February 27, 2012 by themommahen
It was February 26, 2008 and I was at my 40-week doctor’s appointment. There were no real signs of labor beginning anytime soon, and the doctor had me do the standard ultrasound to estimate the size of the baby. After the ultrasound was finished, during which I learned absolutely nothing from the poker-faced technician (man, they are GOOD) the doctor came in with a busy flourish. She asked me a few questions and, looking down at the ultrasound results, deadpanned, “So, how do ya feel about having a baby tonight?”
I gave a nervous laugh and instantly thought to myself, “Why the hell didn’t The Husband come to this appointment?”
But, it was Hatchling #2, and everyone knows that while dads-to-be go to almost every appointment with a first, by the time the second comes around, hubbies just have to show up for the fun stuff – first time hearing the heartbeat, ultrasounds, etc. And to be fair, he had volunteered, but since we knew he was going to be taking time off soon for the arrival of H#2, I had told him not to come. After all, a 40 week ultrasound really doesn’t show much to the average person, they’re so squished in there.
The doctor looked up at me and said, “I’m not joking. This baby’s measuring at 10 pounds, you had forceps-assisted delivery last time after having some trouble and beds fill up fast. If I can get you in tonight, can you deliver?”
I sat there for a moment, letting it sink it. This is not how I pictured it. Of course, by now, I knew that when it comes to labor and delivery it really doesn’t matter how you picture it. But I did NOT want to be induced again. Of course, the doctor already knew that, as every visit to the office had begun with, “you know, I really am hoping to go naturally this time.” Which didn’t mean without meds, necessarily, it just meant I was planning on having some labor pains, taking a walk around the neighborhood to get things going, having my water break, driving to the hospital in excited and nervous anticipation, and so on.
After hearing her out, I took a deep breath and said, “Okay, but if at all possible, could you try for tomorrow night? Or even the next night would be cool – a Leap Year Baby!”
She said she’d see what they had and left. She was back in less than five minutes.
“So, back to my original question: How ya feel about having a baby tonight?”
I called The Husband, my voice shaking. It’s so weird to know when you’re getting ready to have a baby with such planned precision. In the next 24 hours, we would have a new baby. We would go from a family of three to a family of four. We would take one more ride in the car with one car seat. And so on.
The Husband was in shock. I asked him to call my mom and see how quickly she could get on a plane from NC. I went back to work and headed to my team meeting. I sat through the beginning, with the usual jokes, and we started going around the table to see what people had going on. When they got to me I blurted out, “Well, it looks like I’m going to have a baby tonight.”
Everyone nervously leaned back from the table. I realized they thought I was in labor, their worst nightmare. I quickly explained. They quickly (and very nicely) sent me home to get some rest.
My mom was coming in the morning, our sitter was coming that night and I was to check in at 11:30 pm.
We checked in and things got started. I was so nervous, but everything went very smoothly. Around 7am things started moving and around lunchtime, it was go time. I was the first to say he was a boy. The Husband, the last male to carry his family name, son to a man who, up to that point, had beautiful granddaughters but no grandsons, couldn’t believe it. Didn’t believe it. But there he was, a perfect baby boy born on his exact due date with no drama (outside the usual drama of any birth). Immediately after he was born, I looked at The Husband, my mom and the doctor and nurse and said, “I could have 15 more.” The Husband says it was the epidural talking, but it was that easy.
Today, four years later, H#2 is a bit more complicated and has a little more drama. So baby boy, let me tell you this:
I loved you the moment I saw you. Your eyes crush me. Your smile melts me. Your grin defeats me. You love your big sister and baby brother without question and want to protect them from everything, though your brave exterior belies a soft, sensitivity underneath. You wrap your thin arms around me and tell me you just want to hug me forever. You say you miss Daddy when he’s at work and can’t wait to wrestle when he gets home. You play the middle child role, traipsing around for your big sister and waiting on your baby brother. You help calm the baby and when he wacks you with a stiff cross-cut, you stand stoic and without anger. You idolize your big sister and usually only get miffed with her when she won’t include you the way you’ve daydreamed about while she’s at school all day. You made your Bopie so proud when he found out you were a boy, and named after him (and your Grampa and Uncle), a perfect testament to them and honor for you. A huge baseball and Cubs fan, we like to believe he had something to do with making you a lefty, but we know your Granny had a hand in that too. We all watch you, amazed at your blend of toughness, sensitivity, brashness and thoughtfulness. Happy Birthday big boy. I love you more than all the fish in the sea, grains of sand on the beach and stars in the sky.