It all kinda sorta started on a Sunday. With a month left before our baby boy was to arrive, Jeff and I made a last-minute, semi-crazy decision to buy a car. That fateful day we were making our final trips to dealerships before heading home to throw my momma a birthday dinner. Throughout the day I had been hemming and hawing about pains in my belly, wondering whether this was how the final four weeks of my pregnancy would feel.
As we headed into the evening and our dinner guests left, my worry grew. I couldn’t feel my little guy rolling around. My tummy was rock solid. I was scared something was wrong.
We decided I would drink a glass of juice and wait for an hour, a trick to stimulate the baby. Jeff asked if I wanted to watch something on TV to take my mind off of my worry. I suggested we pack the hospital bag.
An hour later, still no movement. We decided to call the doctor. The whole time I kept saying, “There is no way this baby is coming tonight, it’s too early.”
Dr. Kahn told us to head to the hospital. She told us the pains I had been feeling were contractions and she wanted to find out exactly what we were looking at; whether our baby was on his way. We threw the bags in the car along with the carseat (still packed in the box we had bought it in) and rushed to the hospital.
The contractions were real. We could see them come and go on the monitor, big waves peaking every two minutes. The nurses poked and prodded, concerned I was preeclamptic. In the end I was sent home with a morphine shot to wait for my labor to progress.
After another trip to the hospital and a couple calls to Dr. Kahn, who assured me that when the “real” contractions hit I would know, Jeff and I settled into waiting. I laid on the couch watching Burn Notice as my honey sat beside me, computer out, figuring out how to wrap things up at work.
As I started to doubt whether our little guy would really be arriving soon, there was a tiny gush of water. I got up, wondering whether this was actually happening. In the bathroom it was confirmed. I called out to Jeff, “I think my water just broke.” I heard him frantically type, then jump up and run from room to room. “Honey?” I called as I heard him run downstairs.
Finally he was at the door helping me get myself together for our final trip to the hospital. He was in go mode. The final email had been sent, the hospital bags were by the door, and the chickens had been put back in their coop.
Jeff sped over Twin Peaks and down the curvy road toward the hospital. We were in disbelief, our baby was deciding to join the world four weeks earlier than anticipated.
When we arrived at the hospital we were shocked to find that they were already at max capacity. The five rooms where they decide whether you are truly in labor were full and another pregnant woman sat on a couch in the waiting room.
I bit my lip and squeezed my eyes shut as another contraction pulsed through my body. The nurse waved us in. I paused, confused why we would get to skip ahead of the couple that had arrived before us. Another contraction hit and Jeff pushed me up and through the door.
It was three and a half hours before they were able to move us upstairs. Jeff sat right beside me, holding my hand through every contraction and telling me how amazing he thought I was. As the pain became more than I thought I could handle, I got out of the bed and stood, leaning against Jeff’s broad shoulders. We swayed back and forth to the rhythm of our baby’s heartbeat.
Finally we moved into the delivery room, decidedly ready for an epidural. As the pain of the contractions subsided I was able to relax. We played Yahtzee and exchanged comments of the awe and disbelief we felt. Were were having our baby. Finally I went to sleep with Jeff stretched out on a cot next to my hospital bed.
I woke hourly throughout the night as my blood pressure cuff tightened and beeped. My legs tingled from the epidural and my eyes shifted toward the clock, wondering when my baby would make his entrance.
Around five in the morning my nurse came to check on me. An aching feeling had crept into my limbs and she pushed a button to give me some relief. It became clear that the pain was only worsening. Jeff jumped up and was by my side helping me get through the renewed contractions and the nurse called for the anesthesiologist.
Surprised by the return of my pain, my nurse checked my cervix and was shocked to find that I can gone from 1 centimeter to 8 centimeters in under 5 hours. My uterus had been working double time through the night.
Not long after that, Dr. Kahn’s curly red hair appeared through the door. “Ready to push?” I wasn’t sure. I thought she might be joking. I couldn’t believe everything was happening so fast.
Feet up, knees bent, and Jeff by my side I started pushing. I could hear Dr. Kahn yelling, “Go, go, go! Push, push, push!” Eileen, our nurse, was slowly counting to ten. And Jeff was whispering, “You are beautiful, you can do this.” We had an amazing team ready to greet our little guy.
Thirty minutes later this perfect little ball of baby burst into the world. It was mind blowing to see the little human who seconds before had been inside my belly. They handed him to me and I was flooded with emotion. Tears welled in smiling eyes. My heart swelled. I looked at Jeff, “Grayson?” I whispered. He nodded. We touched our foreheads together over our baby boy. Our son had been born.