it was a morning i will never forget.......
at 7am i woke up to the feeling of my water breaking! papa bear, sister bear and i had just returned from our apt in deerfield beach and we had just stayed the night at tommy bahama's in punta gorda. i announced to papa bear, who had been buried in a deep sleep (go figure it's 7am on a saturday morning -can you blame him?) i mentioned again, "honey, my water just broke!!!!!!!" this time i think i emphasized the matter. he woke up half alert and asked if i was serious? well, as much as i'd like to be joking being 5 weeks early.... i'm speaking the truth. we rushed around and let mr bahama know that he would be inheriting sister bear for the day and a few instructions on what to do with her, we continued to scurry around like little mice who were utterly confused. i was wearing a pair of tommy's old sweat pants and judy garland's t-shirt, hardly an outfit i would have imagined picking out to go and deliver my baby. but at that point, i didn't care if my shoes were on the right feet. I WAS GOING TO HAVE A BABY!!!!!!!!
just the night before, sister bear and i were having a stale cracker and salt and vinegar chip party while daddy and tommy took a canoe ride down the creek. papa bear said when he kissed me goodbye and i climbed into bed that i looked like i was about to deliver. i wish he had mentioned his thoughts to me, maybe i would have prepared for this. not really, the pop quiz type of surprise fits me best!
so back to the morning of our journey of the continued unexpected.........
as we made our way to the hospital, we were given the scary news that dr miggleschmoot, the dr i had met with my entire pregnancy and pre-paid for this delivery WAS NOT ON CALL THIS WEEKEND! WHAT?????????? this could not be true! i was extremely nervous about what was about to happen. papa bear reassured me that everything happens for a reason, keep my faith. well, it was easy to swallow for a second and then i was back to panicking. this dr i had never heard of was going to see me thru this very scary experience, especially since this baby had chosen to come 5 weeks early!
well, we continued on our way and arrived to the hospital.. they did the usual, threw me (not really, but i must be dramatic!) into a wheel chair and wheeled me up to the maternity ward, a place i had remembered quite well, sister bear had been born there 2 1/2 years prior, all the memories of labor came flashing before me........... now i was even more petrified, not knowing this dr scarington! they admitted me to a room, questioned me about my water really breaking.. what kind of question is that to a pregnant woman who has done this before?
so they tested the fluid, yes, it was amniotic fluid, "nurse needs to go back to school"! then they checked to see if i was dilated and during all this, papa bear and i sat back and listened to the nursing station get more and more chaotically flustered with my visit and questioned my stay! what? things just got worse and worse. papa bear and i looked at each other in deep fear and knew we couldn't stay here. they had mentioned that there was a great chance that immediately after i delivered my baby that he would be taken from me and ambulanced to one of the two nearby hospitals, where he would be taken to the NICU because they didn't have one. surprised? i don't think so! he was coming way too early for this to be a normal and safe delivery. so what did this mean? were papa bear and i going to flee the hospital and make our way to where my baby was going to end up anyway? like a scene from "little miss sunshine", i know! so we spoke to "nurse needs to go back to school" and asked her if we could safely drive ourselves to a chosen hospital -we made this calm, collected decision in 2-6 seconds time -but knew it was better than sticking around this garage sale quality joint. she said she couldn't recommend it but that we could sign off that they would NOT be liable for me if i chose to do so. so we signed the document and left. well, i was wheeled out by one of the nurses who confirmed it was by far just fine for me to make a stop for food, that they would not be feeding me anytime soon at new hospital i was going to. remember, my water broke, they checked me to see if i was dilated (i wasn't at that point). does anyone know the pace a labor and delivery goes with any woman? NO! so how did they think me stopping for food or leaving the hospital in general was ok? exactly!
