September 11, 2021
This has always been a bittersweet day. It’s even more so today, with this national 20th year anniversary of something I will never forget. I still can’t watch videos or news footage of September 11, 2001.
But, September 11, 2013 was a PRECIOUS gift to us. Happy birthday, buddy!
Rhys Nicholas Larson
Rhys, I have to chuckle when I think of your birthday. Mostly because we were in a situation that made me worry all the time. We’d moved to Texas that summer. It was hot. I was huge. And I couldn’t wait to get you out. We also hardly knew anyone and I was worried you’d come at a time when we couldn’t find someone to watch Kaylen. But, I worried needlessly. Your special day was perfect.
At my last appointment before the day you were born, I remember Doctor (Kimberley) Rutter telling me not to have my baby on a Wednesday because she was always so busy that day. Ha! You told us differently.
I remember well into the middle of that Tuesday night getting up to use the bathroom (as I did a hundred times a night with you) and not being able to sleep. I even ate some cereal. Though, I didn’t have my glasses on when I did it. I was certain I’d seen movement in the kitchen. Sure enough, I saw a black mouse run behind the refrigerator. I skipped the milk on purpose and ate the cereal without it.
I also kept having to use the bathroom. It alerted me to something not being normal. I took a bath to see if I was imagining things. Nope. It definitely seemed as if I was leaking fluid. I knew that this could possibly mean a problem later on, so I woke Dad up and told him we should probably go in and get checked out. It was early at that point. Maybe about 5:00 in the morning. We woke up Kaylen (who was only 2) and took her with us, since we had no friends to watch her. She wouldn’t go back to sleep in the car, but she did really great.
When we got to the ER, they told me to go to OB. The nurses put me in triage, the only hospital I’ve delivered in that does this. Here we waited for Dr. Rutter. She eventually came in and checked me, noting that my fluid was indeed leaking. She broke my water (which I was so excited about because it meant that I wasn’t going home!!) and they sent me to my own private labor and delivery room.
Here they called for the anesthesiologist and got me comfortable. The anesthesiologist at this hospital came MUCH faster than the one at Kaylen’s birth, but was a bit more rough and made me more uncomfortable. However, he was super quick and I laid back to let the medication take full effect. Wow, what a difference it makes. I felt NO contractions with you whatsoever. No pain at all from beginning to end. It did make it harder to feel what was going on, as I felt like my legs were so dead-weight that they almost felt like they were bending backwards.
Then, as with Kaylen, I felt something change inside me. I had Dad go get a nurse. She came in to check me and said pretty much the same thing as the nurse told me at Kaylen’s birth: “Your baby is RIGHT HERE.” Whoa, how they flew! They quickly prepared the room for delivery and Dr. Rutter came in as if she’d been running! And then I started to push! It only took a few times!
I even remember Dr. Rutter saying two things in particular: 1) “It’s like you’ve done this before!” and 2) “Baby doesn’t like this epidural, let’s get him out!” I remember Dad being nervous and cheering me on. He later said that he’d been watching the doctor (as he’d done with Kaylen) and was worried. But, before we knew it, you were there lying on my chest crying your little heart out. You were so perfect. So adorable. So BOY. Such a gift.
The nurses cleaned you off and you cuddled with me. I had to be able to stand up before they’d let me go to my own recovery room (you would have liked the standing wheel chair they used to get me there – so appropriate for the kind of person you are, the ONE child who always needs to know how things work). Once I was in our own room, I just held you.
The best feeling in the world.
Rhys, I have loved you with my whole heart ever since. We are so proud of the creative, imaginative, math-brained kid that you’ve become. You are FUNNY and have the best grin, even from day one. We pray always that God will give you a heart after His. THAT is the most important thing in the world!
Special Note: It was difficult to be so far from family at this special time. Nobody could be there. Nobody could come see you in the hospital. But what we DID have was a loving church family that had already welcomed us into their hearts that summer. Many of them came to see you and hold you in the hospital. You were Ron’s special “Native Texan.” You will always be our Texas boy.