Anyway, the day Harold was born is crystal clear in my mind. I had a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment a few days before Harold was born and they told me that he was breach. I was waddling around, ready to pop and that was not the news that I wanted to hear. What was even worse was that they wanted to bring me into the hospital in a couple of days and try to manually turn him so he would be head down. They had tried to turn him in the doctor's office during my visit and I almost slugged someone. It was awful. Imagine that 8 pound baby all snuggled up in there and someone just pushing and pulling outside your stomach to try to get him to turn. You are taking your life in your own hands to do that to a massively pregnant woman. I was dreading going to the hospital. I just really wanted him to flip on his own, although they didn't think it was likely. I rubbed his little head, that I had always thought was his bottom, through my stomach and begged him to please flip over.
The next night I went to bed and got up for one of my regular three or four times a night to go to the bathroom. As I was walking back to bed I felt water running down my leg. It was 4:00 in the morning and the whole situation was very confusing. It felt like I was peeing again, but I had JUST gone. I mean, I just left the bathroom. It certainly wasn't the big gush of water that I would have expected if it was my water breaking. I had seen enough movies to know what that was supposed to look like.
So I grabbed a couple of towels and started pacing around wondering what I should do. I am not having any pain whatsoever, not a cramp, not a contraction, no heartburn, no nothing. Everything is perfectly fine except for this trickle of water that I cannot get to stop.
All my waddling and confusion woke up hubby and we both just kind of stood there in a daze. I don't think this was one of the 10 Signs You Are in Labor and Should Call the Doctor Immediately symptoms that were posted on my refrigerator. But certainly, all this water is coming from somewhere.
We decided to play it safe and give the hospital a call. They ask if there was anything in the water and upon closer examination there was some kind of white stuff (really technically, aren't I?). They tell us to come on in, that it was likely that my water had broken.
A calm PANIC set in the minute the words were out of the ladies mouth. I think the adrenaline made my teeth start chattering right then and there. I was so ready. Ready to not be pregnant, ready to meet this sweet baby I had prayed for and dreamed of. But all of the sudden I felt way to young. Way too inexperienced. Way too unprepared for being a mom. And I was 29!!!!
Hubby and I started getting dressed, putting a few last items in our overnight bag. Dogs outside. Then we head to the car. Every single thing that I did that morning I had the recurring thought about how this would be the last time I did any and every thing without a baby. This is the last time I will get dressed without a baby, this is the last time I will brush my teeth without a baby, this is the last time I will walk down these stairs without a baby.
It seemed to take forever to get our stuff together and get to the car, but it was probably only about 40 minutes tops. We called Hubby's parents and my parents just moments before we walked out the door. Joy, joy, joy!
The drive to the hospital was so surreal. We didn't say much, except every few minutes I would say something like "This time tomorrow we are going to be parents." Complete silence. "I can't believe the next time we get in this car together we will have our baby with us." Complete silence. I was terribly entertaining for that 30 minute drive. I think Hubby was nervous enough without all my "OUR LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME - EVER." declarations. And it wasn't that I wasn't thrilled. We had tried for a couple of years to get pregnant and to say I was overjoyed would be putting it mildly. I had wanted to be a mom FOREVER.
I think it was just that I knew this was a huge moment in our lives and I knew we were officially crossing a major threshold. You can be a bit of a goofball in life if you don't have any one depending on you, but bring a child into the world and your goofball days are over. It is grown up time. And I would be lying if I didn't tell you that the impending delivery business had me a bit concerned.
We arrived at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. Still no contractions, no pain, so far so good. I thought I was rocking the delivery thing. They checked me and confirmed that my water had indeed broken. They checked on Harold and that little stinker was still toes first so they gave me the option to try to deliver him breach or schedule a c-section. I couldn't say "Book the OR" fast enough.
Within the hour the family was all arriving, my teeth were chattering like crazy, IVs were getting started, hubby was getting into his hospital garb and we were on our way to the OR. I was strapped on the table and it seemed like there were tons of people in the OR with us. Hubby sitting at my head, tears rolling down my face, we didn't know whether Harold was a girl or a boy and didn't care - just please be healthy.
At 7:46 a.m. on March 30, 1996, my first son was born and over the last 14 years I have truly experienced the most pure love ever imagined. I physically thought my heart would break the very first time I laid eyes on him. It was powerful. It was instantaneous. It was eternal. It was beyond words.
I have been blessed with wonderful parents. I have always known love from them. I have been blessed with an amazing husband and I have shared my love with him. But a child....that love is beyond earthly emotions. It is straight from God.
So, I will end this walk down memory lane with that sweet, sweet thought. No need to dwell on how I almost starved my sweet Harold to death with the dang breastfeeding attempts, or how I spent the whole drive home going "Should they just let us leave the hospital with him? Is anyone going to stop us? Seriously, do we know what we are doing?."
Not very confident looking as we prepare to walk out of the hospital, but we seemed to have managed just fine. He made it to 14, didn't he?
He is an awesome son and a beautiful person inside and out. I could not be more proud of the young man he is turning into. I LOVE YOU HAROLD and feel so very blessed to be your MOM!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!