This morning, I was reading this post from my friends at Merely Mothers and this part stood out to me: “Going into labor, I didn’t want any interventions, but I was learning the first lesson of parenthood – you can prepare and plan all you want, but you have no control once that tiny human being comes into the picture.”
And it struck me, five years ago today Jack was due to be born. October 2nd (his actual birthday) was not even on my radar. My first lesson of parenthood began on October 1st…
The night of October 1st, I woke up with intense back pain. It felt like heartburn, but was sharp and acute. At the time, my husband and I were living in my mom’s basement (click here for more on our marriage story) so I wandered up to her room to ask her “is this what labor feels like?” She said it was not that way for her but to call the doctor just in case. So I did. At 2:00am, I called and spoke with the on-call doctor who told me to wait it out and come in in the morning if the pain persisted. She did not seem too worried about it. I was a first-time mom, after all.
The next day, I slipped on a piece of ice and fell in our kitchen. We called the doctor again and they asked us to come in. So my husband balanced me against his shoulder, put me in the car, and off we drove to my OB/GYN. While I was there they noticed my platelet levels were way off and I had edema.
“What kind of pain were you having last night?” the doctor asked. I relayed to her what I had told the on-call doctor the night before. Her brow furrowed. “How about excessive thirst?” When I thought about it I realized I had kept a full pitcher of lemonade (yes, lemonade) by my bed every night for weeks because I was so thirsty. When I told her that, her brow furrowed some more.
“We’re going to take some more tests,” she said, “and I don’t want you to eat anything in the morning, ok?”
Perplexed, I asked why.
“Because you might have to come in and get that baby out first thing,” she told me.
The next morning, I got a call at 10:00am saying I needed to come in right away. The pain I had been feeling was from my liver and I was developing preeclampsia. The baby needed to come out stat.
So, my husband and I threw together our hospital bag – I honestly don’t even remember what we brought other than our camera – and rushed off to the hospital.
That afternoon, Jack was born via emergency c-section and came into this world 9lb, 2oz and 22″ long. When the doctors handed him to me saying, “here’s your toddler!” I was so grateful. Grateful we were both healthy and ok. Grateful that I did not have to try to push him out (who knows how big he would have been had he been full-term!) I was even grateful that I had slipped and fallen on that piece of ice which made me go in to see my doctor the day before.
A c-section is not fun to recover from, but it was totally worth it to hold my son in my arms. And, now, five years later, I get to hold him in my arms still. Jack loves hugs, kisses, and, best of all squeezes (super-sized hugs). Having my son on Oct. 2 was not part of my plan. I was not prepared, but it didn’t matter. Jack arrived beautiful and healthy, big and strong. And he remains that way to this day. God has taught me over and over again, we cannot prepare for parenthood, neither the gifts nor the sorrows it brings, but we can embrace each day of the journey and I find I can do that best when my son is in my arms.