Tossing and turning in the quiet hours in the middle of the night, the cramps and tightening came on like a steady ebb and flow… at 2 am on Monday, October 28, to be exact.
I figured the uncomfortable pangs that were keeping me awake were just a stronger form of Braxton Hicks contractions preparing me for the big day, which was still another 3 weeks away. It couldn’t be labor!
Boy, was I terribly wrong.
To be sure I wasn’t just being a boob and making things up in my mind, I began timing the pesky little contractions. The first one popped up lasting about 90 seconds. Hardly 5 minutes later, the next one sprang up… and the next at 7 minutes… and after that at 6 minutes. Not meticulously regular, but steady enough that I figured I ought to do something after an hour of laying and waiting in my bed. A shower sounded like a lovely idea.
Standing there letting the hot water trickle down my back and the steam enwrap my body, I wondered if it was in fact the day we’d meet this little dude. But, there were so many items yet to be checked off on the new baby to do list! My hospital bag hadn’t even been packed, for Pete’s sake! We all know that was taken care of promptly with my OCD nesting instincts in overdrive.
Before I knew it, 5 am rolled around and I somehow miraculously fell back asleep for a couple of glorious hours. Matt went his usual way to work since I convinced myself this was simply false labor, but that changed, too, once we hit 10 am and I was still having contractions. All the water and rest in the world wasn’t halting these suckers like the midwife recommended when I called in. It looked as if labor and delivery was the next stop on my ticket!
My sweet sister-in-law came to the rescue to pick up Luke for the day, Matt scurried home from work, and by 1 pm we found ourselves standing at the admissions desk of L&D saying, “Umm, I think I’m in labor?”
You see, I couldn’t be sure because I was induced with Luke from a faulty amniotic sac AKA my water broke and I didn’t know it. Was this or wasn’t this the real deal? Labor is a tricky little thing, I must say.
On came the fetal and contraction monitors and there I sat scrolling through garbage afternoon TV on those chunky plastic hospital controllers with the giant buttons. Sure enough, tiny, steady mountains appeared on the monitor. The contractions were definitely not a figment of my imagination and they progressively became more strong. In 3 hours I had gone from barely a soft cervix to a dilation of 3, and any dilation meant we’d be meeting our little man very soon. The stubborn babe was still breech, which of course called for a c-section. I am sure the nurse thought I was a psycho as a fired my c-section questions at her like a torpedo.
“I am very prone to panic attacks, especially in hospitals… Will I be able to breathe?… Oh dear, what if I pass out?… Maybe we should just knock me out cold?… How big is the scar?… What if I feel it?… Can I have a heart to heart with the anesthesiologist?”
Heart to heart the blessed anesthesiologist and I had — that Dr. G. should consider a career in counseling should he ever decide to stop mixing sedative cocktails. He pinpointed my worries and concerns and even dug deeper on a psychological level, suggesting my fears stemmed from the need for control and a whole other bag of deep-rooted crazy lady issues adding to my apprehension. A modern day Freud, I tell you!
The clock struck 4:45 pm, Matt suited up in his white bunny suit and off they rolled me into the blinding florescent lights of the sterile operating room. Dr. G. had me hunch over on the small operating table and within 30 seconds my lower half was uselessly numb and limp. And I could breathe! I felt marvelously warm and relaxed, actually. It was like being wrapped in a blanket freshly pulled from the dryer. Dr. Brody then came in next and before I knew it, my insides were being shuffled around a bit (a strange feeling) and admired. She literally shouted out, “You have beautiful innards!” Why thank you, I thought in reply. I keep them nice and healthy with a strict diet of sugar, you know 😉
Then that sound I’d been waiting the last 9 months for rang like a beautiful melody in my ears. Our sweet boy entered the world with a shrill cry of itty bitty helplessness at precisely 5:19 pm. To our surprise and happiness, his cord wasn’t wrapped, my uterus was shaped normally, and our baby hadn’t flipped head down because he was doing the full-on splits (quite the acrobat!). They lowered the drape, and I was able to take a peek at his perfectly round and gorgeous head before whisking him away to clear his lungs and wrap him all snug. Meanwhile, my impeccably shining innards were being returned to their rightful places and I laid there in a silly, impenetrable state of bliss. He was here safe and sound. Everything was just so serene and fulfilling, and as far away from the drama I initially imagined it to be.
Within 20 minutes the nurse rolled me into my recovery room where I was able to finally cuddle and nurse that darling new child of ours. Matt and I just stared and stared at this incredible new life in our arms. His cheeks and lips were kissably perfect and he had the roundest, softest baby head I have truly ever seen. The nurse weighed and measured him, with his stats ringing in at an ideal 7 lbs, 8 oz and 19.5 inches long, and a whopping Apgar score of 9.9 to boot! Practically perfect in every way.
Wesley Matthew Rodriguez, you are a gem and we are so lucky to be blessed as your parents. There is just something about you, kid. I can already tell you’ve a mind of your own, a strong sense of conviction and a special purpose in this world. You are golden and our lives radiate even brighter now that you’re a part of our clan. We love you, Dubs.