8 years ago tomorrow I walked into my regularly scheduled ob appointment and was admitted to the labor and delivery floor of the hospital within 30 minutes. By that afternoon my entire life changed… for the better…I think.
On June 6th, Tommy worked the night shift. I was used to being home alone. He came in sometime during the early hours of the morning. At 4 AM on the 7th, I was sitting at my computer playing Tetris. Tommy came out of the bedroom to ask why I was up. I told him I had been having contractions most of Friday (not bad), but they were getting to be inconvenient by Saturday at dawn.
June 7th, I waited until a reasonable time to call my mother who was in New Orleans at a convention. I say reasonable I had been up most of the night so it was probably 6 AM. We talked several times between then and mid morning. She started making the trip to Shreveport.
My mother was pulling into the drive way by the time I told Tommy I needed to go the hospital. Mom hopped in our car and off we went. They started checking us in…only Dr. Taylor had not sent our paperwork over because my due date was June 21st and I had not had any progression that would indicate Xander was coming soon. The nurses hooked me up to all the machines to check my contractions. They checked how much I was dilated and effaced. And then the nurse came in to talk to me about the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and real contractions. Let’s just say at this point I am willing to deliver the baby myself to get out of the pain.
The hospital packed us back up and sent us home with the suggestion that I take Tylenol for the pain. WHAT!!!!
At home, I lay around making everyone miserable. Since I knew I had the appointment on Monday, we called the family and told them to be prepared to come to Shreveport that week…that we were having a baby. I called work and let everyone know this had to be it.
June 8th I can’t remember if we went to the hospital again on Sunday. Tommy would probably say yes we did. It is a blur now. It seems we made at least two trips to the hospital that weekend. Every time I was sent home. Of course I could not lay down at home because it hurt my back so bad. I couldn’t sit up because I would double over in pain. It was the worse few days of my life.
Finally Monday June 9th arrived. The doctor’s appointment was for 9 AM. We went early. Dr. Taylor hooked me up to all sorts of gizmos. And we discovered that I truly am the most controlling person in the world! My due date was June 21st. I had it in my head that Xander would not come until June 21st. I had that long to get ready. Only Xander was coming, but my body wasn’t letting him come out! Dr. Taylor called it a dysfunctional labor. WHAT!!! Who does that!!! Who can control something to the point that a baby is making his way out, but their body won’t let him come out until the calendar says so!
By 9:30 AM they have me in a hospital bed with a drip to move the labor along. By 3:18 PM Xander made his way into the world. He didn’t cry at first. He had swallowed fluid on his way out. The labor and delivery nurses and the nursery nurses were amazing. They didn’t miss a beat when he didn’t cry. They flew into action. Within minutes he was in the nursery with oxygen and a line for antibiotics. The nurses at Willis Knighton Pierremont are amazing. We are so blessed to have them in our City.
My mom was with Tommy and me in the delivery room. My dad made it from North Mississippi just minutes after Xander was born. Tommy’s parents arrived that evening. My sister, Mama Rose, and my Nona made it that afternoon. It was perfect timing on Xander’s part.
Then Xander taught me the first lesson of motherhood. You aren’t always in control and even if things don’t happen as planned, everything will still work out ok.
Since he was on an IV and oxygen, I couldn’t nurse him or hold him until the next day around lunch. I was obsessed with the books saying you have to bond with your baby immediately after birth. Babies must latch on right after birth to be successful at nursing. WRONG! It turns out waiting till the next day didn’t affect his ability to bond with me or nurse (which he did for nearly a year!).
Xander and his little brother still teach me Mom Lessons everyday. Tonight they reminded me that running through a sprinkler on a hot Louisiana night beats cleaning out the garage.
I am blessed.