I was teaching Preschool in Littleton, CO all during my pregnancy. I had four other moms who were all pregnant at the same time. The morning of the 11th, we had all been talking about how much our bladders were squished and how often we had to go to the bathroom. We even talked about little “accidents”. I know TMI!
That afternoon, after my group of children fell asleep for their naps, I got up from the floor and it happened. I felt a trickle and thought that I had wet myself. It wasn’t a lot, just a few drops, so I just put on a pad. Well, this continued throughout the day, but again just a few drops each time.
That night, I went home, cooked dinner, cleaned the dishes with Michael and then just decided to call the doctor to describe what had been going on throughout the day. I had not been feeling badly, no cramps, no contractions, nothing–just the occasional trickle.
Well, Michael heard the words, “Oh, so you think that I should go ahead and come in?” He totally freaked out. Since we were still 6 weeks away from our due date, this was totally unexpected! We were so NOT prepared at home. But alas, it was time!
We arrived at the hospital at around 10 pm. The doctors that were on-call gave us a very bleak prognosis. Either I was going to have to stay in the hospital for the next 4 to 6 weeks or if I had the baby that night, then the baby would have to stay in the hospital for six weeks. They were very adamant that it was not the right time to give birth, that it would be unsafe. We stayed for the night and tried to get as much rest as possible throughout all the poking, prodding and checking of my vital signs.
The next morning, Dr. Scott comes in and asks, “So are you guys ready to have a baby today?” Frightened, we responded, “But the doctors last night said that it was not safe for the baby yet.” Dr. Scott assured us that after careful examinations of all the test results, it was indeed safe and time. He felt that it was more important to avoid the risk of infection since the cervix was already opened at 1 cm and the amniotic fluid was already leaking.
So, I called my employer to inform her that I would not be coming back in for a couple of months. We called our families to let them know that this was the day!!
To speed things along, I was given some Pitocin around 10 am to begin the labor, because nothing was happening on it’s own. Around 2 pm I started feeling the contractions. Boy howdy, did I feel them!! I had never felt pain like this in my life before this day!! Even though it was almost unbearable, I was relishing it. I had told the doctors that I didn’t want any medication. I wanted to feel everything because I didn’t know if this would be my only opportunity or not. Besides, I was just so thankful that we had come this far!!
After a couple of hours of contractions, the anaesthesiologist started to come in to ask if I wanted an epidural. I just told him “No, I can do this”!! Well, he certainly got his exercise that day because I called him back in three more times stating that I was ready. When he’d come in and begin to get things ready, I told him “Never mind, I can do this!!” Like I said, this went on a few times. The contractions were off the chart, which was very reassuring to me because then I didn’t feel like I was being a complete weakling about the pain!
Finally at around 8 that evening, I called him back in and this time, I allowed the epidural. Whoa! Zowie Mama!! What a difference!! I can’t believe that I was trying to withstand all that pain on my own. By this time I was at about 6cm, but I was feeling good!! I was actually starting to enjoy this birthing thing!! Now I know that many of you were able to go through childbirth without any meds, and that’s great, but I was just so thankful for those meds at this point!
Around 10:30 p.m. it was time to start pushing. I had been laying almost flat and things were just not progressing. Finally, the doctor thought it may be better to tilt my bed downward and let gravity do the trick. Well, he barely had time to turn around when it was time to catch the baby as he came out. HE came out!! “IT’S A BOY!!” Dr. Scott announced. Now, for most mothers, they declare a sigh of relief, a prayer of thanksgiving, a hallelujah or something else of those sorts. No, not me. The first words out of my mouth were, “He’s gonna be a big brother!!” Despite all the turmoil, all the fear, all of what could have gone wrong, I knew that I wanted to do this again!! Michael was like, “Let’s get this one out completely first, then we’ll think about the next one!!” 😀
So, we had a beautiful baby boy, but he wasn’t crying and he was breathing very labored! I just prayed, “Please God, I know you didn’t bring me this far for nothing!!” Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we hear his faint little cry!! He sounded like a baby kitten, but he was crying. Thank you God, he was crying!!
He was born at 10:46 p.m. He weighed in at 5 lbs, 15 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. This was quite big for being 6 weeks early. I cannot imagine how big he would have been had he gone full-term!!
We had one of the grandmas on the phone at the time (I don’t remember which one) and they were also able to hear him cry. I was able to see him briefly, but they had to whisk him away into the NICU to get him under oxygen immediately. I told Michael to go with them and I’d be alright!! Our friend, Joanne, stayed with me. She and Michael Edward (Michael’s older son) had been with us in the birthing room. When things got very intense, Edward went out to the waiting area. He was excited to meet his little sibling, but he didn’t want to actually be witness to his/her arrival! ;-D Joanne was there to help with the labor and delivery. What a great coach she was!! What a blessing she was!!
An hour and a half later, after the feeling came back into my legs, I jumped in the shower and was able to eat!! I had not eaten since the night before at dinner. We had a sausage/macaroni and cheese casserole and some spinach. If I had known that that would be my last meal for the next 24 hours, then I would have made sure it was a big, juicy steak and baked potato at least!! After I ate, I walked over to the NICU to go and see our beautiful baby. Oh my goodness, what a glorious day that was!!
Now, he’s turning 14 years old and will be starting high school in a couple of days!! That is hard to fathom. It is taking every ounce of strength in me also, not to walk him into the school on that first day. I know that we’ve been teaching him since day one and I know that he’s ready. I’m the one that is not ready! Renzo, the manboy has been such a blessing for us, yes, even through some of his knuckle-headed choices. He is such a beautiful spirit and is growing into a wonderful young man. I pray that God will continue to bless him and bless us with him! I am thankful everyday for him and pray for continued guidance, wisdom and strength to be the mother that he needs me to be!