My baby is two. How did time go by this quickly? Everyone tells you "don't blink, you'll miss it" and this is one of the only pieces of advice that I have found to be true. The little baby that was once just a tiny fluttering heartbeat, that developed into this stranger that would hiccup in my womb almost every night for the last trimester of pregnancy, is now an opinionated ball of personality.
Finding out I was pregnant was a surprise, and not the "We're going on a vacation. Pack your bags!" type of surprise. I had this innate sense that something was off. I mentioned it to Patrick and he shrugged it off saying "I'm sure you're not, don't worry about it". So, I tried to ignore it. A few days later still feeling something was just different I bought a pregnancy test. Two of my best friends were coming over so we could all head out for dinner, so while they were there I took the test and had one of them look at it. "No, your definitely not. You can't really see anything at all." So, we went out. The very next day it was haunting me STILL. I took another test It came back positive.
At this point in my life Patrick was an executive chef, so by nature he worked nights/weekends. I took that test at 12pm and he was not due to be home until probably about 12:30am. There was NO WAY I could call him and tell him over the phone, nor could I show up at the restaurant and give him the news, then turn around and leave. I was forced to wait.
I had thought about what and how I would tell him since the second I read the results. He came home with a bag of oysters he had bought off of a friend at work, and three bottles of wine he had bought from the owner who was in the process of changing her wine inventory. "Tomorrow is going to be a rainy day, so I figured we could hang together, put on a record, drink wine and eat some oysters". Okay, this was it. "Well I think you're going to have to enjoy those by yourself". He looked at me blankly. "I'm pregnant".
Fast forward 9 months later...
I had an amazing pregnancy. We had a few minor concerns in the beginning, but after those everything was smooth sailing. I LOVED being pregnant. Labor and delivery on the other hand was something I was nothing short of terrified of. I have an extremely low tolerance for pain. The thought of a six plus pound being exiting my body was not my idea of a good time, as excited as I was to meet him.
I went into labor around 12:30am. Well, I think I had some early signs around 10:00pm or so the night before, but didn't think anything of it to be honest. It was 4 days before my due date and everyone told me chances are I wouldn't go early. I got out of bed a few times with some discomfort, and at one point when walking back to my room my water broke. I woke Patrick up and called the mid-wife on duty (who was luckily my favorite one that I had met with throughout my pregnancy). I panicked with what we were going to do with Ty and Jules who were about to become the "big kids". I had assumed that the stars would align and that they would happen to be with their mom that night (I had a 50/50 chance), but that was not how it happened. I called my mom and she drove over so Patrick and I could head to the hospital.
When I arrived at the hospital, I barely made it out of the car before dropping to my knees on the cold pavement in the dark. "I can't do this!" I said as I tried to figure out how in the world I was going to indeed "do this". Patrick reassured me that I'd do great although I wasn't too sure. Walking into the hospital was a blur, like dream, but the type that when you wake up is vivid. I remember entering the elevator thinking "This is it". I had heard so many different birth stories from so many friends and family members, enough to know that no two were alike. So, this was a complete and utter mystery as to how my story, our story really, would play out. I scribbled my name on a bunch of papers upon check-in, half aware of what I was even doing. The pain at this point was writhing and all I knew was that despite my fear of needles, I wanted that epidural.
Let me pause here for a moment. Mothers who have had a baby au natural, I commend you. You are amazing beings. I myself couldn't fathom doing it. In the same respect, women who have had epidurals...you too are also amazing beings. Anyone who carries another being around with them for 9 months as her body morphs and grows only to birth that baby in any fashion is a freaking superhero.
The midwife came in to check me. "Wow my dear you're already at 7.5cm". Did I hear that right? No wonder I was in so much pain. I only had 2.5 cm until I had the green light so to speak, so I knew that if I wanted that epidural I only had a small window, a 2.5cm window to be exact. At this news, I instantly asked for my epidural. The midwife informed me that she would send the nurse in for my blood-work to send to the lab, and upon the results I would be able to get my epidural. Seriously? I have to wait longer? She exited the room letting me know she'd be back to check on me soon. Patrick joked about how many times I mentioned to the nurse that "I really just need my epidural". The pain made me feel as though I wanted to climb up the bed and onto the ceiling. Then, the nurses and midwife came in swiftly asking me to turn to my side as they lost my baby's heartbeat. I turned as fast as I could, trying to figure out what was happening and how 2 minutes ago everything was so different. They quickly found it again and asked that I stay like that for awhile. So, I didn't move, afraid something would happen. A little while later it happened again, this time a slew of nurses accompanying the mid-wife who gave me an oxygen mask and asked me to turn onto all fours on my hospital bed. I felt like I was drowning, tangled in wires and IV tubes, not able to even see who was in the room because my hair was in my face. A doctor came in to introduce herself, although I couldn't raise my head to even see what she looked like. Thank God my story changed here.
After what seemed forever, the anesthesiologist entered. My fear of needles was out the window. The epidural kicked in and I felt like a new woman, to the point where I wasn't even sure I was still having contractions. The nurse reassured me that I indeed was and pointed out that according to the monitor they were stronger and closer together than prior to my epidural. I was afraid I wouldn't even know when to push!
After that it wasn't as I imagined, like in the movies, with yelling and sweating and what not. I just laid there for a bit in silence, not able to fall asleep because of my adrenaline. The room was quiet, just myself and my husband with the slightly annoying sound of the television that I was tuning out. that it wasn't as I imagined in the movies, with yelling and sweating. All of a sudden, I felt an immense pressure, so pain, but pressure. The nurse and midwife came in and I just knew it was time to start pushing. I pushed on for over 2 hours, and as tiring as it was it was nothing like I had imagined. I was chatting and laughing in between , while the two women who were practically strangers held my legs and encouraged me and my husband stood by head holding my hand. I half joked about how I could barely wait to drink beer and eat some oysters and how my favorite ice-cream joint was opening soon! Half way through my pushing I felt the need to have my mom there. It wasn't something that we had discussed prior to me going into labor, but I just thought that she'd want to be there to share this moment. She made it in time to be there for the last hour of pushing and was able to watch her first grand baby enter the world.
Hearing his cry was the most miraculous thing I had ever heard.
Now, on his second birthday, as we enter those terrible two's full steam ahead, I will do my best to reflect on that moment and that cry as music to my ears, knowing my baby is okay.