Thursday, August 26, 2010

7 years ago today...

...did NOT turn out the way it was "planned"! (Author's of Adult Content...what I'm trying to say is: while I promise this does not contain any gory details, for some of you it MAY be at your own risk...there, I've done my duty...)

Our story begins: I was pregnant with my second son, who was scheduled to be delivered by C-section on August 27th--that's right, tomorrow. He was in breech position, and although we'd tried everything we knew of to convince him to turn (including the "alternative": an acupuncture treatment to "coax the baby around"; and the "traditional": a hospital procedure that involved both of my OB doctors pushing on my belly really hard in opposite directions...) he was being thoroughly uncooperative. On August 26th, in the morning, I took 3-year old Derek with me to the gym so I could work out one last time (Well, I wouldn't be able to for the rest of the week, now would I? Somehow it made perfect sense at the time...). That afternoon, when I woke up from Mommy Rest Time (of course I mean "Derek Nap Time When Mommy Just Rests Her Eyes"), my stomach sort of hurt. I thought maybe lunch wasn't agreeing with me, and ignored it. However, the pain slowly worsened, to the point that I was having trouble conversing with Derek...other than "go watch Sesame Street, honey, Mommy doesn't feel well." Now, at this point you're slapping your forehead thinking "DUH", why couldn't you figure out what was happening? In my defense, I never actually went into labor with Derek. My water broke, I went to the hospital, and I had to be administered Pitocin to jump-start the contractions. So I can be forgiven for not recognizing them right away. Also, the entire point of setting up a nice, routine C-section is: you're supposed to take the baby out before the due date, bypassing that whole "labor" thing altogether. (The best laid plans of mice and...babies...or something like that...)

Anyway, it finally dawned on me what was occurring, and I hastily called my mother and husband. Mom had the role of Derek-Wrangler for the evening, and was about a 35-minute drive away. Husband was at work, the same distance away in the other direction. After I hung up the phone and sat down somewhere, trying to recall how to breathe through *@$# contractions (that I wasn't supposed to have--did I mention that already?)...the skies opened up. Pounding rain, booming thunder, pyrotechnic lightning, the whole works. Mom and Husband now had to contend with a nightmare drive while I breathed, and started another video for Derek...and the lights went out. I remember thinking "Really? Does this need to be any MORE of a stinkin' adventure?" Finally both travelers arrived, with exciting tales of traffic signals out, tree branches downed across roads, minor flooding--fortunately the hospital is about a mile-and-a-half from our house so we made it with no further incidents.

Upon arrival, we found the hospital running on Emergency Generators, since their power was out as well. They were busily and efficiently sending everyone home who was there for "elective procedures", but they glanced my way and immediately assured me, "you can stay"! The staff got me checked into a room and we all awaited my doctor's arrival. Meanwhile, Husband asked me how I was feeling; I could honestly report that the pain was at the level where I'd asked (okay, begged) for an epidural the first time around. This was puzzling to me, since with Derek's birth, progress had been slooowww and steady--to the point that I'd been able to watch an entire Orioles game during the process. When Dr. W arrived, she seemed as if she didn't quite believe me: "Let's see if we're having this baby tonight, or waiting a little" she gently said with a kind smile (the implied message being "jeez, lady, you were supposed to be here at 10:00 tomorrow morning, couldn't you have just held off a little bit longer?") However, after she'd examined me for approximately a second she briskly said, "I'll go wash up and see you in a few minutes." Turns out this whole "having a baby thing" was proceeding  apace, whether we were absolutely ready or not!

So, instead of 10:00 a.m. August 27th, Riley Christopher joined us at 8:01--in the midst of a monster thunderstorm and power outage--August 26th. (One other mystery was finally explained that night: when the nurses weighed him, Riley was about 2 pounds more than his brother had been, and I'd gained 10 pounds less during the pregnancy...meaning he'd been packed so tightly in that he hadn't actually had ROOM to turn around! Who knew? Should've had extra ice cream after all!) Seven years later, Riley's still a force to be reckoned with, doing things his own way, keeping our lives interesting. Happy birthday, Ri-guy!

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