Then There Were Two

It was 5:15 a.m., on a Wednesday morning, in the fine month of July, 1999.  I woke up fairly early to the very familiar sensation I’d experienced just three short years prior.  I thought, “Are you kidding me??!!”.  This was planned to be my last week at work, where I was to have three glorious weeks off to continue my nesting stage, in preparation for the arrival of my second son.  Instead, I had to inform work that my maternity leave had started NOW!  I felt badly having to put all the responsibility and workload on one other staff person, but when baby wants out, baby wants out!  Pop went the weasel!  Yes, my water broke, and I laid in bed surrounded in all its liquified warmth.  A dramatic wake up call, thanks to my baby boy!  Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to rearrange all the furniture in the boys’ room by myself.  I recall there being a solid oak, twin-sized trundle bed, a baby crib/toddler bed with attached dresser/changing table, another dresser/changing table, a desk, and a book shelf.  I put my back against most, pushed with my legs to manuever, and tried not to really lift anything.  Yes, my husband had warned me not to do anything too strenuous, but what pregnant woman in her right mind ever listened to reason!  Regardless, I didn’t do any of this the night before or even that week, so I was guilt-free.

It was summer and I had a very bad cold.  Can you imagine how miserable it was to suffer from severe cold symptoms while being pregnant during the HOT summer month of July?  For those who can relate, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  On top of that, I worked full time 1400-0030 hours, my back ached 24/7, and I was raising my 3-year old son.  Everything was beyond my control at this point.  I gently woke my husband, or at least I don’t remember being hysterical. So, yes, I gently woke my husband to let him know it was time, once again, to get my tush to the hospital.  Same scenario as with my first son, my body began its random, uncontrollable twitching/jerking.  Not only was it annoying, it made me so tired and achey.

Stuffy and snotty-nosed, I arrived at the maternity ward.  As I was being prepped by the nurses, they discovered that baby was in the posterior position, otherwise referred to as sunny-side up.  Not the position preferred for a natural delivery.  Oh wait, that’s right, he was THREE WEEKS EARLY!!  Worried that baby may not change his position in time for birth, the nurses proceeded to manually change baby’s position.  I remember that being a VERY weird feeling, but really, my focus had been on the snot running out of my nose, as I was positioned on all fours on the bed unable to wipe my face.  I was so damn congested, and not having much fun.

Fast forward to 5:45 p.m.  Due to my labor having progressed beautifully, my doctor assumed I’d be the first delivery in the ward that day.  What have we all been taught when we assume??  That’s right, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.  I ended up being the last delivery for my doctor for the day.  Hey, he’s the one who jinxed it!  I had a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).  Specifically, I ended up having an episiotomy to assist with the delivery, and of course ended up tearing all the way down.  I can distinctly remember the feeling of relief once his head and shoulders (not the shampoo) came out.  The rest was smooth sailing!

My husband cut the umbilical cord, and I have the photo taken by one of the nurses.  I delivered a 6 lb. 4oz., bouncing, crying, baby boy!  Poor guy was jaundiced and eventually went under the tanning lights with his little eye covers.  If he had been full term, he’d easily had weighed 10 lb. for sure!  Again, I didn’t lose the 30+ pounds, I had gracefully packed on during the nine months, instantly.  Needless to say, I still looked questionably pregnant,  and joked that his twin was shy and was waiting to make his appearance!  On a serious note, due to having the episiotomy and having torn, I lost more blood than the norm. My body temperature dropped considerably and my blood pressure lowered.  Discussion of a blood transfusion was possible if my vitals didn’t improve.  Luckily, about an hour later, my vitals became stable and continued to improve.  It explained why the Godfather-to-be didn’t have an ecstatic and happy expression on his face when he walked into the room, but rather more a look of fear.  My husband later told me, the delivery room floor was a mess and mostly in the color red.  Graphic, but true.

I was discharged after three nights stay, but my baby had to stay one more night.  Being the great Mom, I pumped milk at home and brought it to the hospital.  Once baby was discharge, I was too impatient to wait any longer for my husband to arrive after work.  It had been several hours and decided to call my Dad to drive to the hospital, park his car, then drive my car around the lot to the curb entrance to load baby and me. My parents lived closer to the hospital than I did, so it should’ve been a piece of cake.  I think because my Dad was used to driving a manual transmission car, he was not familiar with my Jeep Cherokee automatic transmission car.  He was a two-footed driver.  I also believe him suffering from undiagnosed A.D.H.D., contributed to what happened next.  As I was waiting at the hospital entrance curbside while sitting in the hospital wheelchair and holding my precious baby, I watched my Dad start my car, saw rear brake lights flicker on and off, saw and heard rear wheels spinning and emitting burnt rubber smoke in the rear.  I asked out loud, “What is he doing??!!” to the nurse.  Next thing I saw, was my car drive over the cement parking stop, down and through the grass embankment, over the sidewalk and into the street!!! I heard a few crunching metal noises, but all was out of my view at this point.  It was around 12:00 p.m. and fortunately, hospital staff were outside taking lunch breaks.  Several people ran to my Dad and assisted him.  The Jeep had traveled into the path of two parked, unoccupied vehicles, and ended up flipped onto its right side.  Men pulled my Dad up and out from the driver side.  My Dad was shaken up, but not injured.  He was checked out in E.R. and was fine.  I must’ve been in shock because I finally broke into tears when I had to call my husband on the phone. This was before we owned cell phones.

