Today, as if this moment (1205 PM PDT), Kid1 is 16. Last week at GeekMom, I wrote about what turning 16 means. Today, I thought it would be neat to share the story of his birth, like I did when Kid2 turned 12. This story is published in my first book. For privacy reasons, I edited out the names. If you want names, you’ll have to purchase the book.
Kid1, you and your brother have always been very unique individuals. You two are like day and night, and I am grateful for that. I always knew before I had children that they would be different and unique. Just how different and unique, I was very much unaware. You each reflect a part of me. Where as Kid2 has always reflected my joker, artistic, dreamer, lighthearted side, you reflected my serious, scientific, thinking, pragmatic side. I am so very thankful for this.
Unlike your brother, you have not been curious to hear stories about you as you grew up. They did not interest you. Of course, there are a few exceptions such as the story of when you were 7-months-old and scared the crap out of me when you decided to climb my bookshelf. Or the time you were two, had climbed up to the top of the fridge, waited for me to come into the kitchen and called out, “Mum! Catch me!” as you flew off the fridge, having faith I would catch you, and then proceeded to break the wrist I had broken when I was 10.
One of my favourite memories of you was when you told me you had finally decided what you wanted to be when you grew up, a psychologist. I was and continue to be so very proud. I still laugh when I told you how cool I thought that was, as that is what my degree was in and you responded with, “You have your degree in psychology?” I asked you what did you think I was taking when I was in university and you said, “I don’t know. Stuff. Well that’s… that’s interesting.” No matter what others may tell you, no matter what your barriers are because of your ADHD and learning disabilities, this is something you can do. Do not give up on your dreams and remember there is nothing you are not capable of. You are one of the smartest and wisest people I know.
On your 2nd birthday, I wrote you the following letter:
I hope your days are full of happiness and life. Never let your beautiful smile leave your lovely face. You are my little man. Your possibilities for the future are endless. Never let your dreams die. Follow them to the very end. And if you need help, I’ll always be here for you.
Love you always, Mum.
You will receive this letter one day.
I think however, my favourite memory of you happened on your 11th birthday. You had already been going through the “wonderful” period that is puberty for over half a year. You had grown half a foot and your voice had dropped. I figured it was time to have another one of those talks about the joys of growing up. I had asked you if you knew what nocturnal emissions aka wet dreams were. You said no. So I explained to you what they were and what to do if they happened, told you different ways of hiding your erections while at school and gave you a few other tips that I thought would be helpful. And that is when it happened. After I was done, you asked me to tell you the story of your birth. It was the first and the last time you asked. My heart soared. I got to share Kid2’s story with him a bunch of times but you were never curious. Finally you were and in my opinion, it was the best way we could ever celebrate your birthday; going from talking about puberty to the story of your birth. Without this story, there would be no other stories to share. I will now tell it again.
On December 10, 1994, I found out I was pregnant. The way I found out was unusual. I had to go into the emergency room because I was having huge pain in my abdomen. We had to leave a birthday celebration because I could no longer stand up due to the pain. The doctor asked the normal routine question, “Could you be pregnant?” I responded with, “Well, of course I could. But I do not think I am. We have been trying to have a baby for months but we have not yet been successful.” He asked me when my last period was and I replied with, “I think sometime in November.” He did a pregnancy test, and sure enough I was pregnant.
He then did a pelvic exam. That is when he found some type of mass near my ovary. The doctor thought that maybe I had a tubal pregnancy. This scared me. My mum had a tubal pregnancy, which ended up rupturing and she almost died as a result. This was not the news I needed right before Christmas. I would require an ultrasound to see what was going on.
I had to wait through Christmas for the scan. A couple days after Christmas, I went in for the scan. The ultrasound technician looked at it puzzled and said, “Are you sure you are pregnant? Because there is nothing on the scan. Not even a dot. It most certainly is not a tubal pregnancy.” Relieved it was not a tubal pregnancy but concerned there was no sign of a baby on the scan, I replied that yes I was sure, it was the hospital that tested me. So she sent me off for another pregnancy test and sure enough I was pregnant.
Because I was unsure of the dates for my last period and the “rules” regarding how hormones work and how pregnant you have to be to test positive, I was given an initial due date of August 20, 1995. For the next 9 months, I had a very uneventful pregnancy. Well, it was uneventful right up until 2 weeks before Kid1 was born.
