in the room with the mom. They only brought your baby to you at feeding time.


I couldn't get out of bed until you were 3 days old because I was hemorrhaging. They told me on the second day that if the bleeding didn't slow down, they would have to perform a hysterectomy. In my drugged stupor, I don't think I processed the fact that I would not be able to have another baby. I'm so thankful that I got a little better and that didn't happen!

Finally, after 7 very difficult days of no privacy in a room with 4 other mothers, being woke up all the time, day and night, enduring the pain and disrespect of a very mean orderly on numerous occasions, it was finally time to go home.

I was so happy to dress you up in layer upon layer of clothes and blankets that family and friends had hand knit and crocheted for you. 


You were the cutest baby that I had ever seen! Look at all that hair! And such beautiful eyes! I was in love, love, love!!


Yes, there is a baby under all those layers of blankets!! I'm sorry, I just didn't want you to get cold. After we left the hospital and we were headed home, it finally felt like you were really ours! And our journey as young parents began. When we got home, your new diapers were still in the washer!


Thank you, Alan, for all the years of love, joy and pride you have brought to us!!

We loved you then, now and always!!

Happy Birthday!!

An extra little tidbit of information about your Birth Day:
On your birth day, my dad was actually the first one in the family, including your dad and me, to hold you! When he came into my room and told me that he had just held you, I said “What, I haven’t even held him yet.” I’m glad there were lots of drugs involved at that time, because it wasn’t devastating to me right at that moment. Now, as the weeks and years went by, I felt like I had been denied something every new mom looks forward too, being the first one to hold her baby in her arms!
This is how it happened:
On the day you were born, my Dad came up to the hospital after he left school early, (He was teaching at Clackamas High School at that time) and came over to the hospital to see us. He stopped and looked in the nursery window to see if he could find you. He caught a nurse’s attention to have your bed brought over to the window so he could see you better. He told me he pointed at himself and mouthed to the nurse, “That’s mine.” She came around, opened the nursery door and said “Scrub and gown up and you can hold him.” So he did!!  I reminded myself down through the years, “Now remember, your dad was only 42 and he looked very young, and, the nurse did not ask him if he was the father.” “After all, his youngest daughter was only 9 at that time and he had been in that hospital nursery with 6 of his children in the past, so he felt very comfortable in there.” Yep, I told myself all of those things for years and years but it still had a little sting to it.
I kept that to myself until today. I’m so glad that I got over that years ago but I certainly have never broadcast that information until now.  I really think it is very special the way it just accidentally happened. After all, you were  born on his 42 birthday, you were named Alan Donald Lytle after him, you were his first grandchild, so it’s actually very fitting that he was the first one to hold you. And amazingly, look at all of the similarities you both have:  You are both very handsome men, you are both very tall, you are teachers, you are natural born leaders, musical talents without limits, you direct, you play the piano and other instruments,  I could go on and on. Most of all you are both very important men in my life and I love you both so much.
So the secret is out. Happy Birthday!


And, a very Happy Birthday to my Dad, our nephew Grant, and our dog Buddy, who is 4-years old today!

Thanks for making us smile!

We are so lucky we found you!

Alan and Family


Grandma Wolfe, Auntie Debra, Auntie Cheryl and Auntie Lori meeting you for the first time

Auntie Cheryl getting some one on one time with you

Grandma Lytle/Hansen

Auntie Dee and cousins Cindy, Marsha and Julie

 Cousin Cindy holding Alan for the first time

A couple weeks old

4 weeks old

Category - Happy Faces
Black and White photos
Dad won a silver medal for this photo in an Oregon Journal Photo Contest
November 25, 1975

Watch out Alan, there's a monster behind you!

30th and Alder 

Alan started entertaining before he turned 2

This was written in his baby book when he just turned 2

Great Grandma Letha with Alan and Christy

Alan and Christy

We have a theme going here

 You were always holding hands 

Always in the same position

Always the same faces 

 Alan at the Piano

 All dressed up

Still together

 Not sure when this was taken

I think this picture was taken at the 10th street exit off the 205, Christy heading back to Seattle, Alan heading back to Monmouth and Dad and I heading back to Walla Walla

Happy Birthday Alan!

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