After being without a second car for almost a month, we bought our first Volvo S70.  My maternity leave was cut short because now we had a new car payment – boo!  If you’ve read this far, thank you for hanging in there, you’re almost to the end!

My son is now sixteen years old. He went from a non-stop, active, out-spoken, not-a-good-listener, poop-in-the-corner, accident prone, hilarious toddler and young boy . . . into a mild-mannered, very good listener, talented drummer, wanna-be-chef, girl crazed, hilarious young man!  He’s my awesome gift, and I’ll love and cherish him always.  It’s never been a dull moment, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. ♡


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My Heart & Soul

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It was Father’s Day, June 1996. My husband and I had just returned home from a late evening after celebrating the day at my parent’s house. We always had a good time when food, family and jokes were readily available. I hadn’t been sleeping well because my belly was larger than a basketball, my back was sorer than a working whore’s, and my feet were swollen to the size of a hobbit’s! My first baby was two days over due, but had its own mind made up on when the big day would arrive. It was almost midnight. I was so very exhausted, and knew I was going to get the best sleep ever. (Defcon 5)  By this stage in the game, I needed to sleep on our leather recliner in our bedroom. It was calling my name. Oh, but wait, just when I got frickin’ comfortable and ready to sleep, I felt an odd sensation (you know where) followed by another undesirable warming sensation. Oh good Lord, my water broke! Why now??!! (Defcon 4)  I was too sleepy, grumpy and I didn’t want to do anything. For Pete’s sake, the next several hours were spent sitting on the ceramic throne in our bathroom. My body was happily cleansing itself while I became hungrier and hungrier!I had called my OB/GYN to give him the play by play. I was allowed to eat plain toast, whoopty frickin’ do!! According to him, it wasn’t time to go to the hospital just yet. All the while my, soon-to-be-father, husband was fast asleep on our comfortable bed awaiting to be at my beck and call when it was go time. Of course my husband and I both successfully attended those birthing classes to learn breathing techniques and what to expect before, during and after labor. I was confident that we had it down and we were well prepared. It was going to be a piece of cake. The plan was to not receive any medication for pain, deliver naturally, and lose all my baby weight before I was discharged from the hospital. You can’t blame me for dreaming. Back to real life: I forgot what contractions were supposed to feel like, and had to call my Mom for clarification. She said, “They feel like menstrual cramps, but more intense and last longer.” Yup, that’s what I was feeling alright while still at home and timed them approximately 2-3 minutes apart. (Defcon 3) By this time it was 5:00 a.m. and the doctor gave me the okay to get to the hospital. I remember the delivery room was gorgeous and my husband popped in a VHS tape into the room’s VCR and we watched “Field of Dreams”.  Now I was really feeling the intense back labor pains, and for some strange reason my body decided to twitch/jerk (not twerk) every few seconds on its own. It was uncontrollable and so frequent to where my husband had asked me nicely to stop doing that. I thought, “Really? Do you think I’m enjoying twitching/jerking unexpectedly?”  Instead, I just calmly replied that I couldn’t control it. Man, I just wanted to sleep!

Fast forward to about 18 hours into labor. In the earlier stages, the nurse gave me Pitocin to induce labor. Now, I already had two helpings of Statol, so much for not using pain meds. To top it off, my cervix was not cooperating or dilating to the exact specifications required for natural child birth. (Defcon 2) NOTHING was going according to my fairytale plan. Next step, cesarean section was discussed. I was so bummed about hearing that option, but the baby’s health was what mattered most. A surgical team was put together, and we all met in the not-so-gorgeous surgery room. I forgot to mention that the epidural didn’t work, so I went under general anesthesia! I went from not wanting any drugs, to having to use the full menu! (Defcon 1) It was as if I had just blinked my eyes, and I was struggling to keep them open. As I was laying on the delivery/surgical table, the doctor put this little, wrapped up bundle of joy directly next to my face. Success!! We had a healthy, baby boy!!

Today, marks his 19th birthday. He was such an easy baby to take care of. He was fun, loving, and amazingly smart. He’s grown to be a handsome, young man, and I’m so glad we have a close enough relationship to where we can talk about anything and everything. He loves to make people laugh. It hasn’t always been easy as pie, but I’m proud of his accomplishments and the individual identity he has made of himself. He’s a rare one. He’s my heart and soul.