I woke up suddenly, noticing the alarm clock glowing 1:03am in blue. The pressure in my back had launched to a entirely new level of awful and it was impossible to take a full breath in. I sat partially sitting up because of heart burn. I was 36 weeks pregnant and I was willing to stay in this uncomfortable state for 4 more weeks because the truth is- I wasn't ready to be a mom to two. One felt so incredibly hard that I couldn't imagine doing100% more work at the same time.
I got up and walked around, waiting for my back to stop screaming. I went to the bathroom. I got back in bed and the pressure was getting worse. I never had Braxton Hicks contractions with either pregnancy and with Greyson my water broke and then my labor was sped up with pitocin. Contractions didn't feel like the books described- a band tightening around my stomach. They just felt like pain and I can't breathe and my back hurts and I think I might die.
My back began to ache in a regular pattern and I noticed it was at its worst every five minutes. But I wasn't ready- so I was determined to keep this baby inside me. I was so incredibly tired so I attempted to go back to sleep. That proved to be impossible; I tossed and turned, read to distract my mind, got down on the floor to stretch out. The pain was coming every 3-5 minutes and I finally started to consider going to the hospital. Maybe when the baby was coming out actually wasn't up to me. Hmmmpffff. It was 4am and I wanted to wait until 22 month old Greyson woke up for the morning so we didn't have to get him out of bed to take me to the hospital. I showered and got ready.
The date was April 13, 2011 and it felt so off -but I wasn't sure why. He isn't supposed to be born today, I kept thinking. It wasn't just because I wasn't ready (which I wasn't). It wasn't because his due date wasn't until April 29th. I just felt extremely unsettled but couldn't figure out why. Finally at around 6:30am I snatched Greyson out of his crib because I couldn't wait until longer. Then I attempted to wake up Michael- which is no easy feat.
Michael- babe. Michael. Michael. Michael. Wake up. Wake up. (tap tap tap). Wake up.
WHAT?!!! He yells, scaring the bejezuz out of me.
I think I'm in labor. Can you take me to the hospital? Michael zombies into our closet to get dressed. He comes out wearing his "Harvard Medical School" T-shirt.
YOU ARE NOT WEARING THAT SHIRT. I tell him with fiery insistence. Michael LOVED the attention he got when he wore this shirt. "Oh- did you go to Harvard Medical School?" People would inevitably ask. And instead of saying, "No" (the truth) he would go into this long explanation how he went to a 5 day training class for pharmaceutical reps at Harvard. "It's basically the same exact class that doctors take but slightly abbreviated" he tells them. I heard this story OVER and OVER again. I wanted to donate this shirt to Good Will so I could stop hearing the story about how Michael (sorta, not really) went to Harvard.
"Why can't I wear it?" He asked, seriously confused. "Because we are going to a HOSPITAL. And all day long the medical staff will be asking you if you went to Harvard -which you didn't. And people who went to Harvard don't have to wear the shirt. And I will be there needing help and attention and medical care but you will be so busy telling them that you went to Harvard and giving them all the details. AND PS---I took the exact same Harvard class on the Cardio-vascular system but you don't see me performing bypass surgery or wearing any stupid shirt! You need to change right now.
We drove to the hospital in a daze. I was so scared. Not of labor- but of the fact that I knew my world was about to completely change and I had no idea what this new world would look like. Things outside of my control is my kryptonite. I ached for Greyson, sick over what I felt like I was doing to him. Ruining his life. Yep, that's what I thought. Yes, I know a sibling is the greatest gift and he will adjust and blah blah blah but that didn't change the fact that the tight little universe he and I had created together was forever gone.
We had only lived in Fresno for 10 months long. My family lived thousands of miles away and we didn't know what to do with Greyson, so he joined us in triage at the Labor and Delivery ward in our local hospital. I prayed the DVD player and big bag of snacks would entertain him for at least little while. The greatest nurse strapped my up to a machine so she could monitor my contractions. She stepped away and Michael took a look at the paper print out the machine was creating.
You aren't having contractions, Michael reported.
Ouch, ouch, ouch, owwww..- WHAT? What makes you say that? I asked him while wincing in pain. See the line going up and down? If you were having contractions the spike would be going higher and lower off the line. Yep- that line looks to straight to be contractions.
Ok- so now you are Harvard trained OBGYN too?! I ask, beginning to wince with the next onset of pain. The nurse came back around. "Am I having contractions?" I asked. She checked the machine. You sure are, she replied. It looks like they are every 3 minutes now. Next I'll check to see if you are dilated after I call your doctor to let her know we have you here. I gave Michael my best I told you so glance.
I was almost two centimeters. And after an hour of regular contractions I was still only a two. They had me walk around the campus for an hour hoping to speed things along....in my Uggs and pajamas.
They checked again and I was still dilated to two so they sent me home with "failure to progress" marked on my chart. For the next two days I had contractions constantly- almost every five minutes. I would yell out when experiencing a doozie. I didn't want to go back to the hospital if it wasn't the real deal. Finally on the morning of April 15th I knew I was going to meet Parker for the first time that very day. I went back to the hospital- afraid they would send me home again.
I'm going to see how far along you're dilated, Laticia the nurse informed me with the snap of her rubber gloves. WE NEED A DELIVERY ROOM STAT- she called out to the supervising nurse. How far along am I? I asked her in fear. 6cm sweetie. We'll get you in the Delivery Room right away.
And thankfully they did.
My very own little slice of perfection. Thank you God. Thank you is not enough, but thank you.
I can see just a tiny bit of his Doodleness here.
And Michael wore the damn shirt to pick me up. I didn't care anymore. I had a brand new baby as my parting gift.
This Wednesday Parker, aka Doodle, the Parker Doodle, Monkey Doodle, Doodley Doo turns four. What a short, long, exciting, hard and beautiful trip it's been. God really gives us the best stories to live out.
Four and one to grow on. He's my heart.