A couple weeks before he was born, I experienced a TIA. That was very scary. Nothing to freak you more than all of a sudden not being able to see or speak, understand speech or read and have the left side of your body go dead right before you are about to pop. I went to the emergency room where they treated me and talked about doing an emergency c-section. They decided since the episode resolved itself, I would try to carry to term. Other than that episode, I was happy and healthy. I did not experience any of the negative things associated with pregnancy. The summer seemed hotter than normal but overall I had nothing to complain about. Well nothing to complain about until August 26 when there was still no baby.
I went to the doctor and said the baby is a week overdue, shouldn’t we be inducing or something. So my doctor sent me across the street to the OB/GYN to see about being induced. Back then it was the OB/GYN who induced and not your family doctor. He told me that he would look over my chart, and if there were no issues, he would be happy to induce. I would hear from him within the next 24 hours to find out what steps would be taken next. Later on that night, he gave me a phone call. He said, “I am sorry but we cannot induce yet.” I asked him why and he said, “Because you are not even due yet. I do not know how this was overlooked but you are not due until September 1.” I asked him how that was possible as I tested positive for being pregnant on December 10, so at that point I would have had to be at least a month pregnant. He did not know the answer for that, however judging by the ultrasounds taken from the first moments where nothing was detected and the two routine ultrasounds, I was not due until September 1. However he felt sorry for me and told me that since I had a true 9 month pregnancy (meaning I knew I was pregnant for the full 9 months) that if the baby was not born by September 4, he would induce on the 8th.
September 4 came and went and no baby. So I went back to the OB/GYN where he booked my appointment to be induced. The way it was done then was very different from when I had Kid2. I had to be admitted into the hospital the night before. They would put the gel on my cervix the night before, monitor me overnight and then if needed, do a second dose in the morning. What was similar was that I was not allowed to eat after the gel was applied in the event they would have to do a c-section. The night of the 7th, I was admitted into the maternity ward. They applied the gel and within an hour it started to work its magic.
I had the worst sleep of my life. The cramping was unbearable. Because I was having such a hard time with it, they decided to move me into the delivery room so that I was free to toss and turn or roam and not disturb the ladies that needed their sleep who just had their babies. A lot of babies were born that night. When I was not being kept awake because of the cramping, I was being kept awake listening to women scream and curse as they were delivering their babies. I needed to sleep damn it! I had my own baby to deliver soon.
Morning came around. I maybe managed to get 1 hour sleep and I was starving. I had not eaten anything since dinner the previous night. The OB/GYN came into the delivery room to check my progress. Over night I had managed to dilate 2 cms and become 50% effaced. There was no need for a second application of the gel. It was time to break my water and get this show on the road. Kid1’s dad showed up at 7:55 am and at 8:00 am, the doctor broke my water. I immediately went into labour. And it was not the nice little “ooo I think that was a contraction” type of labour that happens for 30 seconds and you have 10 – 15 minutes until the next contraction. It was the “OMG THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR” transitional period of labour.
20 minutes later I was at 6 cms. Kid1’s dad decided he was then going to lose his mind. The months of labour and delivery classes we took flew out of his brain. He rushed to the phone to phone his family and my family and say, “She’s at 6 cms. Gotta go. Bye.” Would rush back into the delivery room for other update and then rush out once again to make phone calls. I was left there alone, freaking out as this was my first pregnancy that was carried to term and I needed support.
10 minutes later I was at 7 cms. Not only was I at 7 cms, but Kid1 was impatient and wanted to come out. Now! His head went down the birth canal and he started to crown. The nurses had to push him back up. That is when I was informed that I would have to have an epidural because my labour was progressing so fast and my contractions were so strong, that they were pushing out the baby before it was time. I did not want the epidural; I wanted and had signed up for a natural birth. I wanted to feel the contractions even so they were not happening in the way they told us they did in the books and prenatal class. The nurses told me they didn’t have time to give me a full epidural anyway because of how quickly I was progressing. What they were going to do what give me a walking epidural. I would still feel the contractions, I would still know when to push, and the contractions would not be as strong. That is when once again, Kid1’s dad lost his head and went rushing for the nearest phone.
