H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y!
You were 27 years old today at at around 4pm born on a Tuesday. Some things a mother never forgets. I can remember going to the doctor's office on Monday afternoon by myself because your dad was in bed with something, a stomach virus, the flu, something. But whatever it was he got over it and showed up at the doctors office after I waited several hours in the "waiting" room for him to wake up. I had to call my neighbor to go over and find him because he wasn't answering the phone. No, he was laying in bed, wishing I was there to take care of him, while I was wishing the same thing from him. But he finally picked me up before the doctor's office kicked me out. I guess I could have called a cab but I didn't want to have you born in a cab, in our car, fine, not in a cab.
So, I spent the rest of Monday hooked up to wires and cords waiting for you to come out. But come out, you did not. No, you just laid in my tummy making little contractions just often enough for me NOT to be sent home but enough to irritate me. I was starving (can't eat lest you did pop out) while I smelled the pizza the nurses were eating. I was drooling as I watched them walk past my door but they couldn't be bribed. I watched the monitor mark my contractions way up on the scale but really didn't feel much pain. I had an eerie feeling they'd be sending me home in the morning and I did not want to go home. These contractions had been bothering me since Saturday and I was damn tired of them. I knew you were 3 weeks from your due date but I'd also been having contractions for the last 6 weeks and I was TIRED. Maybe the doctor was wrong about the dates. Maybe I was just impatient. I had been known to be that in the past.
I woke up Tuesday morning with NO contractions, nada, zilch. Rats. Great..... But, I was starting to dilate a little and your heart rate was slower than normal they thought so they decided to keep me. They gave me some meds to increase the contractions. And increase they did, one on top of another but...... no real pain. I thought this fairly interesting. I kept asking if the anesthesiologist was around just incase the pain got worse. They kept saying, "yeah, sure, right upstairs". Then they decided to attach an electrode to your head to follow your heart beat. Again, rather archaic in today's standards. Unfortunately it showed your heart rate at 78 and started quite a commotion until I reminded them that I had a pacemaker. At noon they wanted to move things along and some bright doctor broke my water. All hell broke loose. OMG!!!!!!! Pain like I never felt before. Where was that anesthesiologist? I yelled, I screamed, I bite your dad's hand, I begged for the pain meds. But nnnooooooooo - by the time they found the anesthesiologist, I was too dilated. (Now, 20 years in the future, you are NEVER too dilated - wish they had known that back then). Your poor dad was standing there trying to gently remove my teeth from his hand asking if there was SOMETHING they could give me. Again, nnnoooooo. I told the nurse I had to use the bathroom. She looked and said, "No - that was you popping out". I said, "I don't care what it is, I'm going". She said, "NO you're not", and slapped me. Well! In my state of mind it probably seemed a lot more dramatic than it was but it did get my attention. I was told to stop pushing. Try telling a drowning man to stop swimming. No such luck. My doctor was not at the hospital and I was not going to wait for him.
Your dad jumped into the hospital gown, mask, and shoe covers (today you can come from the beach wearing a bikini and watch a baby being born) just as they rolled me into the delivery room. One, two, three and you were out just as the intern sat down in front of me. No waiting, no coaxing, just push, scream, and POP! I heaved a sign of relief and THEN they gave me some sleepy time meds. My first sight of you was in your dad's arms. They wouldn't let me hold you because I was so groggy I couldn't raise my arms. Which is probably why my recollection of you is with a full head of bright red hair. Actually you were as bald as grandpa was. Just like your sisters. But it did cause a problem for me several hours later when they brought you in my room so I could feed you. I looked in the crib and said "that is not my baby". Daddy said, "yes, it is". It took a few minutes for them to convince me that, yes, that was you. Your grandma had red hair, but you definitely did not. I did watch you closely for the next few weeks to see if someone dyed your hair (or what there was of it) and it would grow out red.
We stayed until Friday. Now days they kick you out after two days. I have to admit that not having any anesthesia did get me back onto my feet a lot faster than with the girls. But I still sat around for a few days and let your dad wait on me hand and foot. Friday came and they said you needed to stay awhile longer. Your temperature was lower than normal and they wanted to watch you for awhile longer. Watch you what? Sleep? Now, how does a mother who just gave birth go home and leave her baby at the hospital? Not very happily. (I won't go into the heartbreak situations that could occur here.) I did NOT want to leave empty handed. I laid out your little outfit on the bed I had ready so the doctor could see it and maybe feel guilty enough to let me take you home. But, it didn't work. We went home without you. But only for 6 hours. So, maybe it worked a little. We got home (without you) and Julie met us at the door. I knelt down, spread my arms, said "sweetie.....", and she ran right past me looking for you. She didn't even see me. She started crying when daddy told her we had to leave you, I started crying because she didn't want me, and Mary started crying because she was left standing at the top of the stairs unable to climb over the gate. What noise!
But 6 hours later all were well and happy! They told me to keep you wrapped up tight and warm, hat, mittens, blankets. It may have been October but it was NOT cold out. We had the attic fan on and you were under lots of covers.
Your childhood has not been that of the average child. Your twenties has seen more downs that ups and you've spent most of it sitting waiting for a heart when you should have been out and about. But mostly you have been living every single second to the fullest you possibly can. I admire you for the qualities I don't have - patience, wisdom past your years, and the ability to see truth where it hides. You are my little boy blue, my friend, my mentor and my guide.
I love you more....