It is now past midnight. The date has turned to April 9th. Upstairs, asleep, are my two children. Two. It is only in the past month or so that I can say "children," plural, and not feel awkard or uncomfortable. I have multiple children. Not one. Two. It's crazy. Not a day has gone by during this past year where I haven't marveled at this fact. Not a day has gone by during this past year where I haven't thanked God for these amazing gifts. It has been an amazing and joyous year.
It is 12:34 AM on April 9th, 2014. It's your first birthday! A year ago today, we were all wondering when you'd make your big entrance. I was four days late, bigger than a house, and so very ready to meet you. I went to bed the night before anticipating meeting you. Somewhere in the middle of the night, mild contractions started. Enough to disturb my sleep, but not enough to wake Daddy. (Really, does anything wake Daddy?) My contractions were getting stronger and by 5 AM, I couldn't stay in bed anymore. I took a careful and quick shower and then got back to bed. I started timing things and realized that this was probably game time. I had one goal in that morning-get your brother to school without knowing we were headed to the hospital.
You see, after almost nine whole years of being an only child, your brother wasn't so thrilled by the idea of you. He was confused and worried about how life would change for him, for us, once you arrived. He's a worrier, that brother of yours! So, we just wanted him to go to school and not worry all day. Somehow, through the onslaught of intensifying contractions, we got your brother to school and he had no idea!
Once brother was at school, mommy called your yaya to let her know we'd need her to pick up your brother. Being the worrier she is (see, your brother comes by it honestly), she left the house immediately, even though she wasn't needed for 6 more hours! In the meantime, we called the doctor who let the hospital know we'd be on our way.
At this point, mommy's contractions became more sporadic, so daddy and I took our time getting things ready and leaving for the hospital. Even though we had done this before, we were still scared and worried and nervous. Our lives were about to change yet again and we didn't know what was in store for us. When we got to the hospital, instead of mommy getting a wheelchair to go up to the labor and delivery floor, mommy decided to have daddy park in the regular parking lot and walk the whole way. I can remember the looooooong hospital hallways and having to stop regularly to breathe through a contraction. I remember a hospital volunteer offering to get us a wheelchair. But then the contraction would pass and off we'd go again.
As we headed into the last stretch, the nurses saw me coming and called out my name. They didn't know me, but they heard I was coming-and I was to get special treatment. The head daytime nurse was the mother of one of my friend's and she had told everyone to treat me well. It felt special and comforting and welcoming. They marveled at the fact that I had walked the entire way and this felt very affirming to me. This was around 11:00 AM. They got me into a room and began to get me hooked up to monitors to see what you were up to.
Not much. You had decided to take a break. I was not having regular contractions, although the monitors showed they were pretty intense when they happened. I was working through them well, so it appeared that they might be sending us home. The doctor ordered that I walk for awhile and then see if things progressed. If not, home we would go. We walked and looked at all the construction (the maternity wing was being remodeled) and once back on the monitors, things were still status quo. They consulted Dr. L. about me and she asked me if I'd like her to break my water. I was four days late, I was 40 years old, I said yes! So, although I'm not sure of the order now, they started the epidural, hooked up just a little bit of pitocin, and broke my water. At this point, it was now around 1:45. I asked the nurse about how long they thought everything would take (I was worried about your brother) and they assured me it would probably take about an hour per cm and I was only 3-4 cm (and that was being generous). So we settled in to wait.
About 40 minutes later, I felt some serious pressure. I mentioned it to daddy who kind of shrugged it off. With the next contraction, I felt that serious pressure again. Again, I mentioned it to daddy. Again he kind of shrugged it off. On the next and third contraction, I knew this wasn't normal pressure-this was getting urgent. I knew I was going to need to push very, very soon. I asked daddy to get a nurse, and warned him that she would probably poo-poo him, but to tell them I still wanted them to check me. They came in to check with an air of appeasement and a look of surprise crossed the face of the nurse. In that short time, I went from 3 cm to 10 cm. It was go time!
They called Dr. L, who had left to go run errands (she was at the post office when they called her)-after all, we all thought it would be hours!!!!-who gave one instruction-Don't push! The nurses set the process into motion-transforming by room into a delivery room-as we waited for the dr to get there. I was worried my friend's mom wouldn't make it, but she arrived shortly before the doctor did and her presence was calming and comforting. Dr. L swooped in and quickly checked me. She was surprised, but pleased. Without even putting on a surgical gown, she began to give me instructions. First push. I could tell I was pushing wrong. It had been awhile since I'd done this and we hadn't taken a refresher class. Next push came along, I worked hard at pushing correctly and out slipped your hand over your head. Daddy loved that!! One more push, and out you came. Boom. Three pushes, less than 40 minutes of tough labor, and there you were.
to be continued...