Six years ago yesterday, on a rainy Saturday, the husband and I were a childless couple annoyed at the thought of having to wake early on a weekend to attend an all day childbirth class. We stumbled in there looking like death warmed over, but we were there. I could not believe they would seat all those hugely pregnant women in those hard, hard chairs for so many hours (eight to be exact) and I had trouble with them right away. I could never get comfortable and my back hurt immensely, actually the first back pain of the pregnancy. It was the chairs I said, I would be allright. Towards the end of the day we got to practice breathing and rolling around on the big ball and I should have been suspect at that point when it made me feel better. But no, I had never had a baby before and I had the latest due date in the class. I was fine. When we took the tour through the birthing suite, the nurse asked for volunteers to hook up to the contraction monitor. I should have taken her up on it. But no, that pressure I felt was surely from being on my feet walking around the fourth floor all that time, nothing wrong with me.
I remember returning home from the class and taking my usual sprawl out on the couch and I called my mom to tell her all that we would do in eight or nine weeks when the baby came. She was excited. We had plans. I chose to take a bath and retire early as we were having a full Sunday of Ez day. We had left him all day after all and that was never done on a weekend. We were going to the park and tossing the frisbee and buying him chicken nuggets and possibly a fun bath. We were looking forward to it.
At 11:59 that night I heard a loud pop and thought we had been shot at. I then realized I was sopping wet and assumed, crap, my cycle started. Then I awoke a little more out of my sleepy stupor and realized that, HEY, I am pregnant, no cycles for me, and it hit me. SHIT, my water just broke. I woke the husband who proceeded to completely panic, very unlike him. I, amazingly, remained calm. I attempted to clean the mess (impossible) and began gathering things into a bag and called the doctor who sent me to the hospital. The husband began rattling about installing the car seat RIGHT THEN when I had to remind him that this baby wasn't going home with us for a while, that could wait. He ran red lights and sped to the hospital where they whisked us right in, cleaned me up, changed my clothes, strapped me to monitors, gave me a big honking dose of magnesium sulfate (which flipped me the freak out), and did an ultrasound where they found the baby was well, but sideways and high requiring an emergency c-section. It was there that things went NASCAR on me. I was rushed away, without my husband, poked, moved, and strapped down and counseled by a nice red haired lady with glasses standing over me that my baby would be small, would not be breathing on his own, would require a stay in the downtown NICU, and see all those nice people in the corner? They are the ambulance drivers ready to whisk him away and we can call the chaplain if you want. A few seconds later I felt like I was being strangled from the inside and then I heard the loudest, shrillest cry that I wasn't even expecting. The doctor said, "I'll be damned, he's breathing room air" and I cried on the spot. Even the red haired lady cried when she brought him over to me a few minutes later, all bundled and red but looking around with those blindingly blue eyes. It was so extremely odd to have been pregnant one second then a real, live human staring back at you the next. I will never forget that moment as long as live. It was 2:23 am.
My doctor is still impressed to this day that he did so well without the steroids and other interventions they give preemies these days. He also didn't expect a four pound, nine ounce baby, big for that gestation I guess. He stayed in the NICU, at that hospital, for three weeks. It felt like three months. In the end, it was just a small portion of our life to get to where we are today. He's not perfect and he has his moments, but he is mine. The little bitty dude who made me what I am today.......a mom. He is six years old today, a Sunday just like the day he was born. I have been a mom for six years and I couldn't have done it without him.
Happy Birthday Jacob!