Thursday, May 1, 2008
The Big Day
Today my oldest son, Chase, turns nine. NINE. How did that happen and when did I become so ancient? Like most long-suffering, martyr mommies, I must remember this special day by recounting the day of his birth, the day that changed my world from black and white to the most vivid of colors.
The weekend Chase was born my husband and I were in the middle of child birth classes. We put it off until the last moment, primarily because I was still under the deluded impression that the stork was going to bring my baby. (Or at the very least I was going to lay on some eggs in my stretched out maternity pants and those eggs were going to somehow hatch into an infant. Actual childbirth just seemed so…messy.)
Anyway, our class was a three day weekend marathon of which we only managed to squeeze in a Friday night’s session. The good news is that I missed out on having to view the scary/creepy video of a stranger birthing a baby that looked like an alien. The bad news is that I became the stranger birthing a baby that looked like an alien. (Not really, Chase. You were BEAUTIFUL!)
Early Saturday morning I awakened to a sensation that would later confirm that my water had broken. Upon my discovery, I shook my husband from his slumber to joyfully announce my findings only to have him tell me that I should go back to sleep.
Allow me to pause for a moment. My spouse is a very smart physician, trained at one of the top universities in the Southeast. He is a brilliant diagnostician and I say this in the most biased and non-objective manner possible. But he “don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies.” Because his profession often leaves him in a sleep deprived state, he thought we had plenty of time for some extra shuteye before moseying on down to the hospital.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ( I said these exact words to him using my capital letters voice) I called my obstetrician who promptly suggested an immediate journey to the hospital. I hurriedly dressed, grabbed my suitcase with all of the very unnecessary necessities and then wet my pants.
I dressed again and then wet those pants as well. I burst into tears imagining myself entering into the hospital, squishing water with every step taken, making the worse kind of puddles all over their tiled floors. This was NOT included in my detailed birth plan.
My clever, eagle scout of a husband came to the rescue with a very complicated and unique solution to my incontinence issue. He rolled up a big fluffy towel, and in his serious doctor voice, instructed me to place the bulky towel inside of my jeans twice a day for seven to ten days. (I told you he was sleepy) It was difficult to walk (think pregnant Jabba the Hut)and I showcased a waddle that I have not seen since in a woman with child. But at least my pants remained dry. Ridiculous looking, but dry.
We arrived at the hospital and pulled up to the valet.
Only in Atlanta would you find a valetician (I made up this word) to park your car while delivering a child, like you are on a fancy first date that ends with a delicate crème brulee as your dessert.
Our particular attendant did not think I was funny as I asked him about the night’s specials. He apparently was too occupied to appreciate pregnant humor, staring bug-eyed at the humongous bulk in my jeans, wondering if I had already started delivering the quadruplets it looked like I was carrying.
To further complicate and confuse the matter, I entered the sliding glass doors to the hospital backwards. And in a bent over position. I figured that if I was in the ready stance someone walking by could just pop that epidural needle in my back at their earliest convenience. Because the anesthesiologist had not met me in the parking lot as requested in my birthing plan, I, in an effort to be a compliant patient, was willing to have the procedure completed at the check in desk.
This childbirth would not be occurring in the “natural” manner which I reminded every nurse who helped prep me for the big event. One exasperated nurse finally responded, in a very twangy voice, “Honey we knew you weren’t goin’ to have this baby natural the minute you walked in backwards. You had your make-up on and your hair fixed. Ain’t nothing’ natural about that.”
The rest of the morning went smoothly without many mishaps. I received the golden epidural and was calm throughout the delivery, with the exception of one small, minor occurrence.
I didn’t turn freak-out mode on until, while in the middle of pushing, a genius nurse rolled a gigantic MIRROR in front of my goods because she thought I might want to actually see the birth taking place. I believe I used my capital letters voice again when I said (or yelled as my husband recalls),
“MOVE THAT MIRROR!” (Sort of in the same way they say, “Move that bus!” on Extreme Home Makeover, but in a tone that isn't quite as jolly.) “DON”T YOU PEOPLE KNOW I’M NOT INTO THE NATURAL THING? I HAVE ON MAKE-UP FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I DON’T WANT TO SEE MY STUFF!”
Or something like that.
Anyways, I will spare you all of the details (I know, I know. It’s a little too late in the post to worry about sharing too much information) but the rest of the delivery went great and out came my exquisite son in all of his gooey glory.
I loved him instantly and immediately felt sorry for all of the other moms who would have to have their newborn infants compared to mine in the nursery. I was certain he had to be the most beautiful child the hospital staff had ever seen.
We left the hospital a few days later, carrying my sweet bundle of joy through the front lobby doors. I was a first time mommy, smiling ear to ear, and it was the most natural feeling in the world.
Even if I was wearing make-up and had my hair fixed.
Happy Birthday sweet, wonderful Chase! You are beyond anything we could have imagined on our own and thank God for you every day. The world is a better place because you are in it.