All of the sudden there were 20 people in the room. I was in labor about to deliver. This should not have come as a shock to anyone because I was induced 10 hours earlier. But for some reason the doctor didn’t believe the nurse that I was ready to push. “I’ll be there in a couple of hours,” she told her over the phone.
Well my baby wasn’t about to wait. After a few minutes nurses came pouring into my room. One said, “We thought it would be fun to watch.”
The nurse who had been with me most of the day checked me again and said, “Don’t push!!!!” and ran to the door and yelled “Someone get a doctor!”
A lovely nurse who had just arrived held my hand and said, “It’s fine. Push if you feel like it.”
I asked her, “Why do we need a doctor? Cab drivers can deliver babies. And you’re all nurses. What are we waiting for?”
“Nothing,” she said. “Go ahead and push.”
“No!!” the main nurse said as she got ready to catch. Because he came out pretty quick. After 3 pushes he was out.
And he was blue. Blue like a blueberry. Thankfully, three of the nurses were neonatal nurses (there was supposed to be just one) and they whisked him away to the other side of the room. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t breath. Everyone was quiet. My husband and sister, silent for the first time that day, were standing over the baby.
Then a few seconds later, a wail. A few minutes later I had my perfect baby in my arms.
That was 8 years ago today. The day my life changed forever.
Six and a half years ago, I peed on a stick. Five sticks just to be sure. I thought there was no way I could be pregnant because I was nursing a baby. And you can’t get pregnant when you’re nursing a baby.
Well, guess what? You can and I was. I thought back on the previous year and a half and said, No. There was no way I could do it again. I spent months on bed rest with preterm labor for baby number one. Bed rest. Pain. Hospitals. There was no way I could do that while taking care of another baby.
It wasn’t just logistics. I was not happy. Not unhappy or depressed, just not fun, pleasant, or good to be around when I was pregnant. Some women have morning sickness, others retain a lot of water. When I was pregnant I was humorless, stressed, and worn. I looked like a subject in a Dorthea Lange photo.
When I told my family that I was going to have another baby, the majority of the response was, “Oh.”
And the enthusiasm continued throughout my pregnancy. I was put on bed rest. Hated everyone but my 1-year-old. Ate as though I was feeding quintuplets. We even found out we were moving from Berkeley to Los Angeles. Loads of stress.
But then, 10 days after his due date, my baby was born. And what kind of baby is born under these less-than-ideal circumstances? The most wonderful boy. Happy from day one, sweet and lovable.
It may sound like a cliche, but I didn’t think my jaded heart had room for any more love. But really, I had no idea how much love I was capable of. And I was not prepared to fall head over heels in love with my baby.
But 6-years ago today, I did. Happy Birthday, baby!!