Twelve years ago today I welcomed into the world a tiny, beautiful, very vocal baby boy and every year since has been busy, loud, happy, and eventful, starting from that very fist day.....
It was Valentines day, and my due date, and like clockwork, I woke up at 5am with cramping and pressure and the early signs of labour began to take it's course. I spent the morning trying to relax and timing my contractions which were pretty infrequent and were showing no real pattern so far. However, there had been a big snow storm for 2 days prior, and the forecast was calling for another storm (common where we live- February is a month of snow storms!) so I knew I had to be cautious of waiting too long.
After lunch my contractions were still random and had no consistency but my water was slowly breaking and, because of the weather and the nearly 1 hour drive to the hospital I knew I couldn't take chances. Natural labour was also new to me since I had been induced with my first son.
I headed to the hospital where I was admitted and it was confirmed that I was in labour. I had dilated 3 centimetres and with the exception of pressure when I walked, I was feeling fine. My contractions were uncomfortable but I wasn't in any real pain.
And still feeling fine! I was uncomfortable at times but had no serious pain. However I was informed that if I didn't take a shot of Demerol at this point I would not be permitted to have it once I reached 7 centimetres. I knew from previous experience- my labour with Keenan, the birth of my niece, and the horrendous labour my sister endured during the birth of my nephew- that regardless of how I was feeling at that moment, it could take a drastic turn fast! I received the Demerol shot and shortly thereafter was glad that I had. At 8 centimetres the "discomfort" I had been feeling turned to true labour pain!
By this point it was the early hours of the next day (February 15). At 7am, after being in serious labour for approximately 5 hours I was not quite 9 centimetres dilated and felt as if I needed to push. I was told not to, that I wasn't ready yet, but it wasn't long after I knew that, ready or not, my baby was coming. I told the nurse over and over that he was coming, like it or not, but she dismissed my concerns. Later, when Kaleb was nestled safe in my arms, I understood why she was so dismissive. Being a labour and delivery nurse she had heard and seen it all before, and I am sure more than one woman felt as I was feeling at that moment.
But there was a distinct difference between me and them. My baby really WAS coming, ready or not! I continued to insist just that as I felt the intense contractions helping bring my boy into the world.
I am guessing it was to ease my mind more than anything but she went into the hall to get the doctor and he entered in his normal clothes, not yet prepared for the birth of the baby on the way. He greeted me and then went to the bottom of the bed to check on my progress......
And Kaleb was already crowning his entrance into the world! The room erupted into chaos! The doctor quickly put on some gloves (no rubber boots for this guy- there was no time) and the nurses rushed to adjust the bed and get me into stir-ups.
There was no pushing, no coaching me to give it all I had (even though my labour coaches- my mom and sister stood on either side of me). The baby boy who I would fall instantly in love with was eager to meet us and bring himself into the world and the strength of the contractions along with his tiny frame helped. Just a couple of minutes later he shot into the world and was known during 4 day stay at the hospital as the "canon ball baby"!
I am confident that a lot of eyebrows are raised in doubt as I tell this story but it is 100% factual! He earned himself quite a reputation in the hospital. He was in a rush then and has been everyday since!
As the doctor held him is his hands, still tethered to me by the cord that joined us, I instantly noticed how quiet and pale he was. The team of nurses and the doctor were quick to work on him and had him crying in no time but his colour didn't change and wouldn't for a couple of days.
Cleaned up and swaddled in blankets he was handed to me and I was told to begin nursing him right away. The nurse then began to explain (and show me) that Kaleb had a knotted cord. This wasn't unusual but what was unusual was that it had not 1, but 2, tight knots. The nurse who had helped bring him into the world later told us that, in her twenty years as a nurse she had never seen this occur.
He had received limited nutrients for at least a few days. His sugar was low and he needed to be nursed every fifteen minutes for the first couple of days. Slowly the extremely pale skin began to gain some colour and his sugar began to rise. He became more energetic and alert, found the powerful voice that he's had ever since.
We named our sweet baby boy Kaleb Alexander James and I fell in love with him from that first moment I held him in my arms and my love for him has only grown since.
So happy birthday Mom's little man! Make a wish, and may that one, and each and every one, come truly. I love you.
Until next time....