Just a few minutes ago, my baby, my first born, became a teenager.
I can't believe that it's been thirteen years since he was born.
(somewhat long birth story to follow)
My due date was September 7th. I was incredibly huge. The month of August was a difficult one for me because it was such a hot summer, the air conditioning in my car wasn't working properly, my cankles were constantly swollen, and because of the way CJ was wedged into my abdomen, there were times that I was in so much pain from some sort of pinched nerve, that I could hardly walk.
Every morning, for several weeks before he was born, I would walk into work and hear everyone gasp and groan as I waddled my way through the maze of cubicles in our office.
I would hear comments such as "Oh no, she's here!" and "I was really hoping you wouldn't be here today." and "Haven't you had that kid yet?"
Yes, I felt very welcome.
I know that my co workers were only wishing the best for me, because they were the ones who got to witness my misery every day.
Oh, and I might have whined just a little.
As the first of September approached, we all made jokes about how funny it would be if I were to go into labor on Labor day. I was almost counting on it, but as we sat at the family barbecue that day, I had some braxton hicks contractions, but nothing more than that.
I think my favorite part about that time in my life was how everyone had so many great suggestions of things that would put me into labor. My manager at work even offered to saddle up one of her horses and let me ride around for a while, but knowing how uncomfortable I was when DH drove through the gutter in our driveway a little too fast, I passed on the horseback riding.
On my due date, I went in for my regular appointment with my doctor. I was barely dilated, and not effaced at all. I measured at 42cm.
After he checked me he said "With your bone structure, I think you would have difficulty delivering a 5 or 6 pound baby, and I think this baby will be at least ten pounds."
I looked at him in disbelief, and said "You've got to be kidding!"
He replied "No, I don't joke about stuff like this. I'm going to send you for an ultrasound to see if they can give us an idea of how big he is. If they determine that he is at least 9 pounds, I think we should just go ahead and schedule you for a c-section."
I was speechless.
He continued "Tuesday is the day that we do our scheduled surgeries, so if the ultrasound technicians decide that he's too big, I'll just go ahead and schedule you for then."
Then he added "I'm going out of town for the weekend, but I'll be back on Monday. They'll send the results from the test to me, so we'll make a decision then."
The next day was Friday. We had the ultrasound scheduled at the hospital late that afternoon. I cleaned out my desk at work because after CJ was born, I would start working from home.
The ultrasound technicians (there were two. I don't know why) spent some time doing measurements, looking at the baby's innards "There's his stomach, there's his kidneys..........."
Then they saw his ears. For some reason, they really made a big deal about being able to see his ears "Oh look, we can see his ears! How cute! We can't usually see ears at this point."
I asked if they could give us a good look at his feet. "No" one of them said "We have a hard time getting to the feet when you're this far along."
I informed her that I knew exactly where his feet were. They were wedged up under my ribs, but she still wouldn't look for them.
The ultrasound determined that he was approximately 10lbs 2oz.
She said she would send the results to my doctor.
We spent the next day just puttering around, making preparations for the baby, we rented a few movies and stuff like that.
Sunday we went to church, and my back started hurting. I couldn't sit very long (plus with my bladder approximately the capacity of a teaspoon, I had to make frequent trips to the ladies room) After a while, my back hurt so bad that I couldn't stand it.
DH took me home, and I tried for several hours to get comfortable, but the pain in my back just wouldn't go away.
Then the contractions started.
They weren't too bad at first, about ten minutes apart, but after a while, they were hurting pretty bad. Then I had six contractions in a row that were about 2 1/2 minutes apart.
We decided that it was time to go to the hospital.
When we got there, a nurse led us to an "evaluation" room, and she hooked me up to a monitor to check my contractions. I mentioned to her that I was supposed to be having a c-section on Tuesday. She left for about 20 minutes, and then when she came back, she checked to see if I was dilated, then she said "You're not in labor. I'm sending you home."
I panicked a little "But what about these contractions? They're really hurting!"
She gives me this really annoyed look and says "You aren't dilated at all. You're NOT in labor."
Then I really panic "But, I'm scheduled to have a c-section on Tuesday!"
Then she glares at me and says "Well, you're NOT ON THE LIST."
I tried to explain to her about the size of the baby from the ultrasound and how my doctor said that if he was over 9 pounds I would be having a c-section.............
She said "I can't find any test results or paperwork that would back that up!"
I don't think she believed me.
Then before I knew it, she had given me a shot of morphine in my hip. "This will take care of those contractions. Go home and eat something light, then rest."
We went home, I had some soup and then fell asleep. I slept for hours. It was the first time in months that I had been able to sleep that long.
The next morning, we decided that we would both take the day off from work. As soon as my doctor's office opened I called to see what we needed to do. My doctor wasn't in, and he wouldn't be in all day. I told the receptionist that I was supposed to be having a c-section the next day, and I just needed to know what to do. She said that she would find out what was going on, and call me back in a while. About 2 minutes later, she called back and said "Now, are you aware that your insurance won't pay for an elective c-section?"