When he returned a minute later, I was frantic and ordered him out of the room. He was stressing me out. I did not need to be stressed out while I was trying to squeeze my legs shut to keep this baby, who was impatiently trying to get out, in until the anesthesiologist could make his way up stairs. He told me he did not have to leave that it was his right to be there. That is when the nurse stepped in and said, “At this moment, you do not have any rights. We need to think about the mother and the baby first and what her wishes are. You are clearly stressing her out. You are stressing us out and causing a disturbance. If you do not leave now, we will have security escort you out of here and you will miss the entire birth. However, if you leave quietly on your own now, we will call you back in when it is time to deliver the baby.” With that, he left.
When the anesthesiologist arrived 10 minutes later, I was at 8 cms and fully effaced. They had just pushed Kid1 back up the birth canal for the 6th time. He gave me the epidural. It was the most wonderful thing that could happen. My contractions slowed right down. I had time to finally relax before it was time to push. In the first 40 minutes of labour I went from 2 cms to 8 cms dilated. For the next 3 hours, things progressed nice and slowly.
When they checked me at 11:30 am, I was 10 cms dilated and fully effaced. They called my doctor and told him it was time for me to deliver the baby. He arrived 20 minutes later, checked my progress and told me it was time to have a baby. We called Kid1’s dad back into the room. On the next contraction, I was told to push. Being as I was a little numbed up, the first push was not effective. The nurse had to show me how to push. Another contraction came, which meant it was time for another push. I pushed again and this time progress was made. The contraction ended and I took a few cleansing breaths waiting for the next one. The next contraction came, I pushed, the baby began to crown and that is when I heard my doctor say, “Uh. Oh.”
I sat bolt upright and said, “Uh OH?!?!? What do you mean UH OH?! I am about to push a baby out of me. This is not the time for you to be saying UH OH!” My doctor then said, “Well since you only gained 22 lbs., we were expecting a small baby. He is not small. His head is very big. I am going to have to use forceps.” I then informed him, ”No. You will not be using metal forceps on my baby’s head. Use the vacuum extraction if you have to, to help him out, but no forceps are going to touch his head!” My doctor replied, “His head is too big for vacuum extraction. If we were to use it, it would just end up ripping off a piece of his scalp. I have to use the forceps otherwise you may tear.” I then told him I did not care if he had to cut me from ass to teakettle, he was not going to put forceps anywhere near my baby’s head. My doctor told me, “Okay, I will make a very small incision and we will try it your way. But if after the next push, his head is not delivered, we are doing it my way.” An agreement was reached and it was time for me to push again.
The next push and his head was successfully delivered. One more push and his shoulders were delivered without incident. As I was delivering his shoulders, I noticed the lunch cart being wheeled past the delivery room doors. On September 8, 1995 at 12:05 PM, weighing 8lbs on the nose and measuring 22 inches, with dark brown hair and blue eyes, Kid1 was born. They took Kid1 to do the Apgar tests while my doctor delivered my placenta and gave me the 3 stitches necessary because of the episiotomy. After he was done, he shook my hand and congratulated me on such an effortless labour and delivery. He told me despite outward appearances, I was built to have babies. One of his easiest deliveries ever, which is surprising since this was my first time.
After, they handed me Kid1. He did not look like a newborn at all. He was not wrinkly and ugly and pink and covered with gross afterbirth. His head looked as if he was a c-section baby, which was odd especially given the fact he had a large head at 36 cms. He looked like a little old man trapped in the body of a 1 month old. He was already wise beyond his years. He took to the breast immediately. Then it was time for him to go get cleaned up at which point I demanded I get something to eat. I was starving!
My mum and my sister arrived about 30 minutes later. My mum was surprised to find me sitting up and eating and she did not believe she missed the whole thing. When she got the phone call earlier that day, she thought I would be in labour for days as she was in labour with me for close to 72 hours. She could not believe that I was eating, I should have been exhausted. I told her how easy it was and that I had not eaten for close to 24 hours. Food was all I could think of at that point.
Food, laying down with my brand new baby and sleep.
The day Kid1 was born, I finally had the job I always knew I would have since the time I was at least 5 and that was being a mum. I had never been so happy in my life. I had my baby. I had my purpose. It took a long time to get pregnant with him but it happened and he was here and he was real.
He was my first reason.