so we stopped by our friend's bait and tackle store to drop off our house key for our neighbors who were going to take sister bear for the night and then we stopped at circuit city for a phone charger and since i still hadn't felt any pain or contraction at this point, we stopped and got some morning drive-thru. i was too confused to eat so i just took a few bites of my croissant and drank a few sips of orange juice and called all my family and friends and let them know where i was headed to..... i know, you're thinking at this point, "this girl's crazy!" hmmmpf, i was not quite myself and normally the ol' papa bear is logically calm and collected and only makes rational decisions. this time, we became some other couple. not sure WHO we were, but we made our way. even stopped to donate some money to the firefighters, papa bear stuck $100 bill into a fireman's boot -i think he kissed it for good luck that we'd make it further than the traffic light up ahead. yup, we hit slightly a bit of traffic coming off the freeway. nope, not contractions yet! i think if i felt any at this point, i was in complete denial.
at 11:30am, we arrived to the emergency part of the hopsital because that is what we were instructed to do by the "garage sale quality dive" we had left about an hour ago. they had mentioned they would contact the hospital and let them know i was coming..... never happened. really?? but, whatever, we were handling all this on our own anyway, what's one more task, right?
they wheeled me up to triage and admitted me and that is where i met the most fantastic nurse and dr... "dr too good to be true". he was just absolutely the dr i had been looking for the first time around. you know, one that smiles sincerely and has the look of confidence in his eyes, followed by words of comfort and the basics of what's going on. i never had that experience with dr schmigglemoof or whatever his name is -who needs to write that one down? so this was the moment i know this was all happening for a reason, the early delivery, the wild goose chase of where we were going to deliver this baby. it all made sense even though we still had no idea about why my water had broke so early and what was going to happen with the baby. we were scared, certainly.. especially when they said we may have to keep the baby in the hospital till his official due date. we still didn't know for sure.
after they checked me, at this point i had dilated 1 cm, at least now i was in a safe place with a staff of professionals who knew what to do. this brought me immediate peace. they wheeled me up to a big room, i was now being treated like a queen. i never asked or thought of this treatment, but it sure was nice. my sister and good friend, miss cali arrived and then later my cousin and her boyfriend came. they stayed till 3am the next morning. we just had a blast! i never was too uncomfortable or felt any real contractions till later in the night. that is when i decided that it was time to try the "drugs" and oh were they lovely! then at 3am when my family left, papa bear stayed with me of course, he had been drinking coffee all day, so you can imagine how pumped up and ready for a baby he was. ok, lets back up, i had an ultrasound done when i got to my room and they let me know the baby was approx 6 to 6 1/2 pounds, so that gave me hope and peace that he would be a normal sized baby. ok, back to 3am, when i got my first epidural, i was now 4 cm dilated. well, it didn't take long because by 5am, i was asking to start pushing, they called "dr too good to be true" on the telephone and got me ready and by 5:37am i was being lulled by the sound of my beautiful baby boy's cry. he was absolutely dreamy! he looked good, sounded good and i felt fantastic! it was all over, the anticipation of when he was coming, how he was coming and if he was going to make it ok.
my nurse, her name was "miss magic". she was wonderful.. she stayed with me the whole time and her shift ended at 6am. we joked that the baby would make his way out before then as the tick tock of the clock came, he made it just in time for her to be there for the delivery. i felt like my friend had been there for me, she was more than wonderful and made me feel at ease and so comfortable at all times. we even held hands while i was having a contraction and sitting on a port-a-potty listening to papa bear talk on the phone to sister bear, trying to calm her down. i will never forget this moment, ever.
little baby brother bear and i stayed in the hospital for 2 more days then we were released. i met the most amazing women, whether they were a nurse, lactation specialist, ear testing volunteer, food delivery person, you name it.. they were all amazing! i will write about them next. my fingers are about to fall off.
the great thing was that brother bear was born on my father's birthday. it was such a joyous moment to realize that and that maybe it's the reason he came so early. i loved being able to send my dad a happy birthday text message with a "guess what happened to me this morning?" he called me immediately with the happiest tone in his voice, it made his day and said it was the best birthday gift he has ever received. happy birthday dad and now forever on this day, i celebrate my healthy, beautiful son and all the surprises you will bring to my life -none could top this day!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY! you're loved more than you can ever imagine.