I hung up the phone and burst into tears.
Then I looked at DH and said "We are going to the mall. We will walk around that mall until I'm in labor. I will walk around there all day if I have to."
We went to the mall that was just a few blocks from the hospital. We walked down one side of the mall, but remember that shot of morphine I'd had in my hip the day before?
My hip was so sore that I couldn't walk.
We finally made it to the end of the mall by See's candies. I sat on the bench and cried while DH went into See's and bought me some chocolate.
"He's never coming out!' I sobbed "I'm going to be pregnant forever!"
DH tried to explain to me how this would be impossible, and that I would not be pregnant for the rest of my life.
But being hormonal, and uncomfortable I didn't believe him.
We walked slowly back to the car and drove home, where there was a message on the answering machine from my doctor wanting me to call him.
I've never dialed a phone so fast in my life!
I got the machine.
He finally called back and said "Looks like you're going to have a baby tomorrow!'
Then I burst into tears again "But when I called your office today, they said that my insurance wouldn't pay for an elective c-section!"
Then he got upset "WHO told you that? This is NOT an elective c-section!"
He told us to be at the hospital at 5:30 the next morning, and to not eat anything after midnight.
That night, I was so excited that I couldn't sleep. I think I might have only slept about 2 hours before it was time to get up and go to the hospital.
When we got to the hospital, we were greeted warmly by the nurse at the desk. As she was leading us to my room, we passed a labor room where a woman was screaming hysterically. I must have had a look of horror on my face because the nurse looked at me and said simply "She's going unmedicated.................by choice."
When we got to the room, I changed in to the hospital gown, and they began to get me prepped for surgery. It was then that I realized that I had bought the wrong size videotape for the camcorder. The doctor assured DH that they wouldn't start before he got back, and he ran to buy some new videotape.
Before I got my epidural, the doctor said he could let me go ahead and experience labor if I wanted to, but he still thought that I would still need to have a c-section. I declined the offer, then he checked me one more time to see if there was any chance we could do this the regular way. He shook his head and said we should just go in after him. I got an epidural and when it started working, I was wheeled down the hall.
When I got in the operating room, I was so nervous that I couldn't stop shaking. I really panicked when the nurse started cleaning my abdomen, and I could feel it.
I asked her "Should I be feeling that?" she said "No." and then started poking me with pins. Apparently with an epidural, you can still feel things, just not pain.
I had told my husband that he didn't need to watch the surgery, so he was sitting by my head. I was still so nervous that I was shaking uncontrollably. The nurse assured me that it was the medication, and brought me several warm blankets. DH sat there patiently, and then asked if it was okay if he watched the surgery. (I really didn't think he would want to watch) When he stood up he said they already had me open, then I relaxed, because I wasn't feeling any pain.
It took several minutes for them to get him out. I remember someone pushing really hard on the top of my stomach.
Then I heard the cutest little cry.
The doctor walked around the curtain and held him up for me to see.
I remember seeing chunky rolls of fat. Everywhere. By now, CJ was screaming, causing his forehead to wrinkle, and I remember thinking that even his forehead was chubby.
The nurses cleaned him up, and weighed him.
Ten pounds, six ounces.
A nurse came over and told me that I had just given birth to a two month old baby.
The doctor and a few of the other nurses kept telling me that we did the right thing (with the c-section) CJ had a good sized head, and they said that there was no way I could have got him safely out the regular way.
DH got to hold CJ briefly, and then he was having some difficulty breathing, so they took him to the nursery and put him on oxygen.
They must have given me some pretty good drugs about then, because I don't remember much of what happened, until they were moving me on to the hospital bed, and I freaked out because I didn't think they had taken out my epidural.
As I was being wheeled in to the recovery room, my nurse asked if I had been able to hold the baby. I said no, and so she stopped by the nursery and went in and got him. I was only able to hold him for a minute because the nurse from the nursery came out after her "Hey, he needs to be on oxygen!" And my nurse said "She needs to hold her baby!"
Later, after I had been moved from the recovery room to the regular room, DH, my mom and MIL were there with me. After a while, I finally asked DH to go check on CJ. When he came back, he was wheeling the baby cart with CJ in it. He handed him to me.
As I held him I just kept thinking that he was perfect. I couldn't believe how beautiful he was. He had dark hair, chubby cheeks, and the most amazing chocolate brown eyes. (Probably had something to do with all the chocolate I ate while I was pregnant) He was very alert, and watched me closely as I talked to him.
I unwrapped his blanket and kissed his little toes.
And then he started screaming.
The nurse came in and told me I should probably wrap him back up because he didn't like the cold. (hey, I was a new mom, and still on medication, how was I to know)
The next day when our pediatrician came to see me, her comment about CJ was "There's all those tiny little babies in the nursery, and then there's your kid. He's a moose!"
CJ is a great kid! He's smart, he's handsome, and he's really tall. (he's like 2" taller than me) and so far, he hasn't seemed to have had too much teenage brain loss.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CJ!!!!!