This was me, four years ago today. My life was about to change dramatically!
As I struggle to survive this crazy week of rehearsals, shows and a concert I’m reminded of going through the same thing four years ago, only I was nine months pregnant at the time!
My baby was due in the middle of May so I figured that I could finish my musical commitments and then have a couple weeks off to relax and get ready to be a mom. What I didn’t know (because nobody told me through months of doctor visits!) was that as a diabetic (Type 1, for over 25 years now) I was at risk of losing my baby in the last two weeks of gestation. Nobody knows why, but apparently enough women like me have had tragic loses late in the pregnancy so now it’s policy to induce two weeks early. I was told this about three weeks before my induction date, nice!
So now I had a four night run of a musical (I think it was “Guys and Dolls” that year) plus a Sunday night band concert (I had them get me a stool to use while I played my percussion instrument!). On Monday I went to work and on Tuesday morning I went to the hospital to have my baby. I’ll tell you, the most relaxing time of that whole week was while I was waiting for the drugs to kick in and labour to start!
Fast forward 17 hours (they were pretty fast, other than the four hours of pushing!) and I was finally able to meet my little boy Born at 2:22am, April 28, 2010, he weighed 8lb 14oz and he was beautiful! Even the nurses commented on how much he looked less like a newborn and more like he was a few weeks old.
Over the course of those 17 hours I had visits from my sister and brother and, of course, my mother was there for the whole thing. I remember my sister being there just as the contractions started to become uncomfortable, her reaction was to leave “because she didn’t want to be near the pain.” Fast-forward a couple years and she ends up giving birth to her daughter with no drugs at all! My brother thought that it would be funny to make my mother think that she had missed everything. Before going back to the waiting room he grabbed a mask and towel, splashed himself liberally with water (he thought he might get into trouble if he used the gel that was on the counter) and walked into the waiting room, wiping his hands and face, saying “Whew! Thank goodness I was there to catch him!” (We knew we were having a boy) My mother just about slugged my brother right there in front of witnesses once she found out he was kidding!
In retrospect, I maybe should have signed up for a pre-natal class or two, I didn’t know what was expected of me and possibly could have been able to move things along a bit faster but I figured it would be better to not get freaked out beforehand. I’ve always been one to dread something when I know exactly what is coming, but I’m more able to roll with it if it’s a surprise. During my second birthing experience my nurse sat down with us at the very beginning and went through everyone’s duties and responsibilities. She said, “Here is what my job is, this is your job, this is your husband’s job. If something goes wrong, I will yank this cord out of the wall and the room will flood with people, do exactly as they say and everything will be fine. Your husband is assigned this square foot of space in the corner should this happen.” Funny enough, it did happen! Those nurses and orderlies were so wonderful, they had both myself and my baby out of danger so fast that I barely had time to be concerned!
After being out late performing for 5 of the previous 6 nights I tried to take the advice I was given to rest between contractions but wasn’t able to do that. I was too excited! I’m pretty sure I ended up being awake for 36 hours straight that day, once I actually got to hold my Big Boy he nursed for over an hour and then it was time for me to be moved to my room and him to get checked over by the nurses in the ward. My husband went home to get some sleep and finally, finally!, I was alone with my baby.
Now I had the time to inspect every inch of him, time to memorize his perfect little face, count his fingers and toes, kiss his chubby tummy and nuzzle his nose. He, of course, slept through all of this but I will never forget those magical hours in the early minutes of his birth day, while the sun gradually lightened the room and turned everything the colour of gold.
Since then there have been many other magical moments (and quite a few not-so-magical ones too!) but I love watching my baby in all the stages of his growth and look forward to all of the good times coming up!
Happy Birthday Big Boy!